SKI BIG3 GUIDE
Images courtesy of SkiBig3
Ski Big3 Overview - Banff Sunshine - Lake Louise - Mt Norquay
SkiBig3 is a partnership among three spectacular Canadian ski resorts - Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay. Located 1.5 hours from Calgary, the three resorts are easy to reach, on one pass, and connected by shuttles. They offer a combined 7,748 acres of skiable terrain, 9m (30ft) of snow annually, and pristine scenery, protected within Banff National Park. Lake Louise is the biggest with 4,200 acres, known for its huge variety of terrain and breathtaking views. Banff Sunshine (3,358 acres) is best known for its all-natural snow and 7-month-long season, with fantastic spring skiing and ski-in/ski-out accommodation. Mt. Norquay, the smallest resort, is a family favorite with tubing and night skiing.
Visitors can ski one or all three resorts and choose to stay in modern, bustling Banff or wild, peaceful Lake Louise. The area has more than 100 accommodation options from affordable condos to luxurious suites at the Fairmont properties, Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise, or Post Hotel & Spa. Banff and Lake Louise have lively dining and après scenes with local breweries and distilleries to karaoke and 5-course fine dining. SkiBig3 has a pass and also partners with the Ikon Pass and Mountain Collective.
Snow-Making & Grooming
On Mountain Dining
Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain
So much to explore! A single pass offers you unlimited access to 7,748 acres of terrain, 29 lifts, and 362 runs.
Untouched views of the Canadian wilderness (no cut lines or development) from all three resorts.
Try quintessential Canadian adventures like dog-sledding, ice climbing, or playing ice hockey on Lake Louise.
Lodging choices abound with more than 100 accommodations and 150 après options between two towns.
Great value for U.S. travelers given the relative strength of the U.S. Dollar
Short cold snaps can drop temperatures to as low as –25 Celsius (-13 Fahrenheit)
Dining and après options are more limited in Lake Louise
Most runs at Banff Sunshine exist above the treeline, which can be challenging to navigate in low visibility conditions
Snowfall can be inconsistent from season to season. March generally brings the best storms
Park at Banff Sunshine’s Creekside Base, ride the gondola and get off at the mid-station before reaching the Upper Village. Warm up on the Goat’s Eye Express Quad. It has more sun and fewer skiers first thing
Look out for a rope drop into Boomerang Bowl, at the top of Summit Chair at Lake Louise Ski Resort, around 10-11 AM after a snowfall
Stay at Banff Sunshine’s Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Banff National Park's only ski-in/ski-out accommodation, and watch the Northern Lights from 2,100m (7,000ft)
A day at Sunshine Village or Mt. Norquay can easily be combined with a late afternoon/early evening visit to the town of Banff. This even works well for guests staying in Lake Louise
Go tubing for free at Mt. Norquay on Friday and Saturday nights with a SkiBig3 Lift Ticket
For an in-depth breakdown of the terrain at all three resorts of Ski Big3, head to our Mountain Guides. Top trails and mountain stats included.
Getting To & Around
Those staying in Lake Louise and/or planning to visit other ski resorts in the broader Alberta and B.C area will likely want a car. Airport transfers from Calgary are readily available with 10+ departures to/from Banff per day. Public transit throughout the park is excellent, with ski shuttles picking up/dropping off at most Banff hotels with routes to Lake Louise. Banff is pedestrian-friendly.
Closest Major City: Calgary, AB
Distance: ~142 km west, ~88 miles
Travel Time: ~1.5 hours
Banff: ~20 minutes drive to Sunshine Village, or 40 minutes drive to Lake Louise
Canmore: ~20 minutes drive to Banff, ~30 minutes drive to Sunshine Village, ~50 minutes drive to Lake Louise
Ski Big3 is located in Banff National Park and is part of the Candanian Rockies. A trip to any of the Ski Big3 resorts is easily combinable with a visit to resorts on the the Powder Highway. We recommending visiting a few resorts on a longer trip, eventually making your way out to Revelstoke or RED Mountain Resort.
Ikon Pass Resorts within 6 hours driving:
Panorama, BC (~170km, ~105 miles, 2 hours drive)
Revelstoke, BC (~280km, ~245km, 3 hours, 15 minutes drive)
RED Mountain Resort, BC (~520km, ~325 miles, ~ 6 hours drive)
Epic Resorts within 4 hours driving:
Kicking Horse, BC (~150km, ~155 miles, 1 hours 50 minutes drive)
Kimberly Alpine Resort, BC (~268km, ~165 miles, ~3 hours drive)
Fernie Alpine Resort, BC (~250km, ~220 miles, 3 hours, 45 minutes)
Travel by Plane
Closest major commercial airport: YYC (Calgary International Airport)
~144km, ~90 miles East, ~1.5 hours drive
Banff is private plane accessible
Travel By Bus
ROAM Transit provides buses throughout the towns of Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore and in the Bow Valley of Alberta's Rockies. (It’s $2 per trip but most hotels offer free transit tokens for your stay.)
Airport shuttle services is available to / from YYC through Brewster Express and Banff Airporter
SkiBig3 has a ski shuttle service for each resort that connects it directly to most major hotels in Banff and Lake Louise
Travel by Car
Cars are not essential if staying in Banff, Sunshine Village, Lake Louise or the sourrounding area.
Pros: Convenient for visiting other resorts in the area, particular on longer visits; also useful for traveling amongst resorts, greater optionality for dining and off mountain activities; parking is relatively easy and inexpensive
Cons: Driving conditions can be difficult due to weather
Rideshares: This area is NOT Uber/Lyft accessible