Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan

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.

We are looking for your feedback on our plans through this website and through in-person open houses. All comments and questions that we receive through this site and our in-person engagement activities will be provided in full to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process. If you would prefer to provide your feedback directly to Parks Canada, you may send comments to pc.lakelouise-opinion.pc@canada.ca or visit their website at https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/info/gestion-management/tor-dia-2019

We would love to hear your stories and experiences about Lake Louise Ski Area.

  • What do you love about Lake Louise Ski Area? What do you think needs improvement?
  • As a user or neighbour of Lake Louise Ski Area, what would you like to see in the Long-Range Plan?
  • What is your favourite memory there?
  • Have you visited in the summer or the winter?

Thank you for your interest in the Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan!

We review content before posting it publicly; however, all comments and questions that we receive through this site will be provided in full to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process, regardless of whether the content is posted or not. 

If you would also like to provide feedback directly to Parks Canada, you may send comments to pc.lakelouise-opinion.pc@canada.ca


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  • Looking Forward to the Future

    by Daniel.barritt, 16 days ago

    Having a season's pass as both a skier and snowboarder, I think the proposed plan is a wonderful way to attract new people to enjoy the beautiful scenery and terrain that Lake Louise has to offer. Not to mention a sustained family-loved experience for generations to come. I do agree that the summit platter offers a sense of accomplishment when you get to the top but it deters friends and myself away from the lift altogether because of the pain and discomfort experienced. I think the chairlift would transform a "one-time thing" into a connected part of the Lake Louise... Continue reading

  • Bow Valley Kids Experience

    19 days ago
    Magnusandmaxattemple

    This is the second year our children have been involved with Bow Valley Kids and I cannot say enough about what an amazing program this is. My husband and I have been snowboarding at Lake Louise for decades, but in the last few years have been seeing the hill through new eyes. Our boys, now 5 and 8, are already avid snowboarders and mountain enthusiasts. I would love to be able to take all of the credit for this, but much of the credit goes out to Lake Louise ski resort and the Bow Valley program. For our family, our... Continue reading

  • Olympic Dreams at Lake Louise

    19 days ago
    Brady leman

    The Lake Louise Ski Area has been a part of my life for longer than I can actually remember.  My parents met while working at the resort in the early 80’s. Years later, my father Chris was the head coach of the Lake Louise Ski Club.  I would tag along with the ski team even though I was only three or four years old. 

    Some of my earliest memories on skis are at Lake Louise, hitting the “Leap Frog” jump and learning to do 360’s. Hiking over to boomerang for some fresh powder turns and learning to ride the poma... Continue reading

  • No to the sunmit chair!

    by Zachswc, 19 days ago

    Hi there my name is Zach and I have been a seasons pass holder for the last 5 years and have skied at Louise for the last 15, I love Louise because of the terrain it offers and quite abit less busy than sunshine so it makes it worth driving the extra half an hour from Calgary. I was looking over the new lift situation and everything looks great the only thing that I wasn’t too happy about was the summit chair, one of my favourite memories as a kid was facing that summit platter head on and taking that... Continue reading

  • Improving on a World Class Facility

    by MThomson, 20 days ago

    A born and raised Calgarian, I've been skiing at Lake Louise since I was 4 or 5.  Starting in the Nancy Greene programs and now skiing recreationally it has always been a favourite place to visit winter and summer.  Over the years I've developed a love of the outdoors and and appreciation for the beautiful backyard we are so fortunate to have access to. 

    With two young children, I'm excited to introduce them not just to skiing, but to hiking and wildlife and conservation. With the current facilities, it's been hard to bring young kids up as the daycare often... Continue reading

  • Celebrating 50 years+

    by Ken Read, 20 days ago
    Img 3386

    Our family has a five-decade love affair with Lake Louise. In 1968, the Read family moved to Calgary and our parents, John & Dee Read, promptly put their children - Janet, Ron, Ken and Jim - into the programs of the Lake Louise Ski Club. Under the watchful eye of then Head Coach, Mike Wiegele, our journey began.

    Through the past 50 years, all members of our family and the subsequent generations have learned to love the Canadian Rockies, and celebrate how fortunate we are to have such a special place where we can rejuvenate, learn, grow and share our... Continue reading

  • My Own Backyard

    by Dean Trimble, 25 days ago

    Just 2 hours from Calgary my family is able to escape the realities of urban life to a place which brings peace to the people.

    I was born in Calgary in 1964 and have been hiking and skiing in Banff National Park ever since. LLSA is safe and easily accessible for people to find peace from their everyday lives. Whether it be local Bow Valley and Calgary residents or the visitor from Asia. The ability to engage with nature and the environment in a safe manor is crucial for the long-term preservation of that nature. Without engagement there ultimately will... Continue reading

  • Connecting with nature

    by dhoward, 26 days ago

    Born and raised in the city, Nature is an abstraction you learn about at school and on TV. To gain a true, lifelong appreciation for the awesomeness of Nature, its splendor, its power and indeed its fragility you need to have physical engagement. It must be part of your way of life, something inside of you.

    Lake Louise is where I discovered this connection. I have skied at Louise for the past forty years, first as a son and now as a father. Visiting Banff National Park to ski at Louise gives us a greater appreciation for our environment and... Continue reading

  • My Favourite Place to Ski

    by GlennDavies, 27 days ago

    I like the variety of runs available. During a day, I can ski a different run every run if I chose.

    I would like to see better grooming on the man-made snow as it usually gets icy before noon. I am retired and usually ski mid-week, but if I ski a weekend, then Whisky Jack is very crowded for getting my ski gear on. I will NOT get changed in a parking lot in the snow.

    I like the long range plans for the area, but wonder with all the capital costs involved, what is the time frame for the... Continue reading

  • A safe place to enjoy Banff National Park

    by Charlotte, 29 days ago

    I’m an Alberta girl. I grew up skiing and hiking in the Bow valley. I wanted to raise my children with an appreciation for the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, the natural world and the wildlife that inhabits it. It’s hard to ignore the beauty that surrounds us when you take in the view from a top of Summit platter.

    Since 2007, the Lake Louise ski area community has embraced us. My children have skied competitively at the Lake Louise Ski Area since they were five years old. They’ve spent their entire childhood skiing this terrain and hiking the surrounding... Continue reading