Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (2022)

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (1)

Shutterstock.

This post may contain affiliate links, which Globe Guide receives compensation for with each click or purchase at no additional cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Winter is the most wonderful time of the year—if you like freezing your buns off, scraping the ice off your car’s windshield every morning (if it even starts!) and not being able to get out of your front door because of all the snow piled in front of it. However, there is an easy cure for the winter blues: hitting the hills!

Alberta, Canadais famous for its world-class ski resorts nestled in stunning Rocky Mountains. Here, you can find some of the best powder, beautiful ski-in/ski-out hotels, breathtaking landscapes and fantastic dining options. The hardest part is choosing which one to go to! Here are some of the top picks.

RELATED: What to pack for a skitrip

Table of Contents

(Video) Every Ski Resort in Alberta

Sunshine Village

This is one of the most popular resorts in the entire province, and for good reason. Located only about 10 minutes from Banff, it offers loads of activities that will keep even non-skiers entertained (champagne and oyster bar, anyone?!). This hill makes the most of the 30 feet of snow it gets every year, offering more than three thousand acres of skiable terrain spread over three separate mountains—good for all skill levels.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (2)

After braving the parking lot (it can get PACKED on weekends) you’ll hop on the high-speed gondola which shuttles you up the mountain towards the 12 lifts scattered around the hills. Even the chair lifts are high-speed, meaning you’ll spend more time slicing through the fresh powder than standing in line. Thrill seekers may want to start the day on Goat’s Eye Mountain, which has an elevation of 9,200 feet, and numerous black diamond runs to conquer.

READ MORE:Banff’s Sunshine Village launches yoga and ski retreat

If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, you could always take in the views by snowshoeing—or just spend the afternoon at the aforementioned champagne bar.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (3)

Getting there: The hill is an hour and a half west of Calgary, on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Banff.
Need to know: Stay on the mountain by booking a room at the beautiful Sunshine Mountain Lodge (and take advantage of their ski and stay specials!). There are also nine different restaurants on site.
Price of adult ticket: $69 half day, $85 full day
Fun fact: Sunshine is actually located in two provinces, as Lookout Mountain is technically in both British Columbia and Alberta!
Click here to check out Sunshine Village’s website.

(Video) 5 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Canada | Canada Skiing Guide

Lake Louise

Lake Louise Ski Resort has reason to brag. At the 2013 World Ski Awards in Austria, it was voted best ski resort in Canada—and one of the top three in the world.Why? Well, let me count the ways.

Lake Louise is really a resort in every sense of the word. It boasts 4,200 acres of skiable terrain on four mountain faces, which afford stunning views of surrounding Banff National Park, as well as ice skating, showshoeing, a tube park and dog sledding. There is even an annual ice carving competition, which draws people from around the world.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (4)

Those spending a day on the hill will find no shortage of places to warm up, whether it’s in one of the cafeterias, Starbucks, lounges, lodges or restaurant. The Kokanee Kabin is a great place for live music, while those looking for a nice dinner can take the chairlift up to Whitehorn Lodge for appetizers, then ski down for a buffet dinner before dancing the night away.

READ MORE:The ultimate list of après-ski spots in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains

Getting there: Lake Louise Ski Resort is near the village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park, about half an hour past Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway.

Top tip: If you have money to burn, book at room at the luxe Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, which has been featured on The Bachelor. It’s no wonder, as the stunning hotel is framed by the green waters of the lake and the looming mountains around it, making it a favourite spot for weddings.
Price of adult ticket: $69 half day, $85 full day
Click here to check out Lake Louise’s website.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (5)

(Video) List 6 Best Ski Resorts in Alberta | Skiing in United States | 66Travel

Shutterstock.

Mount Norquay

While Mount Norquay is one of the smaller hills, it does have one major plus going for it: it’s as close to Banff as you can get without skiing onto Banff Avenue. This is a great mountain for a family outing as it has more manageable runs and has great package deals which include lift tickets, tube park entrances and hot chocolate.

Speaking of the tube park, that actually happens to be my favourite activity at Mount Norquay—I mean, who hasn’t dreamed about flying down a ski hill on a toboggan?

The beauty of it is that the park does all the hard work (read: walking up the hill) for you. Just plop down on an inflatable inner tube, grab on to the T-bar, and it will shuttle you up. The hill is divided up into separate lanes so you don’t need to worry about crashing into anyone. The staff will also help you out by giving you a solid push at the top, so you can fly down at top speed!

