Dog-friendly Bow River loop

Bow River loop at Lake Louise

With Tessa getting on in years, it’s an extra special day whenever she can join me on the ski trail. We stretched a 5K ski trip into an hour-and-a-quarter, so it was a relaxing day enjoying the sights and the company of my loyal companion. 

Bow River loop

With excellent snow and trail conditions on the Bow River Loop at Lake Louise, beautiful weather and spectacular scenery, I would consider this my most enjoyable day of skiing this winter. 

Bow River loop

The south section of the Bow River loop doesn’t see as much foot traffic as the north section, so the tracks are still well-defined and wow, were they smooth and fast. There are no hills of any significance on this loop, so the skiing was effortless with the hoar frost in the tracks acting like ball bearings. 

The air temperature at 1 pm was -6°C and the snow was -8. VR40(-4/-12) gave good grip but I hardly ever needed any grip because I was double-poling 95% of the time. 

Bow River loop

We started at the bridge near the entrance to the campground. Normally the bridge is closed to vehicle traffic in the winter, but they are doing some construction and what would normally be a parking lot is not available for parking, but it’s easy enough to park on the road. A portion of the bridge is trackset, so you can start skiing right away. 

Starting out by crossing the bridge over the Bow River

You can add distance by doing the campground loop and the north part of the Bow River loop. The Campground loop is mostly trackset, but the aforementioned construction has shortened it and you can’t do a complete circle. You can still do a loop by using the Bow River river trail. 

The combined distance of the Bow River Loop and the Campground Loop is 9k. 

Did anyone else take note of the final sentence in Alf Skrastins’ trip report? 

“No snow for ski grooming at Ribbon Creek, West Bragg Creek, Sandy McNabb, north PLPP, Mt. Shark or most of CNC. But lot’s of snow at Chester-Sawmill, yet these trails don’t get groomed.”

I was happy to see this on the Weather Network: Don’t worry Alberta, winter is coming


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  1. Your emotional description of your ski today with Tessa doing the spectacular Bow River Loop brought tears to my eyes, especially the photo of her on the couch afterwards. You wrote: “I would consider this my most enjoyable day of skiing this winter.” While I pray you and Tessa have many more gentle skis together, I felt moved to donate tonight (by cheque) to this blog site in honour of Tessa! She is as loyal to you as you are to us!!! Thank you Bob for nurturing yourself today by prioritizing your ski with your and Cheryl’s best friend.

    • Hi Helen, Thank you for your very kind post regarding Tessa! We had the most enjoyable ski with her! Usually when Bob is skiing I take her around this very gentle beautiful loop but it was so amazing to share it with Bob and Tessa! She is 12.5 years now so hopefully we will have a good many more skis and hikes with her!! Helen let’s all meet up at the Market Bistro very soon.

    • Helen, I shared the beautiful photo of Tessa with our two dogs and they howled with delight!

  2. Hi Bob:
    Good to see that you are skiing in the Lake Louise village area, which tends to get overlooked. What “daylodge” facilities exist for young families and newer skiers in and about the village which are close to the trails?

    • The Lake Louise Visitor Information Centre has a nice public area where people can sit and eat their lunch or warm up. Of course, there are a few restaurants in the village where a skier could have a hot drink and get warm.

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