Things to Do in Banff - page 2
It might be the smallest of the 3 major ski resorts within the Banff National Park, but since opening in 1926, Mt Norquay has fast become a favorite destination for in-the-know skiers, and has even served as an Olympic and World Cup training ground. Today, the Mt Norquay Ski Resort offers 16.4 km of runs, with ample opportunities for all levels, from first-time skiers to professionals, including a terrain park with a range of boxes and rails.
With a fully equipped ski school on-site, this is a great spot for beginners, and along with skiing and snowboarding, there’s also a snow tube park, snowshoeing trails and the chance to enjoy a moonlight skiing excursion.
The fun doesn’t stop when the snow melts either – the Mt Norquay Ski Resort is open all year-round and summer visitors can ride the 8,040-foot chairlift for a view of the surrounding mountains, dine at the mountaintop Cliffhouse or tackle the Via Ferrata climbing routes.
It’s true – the views from atop Sulphur Mountain really are spectacular, and riding the Banff Gondola is the most fun way to get there.
From the fully enclosed glass gondola, you’ll see six mountain ranges, the town of Banff and the immense river valley. At the summit, stand on top of the world at the Upper Terminal and follow the self-guided Banff Skywalk along the summit ridge.
Hike the South East Ridge Trail, or visit the summit’s historic buildings, including a meteorological station and interactive giant compass. Dinner at the summit is an amazing experience, with views of Banff’s twinkling lights and snow-capped peaks.
Known as the “Matterhorn of the Rockies” at nearly 12,000 feet up, Mt Assiniboine is one of the region’s highest peaks. When the mountain was first spotted on the Great Continental Divide between British Columbia and Alberta’s Banff National Park by Canadian scientist George M. Dawson in 1885, he named the peak Assiniboine because its dramatically pointed top reminded him of the teepees of the Assiniboine people.
Nestled near the crystal clear waters of Lake Magog, Mt Assiniboine provides a true backcountry experience; British Columbia’s Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park has no roads whatsoever. A trip to the park requires at least a six-hour, 17-mile hike via Bryant Creek near Canmore. Alternatively, you can take a helicopter to visit this UNESCO World Heritage wilderness of alpine meadows, glaciers and waterfalls.
One of North America’s largest ski resorts and claiming the title of Canada’s Best Ski Resort multiple times at the World Ski Awards, the Lake Louise Ski Resort has a deservedly stellar reputation, along with a jaw-dropping setting, overlooking the glacial valley of Lake Louise. With 4,200 acres of piste spread across four mountains, over 145 runs served by high-speed chair lifts, and the longest run clocking in at 8km, powder junkies will be spoiled for choice at Lake Louise, and there’s something for all ability levels. While adventurous types can make the most of the ample chutes, glades and bowls, beginners can cut their teeth on the gentler slopes and first-timers can brush up on their skills at the ski school.
Snow tubing, Nordic skiing, husky sledding and snowshoeing are also popular activities, while summer visitors can enjoy hiking in the hills, ride the 2,088m Sightseeing Gondola or go rafting on the nearby Kicking Horse River.