RELATED:The ultimate guide to the best of Banff, Alberta

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (6)

Getting there: The hill just five minutes past Banff, and there are shuttles that will get you from the townsite to the hill if you are staying in town. Norquay is a one hour drive from Calgary.
Price of adult ticket: $51 half day, $61 full day. Hourly passes are also available, along with an all-inclusive ticket that gives you access to tubing, skiing and sightseeing.
Click here to check out Mount Norquay’s website.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (7)

Nakiska

Nakiska makes this list all thanks to its location: Kananaskis.‘K-Country’ is absolutely stunning year-round, and while it boasts similar landscapes to Banff (think: huge mountains, forests full of evergreen trees, bright blue skies and wildlife galore), it is more untouched. To get there, you’ll have to navigate windy Highway 40 to Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, but the drive is well worth it for the jaw-dropping scenery.

(Video) Top 10 Skiing Destinations in the World 2022

The hill itself is a great spot, especially if you’re coming from Calgary and only have the day out there (it’s less than an hour’s drive!). With 71 marked trails, there are loads of options for skiers of all skill levels, and the mountain has three high-speed quad chairs as well as a double chair. With a top elevation of 7,415 metres, great views abound!

It’s also a world-class hill…remember the 1988 Winter Olympics, anyone? Yup, Nakiska played host to many of the events.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (8)

Shutterstock.

Getting there: Nakiska is the closest mountain to Calgary, taking less than an hour to drive there. Head west on Highway 1, then turn south onto Highway 40.
Need to know: There are two cafeterias, a lounge and a mid-mountain lodge at Nakiska, a sports school and daycare.
Top tip: Stay at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis located in Kananaskis Village—which features a wonderful indoor/outdoor hot tub.
Price of adult ticket: $58 half day, $72 full day
Click here to check out Nakiska’s website.

Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (9)

Castle Mountain

If you find yourself in southern Alberta and have a bit of a daredevil streak, then this hill is for you.

Why? Because it is one of the few places that offers Cat Skiing. For about $375 per person, you’ll get shuttled up the mountain by the Powder Stagecoach, to access the untouched powder only found on the top of Mount Haig. You can spend the whole day zipping around the massive bowls and chutes, free of any crowds. Does it get any better than that?

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

Getting there: The hill is two and a half hours south of Calgary, and an hour and a half from Lethbridge on Highway 774.
Need to know: Castle Mountain offers on-mountain accommodations, two cafeterias and a pub.
Price of adult ticket: $55 half day, $69 full day
Click here to check out Castle Mountain’s website.

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

  • Cycling the Legacy Trail between Banff and Canmore, Alberta
  • Ski Utah 3 ways: The best resorts for every type of skier
  • 7 tips for driving the Icefields Parkway during winter
  • Fun winter activities to enjoy in Jasper, Alberta
  • Best spring activities in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains (that aren’t skiing)Top 5 Alberta ski resorts (10)

Shutterstock.

FAQs

What is the biggest ski resort in Alberta? ›

The ski resort Lake Louise is the biggest ski resort in Alberta. The total slope length is 139 km.

Is Alberta a good place to ski? ›

Downhill (alpine) skiing in Alberta is some of the best in the world and many people from far and wide plan their vacations here around the activity. Apart from the amazing landscapes Alberta and the Canadian Rocky Mountains offer, skiers will find some of the best powder and ski resorts in the world.

What is the 2nd largest ski resort in Canada? ›

Best Canadian Ski Resorts
ResortAcreage
1Whistler BC8171 acres
2Whitewater BC1184 acres
3Revelstoke BC3031 acres
4Fernie Alpine Resort BC2504 acres
34 more rows

Which mountain is the best to ski in Banff? ›

Lake Louise - King Of The Mountain

With 1,700 hectares of skiable terrain across four mountains, Lake Louise is Canada's largest winter amusement park. It has also been named Canada's best ski resort three years running, so it's no surprise Lake Louise is the most recognisable of the three.

What is the No 1 Lake in Alberta? ›

1. Lake Louise. The most famous lake in Alberta, if not the entire country, is Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Set in a long valley with towering mountains framing the scene, the lake has been a destination for camera toting tourists since 1890.

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.

Where is the most snow in Alberta? ›

The snowfall leaderboard
  • Most snowfall (year to date): Revelstoke Mountain Resort, 1133cm.
  • Deepest base (season total): Cypress Mountain, 410cm.
  • Most snowfall 24h: Nakiska Ski Area 6cm / 24 hours.

