Banff’s landscapes are some of the most spectacular in North America. One of the reasons for wanting to ski in Banff was to be able to see the Canadian Rockies from a more extraordinary vantage point.
The ski area is made up of three ski areas: Mont Norquay, Sunshine and Lake Louise.
Banff’s setting is one of the most spectacular sites in Canada. Declared a Natural World Heritage Site, it is a clear example of nature in its purest form.
- Banff ski resort
- Sustainable development of the Banff ski resort
- Unforgettable experiences in Banff
- Banff mountain resort in summer
- Hotels in Banff
- Skiing in Banff : the resort’s main strengths
Banff ski resort
Banff Sunshine sits high in the heart of Banff National Park just 15 minutes’ drive from the town of Banff. Three sprawling mountains provide breathtaking site lines, uninterrupted by any signs of civilization beyond the resort boundaries.
Sunshine’s seven-month season stretches from early November until late May – the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada.
This ski resort can receive up to nine metres (30 feet) of snow in a season. With a base-area altitude of 7,200 feet the snow stays light, dry and incredibly skiable.
The world-renowned resort features more than 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, ranging from gentle beginner runs all the way up to extreme big mountain runs. Sunshine’s very own Delirium Dive has been named one of the 10 top off-piste destinations in the world.
Getting to Banff is easier than you might think! Arrive at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) and transfer by convenient Airport Shuttle or rental car, directly to the town of Banff or the village of Lake Louise.
How did Banff get its name?
The name “Banff” oroginated during the construction of the CP railway. In 1884, the president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, George Stephen, declared the area after his hometown of Banff, Scotland. Banff’s famous castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs, was built in the late 1880’s. The hotel was to be the flagship property of Canada’s great hotels.
The majesty of the mountains, the grandeur of the Springs, and wild of Canada drew travellers to the area from across North America and the world and continues to do so today.
Sustainable development of the Banff ski resort
The town of approximately 8,000 inhabitants is aiming to reduce its environmental footprint through the use of solar panels, hybrid and electric powered vehicles, food waste initiatives, wildlife awareness, environmental rebates and more, in an effort to meet ambitious environmental targets.
The town has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by the year 2030, and by 80% by 2050.
As a matter of fact, the town recently installed additional composting and recycling bins near businesses to promote better practices. Energy in the city is also 25 per cent renewable, a number that is increasing every year.
Unforgettable experiences in Banff
Banff sighting with the gondola and chairlift
Take in a 360-degree winter panorama of the Canadian Rockies as you ride an eight-passenger gondola and admire the jaw-dropping views of Banff National Park.
The Banff Sunshine Gondola will take you 4.6 km from the base to the resort village. Once in the village, continue up the mountain and ride the Standish chairlift to the top of Standish Mountain. Discover your surroundings from the most prominent lookout point in the Banff and Lake Louise area.
Try out Canada’s only heated lift
TeePee Town LX is Canada’s first and only heated chairlift. Along with the heated seats, Teepee Town shields riders from the wind with an orange blanket and provides foot rests for legs.
The orange bubble idea originated in Europe and is the hallmark of a chairlift with heated seats. You cannot miss the ride for this lift, especially if you care about being warm and cosy before your descent!
Banff mountain resort in summer
Get a guided hike to a World Heritage Site
From the Standish Mountain summit, hike to the Standish Viewing Deck for views of the Sunshine Meadows and Alpine Lake, as you learn more about the neighbouring mountains, wildlife and history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On the way back to the village, your trail guide will take you on a walk along the Rock Isle Road, stopping at Rock Isle Lake.
Visit the Interpretive Centre at the Banff Sunshine Meadows
No matter if you’re hiking or enjoying the sights of Banff Sunshine Meadows during the summer, a visit to the Interpretive Centre is a must. Ideally located in the Sunshine Centennial Lodge at the top of the gondola, the Summer Interpretive Center is a place where you can explore and learn about the beautiful Canadian Rockies and Banff Sunshine Village.
The Summer Interpretive Centre at Sunshine Meadows is open daily from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and is the best place to kick off or wrap up your day of adventure at Banff Sunshine Village. At the interpretation center, you’ll find an incredible array of species, from wildlife to wildflowers, that make their home in the Canadian Rockies.
Hotels in Banff
West Wing Lofts
The remote-controlled shutter is pressed for a sweeping view of Lookout Mountain through 27 feet of glass. On the interior, each room has in-floor heating, a natural gas fireplace, a flat screen TV, top-of-the-line amenities and two queen-size beds.
This loft is suitable for families who want to have a good time in the mountains, as it is spacious, it is well lit and it at the foot-slopes of the nearby Banff ski resort in winter, and at a short distance to many summer activities for the warmer months.
Fairmont Banff Springs ****
The Fairmont Banff Springs boasts all the conveniences of a world-class resort, featuring 757 guest rooms and suites, stunningly appointed Banff accommodations and attentive, personalized service.
Situated a few hundread metres from the ski domains, these accomodations feature cosy guest rooms nestled in quiet corners of the castle to spacious suites with breathtaking views of the Alberta mountains.
Moreover, the Fairmont Banff Springs has the ideal Fairmont Gold room, suite or accommodation for your Rocky Mountain getaway in this majestic castle.
Hidden Ridge Resort ***
Reserved for those who want to live in a quiet environment, Hidden Ridge Resort is uniquely located away from the city center with sweeping views of the city.
This condo-style property is known for its full kitchens, large units and wood fireplaces. With Hidden Ridge Resort, you can be on a leisurely holiday yet still have the comforts of your own home.
Become a true Canadian and light up the barbecue year round, pick up the local newspaper in the hall to keep up with the news, or enjoy s’mores in the warmth of your wood burning fireplace in your condo.
The hidden Ridge Resort features all the necessary amenities for an unforgettable stay surrounded by the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Skiing in Banff : the resort’s main strengths
✅ Sits high in the heart of Banff National Park and also declared a Natural World Heritage Site.
✅ features a seven-month season that stretches from early November until late May.
✅ Located just 90 minutes away from Calgary by car and 4 hours away from Edmonton.
✅ Home to 264km of linked ski slopes divided in 3 ski domains.