Within the historic Banff National Park, the Canadian Rockies offer more than 7,500 acres of skiable terrain on one convenient lift ticket, which includes frequent and worry-free shuttle transportation between area hotels and resorts.
The townsite is about 90 minutes from Calgary via the Trans Canada Highway, and less than two hours from Calgary International Airport. The Hamlet of Lake Louise is 45 minutes further west, also within Banff National Park.
One visit is usually all it takes for Lake Louise to make virtually everyone’s top 10 list of mountain resorts. It doesn’t have a glitzy Vail persona, instead, Lake Louise is down home, warm and friendly, and the views are breathtaking! It’s a wonderful destination for families and groups with different ability levels. Its vast terrain provides plenty of fun and challenge for everyone. Lake Louise has some truly steep terrain, but that’s balanced nicely with groomed intermediate runs that are enough fun for experts to want to join their friends and family members who prefer this kind of terrain. That says a lot. Top that off with delightful beginner and first-timer terrain, and everyone’s bound to be happy.
Lake Louise is comprised of four mountain faces that create three distinct areas: the Front Face, the Back Bowls and the Larch Area. The trail map has an excellent synopsis of where different ability levels should head. If you want sun all day and want to ski the whole area, go to the Back Bowls in the morning, Larch midday and end up on the Front Face. Or perhaps take a free guided tour by the Ski Friends, a volunteer group, two times daily starting at Whiskyjack Lodge.
Sunshine Village has long been known for its winding gondola ride that carries you almost 1,650 vertical feet from the parking lot-along the walls of a valley and box canyon-to the village base area and the rest of the lifts. On this 13-minute ride (or 6 minutes to Goat’s Eye mid-station), you have plenty of time to survey the slopes where the real thrill rides begin. Much of the skiing on Sunshine’s three peaks is wide-open, bowl-type skiing, but the bottom half of the slopes are covered in evergreens for those who like their runs cut through trees. Though a restaurant and rental shop are near the parking lot at the gondola base, the real ‘base area’ for Sunshine is at the top of the gondola at 7,082 feet, where you will find a mountain village with a lodge, rental shop, general store, restaurant and the only slopeside lodging in the national park.
This small, but challenging, ski area is just a 10-minute drive from Banff and boasts some of the best grooming in Western Canada. It also has some of the gnarliest bump runs we’ve ever skied. There are virtually no lift lines here, so you can really rack up the vertical. The winding mountain road that takes you up to the base lodge can be fairly intimidating, but the views are incredible as you climb above the townsite of Banff. Be sure to look out for elk; we saw dozens of them.
Flights available to Calgary, from which its about 2 hours to the town of Banff. Lake louise is a further 45 minutes down the Trans-Canada Highway There are regular shuttles to both from Calgary airport.
|Longest Run||8 km|
|Longest Run||4.5 km|
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Station Mall, 293 Bay St., Sault Ste Marie, P6A 1X3
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