Banff was born in 1928 with a single log cabin built by the Canadian Pacific Railway for horse trekkers travelling through. In 1934 the Brewster’s built the first lift on Sunshine and haven’t looked back since. Banff ski resort has a spectacular setting surrounded by stunning peaks. The town of Banff offers a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops. There is a frequent bus service which travels through the town to the slopes of Sunshine and Norquay. If you plan on staying longer than a few days a Tri-area pass is a good idea as this covers Lake Louise as well. There is a fairly wide variety of accommodation to choose from in Banff.
Banff Apres Ski
There are only a few bars on the mountain as most of the après ski will be found in Banff itself…and there is plenty!
Banff Ski Resort Bars
The Mad Trapper’s Saloon at the top of Sunshine gondola is a popular haunt at the end of the day for people before heading back to town. Back in Banff, Coyotes is always popular and the two main live music venues are the Rose & Crown and Wild Bill’s. The Beaver Bar can get quite noisy but, hey, the beer is cheap, Grapes Wine Bar offers fantastic wine or, if you just fancy a coffee, nip into Evelyn’s Coffee House.
Banff Ski Resort Restaurants
Try the Juniper Bistro which serves great meals and even better breakfasts. The Balkan Restaurant if you fancy some Greek cuisine. For burgers try The Eddie Burger Bar and there are plenty more offering great food.
Banff Resort Activities
Off the slopes there are plenty of walks to see the local wildlife, Helicopter rides, snowshoeing, dog sledding, fishing, skating and snowmobiling. There is also natural hot springs that you can visit.
Banff is just 15 minutes away from Sunshine Village which receives over 30 feet of snow throughout the year. There are over 3,300 acres of terrain here alone and, with your Tri-area pass, you can access Norquay and Lake Louise to play in 7,748 acres of piste! The regular shuttle buses will transport you easily between the different ski areas. This is covered by your Tri-area pass.
When staying in Banff most of your time will be spent at Sunshine Mountain. Beginners will find that there is a good area at the village of Sunshine and some lovely, green runs to progress onto. Norquay also has a good nursery slope area. Intermediates will just love the variety of terrain on offer as over half the runs on Sunshine are perfect for intermediates. Experts will enjoy the open runs above the treeline on Sunshine and there are even some double black diamond runs to test your nerve on. Take a guide and head into the backcountry along the back of the Wawa ridge where you will head through a river valley.
Snowboarders will always feel at home in Banff as there is some brilliant freeriding to have. For those looking for an adventure, pack the right kit and head to Delirium Dive, Silver City and Wild West for some heart stopping fun!
Banff ski for beginners
There is plenty of easy skiing in each of the three areas around Banff, but Lake Louise is especially recommended.
Banff ski for intermediates
Start with some fast cruising at Norquay then head to Lake Louise or Sunshine. Both offer a selection of long well groomed runs to test your skills.
Banff ski for advanced skiers
Try the North American chair at Norquay for steep mogul runs, at Sunshine, Lookout Mountain and Goats Eye are where you will find challenging runs. At Lake Louise head for the Back Bowls or the World downhill course.
All three areas are ideal for boarders and each has its own snowboard park. Expert tuition is also on hand to help you master this exciting sport.
Season Start / End: 9/11 – 15/5
Opening Times: 08:15 – 17:00 (check your lift)
Total Slope Length: 7748 acres
Easy Runs: 72
Intermediate Runs: 145
Difficult Runs: 144
MOUNTAIN STATION ALTITUDE: 2730m
VALLEY STATION ALTITUDE: 1476m
TOTAL SKI LIFTS: 28
CHAIR LIFTS: 18
DRAG LIFTS: 2
MAGIC CARPETS: 6