Banff – Lake Louise: Stunning Beauty and Nature At Its Best in the Canadian Rockies
4. Please tell us about the skiing opportunities in Banff/Lake Louise and other winter activities on offer in your area.
Three outstanding ski resorts, Ski [email protected], Sunshine Village and Lake Louise provide more than 7,700 acres and 240 trails offering countless options to skiers and snowboarders of any ability. From wide-open bowls and tree-lined glades covered with fresh dry champagne powder, to meticulous groomed slopes and state-of-the-art snowmaking, visitors enjoy unspoiled scenery, short lift lines, and guaranteed friendly local hospitality. The last major snowstorm through this area was less than one week ago and the snow conditions are powder, powder, powder. More snow is forecast in the coming days.
There are over 80km of cross-country trails within a short drive of the Banff townsite alone. The vast network of track-set and untracked trails, and telemark slopes throughout Banff National Park calls nordic skiers of all abilities. The Banff National Park Service keeps up to date trail conditions and weather forecasts.
Banff also offers guided snow-shoeing tours, ice walks, dog sledding and ice climbing, not to mention heli-skiing.
5. What about activities during the summer time?
Ride through a pine forest hearing only hoof beats, zoom down waterslides, or come face to face with a grizzly bear while exploring an interpretive museum. Banff Lake Louise offers something for everyone.
Enjoy the spectacular views from the Brewster Gondola, explore the Columbia Icefield from aboard the enormous snocoach, rent a bike and ride around the park or get up early and enjoy a bird walk in the spring. There’s also guided tours through Johnston Canyon, nature walks, a skateboard park and several fine patios for enjoying a cool refreshment after hours of exploration in the summer sun. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
6. Banff / Lake Louise’s history is connected to the expansion of railways across Canada. Please give us a brief historical overview of the area.
The railway passes through the Banff area and reaches Laggan Station (Lake Louise). Three railway workers, Frank McCabe, Tom McCardell, and William McCardell, stake claim to the natural hot springs on the side of Sulphur Mountain.
– 1884: Lord Steven, a former CPR director, christens the area “Banff” after his birthplace, Banffshire, Scotland.
– 1885: The federal government sets aside a 26 km² reserve surrounding the hot springs discovered two years earlier. Two years later, that area is increased to 670 sq. km. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the federal government cooperate in promoting the area as an international resort and spa as a way to support the new railway and ease the financial pressures on Confederation.
– 1888: The Canadian Pacific Railway Company builds the area’s first large tourist accommodation, The Banff Springs Hotel.
– 1911: Automobile access to Banff is made possible by the construction of the Banff/Calgary Coach Road.
– 1917: The park’s area is increased to 7 125 km². The Canadian government passes the first National Parks Act.
– 1930: Rocky Mountains Park is renamed Banff National Park and its size becomes fixed at 6641 km².
– 1933: The Banff Centre for Continuing Education is founded.
– 1985: Banff, Jasper, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks along with four adjacent provincial parks are declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
– 1990: Through a joint agreement between the local citizens and the federal and provincial governments, the town of Banff becomes the only incorporated municipality within a Canadian national park.
7. Our readers would like to find out about the festivals and special events in Banff/Lake Louise.
Festivals and special events are many in Banff and Lake Louise. The most immediate two are Ice Magic and Winterfest. Ice Magic involves artists from all over the world converging on Lake Louise and carving 300 kilogram blocks of ice into spectacular sculptures (January 27-29). Winterfest is a series of fun activities. The most up-to-date information on all festivals and special events can be found at http://www.banfflakelouise.com/
8. What about restaurants and entertainment in Banff / Lake Louise?
With inventive panache, chefs relentlessly reach new culinary heights. Recipes change according to the seasons and make use of the freshest local ingredients. During the fall and winter, this means game, squash and legumes, while spring features asparagus and mushrooms and summer highlights edible flowers and fresh fruits.
The town has a wide variety of tourism-related businesses including over 118 restaurants with food to suit every palette. There’s Indian cuisine, sushi, Korean, Chinese, Western, Pasta, Thai, Greek and just about every other variation.
Banff is also home to The Banff Centre. This institution is host to many forms of entertainment, including art galleries and installations, theatre productions and concerts ranging in variety from string quartets, blues, jazz, ethnic and rock ‘n’ roll. There is something happening virtually every week of the year. Banff also has a cinema, bowling lanes, water slides and indoor pool and billiards hall. There’s an indoor rock-climbing wall, skating rink, tennis courts and myriad other things to do for entertainment regardless of the weather.
9. What are some of the shopping opportunities in Banff / Lake Louise?
Enjoy strolling alongside locals and world-travellers as you discover a cosmopolitan collection of galleries, boutiques and cafés. Shops range from internationally recognized clothiers or independently-owned establishments to Canada’s oldest department store.
10. What type of accommodations options are available in Banff / Lake Louise?
From five-star elegance to the cozy comfort of cabins or chalets, Banff Lake Louise has more than 100 hotels, motels, condominiums resorts, lodges and bed & breakfasts that will make you feel at home whatever your tastes.
11. What are some of the major events and big news stories coming up in 2006 and beyond in Banff/Lake Louise?
Banff looks poised to host a skins golf game this summer that will attract some of the biggest names in golf.
Also big in the news is the commencement of Banff Refreshing, a sidewalk expansion program and greening that will make downtown Banff much more pedestrian friendly and reduce the amount of traffic using the downtown core.
The first phase of the Trans-Canada Highway twinning project will also swing into high gear this summer, making transit through Banff National Park faster and safer than ever. Of note with this project are state-of-the-art wildlife crossing structures to keep animals off the highway.
Passing of a recent lighting bylaw means that Banff’s night sky will become more and more clear as time passes.
Thank you, Quintin, for your time to provide us with more information about the beautiful Banff/Lake Louise area. We look forward to exploring your area first-hand in March!
For further information about Banff/Lake Louise please contact:
Banff Lake Louise Tourism
P.O. Box 1298, Banff, Alberta, T1L 1B3, Canada
Phone:403-762-8421 Fax: 403-762-8163
Email: [email protected]