Winter & Ski

Banff’s Still Got It: Skiing & Snowboarding

When our famous “champagne powder” starts to fall, the ski and snowboard scene comes alive in Banff National Park like no other place in the country. With a total of 7,700 acres of skiable terrain between Banff’s Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort, and runs that range from easy slopes for beginners to big mountain bowls, there is truly something for everyone. Just outside of the park, you can add major loft to your experience with world-class heli-skiing and snowboarding.

Bring this story to life:

  • Find out more about each ski area, ski rentals and heli-skiing on
  • Learn more about the beginnings of skiing in the Rockies, a rich heritage that is full of fascinating stories and characters.
  • Find out what Clifford White did to advance the skiing industry in the Rockies.
  • Enjoy a premier alpine ski event at Lake Louise Ski Resort with WinterStart.
  • Challenge yourself to explore the ski areas in a unique way like Mark Zanetti did in March 2012, when he skied ski every lift at each ski area in one day.

Après Ski to Suit Your Style

Banff’s vibrant après-ski scene offers a variety of experiences that will help anyone unwind after a long day skiing or snowboarding at the hill or touring in the backcountry. Visitors and locals alike can choose from regionally inspired appetizers at a hotel lounge, a pint of locally made beer at the pub or a Swiss fondue next to a crackling fire. Banff is a ski town to the core – all it takes is walking the street to find an après-ski experience that’ll fit you like a custom boot.

Bring this story to life:

  • Have us arrange an après-ski dine around to give you a sampling of some of the best options in Banff National Park.
  • Join a local ski guide on his or her après-ski ritual.
  • Prepare an après-ski guide based on a visitor’s preferred style, from cozy to chic, romantic or festive.
  • Check out our Night Life member listings for additional ideas. 
  • Check out our Events Calendar for additional Après Ski activities


Winter’s Gift: Cross-Country Skiing

Each year, the high elevations of Banff and Lake Louise make it an early contender for winter's gift of fresh snow. As the terrain is smoothed under the falling snow, perfect conditions are created for one of Banff National Park's best kept secrets: premier cross-country-skiing in a beautiful mountain landscape. Whether you're looking for a leisurely ski or a rigorous workout, access is made easy with an extensive network of trails that are groomed and track-set for world-class cross-country skiing. 

Bring this story to life:

  • Explore the network of trails and trail conditions in advance on
  • Enjoy a backcountry experience and ski to an authentic mountain lodge.
  • Join a local operator for a guided ski or cross-country ski lesson.

Ice Skating in Banff National Park

When the mountain lakes freeze in Banff National Park they offer the perfect opportunity for some of the most scenic ice skating in the world. For over a century, locals and visitors have enjoyed the tradition and look forward to those special days gliding amongst stunning peaks, playing a game of shinny, or taking a try at some turns.

Bring this story to life:

  • Both indoor and outdoor rinks are open for skating in Banff National Park, including rinks at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, at the Banff Gondola, downtown Banff at the local high school, The Fenlands (Banff Recreation Centre), on the Bow River and on Lake Louise.
  • Skate rentals are available in both Banff and Lake Louise.
  • Don’t miss the annual Lake Louise Pond Hockey Classic or the chance to enjoy the skating rink during the Ice Magic Festival.

Not a Skier? Not a Problem!

Banff National Park may boast three area ski hills, but if the slopes aren’t calling your name there are plenty of other winter activities to keep you busy! Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, ice-climbing, sleigh-riding, dog-sledding and ice skating will get you to fall in love with winter, while a visit to local museums and galleries will help you appreciate the arts and culture scene of Banff. Finish off a busy day with a soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs and you’ll be glad you came!

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Christmas in Banff

Softly falling snow, beautifully decorated streets and storefronts, world-class skiing and cozy accommodations… Banff really is a special place around Christmastime. Some couples and families plan a special Banff holiday at Christmas and celebrate the holiday season on the slopes of the local ski areas and by the warmth of a crackling fireplace. Visitors and locals alike gather to celebrate the season with a series of festive events.

Bring this story to life:

  • Holiday celebrations start early with the WinterStart Festival – don’t miss it!
  • Attend the Santa Claus Parade of Lights and other events at Christmas in the Rockies in early December.
  • Enjoy special festive events and offers from our members.