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Ski Experience - Banff

Each one of the three resorts within Banff National Forest is packed full of amazing slopes and runs atop an average of 180 inches of heavenly, fluffy, deep, incredible Alberta powder. The Banff area is mostly isolated from the effects of the Chinook snow eater winds. If you've never experienced them before, they are really something to see—the areas south of Calgary might be covered with two feet of snow and then the Chinooks pick up and melt it all in six hours! It is not at all unusual to have breakfast when it's -22 degrees F. outside and then go to dinner in your shirtsleeves.

Ski & Ride Guide

The Norquay at Banff ski experience is perfectly set up for skiers and riders looking to progress their skills.  Their trails are rated 20% for beginners, 36% for intermediates, 28% for advanced and a lip-smacking 16% for experts. The resort’s five lifts take riders up to 28 trails spread over 190 acres, where one can snowboard their longest run of almost 4,000 feet atop 120 inches of powder. Area elevation ranges from 5,500 feet at the base to 8,040 feet up top with a vertical drop of 1,650 feet.

Every discipline level from the youngest child strapping on the skis for the first time, all the way to the champion-level expert looking for peak challenges to refine their skillset will love this ski area. That is what has long made the Banff area resorts some of the most popular and sought-after slopes in all of skidom.

Après Ski

Banff is a very vibrant tourist town and there are lots of restaurants as well as great après and a vibrant nightlife with plenty of bars and things to get into.  Soaking in the Banff Upper Hot Springs or any of the many springs is a must-do after a big day on the slopes. You can also top off your evening with good food, live entertainment and a nightly alpine light display from atop Sulphur Mountain. Ice skating on the natural lakes is idyllic in every sense. 

The shopping on the main streets is fantastic with hundreds of shops, boutiques, arcades, sporting goods stores and even some fine art galleries. It’s a good place to pick up souvenirs or any trinket that you may need to remember your stay.  The town is alive all year long with festivals, events, music and other activities in the valley. 

Banff is a magnificent dining town, where you will find a vast selection of any kind of meal you desire at any budget point you wish to spend.  Some of the favorites include Bumper's Steakhouse, Coyote's Southwestern Cuisine, Caramba Mediterranean Restaurant, Guido's Italian Specialties, Giorgio's Fresh Market Cuisine, Silver Dragon Cantonese and Peking Kitchen, Typhoon Eclectic Asian Restaurant, and Saltlik.  For quicker and less expensive family lunches, check out Coyote's Deli and Grill, Aardvark Pizza and Subs, and Evelyn's Coffee Bar.  Or, if you’d rather not leave Norquay, the huge Cascade Lodge downhill is a good place to eat, hangout and watch the sun set behind Mount Norquay.

Family-Friendly Activities

Norquay at Banff offers a progressive snowboarding and skiing experience geared towards families, which encourages younger children to have a good time learning how to ski the gentle slopes. While there are also more difficult runs to try, it provides an easier experience overall for people to enjoy. The snow tube park is a fun activity that the family can enjoy for hours.  It has huge sliding lanes and a magic carpet, and a small sliding and play area for little ones, and it’s open at night!  

Snowshoeing is an alternative way to experience Mt. Norquay and the resort provides snowshoes in all sizes, or ride up to the scenic outlook in the North American Chair and take in the legendary views at 8,000 ft. For a self-guided adventure, the National Park has GPS-guided driving tours of the National Park. Or, take the crew on a day trip to the largest mall in North America at West Edmonton, also the world’s second-largest water and indoor amusement park.