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With several great ski resorts in Alberta scattered throughout the Rocky Mountains, and one of the longest ski seasons in the world, there’s no doubt that Alberta is the perfect destination for a ski trip in the Canadian Rockies.
Where to Go Skiing in Alberta- The Best Alberta Ski Resorts
From world-class, sprawling mountain resorts to smaller, locals’ favourites, here are the best places to go skiing in Alberta.
Lake Louise Ski Resort- Banff National Park
The Lake Louise Ski Resort is known worldwide for its vast terrain, long varied runs, and spectacular alpine scenery.
As one of North America’s largest ski resorts, Lake Louise offers 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of skiable terrain across four mountain faces. There are chutes, bowls, glades and gullies, along with cruising runs and gentle slopes.
From each of the resort’s chair lifts are beginner, intermediate, and expert runs, making much of the mountain accessible to skiers of all ability levels. There are 145 marked runs, a terrain park, and limitless off-piste potential, so there’s no getting bored during a day of skiing at Lake Louise.
If you do want to take a break from the slopes or enjoy some après-ski dining, there are several options both on-mountain and in the Lodge of Ten Peaks, an attractive log building at the base of the ski area. There are cafeterias, lounges, coffee bars, bistros, even a ramen and sushi bar.
Lake Louise Mountain Statistics
Vertical Rise- 991 m (3,250 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,637 m (8,650 ft)
Skiable Area- 1,700 ha (4200 a)
Number of Runs- 145 plus the back bowls
Longest Run- 8 km (5 miles)
Number of Lifts- 10 (5 chairs, 1 gondola, 1 platter, 3 carpets)
Terrain Ability Levels- 25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced
Location: Lake Louise Ski Resort is located at 1 Whitehorn Road, near the village of Lake Louise. It’s about a 2 hour drive from Calgary and 40 minute drive from the town of Banff.
Accommodations: Book hotels in Lake Louise
Banff Sunshine Village- Banff National Park
Sunshine Village is home to Banff’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel and is known for having some of the best snow in Canada.
The resort’s location high on the Continental Divide means it gets plenty of light, dry snowfall- up to 9 m (30 ft) annually. Since there’s no need for machine made snow, the slopes are covered in natural, packed powder.
Banff Sunshine Village also boasts over 3,300 acres of skiable terrain on three mountains, 137 marked runs, a 12 acre terrain park, Canada’s only heated chairlift, and the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada, at seven months.
Dining options at Sunshine Village include a cafe and bar and grill at the base of the mountain, a cafeteria-style grill at Goat’s Eye mountain, and seven eateries in the resort village.
Banff Sunshine Mountain Statistics
Vertical Rise- 1,070 m (3,514 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,730 m (8,957 ft)
Skiable Area- 1,359 ha (3,358 ac)
Number of Runs- 137
Longest Run- 8 km (5 mi)
Number of Lifts- 12 (1 gondola, 9 chairs, 2 magic carpets)
Terrain Ability Levels- 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced
Location: Banff Sunshine Village is located on Sunshine Road, near the town of Banff. It’s about a 1 hr 40 min drive from Calgary and 20 minute drive from Banff.
Accommodations: Book hotels in Banff
Mount Norquay Ski Resort- Banff National Park
Mt. Norquay is a small resort with runs for everyone from beginners to expert skiers. Most notably, the hill has been used as a training ground for World Cup and Olympic athletes.
As the closest ski resort to the town of Banff, Mt. Norquay is a locals’ favourite, especially since it’s the only ski hill in Banff National Park offering night skiing.
In addition to its 60 ski runs, Mt. Norquay also has a family-friendly 8 lane tube park (the largest tube park in Alberta), and a 1950s tea room turned modern bistro at 6,900 ft.
Norquay Mountain Statistics
Vertical Rise- 503 m (1,650 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,133 m (6,998 ft)
Skiable Area- 77 ha (190 ac)
Number of Runs- 60
Longest Run- 1.2 km (1 mi)
Number of Lifts- 5 (4 chairs, 1 magic carpet)
Terrain Ability Levels- 20% beginner, 36% intermediate, 28% advanced, 16% expert
Location: Mt. Norquay is located on Mr. Norquay Road, near the town of Banff. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary and less than a 15 minute drive from the town of Banff.
Accommodations: Book hotels in Banff
Nakiska Ski Area- Kananaskis
Nakiska Ski Area is often the first ski resort in Alberta to open for the season. Built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, the resort has a state of the art snowmaking system and Olympic sized runs.
Nakiska is the closest ski resort to Calgary and features 79 marked runs, many of them rated intermediate. There’s also a three track tube park at the base of the ski area.
The dining options at Nakiska include a cafeteria, lounge, coffee shop and deli, BBQ pit, and mid-mountain lodge.
Nakiska Mountain Statistics
Vertical Rise- 735 m (2,412 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,260 m (7,415 ft)
Skiable Area- 413 ha (1021 ac)
Number of Runs- 70
Longest Run- 3.3 km (2 mi)
Number of Lifts- 6 (4 chairs, 2 magic carpets)
Terrain Ability Levels- 13% beginner, 59% intermediate, 28% advanced
Marmot Basin- Jasper National Park
Marmot Basin is the most northern ski area in the Canadian Rockies and the only ski resort in Jasper National Park. It’s also the highest base elevation of Canadian ski areas at 1,698 m (5,570 ft) and averages over 450 cm of powder annually.
