It is winter in Canada and that means Canadians right across the country are getting their winter gear out for fun in the snow! If there isn’t much snow in the cities, there is certainly plenty of it at higher altitudes or “up north” as the common saying goes. If you’re looking for a hot spot to ski down some challenging top notch slopes, you’ll want to be planning a trip to the province of Alberta, because Banff is where the party is at! And the après ski is a bonus!
Located in the Alberta Rockies and within the boundaries of the Banff National Park, this resort town welcomes tourists from all around the world as they seek out the best skiing at the nearby resorts of Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Mountain Resort and Ski Norquay.
This small town is home to about 8,200 residents and they are the lucky few. To help preserve the surrounding wilderness, the boundaries of the town are set by federal law so there is no expansion of the land from its 3.93 square kilometres. If you want to live there, you would have to meet a “need to reside’ requirement regulated by the federal government. This is a strong indication as to how highly regarded the natural environment is and how precious the parkland is for the country. Banff National Park is open year-round and there are tons of activities you and your family can enjoy, so plan out some winter fun while the season is still young!
About 58 kilometres west of the town of Banff, you will come upon Lake Louise and its little hamlet just minutes away from the sparkling blue waters of the lake. Reflecting off the lake is the picturesque and majestic glacier-clad mountain peaks. At Lake Louise you can enjoy a little bit of the town life in the village where you will find a shopping centre, a visitor’s centre, and some small eateries and other retail outlets. At higher elevations from the lake lies the resort where you can experience alpine wonders like no other. Carve through the fresh dry powder snow on your skis or snowboard, swishing and swooshing your way down the perfect slopes. Choose to stay on more level ground to glide your way across the beautiful terrain on your cross-country skis, or tour the Canadian Rockies as you hustle your way along in snowshoes. Try your hand at dog-sledding or jump in on a sleigh ride! Ice skating, snowmobiling, tubing – everything you want out of winter, you will find here.
The Norquay ski resort is only six kilometres away from downtown Banff. Float down on your skis on the slopes of Norquay or if you prefer something a little different, have loads of fun navigating the Terrain Park, Banff’s Backyard. Whether you are a novice or pro, a skier or snowboarder, you can challenge yourself by taking a short flight off the snow ramps, glide along the rails and more. Banff’s Backyard is fully lit in the evening so the fun doesn’t end when the sun starts to set. Check out Cliff House and the spectacular view of the Rocky Mountain peaks as you ride the chair lift up to the top to look below onto the Town of Banff and Bow Valley.
Just a 15-minute drive away from Banff you can enjoy the wonders of Sunshine Village ski resort. The annual average snowfall is up to 30 feet here at Sunshine Village and as long as there is snow, you can be enjoying it right on into mid- May! There are 107 runs with the longest run at 8 kilometres. There are 3,358 acres of skiable terrain: 20% terrain area for beginners, 55% for intermediate and 25% for advanced/experts. Like the other resorts there are areas for other winter activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing and there is also a terrain park here as well at more than 15 acres of obstacle-fun!
Ski Banff and enjoy the three amazing resorts!