Banff and Lake Louise Ski Holidays
Ski the Big 3 resorts on one pass!
The two towns of Banff and Lake Louise in the Rockies are only half an hour apart. Between them, you'll find three stunning resorts which are all easily accessible from the same lift pass. Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay make up the SkiBig3! Ski all day and spend the night in scenic Lake Louise or lively Banff.
How to Book
Flights, hotels & equipment
Speak with our experts
Thinking of skiing in Canada? You couldn't have made a better choice. The terrain is epic, the views are stunning and the people are wonderful. If you'd like to book, you can give our friendly team a call or send us a message through the website. You'll get to speak to someone who's been there and done it themselves. Just chat with us about the holiday you're looking for and we can advise on flights, where to stay, ski passes and equipment hire. Plus we can give tips on extra-curricular activities like spas and dog sledding!
Discover the Area
Get to know the SkiBig3 resorts
Banff Sunshine Village
Just a 15-minute drive from Banff can make you feel miles away from urban life. Located 7,200 feet high on the Continental Divide, the three mountains of Banff Sunshine offer vast terrain and 360° views of the spectacular Canadian Rockies. The ski season here is the longest non-glacial season in Canada, stretching from November through to late May, with nine metres of snow on average annually! Fly into Calgary International Airport and Banff is only a 90-minute drive away.
Lake Louise Ski Resort
Lake Louise Ski Resort is vast and varied; pristine and inspirational. Located in the heart of the Rockies just half an hour from Banff, the resort has 4,200 acres of skiable terrain. The unique layout offers beginner, intermediate and expert runs from every chair. Regarded as one of the top ski resorts near Banff, it's perfect for families and mixed ability groups. There are endless chutes, glades, gentle slopes, cruising runs and remote bowls to choose from.
Established almost a century ago, Mt. Norquay is the original Banff ski resort. Located 4 miles from Banff, it's easy to get to if you're staying in town. With an elevation of 8,040 feet, the views from the top are superb. There are five chairlifts (one a high-speed quad) and an average snowfall of 3 metres. The skiable terrain boasts 60 runs spread over 190 acres.
Where to Stay
Choose your village
Hotels in Banff
Banff is considered the gateway to the spectacular namesake national park, which protects more than 6,000 square kilometres of wilderness. The town of Banff is just a 90-minute drive from Calgary and represents the epicentre of vibrant mountain life. You should stay here if you love lively destinations and being in the heart of the action. During your Banff ski holiday you can enjoy over 130 bars, restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and exciting nightlife (if you fancy it!)
Stay in Lake Louise
Lake Louise is one of the most photographed destinations in the Rockies - and for good reason. The frozen lake beneath the mighty Victoria Glacier is iconic. The town is 40 minutes' drive west of Banff and represents a more peaceful, picturesque setting away from the hustle and bustle. There are plenty of amenities and places to unwind, as well as signature experiences like a horse-drawn sleigh ride across the lake.
Get to know Canmore
A third, less common choice of place to stay is Canmore. This town neighbours Banff just outside the national park gates, roughly a 20-minute drive away. Canmore has a homey, down-to-earth vibe and boasts the stunning scenery we know and love from the Rockies. If you stay here, you won't be able to use the SkiBig3 shuttle so we'd recommend having your own transport to get to the slopes. However, you'll be rewarded with more availability and a quieter setting.
Lift passes, lessons & gear
Your lift pass is a holiday essential - you can't access the slopes without it! Buy in advance to save money on in-resort fees and save hassle once you arrive in Banff or Lake Louise. One SkiBig3 lift pass gets you access to all the resorts in Banff and Lake Louise or you can buy separate passes if you'd like to focus on one resort. You can easily book lift passes for your whole group over the phone with our advisors - just let us know how many days you'd like to ski (or snowboard) for and we'll help you.
All three ski resorts near Banff boast excellent ski schools but they're not just for beginners! A wide range of skill levels could benefit from booking a day or two of ski lessons. The lessons help you to orientate yourself around the ski area of the combined mountains. The instructors will explain the runs and ski areas to you as well as take you to hidden parts of the mountain. With an instructor you also enjoy priority lift boarding .
Save time and hassle by hiring ski and snowboard equipment ahead of time. When you hire with us, we'll make sure your vouchers and equipment are ready and waiting for you when you arrive in the resort. You can choose from three different equipment levels to suit beginners through to experts, from good quality and reliable through to the highest spec and latest season. You can hire skis, poles or snowboards with us or choose a package including your boots.
Top 5 winter activities
Snowmobiling has to be the most exhilarating way to explore the snow-covered Rocky Mountains during your Lake Louise or Banff ski holiday. Enjoy a transfer from Banff or Lake Louise through spectacular scenery to the famous Kicking Horse Canyon. A guided tour takes you into the most remote wilderness areas and your experience includes a hot lunch. You can book your full day excursion with us - just give us a call and our experts will be happy to help.
Johnston Canyon ice walks
Join a guided tour to one of the most spectacular natural features in the Rockies. Your guide will reveal the mysteries of the canyon's creation before you strap on your ice cleats and start exploring. Hike along steel walkways built into the canyon walls and marvel at the breath-taking views of the gorge. The catwalks lead you into the frozen lower waterfalls and through a cave before your final stop at the upper falls. Call us to book.
