As the daylight starts to get shorter and the weather turn crisp, we know it is officially time to say farewell to the fall season. Many of us don’t enjoy shoveling cars out of the snow and bundling up in thick coats, gloves, and scarves, but the start of winter isn’t all bad. After all, the start of winter marks the beginning of a new ski season!
Alberta is home to some of the best ski hills in Canada. Whether you are an experienced skier or you’re looking to hit the slopes for the first time, there are many great ski resorts to visit across Alberta.
1) Sunshine Village
Just a 15-minute drive from Banff, Sunshine Village feels like an incredible escape to a magical place full of majestic mountains and chair lifts. With over 3,300 acres of terrain, skiers and snowboarders can find trails fit for all skill levels. For skiers that like an adventure on the slopes, Sunshine Village’s Delirium Drive is one of the top ten off-piste destinations in the world. Sunshine Village also features the most modern chairlifts in the country, including the nation’s only heated chairlift. Sunshine Village has become a popular choice for skiers from around the world. Due to its proximity to Banff, there are numerous opportunities for relaxation and entertainment post-ski.
2) Lake Louise
Featuring 139 runs the Lake Louise Ski Resort is a great choice for families and large groups as it offers something for skiers of all levels. Located five minutes from the town of Lake Louise, skiers can prepare to take in the beautiful setting, and enjoy activities on and off the slopes. Lessons and rentals are available. Those who are new to skiing can try out their skills on the hills, without investing in ski equipment. This resort is a popular choice for those visiting Lake Louise and looking to enjoy some adventures in addition to local sightseeing.
3) Mount Norquay
If you enjoy skiing under the stars, Mt. Norquay is the place to be. Like Sunshine Village, Mt. Norquay is located just outside of Banff. This hill is not as large and busy as many of the hills in the Banff area, and this works to its advantage. Mt. Norquay is best suited for beginners and intermediates looking to try out their skills on uncrowded hills. Lift lines are typically shorter at this hill, so you can get more rounds in a day. There are not any accommodations available at Mt. Norquay, but Banff is just a ten-minute drive away.
4) Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain is located within the Banff National Park. While ski hills can sometimes become trendy destinations where skiers dress to impress and unwind at luxury spas, Castle Mountain feels like a breath of fresh air with its strictly skiing atmosphere. This hill has an old school no frills feel and a lot of great trails for advanced skiers. Not to mention, this hill receives a great amount of snow each year.
Originally built for the 1988 Olympics in Calgary, Nakiska is a great ski hill for Calgarians. This hill does not boast the prestige or the size of Banff’s hills. However, it is a short drive from Calgary and offers affordable rates. The 413 hectares of land is best suited for intermediate skiers, but there are a few great options for beginners and experts. If you are planning a visit to Calgary or looking for a quick ski getaway this is the ideal ski spot for you.
Article by Mackenzie Shand.