Skiing & Snowboarding in Banff & Lake Louise
The mountain resorts around Banff & Lake Louise offer thousands of acres of open glades, bowls, steeps and runs for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. And every one of them is blanketed with champagne powder and situated amid the most stunning scenery you could imagine.
Mount Norquay is minutes away from downtown Banff, and its unique location, at the bottom of a steep valley, combined with plenty of tree-sheltered runs, makes for fine skiing even in inclement weather. This resort’s double-black diamond steeps draw extreme skiers and boarders, but don’t let those heart-stopping drops scare you—half the runs here are beginner and intermediate level. Norquay is also home to one of the finest lift-serviced, half-pipe and terrain parks off Cascade Chair.
With 4,200 skiable acres, Lake Louise Ski Area is one of the largest ski areas in North America. The unique layout allows families and groups of all abilities to ski and snowboard together with beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair. Experts can explore endless chutes, glades, gullies and remote bowls in some of the Rockies' most challenging terrain. The Telus “Showtime” Terrain Park has become one of the largest of its kind in North America. Its three separate boarding areas allow people of different levels to ride in safety, and a linked superpipe that connects from above helps extend the ride.
Sunshine Village has far-ranging views, an abundance of dry, light powder and the longest ski season in the park. Sunshine also has one of the best terrain parks in the Rockies, with dozens of features spread over 15 acres when fully open. The Rogers Terrain Park is accessible via the Continental Divide lift. The Grizzly Park is the lower section of the whole park. Sunshine also has lots of natural terrain, plus a bordercross run and a half-pipe off the Wawa Chair.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, 90 minutes west of Banff in Golden, BC, also has the altitude edge—it reaches deep powder-territory once reservied for heli skiing. Start your day there with a nice long run on its 10-km cat-track. The “Terminator” and the treed runs under the Stairway to Heaven lift are a big draw for boarders at this hill.
Nakiska is nestled in beautiful Kananaskis Country. Nakiska was home to the Calgary 1988 Olympic Alpine events, and today, skiers and riders enjoy wide open, Olympic-length runs groomed to perfection. Nakiska Ski Resort also has their award-winning rail park, NaJIBska, with a variety of 18 features (located on Elbow Trail, access from the Silver Chair Express).