In Banff, a fresh dusting on the peaks in the Fall gets tongues wagging more than any local fare. Though the streets are still bone dry, it’s not unlikely to see keen skiers and snowboarders lugging their gear to the closest tuning shop to get it ready for the slopes as soon as enough snow has fallen. Whether you’re up from Calgary for a weekend or visiting from far away, you’ve got lots of terrain to choose from.
Ski Big 3
The Town of Banff has three ski hills within a short driving distance. Here’s just a snapshot of each one:
Only a 5 minute drive from Banff, Mount Norquay is the smallest of the three ski areas but it is by far the closest and most affordable. Due to its proximity, skiers can head out for a morning and be back in town with plenty of time to enjoy other areas of Banff National Park. The mountain features 5 lifts and over 25 tree-sheltered runs. The Cascade Lodge features cathedral style ceilings and fire places and is a cozy spot to warm up before your next run. The mountain not only features a Terrain Park, but also offers tubing – a fun activity for the whole family. Check out their Trail Map.
*This ski area gets my vote for best access.
With 4200 skiable acres, the Lake Louise Ski Area is one of the largest ski areas in North America. The mountain is known for its long runs, powder bowls and steep, challenging terrain. On the other hand, the mountain features a green run from the top of every chair. With 139 runs and some off-piste adventures, you can entertain yourself all day. This ski area is a 50 minute drive from Banff, but is only a few minutes away from lodging options in the Lake Louise village. Check out their Trail Maps.
*This ski area gets my vote for best terrain for all experience levels.
Sunshine Village is a unique ski area because its slopes land on the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia where 30 feet of snow falls annually. A 20 minute drive from Banff gets you to the parking lot at the base of the mountain. From there, a 15 minute gondola ride takes you to the base of the main ski area and Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out lodge. Sunshine Village offers3300 acres of skiing terrain on three mountains and offers incredible views (as all the ski areas in Banff do) to the surrounding peaks. Check out their Trail Map.
*This ski area gets my vote for best snow.
For conditions on all three mountains, the best resource is the Ski Big 3 website.
Need to Rent Gear?
For rentals in Banff, check out the following locations:
Ski Banff -Lake Louise- Sunshine Tri Area Rentals – located at the Banff Ski Hub, 119 Banff Ave.
Banff Springs Ski Shop – located in the Conference Centre at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Ultimate Ski & Ride – located at 206 Banff Ave.