Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (2022)

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (1)

Lake Louise Ski Resort is Banff’s largest ski resort | © Blaine Harrington III / Alamy Stock Photo

Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (2)

Georgie Young

6 July 2020

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Although they live in one of the most liveable cities in North America, the people of Calgary grab their skis and head for the hills when winter arrives. Sitting on the cusp of prairies and peaks, this gateway to the Rockies is blessed with an abundance of world-class skiing facilities on its snowy doorstep. From upscale après-ski to wild mountainous terrain, Culture Trip’s local insiders share their tips on where to find the best ski resorts in and around Calgary.

(Video) SKIING in BANFF NATIONAL PARK: Best Skiing in the World!

WinSport

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (3)

© Rosanne Tackaberry / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the highlights of the 1988 Winter Olympics was the first-ever appearance of the Jamaican bobsled team. This now-legendary run took place at WinSport, which sits just off the highway in Calgary proper. Here, you can try bobsledding for yourself by hurtling down the luge at 62mph (100kph) – while attached to an expert, of course. Skiing aficionados can also make use of the Olympic-size halfpipe, huge jumps and mogul run, but beginners aren’t forgotten, either, with smaller slopes, lessons and a high-adrenaline tube park. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

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(Video) Banff Sunshine Village | Best Ski Resort in Canadian Rockies, Alberta

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To get to this cross-country ski station, you’ll need to drive an hour or so outside Calgary to the mountainous town of Canmore. The center offers stunning views over surrounding Bow Valley and the Rockies from the meadow sitting at the heart of its trails. You also don’t need to worry about the ski season starting late. The center’s artificial snow machine whirls to life from the start of October, meaning that the respectable 40mi (65km) of hell-for-leather terrain is open for cross-country skiers and biathlon fans for the entire season. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Nakiska, Calgary’s Closest Mountain

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (4)

© Rolf Hicker Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

You can’t forget that this resort was developed for the 1988 Winter Olympics, as the Olympic torch is still burning at the entrance. Make your way to the top of the Olympic-size ski slopes – there are 16mi (25km) of runs to choose from – and admire the views of the Rockies before setting off downhill. Take the Gold Road to zigzag your way through pine trees and powdery snow before arriving at the Mid-Mountain Lodge for a well-deserved beer and a look at the mountain from its wooden balcony. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Mount Norquay

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(Video) The TOP 15 Ski Resorts in Canada for 2022

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Not many ski resorts can say that they’ve hoisted Marilyn Monroe up its slopes, but Mount Norquay is the exception. Located in Banff National Park, it opened in 1926 and was the snowy park’s first-ever ski resort. Although it’s the smallest resort in the area, it’s where you’ll want to visit if you’ve got a quick ski session in mind, as it offers half-day, last two hours and last hour lift tickets. Also on offer is snowshoeing, night skiing and the monthly Cool2Carpool Days, which allows you to split the cost of a lift ticket with everyone in your car, with two Canadian dollars ($1.47) going to charity. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Banff Sunshine

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (5)

© Dan Leeth / Alamy Stock Photo

Is there anything better than opening your hotel room door and immediately skiing down a mountain? At Banff Sunshine – with the area’s only ski-in, ski-out hotel – doorstep skiing is not only possible, but practically the only way to get around. The resort sits a breezy 7,200ft (2,195m) above sea level, which, as well as blessing it with gold-standard natural snow, has the bonus of offering excellent views over Banff National Park. Plus, once the lifts stop running, the après-ski at Mad Trapper’s Smokehouse is unbeatable. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Lake Louise Ski Resort

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(Video) 10 BEST SKI RESORTS IN CANADA

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (6)

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A wall of mountains that are swallowed by spiny pine trees in the same breath, 4,000 acres (1,619ha) of dry, powdery snow and 145 runs slicing across four different mountain faces – this is Lake Louise, Banff’s largest and most famous ski resort. As well as being the only stop in Canada for the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, there’s also every kind of ski activity imaginable offered here, from basic chutes to advanced terrain training. Done for the day? Take one last trip up the mountain in the sightseeing gondola to get incredible vistas of the icy-blue depths of Lake Louise itself. Recommended by local insider Patrick Twomey

Banff Gate Mountain Resort

Unlike most other ski resorts in the area, Banff Gate is open year-round. Winter calls for, of course, skiing, but when the snow has melted, you can still enjoy Banff’s springtime scenery via whitewater rafting or mountain biking. After spending a day tramping through the forests and flower meadows, it’s back to the resort at the foot of Pigeon Mountain to relax in the hot tub outside your cozy wooden chalet. Recommended by Yamila

KPOW! Cat Skiing at Fortress Mountain

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Ski Resorts in and Around Calgary, Canada (7)

