Banff National Park Ski Resorts | Ultimate Guide

It is an unforgettable experience to ski in Banff National Park, an area deeply rooted in the North American culture of skiing.

There are some excellent skiing opportunities in Banff, and those who ski or ride regularly will definitely have some amazing days. With some amazing ski resorts, a wide variety of accommodation and dining options, wildlife, consistent temperatures, a charming town, and plenty of off-mountain activities, this is the place to go for a memorable skiing experience.

Visiting Banff and Canada offers access to some of the world’s best ski resorts at a relatively low cost. So, we decided to provide you with this ultimate guide to ski resorts within Banff National Park.

How to Get to Banff National Park

The journey to Banff National Park isn’t as difficult as you might think. Calgary International Airport has many airlines that offer direct flights. The scenic drive to Banff takes 90 minutes (140 kilometers or 87 miles) from the airport. You can take shuttle buses to Banff and Lake Louise from Calgary International Airport, or you can rent a car in Calgary or at the airport. For those who wish to travel by road, Vancouver International Airport is 850 kilometers (530 miles) away from Banff & Lake Louise.

Tips for Skiing in Banff

  • Plan to visit over the holidays so you won’t have to ski on a busy weekend and will have more time to do other interesting things around town and at the park.
  • You can find rentals around town if you need them! There is a wide range of options between Banff, Canmore, and ski resorts.
  • Those who are not comfortable driving in the snow may want to consider using a private vehicle or the free shuttle bus service. While you don’t need a car, you can still make use of this if you want to visit other sites.
  • There might be tracks beyond resort boundaries, but DO NOT cross them without avalanche gear and knowledge of the terrain.
  • Don’t forget about all the other excellent winter activities Banff has to offer. If you’re visiting for the first time, there are a lot of things to enjoy, regardless of whether you ski or snowboard.
  • Oh, and make sure to wear warm clothing! Banff has some of the coldest temperatures in North America, and wind chills of -20C aren’t uncommon. This is where layering comes into play. If you get too hot, you can drop a layer.

The Complete List of Banff National Park Ski Resorts

Mount Norqauy, view from Cliffhouse Bistro

1. Mount Norquay

Among Banff’s attractions, Mount Norquay is a people pleaser. With a funky family vibe, this local favorite is a hidden gem in Banff National Park. Mt. Norquay’s night skiing is perfect for finding perfect stashes all to yourself on a powder day and ripping up perfect groomers during the day. You can find terrain that will appeal to everyone here, from beginners to advanced skiers.

Located right outside of Banff, Canada’s snow-mad settlement where you can find cozy holiday condos and chalets, plus stores, restaurants, and native wildlife, Mount Norquay is a great place to stay for a vacation.

Snow activities such as sleigh rides, dog sledding, and hiking are also available at Norquay. The ski resort has 60 marked runs, multiple terrain parks, and alternative snow activities such as sledding. Learning to ski or snowboard here is one of the best things you can do in Canada. Approximately 56 percent of runs are designed for beginners and intermediate skiers, and the snow school offers clinics and private lessons for kids and adults.

There are two dining options on the mountain for those who need to take a break, including the resort’s daycare, which is open from 9 am to 4 pm. The Mountain Host initiative, however, is one of Norquay’s most impressive features. Norquay locals offer tours around the mountain to new visitors so that they can discover the best areas to ski or board. You don’t have to stress about being challenged – Norquay is used for Olympic training and World Cup training.

For tailgate lunch in the parking lot, Mount Norquay offers several great grab-and-go options, and they offer fresh baked goods every day. Pastries are available at the Cascade Lodge main level cafeteria. Take-out is another great option at Banff, so pick one up to bring along for your parking lot lunch!

Don’t miss Mt. Norquay’s tubing and skiing at night if you’re visiting during the weekend! Coming in the middle of the week? You can still enjoy tubing every day.

Sunshine Village, Winter

2. Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village offers the longest ski season in Canada and more snow than any of its Banff neighbors. It does not waste any of this incredible snow. You will find more than 1,335 hectares of terrain, including some of the most thrilling runs in the world, including Delirium Dive (voted as one of the top 10 off-piste destinations in the world). There are 50 jibs, rails, boxes, jumps, and tubes included in Rogers Terrain Park, which compliments all this downhill action.

