Located conveniently nearby Banff National Park, Canmore is one of Canada’s top skiing destinations.
The small mountain town of Canmore is no stranger to tourists looking for an excellent winter adventure at one of the many ski resorts surrounding the town. As far as the natural environment goes, Canmore is situated in the picturesque Bow Valley region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Part of the draw of staying in Canmore over a more remote location like Banff for your skiing trip is that you get to experience the livelihood of the town’s culture and people. Plus, Canmore is home to a variety of cafes, restaurants, bars, and breweries, making it a great home base for after a long day on the slopes.
In this article, we highlight four of the best ski resorts near Canmore. For each resort, we cover key details such as how to get to the resort from Canmore, the slope difficulty, equipment rentals, and pricing for lift tickets or season passes.
Keep reading to learn all about the best skiing locations near Canmore and where to stay during your trip.
Four Ski Hills Near Canmore
When it comes to skiing in Canmore, you have several exceptional options to choose from.
The stunning nature that surrounds Canmore can make any ski hill a truly extraordinary experience. No matter if you are an experienced skier or a beginner, there is a little something for everyone that can be found in and around Canmore.
Here are the four best skiing options near Canmore:
1. Norquay Ski Resort
Operating since 1926, Norquay Ski Resort is a cornerstone of the Alberta skiing community.
This resort prides itself on providing slopes for all skill levels, welcoming all skiers and snowboarders regardless of their experience. Plus, the resort offers classes for all different skill levels as well.
Let’s take a look at what Norquay has to offer:
- Distance to Canmore: From Canmore, traveling to Norquay Ski Resort takes just over 25 minutes. Traveling by either a rental car or a taxi service is generally considered the best way to reach Mt. Norquay from Canmore. However, you can also travel to Banff first and then take the ski resort’s shuttle service. Check out the shuttle service schedule for more information.
- Slope Difficulty: In general, Norquay Ski Resort’s slopes are designed with intermediate skiers in mind. The resort has 60 total runs spread out over 190 acres, with an hourly lift capacity of 7,000 people. In terms of difficulty, the resort has runs belonging to all four standard difficulty levels — easy, moderate, very difficult, and expert. This ski resort also features a terrain park for more advanced skiers and snowboarders. View an interactive map of all 60 runs here.
- Equipment Rentals: At Norquay Ski Resort, a full range of equipment rentals are available, including complete ski packages with all the equipment you need for a day on the slopes. You can also rent individual pieces of equipment if you have some of your own gear you want to use. This resort even offers gear designed for both beginners and experts, enabling you to rent the equipment package that best fits your skill level.
- Pricing: To access the slopes at Norquay, you will need either a lift ticket or a season pass. Lift tickets are available as full-day or half-day passes, as well as special night passes for night skiing on select Fridays and Saturdays. Season passes are more expensive upfront but worth the price if you plan on visiting the resort more than 10 times throughout the season. The price of your visit to Norquay Ski Resort can vary depending on whether or not you need to rent equipment, so make sure to include your rental costs in your total cost calculations.
2. Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village (also called Banff Sunshine) is a massive ski resort spanning more than 3,500 acres.
First established in 1928, Sunshine Village is now one of the biggest ski resorts in Alberta, with a diverse range of trails to suit skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
Here’s a breakdown of skiing at Sunshine Village:
- Distance to Canmore: Traveling to Sunshine Village from Canmore is approximately a 30-minute drive by car. If you travel to Banff first (roughly 15 to 20 minutes from Canmore), you can take the free Sunshine Village shuttle up to the resort and slopes. Alternatively, you can book a seat on the Sunshine Coach to travel directly from Canmore to Sunshine Village.
- Slope Difficulty: At Sunshine Village, there are three different mountains to choose from, each with its own unique ski trails — Goat’s Eye Mountain, Lookout Mountain, and Mount Standish. Mount Standish offers shorter and beginner-friendly trails, while Goat’s Eye and Lookout Mountains provide a wider range of difficulty. The resort’s most difficult trail can be accessed via the Goat’s Eye Express lift. Meanwhile, Lookout Mountain offers some of the longest and most scenic trails available at this resort.
- Equipment Rentals: If you need gear, you can stop by the Banff Sunshine Rental Shop to rent all the required equipment. The rental shop offers gear tailored to different skill levels, as well as rentals of miscellaneous equipment if you already have some of the gear you need. Additionally, this rental shop offers gear repairs and tuning to make sure all of your equipment is in the best shape possible for your skiing or snowboarding adventure.
- Pricing: To access the Sunshine Village Slopes, you can purchase either a lift ticket or a season pass. Lift tickets are available as full-day or afternoon-only passes, with the prices for a pass varying depending on your age. Seniors, teens, and children can all get discounted passes, while passes for children under five are free. As for season passes, Sunshine Village has some of the most expensive season passes of the resorts covered in this list, making these season passes best fit for visitors who plan on staying for the entire season.
3. Nakiska Ski Area
Nakiska Ski Area is just 56 km from Canmore and is owned and operated by Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR). The resort’s ski area is located within Kananaskis Country.