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The joy of cat skiing is the ability to go off-piste and ski across snow that nobody else has touched. On a KPOW cat-skiing tour, you’ll be loaded into “the cat” at Fortress Mountain, which is about 90 minutes west of Calgary. The team will then take you up the mountain until you’re let loose on the trails. It’s fast, fun and only slightly dangerous – perfect for adrenaline junkies and advanced skiers. Recommended by Yamila

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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way.That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories:Epic Trips,Mini TripsandSailing Trips.Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

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FAQs

How far is Calgary from skiing? ›

Located 2.5 hours southwest of Calgary, between the communities of Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass, Castle Mountain Resort is a unique and affordable ski resort. Alberta's second largest ski area is owned and operated by skiers and snowboarders, making it an authentic winter adventure experience.

What are the three ski resorts in Banff? ›

Banff and Lake Louise are home to three world-class ski and snowboard areas: Mt Norquay, the Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Sunshine Village.

Where is the popular winter holiday resort of Calgary? ›

Lake Louise is not just one of the best Calgary ski resorts with these amenities and features, but among the best in the world… as their World Ski Award shows.

How many ski hills in Calgary? ›

The ski resort Canada Olympic Park – Calgary is located in the Calgary Region (Canada, Alberta). For skiing and snowboarding, there are 4 km of slopes available.
...
Total: 4 km.
Easy3.5 km(87 %)
Intermediate0.5 km(13 %)
Difficult0 km(0 %)

What is the best month to go to Calgary? ›

The best time of year to visit Calgary is from late May to the end of September. The shoulder months of October and April could have fine weather, but you also could have snow. In winter, Calgary is renowned for having unpredictable weather.

What are the closest mountains to Calgary? ›

Known as 'Calgary's closest Mountain,' Nakiska isn't your everyday Canadian ski resort.

Which is better Jasper or Banff? ›

Banff, without a doubt, has the better location in terms of ease and access to the mountains. Jasper is much more of a haul to get to, and if coming from Calgary, you'll have to pass through Banff and drive the Icefields Parkway to reach Jasper.

Is Jasper or Banff better for skiing? ›

When it comes to Jasper vs Banff for better ski hills, Banff wins. There are more ski hills to choose from in Banff, including more of a variety. If you're in Banff National Park you have access to some of the finest ski hills around, including Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Norquay.

How much does a ski trip to Banff cost? ›

Lift Pass Includes
Adult (18-64)Child (6-12)
1 Day$135$54
2 Day$270$108
3 Day$396.90$158.76
4 Day$529.20$211.68
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Is it better to stay in Banff or Calgary? ›

While Calgary offers incredible nightlife, shopping, fine dining, and entertainment, Banff offers stunning views and world class natural wonders. Travelling to both destinations is a great way to enjoy the beauty of one of Canada's most popular National Parks, while enjoying all that city life has to offer.

How is the drive from Calgary to Banff? ›

The drive from Calgary to Banff is relatively short – about 90 minutes – and there are two different routes you can take: What is this? I prefer the scenic Highway 1A that will take you through Cochrane and the Kananaskis region. There are some fun stops along the way to really make the most of this short drive.

How many days in Calgary is enough? ›

How long should you spend in Calgary? As a general rule, I'd recommend spending at least two full days in Calgary, although with three you'll have more breathing room. This will also allow you to take a day trip somewhere, probably to the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump historical site located just south of the city.

How far is Banff from skiing? ›

Mt. Norquay is the closest ski resort to Banff town, a 10 minute drive. Banff Sunshine Village is 20 minutes outside of Banff and Lake Louise Ski Resort is 45 minutes away just outside the town of Lake Louise.

Does Banff have a ski resort? ›

Tucked within the boundaries of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, the ski towns of Banff and Lake Louise provide home-base to three distinctive ski resorts; Banff Sunshine, The Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt Norquay.

Is Banff close to Calgary? ›

Banff National Park is located along the TransCanada Highway. Open year-round, the TransCanada is a well maintained road that winds its way through the Canadian Rockies. If you are coming from the east, Banff is a 90 minute (140 kilometres or 87 miles) drive west of Calgary, Alberta.

What is the snowiest month in Calgary? ›

The month with the most snow in Calgary is November, with an average snowfall of 2.4 inches. The snowless period of the year lasts for 5.0 months, from May 15 to October 13. The least snow falls around July 22, with an average total accumulation of 0.0 inches.

Is it expensive in Calgary? ›

The city boasts the most affordable property market in North America and the lowest cost of living among Canadian cities. It is located in Alberta, with no sales tax and only a 5% GST, which makes life even more affordable. Calgary's cost of living index is 73.95, which is lower than most Canadian cities.

