Lake Louise Ski ...
Mt. Norquay
Sunshine Village
Wed, 26 Jun 2024

The Ultimate Family Guide to SkiBig3 Resorts

At the three SkiBig3 resorts – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay – in Banff National Park, there's so much to ski and do! With nearly 8,000 acres of terrain and 362 runs to explore, a family ski vacation to Banff and Lake Louise is one you'll never forget. From convenient rental and lift ticket delivery to activities for the whole family, planning a ski vacation to the SkiBig3 resorts in Banff and Lake Louise with your little ones is easier than you think. Here's everything you need to know.


Photo courtesy of Banff Sunshine Village.

Making unforgettable family memories at Banff Sunshine | Photo courtesy of Banff Sunshine


Before Arrival

Planning ahead can help you save time, money and reduce stress. Book your lift tickets, rentals, and lessons online to take advantage of the best rates and ensure availability.

  • Lift Tickets: If booked three or more days in advance, your tickets will be waiting for you at your hotel check-in when staying in participating Banff and Lake Louise accommodations.
  • Rentals: Booking three or more days in advance can save you up to 15% off in-store prices. Once fitted, you can take advantage of the free delivery service of your gear to your hotel.
  • Lessons: Whether you're looking to start from the beginning or perfect your technique, our SkiBig3 Instructors will give you all the skills you need to explore the mountains confidently. Be sure to book early, as these are high in demand!
  • Private Guides: Available at all three resorts, put your resort exploration in the hands of one of our SkiBig3 Guides. Great for families with intermediate to advanced skiers and suitable for teenagers, the SkiBig3 Guides will take you to the best spots around the mountain fully tailored to your preferences. Uncover secret powder stashes and gain lift-line priority. 

Snow School Guided Adventures Nick Hase

Taking part in a Guided Adventure at Lake Louise Ski Resort | Photo by Nick Hase

Banff Sunshine Village

First up, Banff Sunshine. Known for its stunning scenery, soft, powdery snow, and family-friendly terrain Banff Sunshine is suitable for all abilities from cruisy greens to steep blacks, there is something for everyone. There are also plenty of dining and warm-up areas to take breaks throughout the day.

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Banff Sunshine | Photo by Reuben Krabbe

Where to ski

At Banff Sunshine, the resort has three mountains to explore - Mt. Standish, Lookout Mountain and Goat's Eye. A great place to get started for families is on Strawberry Express. With gentle green runs from the top, it's perfect for getting comfortable on the snow before heading up to the bigger slopes. You'll also find the magic carpet next to the Strawberry Express line.

Bsv Magic Carpet

Adventuring up the magic carpet at Banff Sunshine | Photo by @rowanexplores courtesy of Banff Sunshine

On your way down to Goat's Eye, you'll pass the Wawa Quad where you can venture down Tin Can Alley, a beautiful wide run with lots of room to explore. Make sure to grab a quick selfie at the top of the chairlift with the selfie cam! As you continue your journey down, you'll also hop on the Jackrabbit Quad and Wolverine Express. Here you'll discover some shorter runs in comparison to the rest of the mountain, allowing you to take plenty of breaks. You'll also find the Kids Play Park, a beginner terrain park where they can take their first freestyle steps. A kid's favourite is the famous Roller Coaster run that weaves through the trees and does exactly what it says on the tin. You'll find the beginning of the run by heading off of Wolverine Chair and taking the green, Banff Ave, down to the start.

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Taking a quick break in the Kids Play Park at the Rude Girls Ride Day event | Photo by Ali Greene

Both Goat's Eye and Lookout Mountain have a range of runs to choose from. Perfect for those with more confidence and strength to handle the longer runs, enjoy the big mountain views and fluffy, light snow. Staying together is also a piece of cake here. No matter which mountain you're on, all runs lead back to the gondola either at Goats Eye or back up in the village - making it easy for you to meet back up with your crew.

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Taking the heated bubble lift Teepee Town from Goat's Eye to Lookout Mountain | Photo by Banff Sunshine

Good to note: Banff Sunshine has Tiny Tigers Daycare which caters for ages from 19 months to 6 years. Running activities for the different age groups throughout the day, while you enjoy some solo ski laps.

Where to eat

The Alpine Grill

Located in the main lodge opposite the gondola, The Alpine Grill has a wide selection of international foods to choose from. Pizza, pasta, burritos, and chicken tenders, perfect for even the pickest eaters.

Chimney Corner

For something a little more fancy, but still family-friendly, Chimney Corner is the ideal cosy lunch spot. Their extensive menu and warm fireplaces provide the perfect setting to recharge. Located in the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, you can enjoy mountain views while savoring your meal and perhaps even spot your morning ski tracks.

The Coco Lab

Need a quick warm-up? Stop by The Coco Lab for a delicious hot chocolate concoction before heading back out for more runs.

Take a look at the full on-mountain dining guide here.

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Taking a quick hot chocolate break at The Coco Lab at Banff Sunshine | Photo by Dan Evans

Things to keep in mind

Family time at Banff Sunshine Village doesn’t end once the chairlifts stop. Their very own Sunshine Mountain Lodge is the only ski-in/ski-out accommodation in Banff National Park. It offers tons of activities and amenities to please parents and kids alike: s'mores, tobogganing, scavenger hunts, hot tub bingo and more!

