Banff / Lake Louise

Banff was developed in with the discovery of hot thermal springs in 1883, establishing it as an international tourist resort, and is today one of Canada’s premier summer holiday destinations. Situated in the beautiful Banff National Park, the resorts of Banff and Lake Louise are considered by many to be amongst one of the most beautiful ski areas in the world, offering an amazing variety of skiing amongst dramatic scenery and some of the best snow conditions in North America.

The area is also known for its close encounters with the local wildlife and elks can often be seen strolling in the town, sometimes holding up traffic – but no one seems to mind too much. The resort represents a good value for money option with high quality, reasonably priced accommodation.

Banff  town is charming, the town’s main street, Banff Avenue, is where the vast majority of après ski bars, restaurants and amenities are to be found. Lake Louise is quiet in comparison due to its secluded location, although the few hotels situated there offer some very good restaurants and the scenery that surrounds this lakeside resort is simply stunning.

The three mountains of Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay and Lake Louise make up the skiing area, each offering a totally different ski experience. The slopes are connected to the town by an efficient shuttle bus service, included in the tri-area pass that picks up from convenient points throughout the town. There is a hop-on-hop-off shuttle bus that operates until late at night.

Sunshine is the main ski area, located about 20 minutes outside of Banff. It has 100% natural snow and its wide open pistes and long runs are suitable for all levels of skier and snowboarder. From the base station you ride a gondola above the tree-line to Sunshine Village, where efficient lifts drop you at the various peaks. The mid-station base at Eye Mountain is served by a fast quad that rises 580m and takes you to the expert double black diamond trails and chutes. The Rogers terrain park on Lookout Mountain covers some 12 acres and is geared towards beginners and intermediates.

Lake Louise has its own ski area, approximately 45 minutes from Banff. It is a UN World Heritage site and the largest and most spectacular of the three resorts, suitable for all levels of skier. Over the ridge the powder bowl area on the back side of the mountain offers countless black moguls and powder runs for the more experienced skier.

Norquay, the ‘locals’ mountain, overlooks the town and is the smallest of the ski areas, however, connections are available from the other two resorts. It has quiet wooded runs and offers flood-lit night skiing. It is a perfect mountain for the first few days skiing or if the weather is not ideal, as the runs rarely get busy and while there are some double black diamond runs, the majority of the mountain is beginner friendly due to its size.

The Tri-Area lift pass allows you to ski all three areas.

There are also some good cross-country trails near Banff, around the Bow River and on the Banff Springs golf course and another around Lake Louise. For the non-skier there are lots of outdoor activities including skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding and snowmobiling, as well as a good variety of shops in Banff town.

Key Facts

  • Total Runs: 274
  • Total Lifts: 26
  • Avg Snow fall/yr: 30ft/9m
  • Couples: 4*
  • Families: 4*
  • Apres Ski: 3*
  • Snowboarders: 4*
  • Beginner Runs: 30%
  • Inter. Runs: 45%
  • Expert Runs: 25%
  • Parks: 3

Features

  • Family
  • Spring Late Skiing

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