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Alberta Ski Resorts- The Best Ski Areas in the Rockies

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.

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta

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.

Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas
Credit: Lake Louise Ski Resort/Chris Moseley

Lake Louise Ski Resort- Banff National Park

*Editor’s choice

The Lake Louise Ski Resort is known worldwide for its vast terrain, long varied runs, and spectacular alpine scenery.

Ski Alberta- Best Ski Hills in Alberta
Credit: Travel Alberta/John Price

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. 

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta
Credit: Travel Alberta/ Jake Dyson

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.

Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas
Credit: Travel Alberta/John Price

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.

Ski Alberta- Best Ski Hills in Alberta

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. 

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta

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.

Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas

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.

Ski Alberta- Best Ski Hills in Alberta

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.

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta
Credit: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

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.

Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas
Credit: Banff & Lake Louise Tourism

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.

Ski Alberta- Best Ski Hills in Alberta
Credit: Canmore Kananaskis Tourism

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

Location: Nakiska is located on Mt. Allen Drive, near Kananaskis Village in Kananaskis Country. It’s a 1 hr 10 min drive from Calgary, 35 minute drive from Canmore, and 50 minute drive from Banff.

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.

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta

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.

Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas

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.

Credit: Travel Alberta/John Price

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.

Alberta Ski Resorts- Best Places to Ski in Alberta
Credit: Travel Alberta/John Price

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!

Credit: Travel Alberta/John Price

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.
Ski Resorts in Alberta- Top Alberta Ski Areas

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