Outside our cozy cabin at Baker Creek Mountain Resort, the snow-covered forest was dark and still. Inside, my husband and I were curled up on a sofa in front of a wood stove sipping hot chocolate and watching the embers as they burned and crackled. A cozy cabin in the mountains is a wonderful place to be on a cold winter night and it’s far more romantic and private than a typical hotel accommodation. Over two days, we explored the resort and spent time experiencing Banff National Park in winter. We discovered that winter is a magical time to be at Baker Creek Mountain Resort and the Lake Louise area of Canada’s first national park.
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Ice Sculptures for the First Time Ever at Baker Creek Mountain Resort!
Baker Creek Mountain Resort has beautiful ice carvings in 2022. When the annual Ice Magic Carving Competition in Lake Louise was cancelled due to the pandemic, the organizers decided to distribute ice carvings to several properties in Lake Louise. Baker Creek Mountain Resort got one of them and the resort was so excited to have it, they commissioned another one. Winter guests at the resort won’t be able to attend Ice Magic, but they will be able to see world class ice carvings right at the resort. Those who pop by on January 20, can watch an incredible ice carving take shape through the work of a talented and skilled artist.
Baker Creek Mountain Resort – A Cozy Cabin in the Woods
When you think about it, a cozy cabin in the woods is the perfect place to be in winter – especially during a pandemic. One of the upsides to booking a cabin is that you have a private outdoor entrance, so you don’t have to encounter any other guests as you exit or enter your accommodation. You have your own kitchen and all the facilities you need to be completely independent, which is very appealing under the current circumstances. The resort has cozy cabins and comfortable suites. Most have separate outdoor entrances. This style of accommodation is very romantic and private.
Cross-Country Ski Trails and the Lake Louise to Banff Loppet
The staff at Baker Creek Mountain Resort maintains the Bow Valley Parkway cross-country ski trail from Baker Creek to Castle Lookout. It’s a beautiful 10-kilometre ski trail that leaves from the resort’s parking lot. You’ll get gorgeous views along this trail. If you’ve always wanted to enter a cross-country ski race, The Lake Louise to Banff Loppet begins at Baker Creek Mountain Resort. In 2022, the race is virtual and runs from January 17-31. Racers can register online and upload their times when they complete the virtual challenge. It’s one of the most anticipated annual cross-country ski events in Banff for both novices and experts. Racers can participate as individuals or as teams.
Skating at Baker Creek Mountain Resort
A game of shinny on an outdoor skating rink is about as Canadian as it gets. Weather dependent, just before Christmas each year, Baker Creek Mountain Lodge has its own outdoor skating rink. The rink is equipped with skates, hockey nets, sticks, and a fire pit with seating. Whether you want to enjoy an impromptu hockey game or just enjoy an outdoor skate, you can do it without leaving the resort. Those who want to enjoy more outdoor skating, can visit beautiful Lake Louise about 16 kilometres northeast of Baker Creek Mountain Resort.
The area around Baker Creek Mountain Resort is fantastic for year-round cycling. In the summer, guests can sign out a hybrid road bike and in winter they can sign out a fat bike. You can cycle along the Icefields Parkway, head to Johnston Canyon, cycle to the village of Lake Louise or cycle to Morant’s Curve. Bicycles are available for all ages.
Morant’s Curve is seven kilometres northwest of Baker Creek Mountain Resort along Highway 1A. It’s a famously scenic spot to photograph trains as they pass through the valley. There’s a lookout and interpretive signage there. The spot was made famous by Nicholas Morant, a staff photographer for the Canadian Pacific Railway. Morant took photos of trains from this spot in the middle of the 20th century and they were used extensively in CPR promotional materials. These images became so famous that the corner was eventually named Morant’s Curve. If you’re patient or very lucky, you might be able to capture a photo of a train on Morant’s Curve.
Snowshoe Trails Near Baker Creek Mountain Resort
Baker Creek Mountain Resort has snowshoes available for guest use and there are plenty of places to use them near the property. You can snowshoe near the creek behind the property or enjoy one of the family-friendly trails nearby or head out on a more intense adventure. The Castle Lookout trails are a ten-minute drive from the resort and offer amazing views from the site of an old fire lookout station.
Related: Ice cleats are useful on some winter hikes. Check out our Microspikes for Hiking Product Review.
See the Icefields Parkway in Winter
The 288-kilometre drive along the Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) from Lake Louise to Jasper is one of the most scenic journeys on the planet. In winter you won’t find crowds at most scenic sites. You might even have the scenic sites all to yourself. Take special care when driving in winter though. The road can be treacherous. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order and that you have good winter tires – they are required by law to drive this roadway in winter. The roadway isn’t monitored and there’s no cell signal most of the way, so it’s best to travel during daylight hours and during good weather. The mountain scenery on the drive is spectacular and it’s common to see wildlife along the way. Baker Creek Mountain Resort is very close to the Icefields Parkway, so it’s easy to access.
Related: Read our post From Banff to Jasper – A Complete Guide to Canada’s Most Spectacular Drive.
Hike Johnston Canyon in Winter
Johnston Canyon is one of the most popular hikes in Banff National Park and the trailhead lies 21 km southeast of Baker Creek Mountain Resort. The canyon is gorgeous in winter and easy to hike on your own. You can hike to the lower falls, the upper falls, or go all the way to the Ink Pots. The Ink Pots are a group of cool hot springs that never completely freeze over and offer beautiful photo ops. It’s a good idea to wear ice cleats when you do this hike in winter. The trails can get slippery.
Related: Read our post, Johnston Canyon Winter Hike and Ink Pots.
Lake Louise Ski Resort
It’s a short 15-minute drive from Baker Creek Mountain Resort to Lake Louise Ski Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in North America. The ski resort has 4,200 acres of ski terrain spread across four mountain faces. There are beginner, intermediate and expert runs off every chair. There is also a wide variety of terrain suitable for skiers of all levels. There’s also a great ski lodge with numerous dining options, a ski school, and equipment rentals available right on the hill. The views of mountains, glaciers, and forests from the top of the lifts will take your breath away.
Winter S’mores Beside Baker Creek
Bring the ingredients for s’mores or buy them in the onsite café, because you’re going to need them. The resort has outdoor firepits and firewood is available at the front desk. The firepits along the beautiful creek behind the property provide one of the most picturesque places to enjoy a bonfire.
Winter Wildlife Viewing
Baker Creek Mountain Resort is located on the Bow Valley Parkway, a slower, more scenic route than the TransCanada Highway. It’s also one of the best spots to see wildlife – in winter or summer. Some species like bears hibernate in winter, but you might see deer, bighorn sheep, elk, moose, coyotes, wolves and other species.