Fairview Loop

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1-1.5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
6.2 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
50 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.3
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of Fairview Loop XC ski trail in Banff National Park, Alberta

The Fairview cross-country ski trail is a stunning XC ski trail near Chateau Lake Louise. It’s also not too busy, as other nearby trails are more popular, however we love the scenery of a cross-country ski trip on Fairview. We often combine this route with a return on the Moraine Lake Road trail.

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Route Description for Fairview Loop

The Fairview cross-country ski trail is a wonderful trail, with great views, a fun meandering course, and for some reason very few people. Being at a high elevation also means the snow is often the best in the area.

You can do the Fairview XC ski trail starting at one of two points. We like to start in the parking lot and walk down to the left of Chateau Lake Louise, and take trail #4, a blue trail, that eventually connects with Trail #2, Fairview. This route has some up and down, but allows us to ski down and have a look at Lake Louise at the start.

You can also start at the back of the lower Lake Louise parking lot if you want an easier xc ski trip, as it avoids the climb and descent at the start from the other starting point. We show this as the end point on the map for this route.

To ski the blue trail at the start, start at the winter washroom in the Lake Louise parking lot and walk towards Lake Louise. Once near Lake Louise, head to the left, in the direction of the Canoe Cabin. This will be a different direction then you are used to, as you probably follow the trails to the right towards the Chateau.

Follow the signed trail #4. We like to head down and check out the view over Lake Louise from the Canoe Cabin, and then return and follow the track set xc ski trail as it goes around the upper Lake Louise Parking lot. At the end of the upper parking lot the trail goes left and heads down, connecting with the trail that comes in from the end of the lower parking lot (Look at the map if this doesn’t make sense).

Once on the Green #2 Fairview trail the skiing is incredible. This is usually a great, track-set xc ski trail, meandering through the trees with big views across the valley to your left or up at Mt Fairview, Saddleback Mountain and eventually Mount Temple on your right.

The route is fairly flat, though slightly uphill on the way out. So, you may find your skis aren’t gliding that well on the way out.

Eventually you reach a point where the green circle #2 Fairview route turns into a blue square at the base of a hill. This change in route colour and shape signifies a more challenging ski ahead. We like to continue to the top of this hill, as it makes for a fun return. For beginners it may be worthwhile to turn around at the base of the hill if you don’t like descending yet.

Once at the top of the hill, you have the choice of returning the way you came (as we show on the map) or skiing down the hill to connect with the cross-country ski trail on Moraine Lake, which makes an excellent day out. The descent to Moraine Lake Road is not suitable for novices.

We love the views going back on Fairview, so it’s a worthwhile ski to retrace your ski tracks back to Lake Louise.

Insider Hints for Fairview Loop

  • The Fairview XC Ski trail is a great trail to combine with either a XC ski on Lake Louise or the Moraine Lake Route. If you descend to the Moraine Lake Road you will need to get back to Lake Louise on the Tramline trail, which ends at the back of the lower Lake Louise Parking lot. If you are in good shape, we highly recommend doing all three trails, and get some of the best views in the Rockies.
  • Rent your skis and grab a trail map at Wilson’s Mountain Sports in Lake Louise Village.
  • Rates to stay at Chateau Lake Louise can be quite attractive in winter. Check the rates and consider splurging and staying right on Chateau Lake Louise!
  • If you are feeling like lunch or a drink with a fairy tale view, check out the Lakeview Lounge in the Chateau Lake Louise. It’s on the first floor and has one of the finest views in Banff National Park. The burgers are also incredible after a hard ski!

Getting to the Fairview Loop Trailhead

Take Lake Louise Drive from the exit off the Trans-Canada highway. Drive towards the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and park in one of the lots to the left of the Chateau. We try and get a spot close to the toilets.

Route Information

  • When to do

    Mid-November to April

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Trailhead

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Avalanche Risk

    Simple

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Poor

  • Crowd Levels

    Low

  • Route Type

    Out and back

  • Type of XC Route

    Double Track-set

Fairview Loop Elevation Graph

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Fairview Loop Reviews

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