the beating heart of the Canadian Rockies
Picture perfect, rich history, perfect location to access the Big 3 ski resorts, the beating heart of the Canadian Rockies – this is Banff.
It all started in 1885 when Banff National Park was formed – the first reserve of natural beauty in Canada.
From Banff National Park you can access three ski resorts known as ‘The Big 3’ – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise or Mt Norquay. That’s 1 pass that offers 8,000 acres of champagne powder and unlimited access. All 3 of these ski resorts traditionally open into mid April, and most years well into May.
More about the skiing and snowboarding – explore the Big 3
The Big 3 Ski Pass also includes bus transfers:
- Sunshine – 20min drive
- Lake Louise – 40min drive
- Mt Norquay – 10min drive
Banff is not just for the snow and adventure enthusiast – Banff town offers galleries and museums that offer stunning art, photography and curated exhibits for all ages to explore and enjoy. You can also explore and dive into the history of the Buffalo Nationals people at the Luxton Museum which is a great exploration of a mesmerizing cultural celebration of the Banff and Lake Louise region.
After you have hit the slopes, explored the town, learnt about the history then you need to ensure you have time to just soak in the beauty of Banff National Park. You can do this at a roof top patio with views of the Rockies whilst sipping on a locally brewed beer, marvelling the towering peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains – Cheers to that!
Where to ski?
Banff Sunshine sits at 7,200 feet on the Continental Divide, located just 15 minutes from the town of Banff. With more than 3,300 skiable acres, from the freeride terrain of Wild West and Delirium Dive to the gentle groomers off Strawberry Chair, there is something for everyone. The season stretches from early November until late May – the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada.
Lake Louise is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, with over 4,200 acres of skiable terrain and spectacular views of mountains, glaciers, lakes and forests. Beginner, intermediate and expert trails accessed from almost every chair allows families and groups to ski or ride the resort together.
Debuting in 1926, the first ski resort in the Canadian Rockies maintains its local vibe. Norquay is home to one of Canada’s largest and longest-running Snow School programs and is renowned as the training ground for Olympic and World Cup athletes. Minutes from Banff, this family-friendly resort offers trails for all levels of skiers and riders. Head up the mountain for the only night skiing in the Banff and Lake Louise area for a unique evening out, including a fully lit terrain park.
Where to stay?
Snowscene suggests that you experience both Banff and Lake Louise and we can arrange a travel itinerary encompassing both with Fairmont exclusive packages.
Fairmont Banff Springs
Located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world famous Banff Springs hotel stands as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, Alberta. Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies,” has been providing legendary hospitality to our guests for more than 130 years
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is recognized globally for progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism.
Enhance your experience
Let Snowscene enhance your experience with these hand picked ‘must do’ experiences when in Banff National Park
- Banff Helicopter Rides
- See the Canadian Rockies and Columbian Icefields from the air – add a snow shoe tour for an extra unique experience
- Banff sleigh rides – quintessential Canadian winter experience
- Johnson Canyon Snow/ Ice walks – Snowscene recommends the evening walk of the Grotto Canyon Ice walk – you can combine this with the sleigh ride as a combo experience ask our team for more information
- Lake Lousie and wilderness tours
If you visit at the right time of year it’s highly likely you’ll spot a bear in Banff National Park, but these furry favourites are just the beginning. Elk and deer are a common sighting on the streets of Banff and Lake Louise, and mountain goats and big horned sheep are often seen on the roads to the ski resorts.