The Canadian province of Alberta is home to some of the best skiing and boarding in North America. Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise are resorts full of powdery pistes, panoramic scenery and friendly locals. Here are our top six reasons to go skiing in the Canadian Rockies.
Just so you know, this is a paid blog. We’ve worked with Travel Alberta to bring you expert info and tips for holidays to Alberta in Canada.
1. THE SKI AREAS ARE BIG
Each ski area covers thousands of acres, and everything within the boundary is patrolled so you don’t just have to stick to the marked runs – you can head off-piste and get first dibs on the untouched power among the trees. From Banff, you can explore over 7,700 acres across the Big 3, which includes Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. And they’re linked by free buses, so you can ski all three areas while you’re there.
2. THE SLOPES ARE QUIET
With so much piste to explore, there’s room for everyone. And at the top of each lift, you’ll often find a run of every colour, so beginners can practise their turns on a gentle blue and experts can pick up some speed on a double black. The Marmot Basin ski area in Jasper is especially peaceful – it’s got 1,700 acres of wide, open terrain and you can regularly ski from top to bottom without seeing anyone else.
3. THE SNOW RECORD IS EXCELLENT
The snow in Alberta is unlike anywhere else, and there’s tons of it. The knee-deep powder is dry and famously feather-light, so you’ll feel like you’re floating down the piste. And it’s reliable too – Banff repeatedly measures over 7m of the white stuff in winter.
4. THE SKI SEASON IS LONG
The ski season runs from mid-November through to late May in Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, which is one of the longest seasons in North America. Ski trips from the UK to Alberta kick off in the first weeks of December, so whenever you choose to go, you know the snow conditions are going to be great.
5. THE SCENERY IS SPECTACULAR
Alberta’s packed with wild, natural landscapes and rugged mountains dotted with traditional railroad towns. And the resorts sit in the national parks of Banff and Jasper, so you’ll be surrounded by UNESCO-protected scenery, like frozen lakes, forests and ice canyons. Even the transfers are jaw-dropping – the drive from Lake Louise to Jasper on the Icefields Parkway is known as one of the most scenic routes in the world, with non-stop views of dramatic snowy landscapes and no fewer than 100 glaciers.
6. THERE ARE LOADS OF ACTIVITIES
Winter holidays to Alberta aren’t just about the skiing – there’s also a huge range of activities that are worth the trip on their own. Meet some fluffy friends on a dog-sledding tour, feel the adrenaline rush on a snowmobile expedition, and join a guided walk through a glittering ice canyon. Or take to the skies on a heli-hike – you’ll head off in a helicopter and get to walk on glaciers, past frozen waterfalls and deep gorges, with a chance to spot some local wildlife along the way.
Ready to check out the Rockies for yourself? Take a look at our Canada deals and get planning your next big ski trip.