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.

What is the oldest ski resort in Canada? ›

Established in 1926, Mount Norquay Ski Resort (Norquay) is one of the “Big 3” ski and snowboard resorts in Banff National Park. It is on Mount Norquay just outside the town of Banff.

What is the ski capital of the world? ›

COURCHEVEL, WORLD'S SKI CAPITAL.

What is the hardest place to ski in the world? ›

Most Difficult Ski Resorts
  • Chamonix, France. It is home to a World Cup downhill course and has some of the most challenging off-piste terrain. ...
  • Fernie, Canada. ...
  • Jackson Hole, USA. ...
  • Kicking Horse, Canada. ...
  • Palisades Tahoe, USA (formerly Squaw Valley) ...
  • St Anton, Austria. ...
  • Verbier, Switzerland. ...
  • Val d'Isere, France.
27 Oct 2021

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 best month to ski Banff? ›

February to April is considered the peak of ski season. Both January and February can have lots of snow, but bitterly cold temperatures. Into April the slopes can start to get a bit icy. March can be one of the best times to ski, with longer daylight hours, warmer temperatures and good snow conditions.

Where do celebs go to ski? ›

Aspen, Colorado, USA: the Hollywood of winter

Undoubtedly, the number one celebrity ski hotspot is Aspen, Colorado. Located in the Rocky Mountains region, the resort is home to 337 runs snuggled between snow-capped mountains and brimming with opulent nightlife flashpoints.

Where is the most popular ski resort? ›

1 Vail Mountain, CO. Vail is not only the nation's most-visited ski resort, but also the largest, sprawling 5,289 acres. Nearly half of Vail's 193 trails suit beginners and intermediates, yet the mountain is more famous for its Back Bowls: seven open expanses of mostly black diamond-rated slopes.

Where is the most affordable ski resort? ›

America's Top 15 Budget-Friendly Ski Resorts
  • Wildcat Mountain - Notch, New Hampshire. ...
  • Alpine Meadows - Tahoe City, California. ...
  • Taos Ski Valley - Taos, New Mexico. ...
  • Mt. ...
  • Bridger Bowl - Bozeman, Montana. ...
  • Snowbird - Holladay, Utah. ...
  • Mad River Glen - Fayston, Vermont. ...
  • Big Bear Mountain Resort, Big Bear Lake, California.

What is the cleanest city in Alberta? ›

Real-time Alberta Cleanest city ranking
#cityUS AQI
1Athabasca0
2Beaumont0
3Bonnyville0
4Bow Island0
6 more rows
31 Oct 2022

What is the warmest lake in Alberta? ›

Lake Newell, located 14km south of the City of Brooks in the Brooks Region, is one of southern Alberta's largest and warmest man-made lakes. The clear warm waters are perfect for canoeing, sailing, fishing, swimming, motorized water sports and more.

What is the clearest lake in Alberta? ›

Canada is renowned for its beautiful lakes, and Moraine Lake is no exception. Located in Banff National Park in the province of Alberta, it is one of the most beautiful locations in the entire country. The lake is fed by a glacier, which helps keep the water clean and clear.

Which is prettier Jasper or Banff? ›

Jasper is the more laid-back town between the two with far fewer people and visitors. Banff has a higher-end feel, with expensive outdoor shops like Helly Hansen, Canada Goose Down, and Fjallraven around Banff Ave.

Is 3 nights in Jasper enough? ›

Spending 3 days in Jasper gives you plenty of time to explore everything the area offers without feeling rushed! You will spend your days exploring the many must-see attractions near Jasper and along the Icefields Parkway. Your 3 days in Jasper will bring you to stunning lakes, trails, mountain views, and waterfalls!

Where in Canada is best for skiing? ›

10 best ski resorts in Canada
  • 1/10. Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort, BC. ...
  • 2/10. Banff Sunshine, Alberta. ...
  • 3/10. Big White Ski Resort, BC. ...
  • 4/10. Mont Tremblatt Ski Resort, Quebec. ...
  • 5/10. Revelstoke Mountain Resort. ...
  • 6/10. Red Mountain Resort, BC. ...
  • 7/10. Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta. ...
  • 8/10. Fernie Alpine Resort, BC.

What is the coldest city in Alberta? ›

19, Myrnam is the coldest place in both Alberta and Canada at -41.1C.

