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A group of friends soaks in the spring sun while riding the chairlift in Banff National Park, AB
The Real Banff / Published: Fri, 01/31/2020 - 13:57

Trip-Worthy Spring Experiences in Banff and Lake Louise

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From all-season adventures and festivals to culinary events and a killer food scene, there is no shortage of ways to celebrate in Banff and Lake Louise this spring.

A balanced blend of these elements will make for a spring vacation you’ll never forget.

Take the Après to Last Call

The après scene in Banff and Lake Louise is waiting to be tapped. Whether it's on-resort spring patios, the world of craft cocktails, or the best places to fill up on a hearty Albertan meal, there are countless ways to treat your taste buds. 

Check out the Brewski Festival at Lake Louise Ski Resort featuring craft beer from local Canadian breweries. Banff Sunshine's Bacon Fest, features enticing restaurant specials and a Bacon Strip Sprint challenge. Mt. Norquay’s après tasting events are a must for beer and bubbly aficionados. Want to dig in to even more alpine-inspired dining? Try it from a mountaintop with a Starlight Dinner at the charming Cliffhouse Bistro - there’s no experience quite like it. 

Of course, après doesn’t have to end when the sun sets. Ski hill festivities are in full swing as the resorts celebrate the end of the season. Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Shake the Lake brings the après action to Kokanee Kabin and after party in the Lodge of the Ten Peaks. And there’s no spring ski party quite like Banff Sunshine's Slush Cup, celebrating its 91st anniversary this May.

Boost Your Endorphins

There aren’t many places in the world where you can ski well into spring, with great conditions to boot - but Banff National Park is one of them. With local resorts spinning their lifts into the third week of May, you can rest assured that the spring snow is fabulous and the vibe sublime. 

While skiers are basking in the sunny summit snowfields, the valley bottom is teeming with rock climbers restless to get on a route. These guiding companies start their summer courses and guiding as early as May, with many beginner pitches being the first all-clear. 

The weather may still be hit and miss, and it’s difficult to determine whether valley-dwellers will still see snow by spring. In either case, these early season hikes are a great option to get your blood moving and take in the mountain views, even if it's not completely snow free.

With the Banff Marathon just around the corner, spring is a great time to start training and hit the pavement. The Fenlands Loop to Vermillion Lakes road, and the Minnewanka Loop are local favourites. Lower elevation trail runs such as the Hoodoo Trail offer a great opportunity to mix up the running routine.

Running along the Banff pedestrian bridge
Pam Doyle
Banff Pedestrian Bridge

Recharge and Recentre

While many ski weekends are go-go-go, Banff and Lake Louise present a unique opportunity to balance the usual vacation routine in spring. The Banff Yoga Festival returns this May with a lineup of innovative instructors and a style to suit every yogi. This festival is the perfect way for adrenaline junkies to recentre themselves after a non-stop winter. 

Take the self-love to the next level with a spa treatment at any of Banff and Lake Louise’s spas or wellness centres, or take part in a spring wellness weekend. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers several spring workshops centred on yoga, meditation, and self-improvement. 

Be inspired by the Mountains

Banff and Lake Louise are picturesque destinations providing mountains of inspiration for artists. For a dose of awe-inspiring art and rich culture, sign up for the Banff Gallery Hop on April 18, May 23 or June 13. At 10 locations celebrating arts and culture in Banff and Lake Louise, you will witness how the Canadian Rockies inspire and impact individuals. If you're in Banff outside of these dates, drop into one of the many galleries or museums in Banff and Lake Louise to browse at your leisure. 

Create your own art on Fridays and Saturdays through Spring at the Alpenglow Festival at the Banff Gondola. Watch the sunset and capture the sky as it turns rose-coloured and the snowy peaks are illuminated. Right after the sunset, enjoy "Blue Hour", where the skies turn indigo before you have the opportunity to test your photography skills with shots of the night sky. Don't forget to share your jaw-dropping pictures with #MyBanff!

Sulphur Mountain Gondola, Banff National Park
@scree_dust