The unique experience of snowboarding or skiing between two Canadian provinces is another reason to visit Sunshine Village during your next snow holiday. You can swerve over to British Columbia while descending Lookout Mountain, then return to Alberta in one trail.

As Sunshine’s peaks soar well above the treeline, they also provide its visitors with some of the best views in skiing – after perhaps a powder shot.

Even after you’ve unclipped, there’s plenty to keep you busy. A variety of dining options are available, including coffee shops, gourmet dinners around a fire, and lively bars. You can learn about Canadian history and culture on the Historical Snowshoe and Fondue Tour. The Sunshine Mountain Lodge offers the only ski-in ski-out accommodation in Banff as well as regular bonfires, an outdoor hot tub, and tobogganing.

Lake Louise Resort Skiing

3. Lake Louise Ski Resort

The Lake Louise Ski Resort has one of the best views of any ski resort around the world. Banff National Park, Canada’s crown jewel, is home to the ski resort, which offers a wealth of natural splendor. Skiing in Banff is second to none!

In between runs screaming down groomers, or taking on bowls, the park offers fresh air and picturesque views. The long runs in the valley forest, which snake down from the alpine, are another option for skiers not looking for thrills. Many travelers have been inspired by the craggy peaks and forested valleys.

Regardless of skill level, Lake Louise Ski Resort has something to offer everyone. This ski resort happens to be one of our favorites worldwide and offers many attractions for visitors. The Lake Louise Ski Resort should be on the bucket list of every avid skier and snowboarder.

Nakiska Ski Resort with Mountain View

4. Nakiska Ski Resort

Located in the beautiful Kananaskis Country, Nakiska Ski Resort offers a family-friendly ski resort. In the Canadian Rockies, this ski resort has a rich history, a convenient location, and terrain that will appeal to all ages and abilities.

This ski resort is located on the traditional territory of three indigenous people groups: Stoney, Tsuut’ina, and Ktunaxa. Named for the Indigenous peoples whose land it is, the ski resort honors their culture and heritage.

Nakiska is not only a 50-minute drive from Banff and 35-minutes from Canmore, but is also competitive with some other Canadian ski resorts such as Lake Louise and Banff Sunshine.

Being within such close proximity to the main cities and towns of the area, Nakiska provides a comforting feeling of belonging. There are many families and friends who have enjoyed Nakiska Ski Resort and have been together for many years. This resort has large mountains that tend to attract most tourists and hardcore skiers. Children and teens tearing up the slopes with friends, toddlers learning from their parents, and whole families shredding together is a fun sight to see!

This resort is ideally situated for locals, but guests should not miss the breathtaking views as well! There are impressive mountains all around you no matter where you are on the ski hill.

For beginners, Nakiska offers an ideal location to learn to ski on a smaller, more manageable hill, while still enjoying the mountains that are characteristic of the Canadian Rockies.

It’s not just that you can enjoy great family skiing at this mountain, but it also offers activities off skis. It is difficult to get bored here since there are snow tubing hills and snowshoeing trails.

It is impossible not to be enchanted by the Wanidu Tube Park at Nakiska. All you need is a thrill-seeking attitude and some warm clothes, as they provide you with tubes and a push down the hill. You can use this as a way to enjoy the mountain air with friends or family while you’re off the skis.

Then there are Nakiska’s stunning snowshoeing trails, in case skiing and snow tubing are not enough. Their website allows you to book guided tours and pick up rentals when you arrive. Beginners, intermediates, and advanced hikers can all enjoy the surrounding mountains on their trails! Booking your tour in advance will ensure availability.

There are some days when the best part of the ski day is eating lunch with your friends! On snowy days, though, lunch is just a quick refueling stop before continuing on with the fun in the mountains. Regardless of the type of day you’re having, Nakiska Ski Resort offers food for everyone.

In addition to several restaurants, there is a café, a barbecue pit, and an area where you can eat your packed lunch at Nakiska Ski Resort. There is a wide variety of comfort foods available on their menus to keep you warm during a chilly day. During a nice day, be sure to enjoy a meal on their balcony while soaking up the sun and taking in the views.