What is the coldest month in Calgary? ›

Calgary typically has 194 days a year with a minimum temperature of 0 °C or below. The average date for the last frost in spring is May 21. Frost normally returns here on September 16.
...
When Calgary Has Frosty Weather.
0 °C 32 °F
Year194
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Is Banff or Lake Louise closer to Calgary? ›

Both the Town of Banff and Lake Louise are located within Banff National Park. Both Lake Louise and Banff are right off the Trans Canada Highway and easily accessible from Calgary. Though Banff is much closer to Calgary than Lake Louise.

Why is Calgary famous for? ›

With its focus on the oil industry and proud 'Cowboy' traditions, you'll often hear Alberta referred to as “the Texas of Canada.” Calgary is often called 'Cowtown' and the Calgary Stampede, which lasts 10 days every July, is known as the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.”

How far is Calgary from the Canadian border? ›

It takes about 3 hours to drive from Calgary south on Hwy #2 to the U.S. border.

What month is best for Banff? ›

The best times to visit Banff are June to August and December to March. Nature lovers will want to get to the park when the weather is warm and welcoming (and while the hotel rates in town are at a reasonable level).

Why is Banff so famous? ›

Banff National Park is famous for its surreally coloured lakes, majestic mountains and endless outdoor adventures. Canada's first national park and the world's third, it has a rich heritage as one of the world's most awe-inspiring mountain destinations.

When can you see northern lights in Banff? ›

The aurora borealis can shine any time of year, but they are best from October to mid April when the night sky is at its darkest. Generally, the northern lights in Banff shine their brightest during the winter months of December to February. Your best chance to see them is on clear nights with a new moon.

Where is the prettiest place to ski? ›

Best Ski Vacations in the World
  • Whistler.
  • Zermatt.
  • Jackson Hole.
  • Vail.
  • Aspen.
  • Breckenridge.
  • Telluride.
  • Park City.

Is Lake Louise or Moraine better? ›

Moraine Lake is only half the size of its nearby neighbour Lake Louise, but perhaps even more scenic. It's situated at an elevation of 1883 meters in the beautiful Valley Of The Ten Peaks in Banff National Park. This glacier-fed lake becomes the most intense and vivid shade of turquoise blue.

What is the cheapest week to ski? ›

1. Ski the low season if you don't have kids. Ski holiday prices are not the same for the whole winter. The weeks of New Year and February half term are the most expensive: and in early December, most of January, and mid-March they're considerably cheaper.

Is skiing better in Banff or Lake Louise? ›

Lake Louise vs Banff Sunshine Village

Lake Louise and Sunshine are both great ski resorts, but Lake Louise is the better resort for those who ski or ride regularly. This is primarily due to the superior terrain and layout of the Lake Louise ski resort.

Is Banff worth the money? ›

Banff National Park is Worth Every Loonie

In the end, you will find Banff is more expensive than most destinations, but it is truly worth every single Loonie!

How long is the ride from Calgary to Banff? ›

Banff is located approximately 130-km west of Calgary, Alberta. The drive will take around 1.5 hours via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).

Can you do a day trip to Banff from Calgary? ›

One of the most classic day trips from Calgary, a visit to Banff could include a gondola ride, canoeing, museum visits, local restaurants and more. If you live in Calgary or are visiting, the one hour and 20 minute drive to Banff is pretty much a must-do.

Do you need a car in Calgary? ›

Calgary Transit: Calgary Transit is an efficient and inexpensive way to explore Calgary without a car. Bus routes and two C-Train lines make it easy to navigate almost anywhere in the city. The C-Train is free to ride between City Hall Station and Downtown West/Kerby Station in the downtown core.

How many days in Banff is enough? ›

There are some experiences in Banff and Lake Louise that simply can't be missed. It's a subjective list, but five days is a good length of time to tick off the world-famous hot spots.

How much is an uber from Calgary to Banff? ›

Taking an Uber from Calgary to Banff

The average cost of an Uber ride, specifically from Calgary to Banff is approximately $150 – $300 depending on the time of day and service availability. Check the app for latest pricing.

Is Calgary near Lake Louise? ›

Lake Louise is located approximately 185-km west of Calgary, Alberta. The drive will take around two hours via the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).

Is Calgary a walkable city? ›

Calgary is home to dozens of great, walkable neighbourhoods. In fact, Calgary has over 905 km of regional pathways and 95 km of trails – this is the most extensive network of paths in North America!

Is English spoken in Calgary? ›

The data shows that Punjabi and Tagalog remain Calgary's top two most spoken languages, aside from English. That's followed by Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Arabic and Urdu. One of Canada's two official languages, French, is the 12th most spoken language in Calgary homes.

