While famous for its namesake and black diamond ski runs, Lake Louise Resort has plenty to keep visitors happy even when the snow has melted. The main lodge – a log cabin built entirely from local trees - greets visitors who come for the 14-minute gondola ride up Whitehorn Mountain. Riders have a choice between an enclosed gondola and an open chair lift. A good way to experience both is to ride the gondola on the way up and the chair lift on the way down, since the views as you face the valley are more panoramic. Keep an eye out on your ride for one of the resident grizzly bears. At the top of the lift, there are a number of well marked hiking trails, as well as the Lake Louise Interpretative Nature Center. Center staff lead a 45-minute interpretative walk which is a great way to get acquainted with the environment and learn about the area’s bears before setting off on your own.
Also at the summit, the Whitehorn Lodge offers visitors a surprisingly delicious experience with five-star views. Both the building and the menu have been recently revamped and the results are well worth the price of the gondola ride. The seafood chowder, a meal in itself, is a highlight as is the beef tenderloin burger: a mound of beef tenderloin cooked to order and served open-faced on a giant piece of focaccia with a pile of yam fries. You'll definitely be full for your ride back down the gondola.