Marmot Basin is a great ski resort to learn and develop your skills at, since 60% of the 91 runs are designed for novice and intermediate skiers. Still, there are plenty of challenging options for advanced and expert skiers. There’s even 3 terrain parks with features that change regularly throughout the season.
There is a chalet at the base and one mid mountain where you can grab food and drinks from a cafeteria or dining lounge.
Marmot Basin Mountain Statistics
Vertical Rise- 914 m (3,000 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,612 m (8,570 ft)
Skiable Area- 696 ha (1,720 ac)
Number of Runs- 91
Longest Run- 5.6 km (3.5 mi)
Number of Lifts- 7 (6 chairs, 1 magic carpet)
Terrain Ability Levels- 30% beginner, 30% intermediate, 20% advanced, 20% expert
Location: Marmot Basin is located at 1 Marmot Road, near the town of Jasper. It’s about a 4 hr 10 min drive from Edmonton and 3 hr 35 min drive from Banff.
Accommodations: Book hotels in Jasper
Castle Mountain Resort- Pincher Creek
Castle Mountain Resort is 270 km southwest of Calgary, making it the most southern ski area on this list of Alberta ski resorts.
Castle Mountain is known for having some of the longest continuous fall line runs in North America and getting 900 cm of snowfall annually.
What sets Castle Mountain apart from other ski resorts in Alberta is that it’s home to the Powder Stagecoach, one of the only resort based cat skiing operations in North America.
In addition to groomed runs and backcountry ski opportunities, Castle Mountain Resort also has 8 alpine bowls across two mountains and a terrain park.
Dining options at Castle Mountain Resort include a pub, cafe and cafeteria at the base area.
Castle Mountain Resort Statistics
Vertical Rise- 863 m (2,833 ft)
Top Elevation- 2,273 m (7,463 ft)
Skiable Area- 1,454 ha (3,592 ac)
Number of Runs- 95
Longest Run- 5 km (3 mi)
Number of Lifts- 6 (4 chairs, 1 t-bar, 1 magic carpet)
Terrain Ability Levels- 15% beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced, 10% expert
Location: Castle Mountain Resort is located on Highway 772, near Pincher Creek. It’s a 2 hr 45 min drive south of Calgary and 1 hr 45 min drive from Lethbridge.
Accommodations: Book hotels in Pincher Creek
Final Thoughts About Alberta’s Ski Resorts
With so many excellent ski resorts in Alberta, it’s no wonder that downhill skiing and snowboarding is one of the top winter activities in Alberta.
The close proximity of many of these resorts means you can try out a few mountains in one ski trip. No matter what ski area in Alberta you choose, you’re sure to have a fun day on the slopes!
Tips for Skiing in Alberta
Ski Season: The ski season in Alberta typically runs from November to late April. Most of the mountain ski resorts in Alberta open for business in the first week of November and operate until late April. Sometimes certain hills can stay open into May.
Alberta Ski Passes: The Alberta ski resorts have season passes and/or benefit cards that offer discounted lift tickets and other perks. They can be a good deal if you plan to do a lot of skiing in Alberta.
- The SkiBig3 Season Pass includes unlimited skiing/snowboarding at Banff Sunshine, Mt. Norquay, and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Other benefits are a complimentary ski shuttle from scheduled hotels in Banff and Lake Louise, and discounts on rentals, dining, and ski school programs.
- The Marmot Escape Card entitles holders to 50% off regular lift tickets to Marmot Basin, 20% off rentals, 10% off at the resort’s cafeterias, up to 40% off select accommodations in Jasper (with some restrictions), and much more.
- The Sunshine Super Card entitles holders to 3 free days of skiing at Banff Sunshine (1st, 4th, and 7th visits), 10% off rooms at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, 10% off rentals, 10% off dining, 10% off ski school and more.
- The Lake Louise Plus Card offers 3 free days of skiing at Lake Louise Ski Resort (1st, 4th, and 7th visits), 20% off full-priced full day lift tickets, plus discounts on rentals, dining, lessons and more.
- Mt. Norquay has several different season pass options that also offer discounts on dining, rentals, lessons, and snow tubing.
- Nakiska’s season pass offers unlimited skiing plus discounts on rentals, dining, and more.
- Castle Mountain Resort’s season pass includes unlimited skiing, 10-20% off Powder Stagecoach cat skiing, 20% off group lessons, and more.
Accommodations Near Ski Resorts in Alberta
For your convenience, here is a list of hotels near the Alberta ski resorts mentioned here. Please consider booking your accommodations through the included link. It costs nothing extra and helps support this website. Thank you!
More Winter Guides
You may also like these other Alberta winter activity guides:
- Things to Do in Edmonton in Winter- The Best Edmonton Winter Activities
- Cross Country Skiing in Edmonton- A Guide to Edmonton’s Cross Country Ski Trails
- Abraham Lake Bubbles- How to See the Frozen Bubbles in Abraham Lake
- Cline River Falls Hike in Winter- David Thompson Country
- Ice Skating in Edmonton- The Best Edmonton Outdoor Skating Rinks
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