During the winter months Banff transforms itself from a bustling summer destination to a winter wonderland, with three world class ski resorts on its doorstep. With reliable snow, a 6 month ski season, and uncrowded slopes, it is no wonder that skiers and snowboarders travel from all over the world to take a ski holiday in the Banff Lake Louise area. The three ski resorts in Banff National Park, from smallest to largest are Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise.
Norquay is Banff’s local ski area, just 15 mins from the townsite. It’s the smallest of the 3 local ski hills, but also the quietest, and lift lines are virtually non-existent even during holidays. The grooming at Norquay is excellent, and with the lack of people it’s a great place for high speed cruising. If you enjoy steep bumps, the terrain off the North America chair is sure to keep you entertained.
Sunshine Village is 20 mins from Banff and generally has the best snow conditions in the Banff area, with the longest season. Beginner and intermediate skiers are well catered for with the abundance of cruising green and blue runs. Advanced skiers will enjoy the black runs on Goat’s Eye Mountain, or with avalanche gear can venture into Delerium Dive where the terrain is steep and ungroomed.
Lake Louise Mountain Resort
Lake Louise Mountain Resort is 45 mins from Banff and is the largest of Banff’s 3 local ski areas. The varied terrain is suitable for all ability levels and there are green, blue and black runs from every chairlift. Lake Louise has 4 mountain lodges and the views on a clear day are stunning.
Taking lessons is a great way to improve your technique while meeting other people and being shown around the ski area by the instructor. Ski tuition in Canada is of a very high standard, and satisfaction levels are consistently very high for all ski school programs. No matter what your ability level, from beginner to advanced, there are ski school programs to suit you.
Each of the Banff ski resorts has their own ski and snowboard school, and lessons can be booked on their websites:
If you need to rent skis, boots, poles or snowboard equipment, each Banff ski resort has their own rental shop, but if you are staying in Banff it is probably more convenient to use one of the ski rental shops in town, such as:
Ultimate Ski & Ride
206 Banff Ave
403 762 0547
The Ski Stop
203a Bear St
403 760 1650