Mount Norquay#5 in Best Things To Do in Banff
Although it is the smallest of Banff's three ski areas, Mount Norquay is also the closest – it's about 5 miles northwest of Banff Town. Beyond its convenient location, the resort is also considered the area's best skiing locale for families because it offers daycare for children and ski and snowboard instruction for ages 3 and older. Mount Norquay is also home to the "North American," one of the steepest slopes on the continent; the ride to the summit offers a spectacular aerial view of Banff Town. You can get your adrenaline pumping with some of Mount Norquay's night skiing (available select days from December through March), or you can head off on one of the area's trails for a cross-country hike. Complete an adventure-filled day with a hearty meal at the Cascade Lodge.
Though recent visitors agreed that Lake Louise and Sunshine Village offer more terrain, reviewers loved the convenience of Mount Norquay's location. They also described the views as "out of this world."
The slopes generally open at 9 a.m. and close around 4 p.m. Day passes cost CA$74 (about $60) for adults, CA$56 (approximately $43) for teens between the ages of 13 and 17 and CA$29 (about $22) for kids between 6 and 12. Children younger than 5 can enter for free with the purchase of an adult ticket. If you purchased a SkiBig3 Season Pass, you'll enjoy unlimited skiing and riding at Banff Sunshine Village, as well as the Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay. As with the other two ski resorts in Banff, there is a free shuttle bus that provides round-trip transportation from Banff Town to the mountain. Meanwhile, lift tickets in the summer cost CA$35 (around $28) for adults and CA$24 (or around $19) for kids ages 6 to 15. For more information on ski conditions, pass prices and the various activities available, visit Mount Norquay's website.
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#1 Banff Sunshine Village
Located miles 11 miles west of Banff Town, Banff Sunshine Village offers 12 lifts, more than 3,300 skiable acres and a peak elevation of 7,200 feet. And thanks to its location straddling the Continental Divide, Sunshine sees more snow than its neighbors, meaning the ski season here is long – typically from early November to late May. The powdery terrain beckons skiers of all levels (another point of praise from recent travelers), and the Sunshine Mountain Lodge offers a great setting for dinner and drinks after a day on the slopes.
If you're not in Banff for ski season, you should still make a point to visit Sunshine, according to reviewers. From mid-June to early autumn, the Sunshine Meadows are open for hiking and provide visitors spectacular alpine views of the surrounding peaks, including Mount Assiniboine. Hiking is free and so is the shuttle from town, which runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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