Have you ever spent time looking at photos or videos of Canada and dreamed what it would be like to effortlessly glide through the deep, light powder? Have you been watching the exchange rate work ever more in your favor? If an international ski trip has been tickling your fancy, but you are wanting to stay a bit closer to home, well, there has never been a better time to go ski Canada! We’ve listed out some of our favorite tips to explore Canada this winter!
1. BANFF & LAKE LOUISE: More than just skiing and snowboarding
Banff is a lively resort town with a population of 9,000, steeped in cultural history. The picturesque town is located in Canada’s oldest, and first, National Park. The park covers an area of approximately 2,564 square miles and is part of the larger Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.
Canadian winters are iconic for skiing and snowboarding. However, this area is ripe with other exciting winter activities such as x-country skiing, dog-sledding and snowshoeing. (We know not everyone is salivating over the deep pow and steep lines of Canada). Cultural aficionados will get lost in the three local museums, eight contemporary art galleries and cultural performances at the Banff Centre, a globally renowned hub for arts, culture and education. With amazing skiing in Canada and an excess of cultural events to choose from, you’ll never have a shortage of things to do. However, when you have to force yourself to take some downtime, Banff has some jaw-dropping natural hot springs and creative hotel hot tubs worth checking out.
2. INSANELY FAVORABLE EXCHANGE RATES
With lift ticket prices reaching unprecedented heights, financial considerations continue to take center stage when planning any vacation, especially a ski vacation. While you may be contemplating Japan, or Austria, Canada is waving a solidarity flag your way. Exchange rates are very favorable for the US dollar. On top of that, Canada has an obscene amount of terrain to explore that is fun for all ages and riding abilities. You can use those savings from the exchange rate to treat yourself to a fancy dinner or maybe a heli-skiing trip is in the mix for you now? Can’t decide what adventure to splurge on? Our Mountain Travel Experts can help you plan a trip that resonates the most with your dreams.
3. SKIING IN BANFF & LAKE LOUISE – A Multiple Resort Destination
Skiing or riding in Canada is where your snow dreams become reality. Banff is in the heart of ski country and is incredibly easy to get to from the airport in Calgary. The only problem you’ll face is choosing which resort to ski or ride at each day.
BANFF SUNSHINE – “Story Book Scenery”
Banff Sunshine Resort is a skiers paradise like no other. Hence the whimsical adjectives used to describe its “storybook scenery.” Every lift offers sweeping views of mountains that have made Canada world-famous. Sunshine Resort was voted best off-piste terrain of any resort by Ski Canada. This area is a haven for intermediate to advanced riders who love to venture off the beaten path. As well as having some of the best rideable terrain, Sunshine also boasts a five-mile run, seven months of skiing (the longest season in the area that isn’t on a glacier), and receives abundant snowfall. And when we say abundant, we are talking up to 30 feet of snow in a season. To top off the list of braggable points, the resort is set to open November 10 (dependent on conditions).
LAKE LOUISE RESORT – “Postcard Adventures”
Lake Louise Resort is not just another beautiful destination – it is a winter wonderland that offers a little something for everyone as it is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. One of the biggest draws for travelers and locals alike is the accessibility for all levels of skiers and riders making it an ideal choice for families and friends to explore together. The mountain caters to beginners with gentle, wide open runs that give way to side passages of glades and steep chutes for the more advanced riders. To top it off, they have a free-style park for your kids to show off or to test your own skills if you are feeling feisty. Lake Louise Ski Resort offers a unique blend of natural beauty and adrenaline pumping adventure that transforms your trip into a postcard worthy ski vacation. And it’s also set to open November 10.
NORQUAY SKI RESORT – “Enchanted Forest”
With an opening date as early as November 3, this Canadian ski resort is ready to welcome you with open arms. Norquay is known for its accessibility and classic appeal. This ski resort has remained a beloved destination and local favorite since 1926. Norquay prides itself on being a mountain for everyone, with serene views, gentle terrain and winding trails. It is colloquially known as the “enchanted forest.” Along with its fairy-tale-like trails to explore, this Canadian ski resort offers night skiing. As the sun sets, the floodlights come on and allow you to catch glimpses of the stars as you race down the mountain in the brisk night air.
4. ONE TICKET – THREE RESORTS
If reading about the Canadian ski resort has you hyped, learning that one SkiBig3 ticket will get you into multiple resorts will make you jump for joy. If you’re an Ikon pass holder, then you don’t even need to think about a ticket. Your Ikon pass gets you into all SkiBig3 resorts in the Banff & Lake Louise area. For non-Ikon pass holders, the Big3 resort ticket allows you to keep your eye on conditions and easily chase powder throughout your trip.
5. EASY DESTINATION TRAVEL
With multiple direct flights from the USA to Calgary, getting to Banff and Lake Louise is incredibly easy. From Calgary airport, Banff National park is just 90 minutes away and avoids the busy city straights of Calgary. You wont need to worry about challenging mountain passes or congestion. Instead, you’ll coast along the TransCanada Highway (HW1) that leads directly from Calgary to the town of Banff.�� If you’re not up to renting a car, there are shuttle options to get from the Calgary airport to the town of Banff. And if you bought a SkiBig3 lift ticket? You’ll have free access to the shuttle that goes between the resorts, back to the town of Banff. They have multiple pick up points around town, so no stress on lugging your gear very far. It’s a win, win, win situation!
6. QUINNESSENTIAL MOUNTAIN TOWN VIBES
Banff and Lake Louise are enchanting destinations with a mountain town vibe that feels like it was plucked directly from the happiest holiday movie. Banff, situated at the heart of the Canadian Rockies, exudes ski-town charm and will steal your heart. The whole town is walkable with a cornucopia of dining options to satisfy even the pickiest eater.
For a quiet escape, Lake Louise is only a scenic 40-minute drive west of Banff. The small town of Lake Louise offers cozy restaurants and romantic accommodations that will make your vacation memorable. A free bus shuttle conveniently connects the ski resorts with the two towns, making getting around simple. Have that second drink at après, you won’t have a worry in the world.
BOOK YOUR TRIP NOW
Banff’s lovely ski-town charm and fun après options, coupled with Lake Louise’s serenity, and the favorable exchange rate to top it off, make the time ripe to plan a trip to ski Canada. Whether you’re seeking adventure, culinary delights, deep powder, or a quiet connection with nature, the Mountain Travel Experts at Ski.com can help you plan your dream vacation to some of the best resorts in Canada. Connect with an expert today and get a free quote and trip planning expertise and give yourself something to look forward to.
EXTRA, EXTRA – Take a bonus trip to Jasper National Park
Even though you could book a ski trip to Canada and never leave Banff and Lake Louise, options are never a bad thing. A short, BEAUTIFUL drive away from Banff National Park is the town Jasper, right in the heart of Jasper National Park. How many other places can you travel that happen to be towns in the heart of national parks?! Not many.
Jasper is a three hour drive from Lake Louise and offers a seamless transition between two jaw-dropping national treasures. As you drive along the picturesque route, keep your eyes out for some Canadian wildlife. Elk, moose, bears, bison and more all call this area home, and offer a fun surprise to your ski vacation. Jasper is a great place to escape the crowds and revel in the tranquility of nature. And to top it all off, Jasper gets tons of snow fall and Marmot Basin offers 3000 feet of vertical with 1,720 acres of new terrain to explore on skis or snowboard!