Banff skiing is world famous. When international folks think of Canadian ski resorts, the first that generally come to mind are Whistler and the Banff ski resort. The only problem is that there isn’t really an actual Banff ski resort, well in the town anyway, but there are three ski resorts in the majestic Banff National Park.
Banff Canada attracts millions of visitors each year, and there is more tourism during summer which is difficult for us snow lovers to understand! The town is incredibly well geared up to cater to the many tourists, yet it has maintained somewhat of a charming mountain town vibe. The town is incredibly picturesque with the backdrop of the beautiful snow-capped mountains, and in amongst nature, there’s the potential to see wildlife wandering right down the street.
Banff skiing and snowboarding at the three resorts is fantastic, and it’s possible to ride the ski resorts on an interchangeable tri-area lift ticket.
Sunshine Village is located 15km southwest of town. The drive to the car park takes about 20 minutes and then there’s a gondola ride up to the ski area. The Sunshine Ski Resort
has lots of terrain (1,358 hectares) with slopes for rookies up to extreme slopes for pro-skiers. Sunshine has the best and most snow of the Banff ski areas due to high elevation.
Lake Louise is a little further afield, 57km from town, a drive that takes about 40 minutes. The Lake Louise Ski Resort
is also large (1,700 hectares) and there are lots of long runs. Lake Louise has a great spread of terrain for all ability levels.
is the ski hill most local to the Banff township, only 6km and a ten minute drive away. Norquay is just a little ski resort (77 hectares) that’s good to warm up the legs and it’s cheap and very family oriented.
Where is Banff?
The town of Banff is located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, 90 minutes west of Calgary (Alberta, Canada) and under 2 hours from Calgary International Airport.
It’s not essential to have a car whilst on a ski holiday, but it can be very handy to provide some flexibility to get to the ski resorts and to get around.
Otherwise it’s possible to get a shuttle from the Calgary International Airport to Banff as a component of Banff ski packages
Getting to the Banff Ski Resorts
It’s easiest to drive to the resorts, but if you don’t have a car, all the resorts are accessible via shuttle buses from various downtown hotels. The shuttle buses are complimentary if you have a tri-area lift pass.
With the exception of the Sunshine Mountain Lodge
at Sunshine Village, there is no ski-in ski-out accommodation at the Banff resorts, and there’s not even any on-mountain lodging, thereby necessitating a daily commute to get to the ski resorts.
There are lots of hotels in Banff
to cater for various budgets, ranging from the Banff Springs Hotel
which is more like a castle, to various cheap and cheerful hotels. Other accommodations include motels, lodges, B&Bs, and hostels. See the Banff lodging
and Banff ski packages
page for more information.
There are also lots of Canmore accommodations
as well as lodging in other surrounding areas.
Banff Accommodation Listings
Those who are likely to spend most of their time at the Lake Louise ski resort may prefer to stay in Lake Louise accommodations
, although this is a just little sleepy village so party animals would be better off staying in Banff.
Dining, Nightlife and Activities
This is a very vibrant tourist town and there are lots of restaurants as well as great après and a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars.
Other than skiing or snowboarding, there are lots of Banff activities
for tourists. As one example, a visit to the Banff Upper Hot Springs is a must to soak the weary muscles after a big day on the slopes.
The shopping is terrific. The main streets are filled with shops and arcades – a shopaholic haven. There are lots of ski shops and many galleries and boutiques, some of which are ridiculously expensive. These are mixed in with good value souvenir and sporting goods shops.
Banff Heli Skiing
There is no heli skiing permitted in the Banff National Park, but it’s possible to do a day trip to go heli skiing in British Columbia. One option is RK Heliski
which is based at Panorama Ski Resort, whilst another way to get guaranteed fresh tracks is to head out with Purcell Heli Skiing
in Golden near Kicking Horse (135km west of Banff). Both of these heli ski operators can cater really well to first-timer heli skiers, and both provide shuttle transport between the Banff hotels and their staging area.
Why Ski Banff?
Ski Banff with the many other skiers and snowboarders that flock there from around the globe. The skiing provides plenty of variety across three resorts and phenomenal scenery. There are lots of tourist activities if you want a day off from the slopes, an abundance of shopping opportunities, and the nightlife is pretty impressive.
The Banff ski resorts are on the Mountain Collective Pass
Tours That Include Banff