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The Real Banff / Published: Tue, 02/19/2019 - 13:57

Trip-Worthy Spring Events in Banff and Lake Louise

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

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

Nourish Your Inner Foodie

Banff National Park is at the top of many foodies’ lists as a culinary destination. As a host for several culinary events, hip festivals, and fresh local menus, Banff and Lake Louise are the ultimate location to discover the best in regional flavours from western Canada.

Back this April for its second year is Cochon555 - a weekend-long culinary celebration. On day one, local talent and guest chefs from across the continent collaborate on five to seven-course communal dinners. On day two, the main competition matches five chefs with five heritage-breed pigs and five sommeliers for your vote, along with over 40 stations bringing together the best in culinary craft from across Alberta and B.C.

Take the Après to Last Call

The delicious bites and bevies don’t end there! The après scene in Banff and Lake Louise is waiting to be tapped - be it on-resort spring patios, the world of craft cocktails, or the best places to fill up on a hearty Albertan meal, there are so many ways to treat your tastebuds. 

Check out the Brewski Festival at Lake Louise Ski Resort featuring craft beer from local Canadian breweries. Or Banff Sunshine's Bacon Fest, with 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 afterparty 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 that 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. 

Of course, 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 are also a great way to mix up the running routine.

Pam Doyle
Banff Pedestrian Bridge

Recharge and Recenter

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 recenter 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 Juniper Hotel hosts a two-day Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Women's Retreat exploring yoga, meditation, and personal coaching. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise also offers several spring workshops centred on yoga, meditation, and self-improvement.  

Don't miss your chance to relax and recharge during The Baker Creek Mountain Resort Yoga Retreat, May 3-5, 2019. Experience yoga, meditation, and delicious food, beautifully situated along the Bow River.