Is Calgary better than Vancouver? ›

For the summer holidays, Vancouver wins for its amazing scenery and not too hot weather. For winter, Calgary wins if you prefer cold and sunny weather over wet and mild temperatures.

Is Whistler better than Banff? ›

Both will be busy, but Whistler will be way busier than Banff. As far as vertical, both mountians have some really steep stuff, then again, lots of stuff for intermediate skiers like you. For village feel, Banff is more "mountain" than Whistler, with Whistler being more of an international destination than Banff.

Can Beginners ski Banff? ›

The soaring peaks of Banff and Lake Louise make for a truly bucket-list ski experience, but for beginners, the scale can make for an intimidating start to your ski careers. No need to worry though, as all three resorts in Banff and Lake Louise have plenty of runs that make it easy for you to find your ski legs.

Is skiing in Banff worth it? ›

Banff skiing and snowboarding is fantastic, and it's possible to ride the three Banff 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.

Is Lake Louise close to Banff or Jasper? ›

Lake Louise (57km from Banff, 231km from Jasper)

This just might be your most memorable stop along the way.

Is Banff or glacier better? ›

If you plan on spending time in Canada before or after your trip, then Banff might be your best option. If you plan on spending more time in the Pacific Northwest, then Glacier it is.

Is Lake Louise the same as Banff? ›

Lake Louise is a scenic 45 minutes west of the town of Banff – a snow-lined drive framed by some of the most stunning scenery in the Canadian Rockies. A 5-10 minute ski shuttle service to and from Lake Louise hotels to The Lake Louise Ski Resort makes getting first-tracks easy.

Is Jasper close to Calgary? ›

Jasper is located approximately 412-km Northwest of Calgary, Alberta. It' also just 366-km from Edmonton, which makes it an excellent road trip from Edmonton to Jasper as well.

Is there a train between Calgary and Banff? ›

There is no Calgary to Banff train, but there are talks of it happening in the future.

How many days is Banff and Jasper from Calgary? ›

6 days in Banff and Jasper gives you enough time to see the highlights, make some great hikes, and soak up the Canadian Rockies atmosphere. It's best to add 1 extra day for the iconic Icefields Parkway.

How close is Calgary to the mountains? ›

130 miles / 209 km
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Is Calgary worth visiting in winter? ›

With more hours of sunshine than any other major city in Canada, wonderful events and plenty of snowy activities, Calgary is a fantastic destination to experience in the wintertime.

Does it snow alot in Calgary? ›

Located in Southern Alberta, Calgary endures very cold winters, although not as cold as Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, which lies farther north. Snow depths of greater than 1 cm are seen on about 88 days each year in Calgary compared with about 65 days in Toronto.

How far is Calgary from Glacier? ›

How far is it from Calgary to Glacier National Park? The distance between Calgary and Glacier National Park is 165 miles. The road distance is 215.6 miles. How long does it take to get from Calgary to Glacier National Park?

Is it hard to drive from Calgary to Banff? ›

It's quick and easy getting from Calgary to Banff. Off in the distance, the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains line the horizon and the drive makes it no wonder that it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Alberta.

Is Calgary the coldest city in Canada? ›

Winnipeg, Manitoba has the coldest winter weather of any major Canadian city. It ranks first for the lowest average temperatures. Winnipeg also is Canada's city that most often drops to -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit) or below and it is least likely to have a day above freezing during winter.

Is Calgary colder than Vancouver? ›

Vancouver's climate is milder than Calgary's. In winter, the temperature rarely gets colder than zero celsius in Vancouver, but in Calgary one can expect cold and snowy weather. In Vancouver, the winters will be rainy and wet. Both cities are set in beautiful landscape.

Which is colder Edmonton or Calgary? ›

Is Calgary colder than Edmonton? While both cities experience cold winter weather, the Chinook winds that blow through Calgary tend to make the winter shorter in Calgary. Edmonton has colder winters and it snows more in Edmonton than in Calgary.

Is Banff or Glacier better? ›

If you plan on spending time in Canada before or after your trip, then Banff might be your best option. If you plan on spending more time in the Pacific Northwest, then Glacier it is.

How far is Lake Banff from Calgary? ›

The drive from Calgary in the east to Banff is spectacular. The drive is about 1.5-2 hours (145 km or 90 miles), but it is a pleasant and scenic one. The town of Banff is located along the Trans-Canada Highway, a well maintained, easy-going road that gently meanders through the Rockies.

Is Jasper or Banff closer to Calgary? ›

Go to Jasper if you're looking for:

While Banff is closer to the city of Calgary, you can access Jasper via rail. If you're heading down from Edmonton, you can get a train ticket for less than $100.

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