Skiing & Snowboarding in Alberta - Which ski resort is the best?

Posted On
December 30, 2023
Written By
Tereza M.

Can't decide between Banff Sunshine or Lake Louise Ski Resort? Let's take a look at the extraordinary ski & snowboard resorts near Canmore, Alberta

Why visit Canmore for skiing & snowboarding?

Canmore is a little town with a lot of options and not far away from world class ski resorts. It’s perfect for families, group of friends, couples or even for a single traveller - it has various restaurants and things to do when not skiing and snowboarding. 

Ha Ling view in Canmore

Canmore is in the middle of action. So, close to Banff ski resorts, a bit further to Lake Louise Ski Resort (but so worth the drive!) and close to Calgary.

Banff National Park offers some really unforgettable experiences and it also has some history to it, too. Did you know that the 1988 Winter Olympics of cross country skiing and biathlon was held in Canmore Nordic Center.

Now lets exmaine some of our favorite winter resorts:

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Lake Louise

Lake Louise Ski Resort is about 1 hour drivei from Canmore and, since 1993, it opens the season with the Ski World Cup. Lake Louise Ski Resort has one of the most beautiful views, it’s a real treasure - you’ll always be rewarded with a view of Mount Temple or other breaktaking views.

If you are a beginner or an advanced skier or snowboarder, you will love this resort. Not only does it have a lot of nicely groomed runs to enjoy and you can level up with your skills on ungroomed runs. You can choose from various difficulties. If you’re a freerider and powder day addict - don’t forget to visit West Bowl in the resort! Due to Lake Louise’s location, a lot of places in the resort are covered with powder. Pow-pow!!


2024 Adult Day Lift tickets range $139 to $155 or purchase a Plus Card for $129 and you can visit other resorts also. And if you are a fan of Lake Louise Ski Resort, invest in your season pass (from $799). 

Check the resort’s website for further information on passes, snow conditions and more!

Sunshine Village Ski Resort - Banff

It’s a popular ski resort for people who live in Banff and most Calgarians, so weekends might look a bit busier than weekdays but that’s definitely nothing that can stop you from visiting!

There are plenty of runs you can choose from - beginners have a space to learn and practice their skills on nice long curves on beginner oriented runs. Intermediate skiiers / snowboards have a lot of nice runs to choose from and advanced skiers can take a look at some freeride & more challenging runs- the Delirium Dive is an expert zone and it’s challenging! You can’t enter the area without your avalanche gear, ski patrols will make sure you have those and your avalanche safety knowledge.

The base area makes it perfect as a meeting point and you’ll be amazed by summit views, too - the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies is Mount Assiniboine.  To be honest, there are really no bad views in the Canadian Rockies…

Single Adult lift ticket starts from $165 and season pass from $745. Check Sunshine Village’s website for further information about pricing.  You can also use your Sunshine Super card which is also good at Marmot ( Jasper) and Revelstoke Mountain Resort  

So which Ski Resort to Choose?

This conversation never gets old. Locals are always discussing this topic before the season hits. The truth is that both of those resorts are great, both of them have great views, great snow conditions and a long season (6 to 7 months long).

If you are visting for a couple days, we recommend you try both! But if your time is limited, here are some pro's & con's to consider:

Pros AND Cons of Sunshine Village Ski Resort


  • Closer to Canmore
  • More lifts
  • More beginner friendly runs
  • Receives more snow on averages
  • Tickets or season passes are a bit cheaper
  • Longest lasting season - ski until around May20th!


  • Shorter runs
  • It can be very busy
  • Quite a lot of flat sections
  • Very often bad visibility BUT when you catch BlueBird day,nothing beats this place!! 

Pros AND Cons of Lake Louise Ski Resort


  • Longer runs
  • Better visibility
  • Good parking
  • Tree rides
  • Less crowded
  • Good early season conditions
  • Easy navigation


  • Smaller amount of snowfall / shorter season
  • Base and front runs can be a bit hard to ride when there’s no snowfall for a longer period of time
  • Farther from Canmore

Both resorts are amazing and have perfect blends of beginner, intermediate or advanced runs, even a great choice of freerides with or without trees.

But wait there's more...... Everyone knows Banff Sunshine & Lake Lousie but did you now there are two more to explore?

Norquay Ski Resort

Welcome to Banff’s original home of ski, trusted by generations since 1926.

Ski families, locals, mountain adventurers, and snow seekers young and old – experts to novices – have gathered here for almost a century.  To ski the slopes of Mt. Norquay is a Banff tradition; we’re the original ski resort of the Canadian Rockies. The bonus is this resort is the closest one to Canmore and Banff! 

Nakisiska Ski Area

Great Family Fun Ski - Nakiska is Calgary’s closest mountain. At 83 km (52 miles) from the Calgary City limits, Nakiska is a short 49-minute drive. Head west on Highway 1, then south on Highway 40, and you’ll be skiing or riding in under an hour.  Click Here to see how to get there from Calgary

Need more adventure? try Heli Skiing.

"There's nowhere else on the planet where that equation equals the 2,000 cm (65Ft) average snowfall of light, dry powder that blankets CHM every year"

For those looking for a bucket list experience of a lifetime visit CMH Heli Skiing

Let us know which ski resorts you decided to choose while you are visiting Canmore and how you like it!

What is the Climate like?
Though Canmore's climate is relatively mild compared to some other regions of Alberta, the weather throughout the Canadian Rockies and around Canmore is extremely variable, due to our high altitude and the rugged mountain topography.

Canmore has an average high of −3.1 °C (26 °F)  to average low of-14.9°/5.2° in January, with relatively low humidity.  Do note  it isnot unusual to have a two-week cold snap during December or January where temperatures plummet into the -30º C (-22º F) range.
Fortunately, Canmore regularly enjoys a pleasant winter weather phenomenon called a Chinook. The warm winds of the Chinook produce spring-like temperatures in a matter of hours, and the moderating influence can last for days or even weeks.

Summers are short but the days are long with daytime temperatures ranging from18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F). 
The sun does not set until 9:00- 10:00pm in June / July ....welcome to the North!


Ski conditions - In search of the perfect snow! 

Banff Sunshine Snow Report Conditions

Lake Louise Snow Report - Conditions

Norquary Ski Report Conditions

Nakiska Snow Conditions

Cross Country Ski, Snowshoe and Hiking Trail Reports

Looking to take a ski shuttle.... read our blog on Lake Louise & Banff Sunshine Ski resort Shuttle buses 2024

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