Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan

Consultation has concluded

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural heritage in more memorable and authentic ways.

Lake Louise has been welcoming visitors since the late 1800s. The first ski lodge was built in 1930 and lift access began in 1952. Today, the Lake Louise Ski Area is internationally-renowned for alpine enjoyment, appreciation and education. From recreational enthusiasts, to young, grass roots and international athletes, to people looking to experience breathtaking vistas and nature at its finest, we welcome guests from across Canada and around the world to enjoy the area while respecting local values, the environment and wildlife. Visitors to Banff National Park are important to the provincial and federal economies, while protection of and awareness about precious natural and cultural heritage remains at the fore.

The new Long-Range Plan will direct all new projects during the next 10 to 15 years within the context of all future development at the ski area, as outlined in Parks Canada’s 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines. It gives a forever blueprint to determine how we can improve upon aspects of the current operations from a visitor experience and environmental perspective, responsibly.

Focus of the Long-Range Plan

In our unique setting in Banff National Park, we are committed to being a world-leading environmental steward and centre for natural and cultural appreciation. That’s why, even with more than 97 percent of Banff National Park already protected from any future development, our plans include a significant leasehold reduction, a suite of other environmental gains and expanding our interpretive programming.

While we do want to upgrade our terrain and infrastructure within a smaller foot print so that people can enjoy our alpine environment meaningfully, any changes will make sure we protect the area’s unique wildlife, wilderness, heritage and Banff National Park Values.

At the direction of Parks Canada, we are putting forward this Long-Range Plan, which must meet with the detailed parameters in the 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Area Guidelines and accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment. Those documents were drafted by Parks Canada and signed by the CEO of Parks Canada in August 2015.

What’s in our proposal?

From significant environmental gains, to new chairlifts and upgrades to existing chairlifts, to new day lodges and better parking capacity and traffic flow management, our proposed Long-Range Plan is about enhancing our ability to welcome people while protecting our unique culture, wilderness and heritage resources. To do that, we can’t just start making new ski runs and building new facilities without holistic thought. For example, by changing the way we use the land for snow sports, we can develop new terrain in one area and return other parts of the ski area back to wilderness designation.

Our current lease is 2,190 hectares. We are proposing a reduced lease area of 1,162 hectares, plus winter-only Licences of Occupation for West Bowl and Hidden Bowl (374 hectares, combined), as well as operational Licences of Occupation for an additional 130.62 hectares for operational activities such as avalanche control and utilities. The end result would be a reduction of our leasehold by almost half and a 30 per cent reduction of total land available for limited snow sports. Approximately 1,000 hectares of our current lease, or about the size of 800 Canadian football fields of land, will be protected from future development.

Find our more and let us know what you think

Have a look at the topics below to find out more. Detailed information about our proposed plan for information about environmental gains, proposed new chairlifts, ski terrain and lodges, water, wildlife, slope and vegetation management, safety improvements and improved traffic management and parking, along with other important considerations, are available in our full Long-Range Plan and the accompanying Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA), completed by Golder and Associates. Supplemental plans and strategies are all available in our Document Library.


Thank you for your comments – here’s what’s happening next

Thank you for connecting with us to learn more about our proposed Long-Range Plan for the Lake Louise Ski Area.

Whether you took part in one of our open houses (held in April in Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary) or visited this website to discover the details about our proposed plan, we appreciate your willingness to take the time to review our proposals and to offer your comments on a wide range of topics. We have enjoyed hearing the many stories you’ve shared about winter and summer experiences at the resort and your thoughts about the future of the Lake Louise Ski Area.

The proposed Long-Range Plan (LRP) is focused on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. The plan will guide our future activities over the next 10 to 15 years. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations.

Our public comment period closed on June 15, 2019. The feedback we’ve received will assist in our review of the LRP and in Golder's review of the Detailed Impact Analysis. Final versions of those documents will be posted on this website when that process is complete.

We are providing all comments, questions and concerns that we’ve received through this site and our in-person engagement activities, in full, to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process. We will also be producing an engagement summary report, which will be provided to Parks Canada and will be available on this site soon.

Consultation has concluded
  • Transportation and Parking

    5 months ago
    4 3

    Our Long-Range Plan includes proposed improvements to transportation and parking to help reduce congestion, enhance safety and provide visitors with an exceptional National Park experience.

    Right now, we have room for 1,951 cars and 12 buses. These parking stalls are spread over four parking lots with parallel and angle parking along Whitehorn Drive. About 80 per cent of visitors arrive by car and park in one of the day visitor lots. We use parking attendants during peak day periods in the winter to help manage how people park so we can maximize the use of the stalls and available road...

    Our Long-Range Plan includes proposed improvements to transportation and parking to help reduce congestion, enhance safety and provide visitors with an exceptional National Park experience.

    Right now, we have room for 1,951 cars and 12 buses. These parking stalls are spread over four parking lots with parallel and angle parking along Whitehorn Drive. About 80 per cent of visitors arrive by car and park in one of the day visitor lots. We use parking attendants during peak day periods in the winter to help manage how people park so we can maximize the use of the stalls and available road space.

    Within Banff National Park, we actively pursue programs to encourage skiers, riders and other visitors to use the bus or carpool to get to the ski area. In fact, at least 20 per cent of all visitors arrive by bus or private shuttle. Most of our staff members reach the ski area by bus.

    In our Long-Range Plan, we have found ways to increase the total parking capacity from 1,951 cars and 12 buses to 3,256 cars and 50 buses. These changes will help us accommodate more guests, manage traffic tie-ups and improve safety for people and wildlife.

    The increase in parking space is predicted to cover less than 15 hectares of land. Redesigning our existing parking areas and adding more stalls and drop-off points will help us meet our goal of providing a safe and memorable arrival and departure experience. Most important, this will also eliminate parking along Whitehorn Drive, reducing effects on the Whitehorn Wildlife Corridor, which is bisected by the road. Our plan includes construction of a wildlife crossing structure (underpass) for Whitehorn Drive and relocation of the Fish Creek Road and trailhead parking area. This new access road will allow Parks Canada to remove the lower portion of the existing Fish Creek access road to reduce disturbance within the Whitehorn Wildlife Corridor. The ski area will repair any damage to the trailhead public parking area at Fish Creek resulting from access road re-construction. Drainage improvements to reduce run-off into nearby Fish Creek and Corral Creek will be undertaken by the ski area throughout this access corridor road.

    A map of the proposed parking layout is available to download here.