Fairview Lookout Snowshoe Trail takes you to a picturesque viewpoint overlooking Lake Louise.
For a short snowshoe trail with lots of snow, head to Fairview Lookout at Lake Louise. The trail is most beautiful after a big dump of snow and best done on a clear day, so you can enjoy the view of the lake and Chateau Lake Louise. Although the trail is mostly in the trees, we had tons of fun jumping in snowdrifts on the side of the trail! Allow extra time if snowshoeing with kids, so you have plenty of time to play in the snow!
Starting near the Lake Louise boathouse, look for the Fairview Lookout / Saddleback / Mount Fairview sign. After about 500 hundred metres, take the signed turnoff for Fairview Lookout. From here, the trail gets steeper and narrower, but not crazy enough to require heel lifts on your snowshoes. As you get closer to the lookout, you will get occasional views of the top of Mount Fairview (a great summer hike). The trail is mostly in the trees, so it’s a good choice for a windy day.
You can’t miss the lookout with its viewing platform, benches and interpretive signs. Take a photo (or three) and return the way you came. Do NOT continue past the lookout as it is avalanche terrain!
Fairview Lookout Snowshoe Trail At A Glance
Distance: 2 km return
Elevation Gain: 100 m
Washrooms: At the parking lot
Chariot Friendly? No. Although the first part of the trail is chariot friendly (with ski attachments), after the turnoff, the trail is too narrow for a Chariot, especially since this is quite a popular trail. Child carrier pack recommended.
Parking: Main public parking lot at Lake Louise
Trailhead: Look for the trailhead sign for Fairview Lookout / Saddleback / Mount Fairview near the Lake Louise Boat House.
Safety Note: Do NOT go past the lookout as there are dangerous avalanche slopes beyond!
This quick and fun trip can be combined with the Lake Louise Lakeshore Trail or Mirror Lake. If the lake is frozen, you can snowshoe on Lake Louise! Read more about it in this story: Ski, Skate, Walk, or Snowshoe on Lake Louise.
Know Before You Go
- A Parks Canada Discovery Pass / daily admission fee is required to stop in Banff National Park.
- There is avalanche danger past the lookout, so return the way you came.
- Your dog must be kept on a leash.
- There’s a wonderful skating rink on Lake Louise from mid-December until March, weather permitting. Bring your own skates or rent from Wilson’s (in the village of Lake Louise) or at the Chateau.
See our 9 Fun Things to Do in Lake Louise this Winter for more winter fun!
Where to Eat
Enjoy an après-snowshoeing snack at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise or Laggan’s, our favorite mountain bakery.
What to Bring
Disclosure: This section includes affiliate links through which I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting our small family business!
Base layers, insulated winter boots, a down jacket and windproof/waterproof shell (or insulated ski jacket/parka), gloves or mittens, and toque are must-haves. See our fall/winter hiking gear guide for product recommendations.
For winter hiking, we recommend traction devices such as Kahtoola Microspikes (Available from Amazon and MEC), or Hillsound Trail Crampons (Available at Amazon and Sport Chek) and trekking poles with snow baskets.
You should also carry The Ten Essentials including: water, extra food, extra clothes, a headlamp, a GPS/satellite communicator (or compass) and map of the area, sunscreen (this one is safe for babies), and bear spray. Carry bear spray in a Frontiersman Bear Spray Holster (attaches to your backpack or belt) or Scat Belt.
For a complete snowshoeing pack list, see our Snowshoeing Gear List (free PDF available).
Lake Louise is located 187 km / 2 hours west of Calgary, a few kilometres off the TransCanada Highway (Hwy 1). Click here for Google Maps directions. The Fairview Lookout trailhead is on the left side of the lake (just before the boathouse).