Where is the warmest winters in Alberta? ›

On average, Waterton Park is one of the warmest places in Alberta in winter although winter temperatures can drop as low as -40*C. The park's climate is influenced by two opposing systems - the Arctic Continental (cold, dry) and the prevailing Pacific Maritime (warm, moist).

What month gets the most snow in Alberta? ›

The snowy period of the year lasts for 7.0 months, from October 13 to May 15, with a sliding 31-day snowfall of at least 1.0 inches. The month with the most snow in Calgary is November, with an average snowfall of 2.4 inches.

How far apart are Banff and Lake Louise? ›

Lake Louise itself is 61 km from the Town of Banff. The drive takes about 45 minutes along the TransCanada or an hour if you drive the scenic Bow Valley Parkway.

Is Banff colder than Whistler? ›

The town of Whistler has a more temperate climate than the town of Banff, however the weather can vary greatly between the base and the alpine at Whistler Village. For example, you can get rain at the base and it will be a major snow dump up on the mountain. You can get a lot of fog up on the mountain at Whistler.

Why is Lake Louise so special? ›

Lake Louise is world famous for its turquoise lakes, the Victoria Glacier, soaring mountain backdrop, palatial hotel, and incredible hiking and skiing. Surrounded by a lifetime's worth of jaw-dropping sights and adventures, Lake Louise is a rare place that must be experienced to be believed.

What is the longest ski run in Canada? ›

The Last Spike, Revelstoke, Canada

Located in the hidden gem that is Revelstoke, the last spike is one of the longest ski runs in the world with 15km of terrain.

What is Canada's largest ski area? ›

#1 Whistler-Blackcomb — 8,171 acres

There should be few surprises when it comes to the largest ski area in Canada.

What is the fanciest ski resort in the world? ›

1. Gstaad, Switzerland
  • The picturesque village of Gstaad in Switzerland has retained its fairy tale Alpine charm, despite it being as one of the world's most expensive ski resorts. ...
  • One of the best luxury ski resorts, Gstaad has some fabulous five-star ski hotels. ...
  • View our Gstaad ski holidays here.
17 Jan 2022

What is the snowiest ski resort in the world? ›

Mount Baker, Washington

Little known Mount Baker in Washington has an annual snowfall of roughly 16.8 metres, blowing everything in Europe out of the water. Furthermore, this is the snowiest resort in the world!

Who has the best snow on earth? ›

According to research by University of Utah atmospheric scientist Jim Steenburgh, the combination of climate conditions that brew over the Wasatch Mountain resorts in Salt Lake City's Cottonwood Canyons is the reason why many believe Utah snow is the best for deep-powder skiing and riding.

What is the hardest ski hill in Canada? ›

1. Saudan Couloir (Couloir Extreme), Blackcomb Mountain, BC. Dubbed the “2500 vertical feet of thigh burning hell” the Saudan Couloir other known as Couloir Extreme on Blackcomb mountain has been an iconic steep skiing run since racers first barreled down it in the 80's.

What is the oldest ski resort? ›

Tucked away high in the Alps of eastern France along the Aravis Mountain Range lies the ski resort of La Clusaz, the world's oldest operating ski resort.

What is the easiest mountain to ski? ›

9 top North America resorts to learn to ski
  • 1) Buttermilk. Buttermilk's designated beginner area features crowd-free, gentle slopes, a magic carpet and beginner lift. ...
  • 2) Aspen Snowmass. ...
  • 3) Heavenly, California. ...
  • 4) Steamboat Springs, Colorado. ...
  • 5) Beaver Creek, Colorado. ...
  • 9) Okemo, Vermont.
14 Nov 2020

Why is Moraine Lake so popular? ›

Its waters are the most amazing colour, a vivid shade of turquoise that changes in intensity through the summer as the glaciers melt. Set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks, Moraine Lake is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and rock piles, creating a scene so stunning it almost seems unreal.

Can you do lake Moraine and Lake Louise in one day? ›

Visit Getting around. Start your day at the Park and Ride, located at the Lake Louise Ski Area, and visit both Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in one day. The round-trip booking includes use of the “Lake Connector” shuttle between Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Is Lake Louise Worth It? ›

It's a stunning natural area with a plethora of things to do outdoors. Visitors can partake in the fantastic hiking trails, canoeing or kayaking the lake, alpine mountaineering, rock climbing, ski, ice climbing, ice skating, or scrambling. It's almost tough to find something you can't do around Lake Louise.

