Top 5 Reasons to Visit Banff in the Winter

The turquoise blue waters of Banff’s Lake Louise draw millions of visitor every summer. They come in by the busload (literally) and take in the famous vistas, leaving long before the first snowflakes fly. Little do they know that they’re about to miss Banff at its best– with three ski resorts, world-class Nordic skiing, smaller crowds, and a touch of royalty, it’s a secret that won’t last long.

Mt Norquay Banff
Photo by Paul Zizka

5. Get a lift ticket for 90 cents
To celebrate Mt Norquay’s 90th anniversary the resort will offer lift tickets at the super discounted rate of 90 cents. (No, that’s not a typo!) On five pre-selected dates skiers and riders can purchase the special lift tickets with the option to also make a donation to a local charity. An easy five-minute drive from the town of Banff, there’s no doubt it will be the best 90 cents you’ve ever spent.


Photo by Crystal Sagan

4. Rock spandex like it’s 1988
Home to the 1988 Olympic Nordic Skiing competition, the Canmore Nordic Center is a must-see no matter how long it’s been since you donned spandex and skinny skis. Explore 70 kilometers of groomed trails on Nordic skis–there’s no shortage of stunning views–for a mere $15.


Photo by Paul Zizka

3. Escape to Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village sits in the peaceful high alpine far from the usual hustle-bustle of American resorts. Ride the 8-person gondola from the parking lot to the village where you’ll find everything you need for a well-deserved weekend getaway (except an excess of people, condos, and noise). Fine dining, an eco-friendly lodge, killer views, and some seriously adventurous terrain await.


Photo by Shannon Martin

2. Watch cowboys (try to) ski
Grab your Mountain Collective pass and head to Lake Louise, stat. The largest resort in the Canadian Rockies is bucket list worthy with everything from chutes and glades to open bowls and cowboys on skis. You won’t want to miss the annual Ski Louise Stampede, a Chinese Downhill made up of real cowboys– chaps and serious carnage guaranteed.


Photo by Crystal Sagan

1. Have a meal fit for a prince
You might expect to dine like royalty in some of Banff’s white linen type restaurants, but how about in the backcountry? A visit to Skoki Lodge (a full service backcountry hut outside Lake Louise accessed by foot, ski, or snowshoe) offers cuisine made fresh daily–with no running water, mind you–that is so good you’ll consider making the 6-mile trek twice. Prince William dined here on the royal honeymoon, so if its good enough for him, we hope you’ll oblige.

Related Stories


Arapahoe Basin’s New Aerial Adventure Park!

Story by Katherine Fuller, pictured above “Oh, good. I wanted to see how this was going to go.”

Ode to the Craftsmen

A silent skier squints into a rapidly intensifying storm, attempting to make out the remnants of a meandering skin track through the...

Escape the Heat in Estes Park

The crown jewel of the Colorado Rockies is the best place to find cool mountain adventure this summer. Here are a few...

IT’S BIG, REALLY BIG: Your Quick Guide to Sizing Up the Grand Mesa

Grand Mesa is the largest, flat-topped mountain in the world, spanning 541 square miles and rising between 5,000 and 11,000 feet of elevation. It...