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# Destination Guides

A guide to Banff's ski areas in stats

Three diverse ski areas each offering something a little different. Here are the must-know stats. (5 min read)

Banff is a world-famous mountain town set in the heart of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rockies, home to the three distinct ski areas of Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.


A buzzing mountain base, Banff town is full of energy and charm, with busy shops, restaurants, après bars and a backdrop of frosted peaks. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there are a heap of outdoor adventures to be had in the surrounding national park, from hot springs and nature trails, to ice-climbing and dogsledding through the wilderness.


Here we take a closer look at the stats.


3 ski areas


Banff’s three ski areas – Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise – are collectively known as The Big Three.


Mount Norquay is the local gem and closest to Banff town (8km away), with tree-lined trails and the only night skiing in Banff. The highest, Sunshine Village is 16km from town, with terrain that crosses from Alberta to British Colombia. Lake Louise is 65km from Banff town – with its vast terrain and breathtaking views, the extra travel time is well worth it.


Regular shuttle services make it easy to get to the ski areas and, to do Banff justice, you should experience all three. On all Nonstop’s ski and snowboard courses in Banff, we have exclusive access to train you across all three resorts. This gives our coaches a huge variety of terrain to utilise and explore based on objectives and snow conditions.



Banff’s three ski areas can be accessed on one ‘tri-area’ pass with SkiBig3, part of the package on our Banff-based programs. This pass also gives you free travel to each ski area via Banff’s shuttle bus service. Travelling to the slopes is an adventure in itself, with moose, elk and bighorn sheep to spot en route.

 30ft of snowfall per year


Sunshine Village receives the most snow of Banff’s resorts with around 30ft (9 metres / 360 inches) of snowfall annually. Renowned for its supreme snow conditions, Sunshine’s light, dry powder benefits from long winters, consistently cold temperatures and low water density. Lake Louise receives an average of 15ft (4.5m), while Mount Norquay gets 10ft (3m).




Banff’s huge acreage of groomed and wild terrain is divided between the Big Three. Lake Louise is one of the biggest ski areas in North America with 4,200 acres spread across four mountain faces. Sunshine Village has 3,358 acres and three mountains that can deliver everything from tree runs to epic backcountry lines. The remaining 190 acres belong to Mount Norquay – an Olympic training ground with the only night skiing in Banff.

8,414ft of combined vertical


  • 3,250ft in Lake Louise: The upper mountain is mostly above the tree-line. From the top elevation (2,637m / 8,650ft), you can ski everything you see.
  • 3,514ft in Sunshine Village: With a top elevation of 5,440ft (2,730m), Sunshine Village has the biggest vertical of Banff’s Big Three.
  • 1,650ft in Mount Norquay: Banff’s smallest ski area has 503m of vertical, with a peak elevation of 2,455m (8,054ft). 


362 marked runs


  • 164 in Lake Louise: More than 100km (62 miles) of marked runs await in Banff’s biggest ski area. The longest run is 8km (5 miles) long, and the progressive terrain park adds to the appeal.
  • 137 in Sunshine Village: Expect around 82km (52 miles) of named pistes in Sunshine. As in Lake Louise, the longest of these is a continuous 8km (5 mile) trail.
  • 60 in Mount Norquay: You’ve got 16.4km (10.2 miles) of marked runs, plus night skiing and tubing until 9pm (Fridays and Saturdays) all within a ten-minute shuttle ride of Banff town. Norquay’s longest run is 1,167m (3,828ft).

Advanced terrain


  • 30% in Lake Louise: Get ready for the World Cup Downhill, big bumps and some of Banff’s best gladed runs. You’ve also got huge back bowls with open faces, powder chutes and gullies. Backcountry pros have serious steeps and rocky bowls to tackle.
  • 25% in Sunshine Village: Head to Goats Eye Mountain for groomed and ungroomed steeps. Delirium Dive (avalanche transceivers mandatory) has been named as one of the world’s top ten off-piste destinations, and Sunshine has some of Banff’s best powder – be sure to get there early for fresh tracks.
  • 44% in Mount Norquay: Big moguls characterise Norquay’s tougher terrain, which is classified by Banff as 28% advanced and 16% expert – not too shabby for doorstep skiing.


Intermediate terrain


  • 45% in Lake Louise: From winding blues to tree-lined groomers and fun blacks for progression, intermediates can explore the whole mountain. The front face and Larch area offer miles of thigh-burning cruisers.
  • 55% in Sunshine Village: A big choice of sweeping blues, along with ungroomed trails for transitioning to tougher terrain.
  • 36% in Mount Norquay: Expect some glorious groomers and smooth black runs for pushing yourself further. You’ve also got easier chutes and sidecountry to explore.


1st National Park in Canada


A vast expanse of mountains, ice fields and coniferous forest, Banff became Canada's first national park in 1885. Banff town and the Big Three ski areas sit within its heart. This Unesco-listed area offers a huge variety of natural attractions and activities beyond the slopes, such as ice-walking through the Johnston Canyon, backcountry tours past glistening glaciers, and twilight skating on Lake Louise.


Awards and accolades


  • #1 Ski Resort in Canada (Lake Louise) – 2017 World Ski Awards
  • Best View from the Best Off-Piste Run (Sunshine Village) –  Ski Canada Magazine
  • One of Canada’s best mountain towns – Outside Magazine


Getting here


  • Calgary International Airport – 1 hour 30 minute transfer


Nearby resorts


  • Nakiska (less than an hour)
  • Kicking Horse (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Panorama (2 hours 15 minutes)
  • Fernie (4 hours)



To find out more about skiing or snowboarding in Banff, get in touch with the Nonstop team or take a look at our courses in Banff.

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