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
3 more rows

Is Banff worth skiing? ›

Banff is One of North America's Best Skiing Destinations. Here's How to Find the Perfect Resort For You. If Dr. Seuss were to draw a landscape of wild forests and jagged mountains, it would look like the area of Canadian Rockies surrounding Banff.

Which Banff ski resort is best for beginners? ›

Lake Louise, specifically, has a bit more beginner terrain than its sister resorts and is generally renowned as the best choice for beginners and families. However, the other two resorts—Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village—also have plenty of redeeming qualities making them a great option, too.

What is the prettiest town in Canada? ›

Nicknamed “the prettiest town in Canada,” Goderich charms visitors with its natural beauty and striking urban design. Set on the eastern shore of Lake Huron, in an area known as Ontario's West Coast, the town's location blesses its beaches with wonderful sunset views.

Where is the happiest place in Canada? ›

A neighbourhood in St. John's, Newfoundland.

What is Canada's #1 tourist spot? ›

1. Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls is Canada's most famous natural attraction, bringing in millions of visitors each year. Located just over an hour's drive from Toronto, along the American border, these massive falls drop approximately 57 meters.

Where is the largest ski resort? ›

Les 3 Vallees, France

The titanic 3 Vallees is the top dog, the world's biggest ski area with 600 kilometers of runs spread between the three main resorts of Courchevel, Meribel and Val Thorens.

Is big white bigger than Whistler? ›

Big White and Whistler actually have the same percentage of beginner runs: eighteen. However, Whistler is a much larger ski resort, which is why Big White is better for beginner skiers. Big White also has the largest amount of ski in/out accommodation in Canada.

How many ski resorts are in Alberta? ›

List and map of all 34 ski resorts in Alberta. In Alberta, you can look forward to 610 kilometres of slopes: the ski resorts are served by 133 ski lifts. Have lots of fun skiing in Alberta!

What are the big three ski resorts? ›

The Big 3 Ski Resorts are made up of Banff Mt Norquay, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise and feature more than 300 runs over 8,000 acres of varied terrain, suitable for all ability levels.
...
  • Lake Louise Mountain Resort. ...
  • Sunshine Village. ...
  • Mount Norquay.
27 Nov 2016

Where is the richest place to ski? ›

Top 9 Most Expensive Ski Towns in the World
  • #8. Davos, Switzerland.
  • #7. Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy.
  • #6. Zermatt, Switzerland.
  • #5. St. Moritz, Switzerland.
  • #4. Aspen, Colorado.
  • #3. Kitzbühel, Austria.
  • #2. Vail, Colorado.
  • #1. Gstaad, Switzerland.
10 Oct 2022

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.

What is the steepest ski hill in the world? ›

The Streif – Kitzbühel, Austria – Max Gradient 85%

Arguably the most famous ski run in the world, let alone the steepest ski runs in the world, the Streif is a truly extreme slope. Ski racers around the world each year head to Kitzbühel to compete in the Hahnenkamm ski weekend.

Where is the best skiing in Canada? ›

10 Best Ski Resorts in Canada
  • Banff. In the heart of the Canadian Rockies you will find the bustling town of Banff, which is connected to the scenic village of Lake Louise. ...
  • Panorama. Panorama is one of the best ski resorts in Canada for families. ...
  • Revelstoke. ...
  • Sun Peaks. ...
  • Tremblant. ...
  • Fernie. ...
  • Kicking Horse. ...
  • SilverStar.
1 May 2022

Which is better skiing 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.

What is the best time to ski in Banff? ›

February to April is considered the peak of ski season. Both January and February can have lots of snow, but bitterly cold temperatures. Into April the slopes can start to get a bit icy. March can be one of the best times to ski, with longer daylight hours, warmer temperatures and good snow conditions.

Videos

1. Ski Resort Review #4: Canyon
(Skier 72)
2. Lake Louise Ski Resort - Travel Alberta : Mountain Recon Ep. 3 | TransWorld SNOWboarding
(Snowboarder Magazine)
3. LAKE LOUISE Ski Resort Mountain Guide SkiBig3 Banff Alberta Canada | Snowboard Traveler
(snowboardtraveler)
4. 10 BEST SKI RESORTS IN CANADA
(Leonard Shea)
5. SKIING in BANFF NATIONAL PARK: Best Skiing in the World!
(Must Do Canada)
6. BANFF SUNSHINE Ski Resort: Top to Bottom 4K
(Adventures Out Here)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 01/11/2023

Views: 5462

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.