Lake Louise scenic snowshoe tour
This unique snowshoe tour of the Lake Louise Ski Area offers the perfect introduction to the activity. It takes you to the top of the mountain to experience views that are usually only accessible to skiers and snowboarders. Certified guides show you how to use the snowshoes in a safe environment and share stories of the wildlife, landscape and people of Lake Louise. Call us to book.
Snowshoe to Marble Canyon
The Marble Canyon is a great introduction to snowshoeing that provides insight into the fur trade and its impact on Western Canada. Along the way, discover stories of Banff's indigenous people, explorers and fur traders who lived and travelled through the Rockies. The snowshoe trail is easy to manage and is a cultural treasure within the National Park. Look out for snowshoe hare, moose and wolf tracks along the way and enjoy some hot maple taffy at the end!
Discover Banff's wildlife tour
This three-hour tour shows you Banff's landmarks and lets you view the region's remarkable wildlife in their natural habitat. You'll learn about each animal's behaviour, habitat and winter survival, from elks to wolves. Plus, your guide will tell you how the history of the Bow Valley changed when three railway workers rediscovered a hidden treasure. The tour includes transfers, hot chocolate and a light snack, as well as admission to Cave and Basin Historic Site. Call us to book.
Know before you go
Opening and closing dates
The Banff and Lake Louise resorts all have long seasons. Banff Sunshine has the longest non-glacial season in Canada, stretching from November through to late May. Check out this season's opening dates to give you an idea:
Banff Sunshine - 9 November, 2018 to 20 May, 2019
Lake Louise - 9 November, 2018 to 5 May, 2019
Mt. Norquay - 9 November, 2018 to 22 April, 2019
Skiing a National Park
The SkiBig3 resorts sit in Banff National Park, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. As such, you can expect incredible scenery and wildlife as a bonus on your ski holiday in Banff. Don't forget that this means you'll need to buy a pass from Parks Canada to enter the National Park. While wildlife spottings aren't guaranteed, they are commonplace. You're likely to see elk even in the townsite of Banff!
The snow in Banff is constantly dubbed the "lightest and driest". With a long winter season, low water density in the snow and dry conditions really do make for perfect powder, with fresh powder throughout the season. Check out the annual average snowfalls you can enjoy on your Banff ski holiday for each resort:
Banff Sunshine - 8m
Lake Louise - 3.6m
Mt. Norquay - 3m
22 to 25 Nov - Banff Christmas Market
See the town lit up like a Christmas tree with festive stalls and plenty of cheer in the vibrant centre.
30 Nov to 8 Dec - Lake Louise Ski World Cup
The Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup is a major annual event with Downhill and Super-G events taking place.
17 to 27 Jan - Ice Magic Festival
Set in the spectacular surroundings of Lake Louise, see incredible ice-carvings on the lake, including a palace!
SkiBig3 terrain maps
Get to know Mt. Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village's impressive runs before you go on your ski holiday near Banff
See the resorts for yourself
Your Banff Lake Louise Ski Holiday
Situated in the stunning Canadian Rockies, Banff has to be one of the most picturesque towns in all of Canada. It is as charming as it is beautiful, and not surprisingly, it is a very popular destination for ski holidays in Canada! Banff is one of Canada's most visited towns all year round, offering incredible snow in the winter for a perfect ski and snowboard holiday, with easy access to the SkiBig3 resorts - Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort. The town of Lake Louise boasts the famous namesake lake and the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. It's a relaxed and scenic place to stay for your ski holiday and has the same easy access to the three resorts.
With such great access to the SkiBig3 resorts - all of which you can enjoy on just one lift ticket - Banff and Lake Louise really are dream destinations for ski holidays in Canada. Mount Norquay is a friendly resort that is revered by tourists and locals alike, with runs for all levels from beginners to advanced skiers. Sunshine Village is a resort high in the Rocky Mountains with panoramic views of the majestic mountains, yet is only 15 minutes from Banff. Lake Louise is Canada's biggest ski resort with runs to suit any skier; perfect for families or groups to enjoy together. If you're planning a ski holiday in Banff Lake Louise, speak to our knowledgeable experts for everything from flights to ski hire.
Top tips for skiing Banff Lake Louise
From where to eat to the best après, find our top tips for your Banff ski holiday
There are dozens to choose from! Mt. Norquay boasts The Cliffhouse Bistro for fine dining at the top of the North American Chair. At Lake Louise, the Whitehorn Bistro offers cheese fondue mid-mountain. At Sunshine, the Daylodge at the top of the gondola has three casual eateries. Image by Noel Hendrickson.
Banff Hot Springs
A trip wouldn't be complete without a dip in the world-famous hot springs. Rejuvenate and recharge!
Soar to the summit
Enjoy a panoramic gondola ride to the summit of Banff's Sulphur Mountain or ride the Lake Louise gondola for views of Mt Temple.
You can't visit Banff National Park and not sightsee! Make time for the Valley of the Ten Peaks at least.
The best après
Try Mt. Norquay's Lone Pine Pub, Lake Louise's Powderkeg Lounge or Sunshine Village's Mad Trapper's Saloon.
The best ski runs
There are so many to choose from! The Dell Valley run at Sunshine Village is a great green run for those new to shredding powder. Mt. Norquay's 90 Glades is an exciting option for intermediate skiers and riders. For experts, hit up Lake Louise's E Gulley from the top of Summit Platter for exhilarating powder chutes and epic terrain. Image by Reuben Krabbe.