Lake Louise Ski Resort#4 in Best Things To Do in Banff
The Lake Louise Ski Area is one of Banff's most popular ski locales and one of the largest ski areas in North America. It encompasses three mountains, 145 runs – including a 3,250-foot vertical rise – 10 lifts and a terrain park, not to mention several lodges touting top-notch eateries. Plus, Lake Louise boasts one of the longest ski seasons in North America: The first chair runs in early November and doesn't stop until mid-May. Though Lake Louise is a skier's paradise, it also provides other activities, such as snowshoeing and tubing. And when the weather warms up, the resort offers guided hikes, a wildlife interpretative center and a sightseeing gondola.
According to recent visitors, this resort is home to some of the best skiing in the Rocky Mountains. Reviewers were quick to praise the knowledgeable staff and manicured trails. Visitors also applauded the variety of après-ski venues; travelers especially loved the eateries in the Temple Lodge.
Sitting approximately 35 miles northwest of Banff Town, the Lake Louise Ski Area is open daily for skiing, snowboarding and tubing from late November until the beginning of May. The lift operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Summer services generally start the second week of May; lift hours vary by month. Lift ticket prices fluctuate from season to season. Full-day tickets cost CA$104 (about $83) for adults ages 18 to 64, CA$79 for youths between 13 and 17, and CA$39 (about $31) for kids between the 6 and 12. If you purchased a SkiBig3 Season Pass, you'll enjoy unlimited skiing and riding at Sunshine Village, as well as Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mount Norquay. Summer lift tickets cost CA$35.95 (about $28) for adults and CA$16.95 (around $13.50) for children. If you're coming from Banff, you can drive or hop on a free bus that will drop you off at the resort and take you back into town. For more information, visit the resort's website.
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#1 Sunshine Village
Located miles 11 miles west of Banff Town, 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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