Let’s examine what makes this ski resort great:
- Distance to Canmore: As mentioned, Nakiska Ski Area is located 56 km (or roughly a 35-minute drive) from Canmore. If you are driving yourself to the ski area, you will need a Kananaskis Conservation Pass to park your vehicle. The ski resort does not currently offer a shuttle bus ride to the ski area, though you may rent a taxi to take you there if you do not want to purchase a conservation pass for parking.
- Slope Difficulty: In total, Nakiska Ski Area features 79 trails spread out over 1,021 acres. According to the resort, 59% of the trails are rated as intermediate, with 13% beginner trails and 28% advanced trails. The trails are ranked by the standard rating system of easy, moderate, more difficult, and expert. Additionally, Nakiska is home to the official Alpine Canada National Training Centre, where competitive skiers and snowboarders can train for their events.
- Equipment Rentals: At the Nakiska Ski Area rental shop, you can rent both ski and snowboard equipment. Both mid and high-performance gear is available to rent. In addition to gear rentals, Nakiska’s rental shop also offers snowshoe rentals (for the snowshoe trail found at this resort), as well as equipment repairs and tuning.
- Pricing: Visiting Nakiska Ski Area requires you to have either a lift ticket or a season pass. Lift tickets are easy to purchase and come in both single and multi-day options, making these lift tickets especially beneficial for visitors who plan on skiing for multiple days. Tickets can be easily purchased online and printed once you arrive at the resort. As for season passes, the resort offers four levels of passes, including a Super Pass that provides access to five RCR ski resorts.
4. Lake Louise Ski Resort
To finish off our list of the four best skiing locations near Canmore, we have the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Lake Louise Ski Resort is the largest resort on this list, offering trails spread out over an impressive 4,200 acres and four total mountains.
Here’s an overview of Lake Louise Ski Resort:
- Distance to Canmore: The journey to Lake Louise Ski Resort from Canmore is the lengthiest, taking around 55 minutes when traveling by car. Luckily, this resort offers free daily shuttles with multiple pickup locations in Banff (which is less than 20 minutes from Canmore). Shuttle times are spread throughout the day, with the last returning shuttle to Banff departing around 5:30 p.m.
- Slope Difficulty: At Lake Louise Ski Resort, a total of 164 runs are available for visitors to enjoy. These runs range in difficulty, with the four mountains divided into two main areas. The first area is made up of the West Bowl, Front Side, and Larch, while the second area features the Back Side and Back Bowls. The Back Bowls feature some of the most difficult and exciting terrain, while the other areas feature a wide range of trail difficulties. This resort also includes four different terrain parks for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
- Equipment Rentals: Lake Louise Ski Resort has all the gear and equipment you could possibly need for a great day on the slopes. Along with skiing and snowboarding equipment rentals, this resort also offers clothing rentals to ensure you stay warm and dry throughout your skiing adventure. Plus, you can ask the expert staff to match you up with the ideal gear for your experience level, with both mid and high-performance ski gear available.
- Pricing: Like the other resorts in this list, Lake Louise Ski Resort offers both lift tickets and season passes. The lift tickets include full-day, half-day, and after-2 p.m. tickets. Discounted rates are available for seniors, teens, and children, with free tickets for kids under the age of five. Lake Louise’s season passes are relatively more affordable compared to other resorts, with adult passes starting at $799. However, a season pass should only be considered if it is more cost effective than buying multiple daily passes.
How to Get to Canmore
Canmore is a town located in the Alberta province of Canada. Depending on the route, Canmore is roughly 100 km to 115 km from Calgary, Alberta’s largest city.
If you are traveling from a far-off province or an international location, the Calgary International Airport is your best option for flying to Alberta. From this airport, you can either rent a car or take public transportation to reach Canmore.
By car, Canmore is roughly a 90-minute drive from the airport. As far as public transportation goes, you can book a ride with the Airport Shuttle Express to get from Calgary to Canmore at an affordable rate.
There are also a variety of bus companies that travel between Calgary and Canmore daily, including the Banff Airporter (which offers rides to both Canmore and Banff) and Brewster Express (which offers routes from Calgary to Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis, and Lake Louise).
Where to Stay in Canmore
One of the perks of staying in Canmore is the wide range of resorts and rental properties.
To find a cozy place to stay, consider checking out the Canmore vacation rentals that we offer here at S&T Properties. These rentals include a variety of newly renovated resort condos with a host of exclusive amenities, such as hot tubs and indoor swimming pools.
Check out all of S&T Properties’ vacation rentals today on the company’s official Airbnb listings page.
Final Thoughts: Planning the Canmore Ski Trip of Your Dreams
Planning a ski trip to Canmore can be incredibly exciting, as you gear up to experience all of the natural wonders and beauty of this mountain town.
To get the most out of your trip to Canmore, we recommend purchasing day passes to more than one ski area. By doing so, you can experience more of Alberta’s stunning nature while also discovering the hidden gems that each resort has to offer.