Sunshine Mountain Lodge

Ski-in, ski-out at Sunshine Mountain Lodge | Photo courtesy of BLLT and Banff Sunshine

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Known as the 'friendly giant' of Banff National Park's resorts, Lake Louise Ski Resort has plenty of winter goodness to offer. Enjoy the excitement of exploring three mountain faces, offering something for everyone in the family. With cosy lodges scattered around the mountain, you'll have plenty of spots to relax and refuel throughout the day.

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Lake Louise Ski Resort | Photo by Reuben Krabbe

Where to ski

With so much to explore, the beauty of Lake Louise Ski Resort is that from almost every chairlift you can find a green run to take you back down to the base. If you're a beginner, the front-side base area has a lot of fun options. From the magic carpet area to the Junpiper Express, you can enjoy wide green and blue runs. It's the perfect place for the whole family to learn and practice your skills.

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Cruising down the wide groomers of Juniper Express | Photo by Jill Tester

On the backside, there are some amazing spots for families too. The Larch Express chair gives you access to several green and blue runs, and even some shorter black runs for a bit of a challenge. Plus, you'll find Temple Lodge at the bottom, perfect for a quick bite to eat or a bathroom break.

As the family builds confidence, head back to the front side. The Glacier Express will take you to shorter greens, while still gaining access to the incredible views. If you're into terrain parks, take Easy Street back down to the base and practice your tricks in Elbow-Terrain Park, the most beginner-friendly one at the resort.

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Capturing the views on the backside of Lake Louise Ski Resort | Photo by Reuben Krabbe

Where to eat

Whiskey Jack Lodge

The cafeteria in Whiskey Jack Lodge provides filling meals for great value. From lasagna to sandwiches, loaded baked potatoes and pastries, there are plenty of options to choose from. 

Sawyer's Nook

For the ultimate mountain experience, you won't want to miss Sawyer's Nook. Located upstairs in Temple Lodge, treat yourself to a traditional alpine meal of cheese fondue and charcuterie. They also serve pasta and their famous Alpine Smashed Brisket Burger.

Take a look at the full on-mountain dining guide here.

Sawyers Nook Llsr Travis Rousseau

Getting stuck into the cheese fondue at Sawyers Nook | Photo by Travis Rousseau

Things to keep in mind

The village of Lake Louise is a great location to rest your head for the night. Check out these family-friendly accommodation options, just a 10-minute commute from the ski hill.

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Walking through the village at Lake Louise ready for a day on the mountain | Photo by Reuben Krabbe

Mt. Norquay

Mt. Norquay has always been a family favourite. Just a 10-minute drive from the town of Banff, there is plenty of beginner-friendly terrain while still providing steeper runs for the more advanced riders. The resort has four easy-to-navigate lifts on one mountain, making it easy for the family to stick close together and you're never too far from the lodge.

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Mt. Norquay | Photo bt Rueben Krabbe

Where to ski

Cascade Chair and the magic carpet, Sundance Surface Lift are conveniently located side-by-side, making it the perfect starting area for beginners. Plus, it’s just in front of the main lodge, making it easy to pop in and out and frequent warm-up breaks on colder days.

For those looking to tackle more challenging terrain, check out the Mystic Express for some steeper blues and blacks. If you're feeling confident and up for a challenge, don't miss the iconic North American chair lift. It will take you to the amazing lookout where you can see Banff from a whole new perspective before making your way down through fresh powder and moguls!

Photo by Shannon Martin.

Celebrating another fun run down Cascade at Mt. Norquay | Photo by Shannon Martin

Where to eat

The Lone Pine

If your family loves nachos - getting to The Lone Pine is a must. This après classic is famous here for being fully loaded with cheesy goodness. Serving up fresh salads, yummy sandwiches, and hot homemade soup, kids of all ages will be satisfied.

Cascade Lodge

On the main floor of the Cascade Lodge, you'll discover the Deli & Cafeteria, where you can choose from a variety of delicious dishes and satisfying snacks. If you're looking to take something with you to your next adventure, you can also grab something to-go.

Take a look at the Mt. Norquay full-on-mountain dining guide here.

Photo by Shannon Martin.

Refuelling after a fun morning on the mountain in the Cascade Lodge | Photo by Shannon Martin

Things to keep in mind

Mt. Norquay is the only ski resort that offers night skiing! Every Friday and Saturday night bring your family to hit the slopes under the starry sky.

If you need a break from skiing or snowboarding, you can swap your skis and boards for tube! Simply show your SkiBig3 Lift Ticket at the Tubing Lane Lodge for a complimentary ticket, and slide down the longest tubing lanes in Alberta!

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Swapping the skis and boards for tubes at Mt. Norquay | Photo by Reuben Krabbe

Ready to make unforgettable family ski vacation memories?

Create your next great family memories in Banff and Lake Louise! Call our friendly reservation team today at 1-844-754-2443 or plan your Canadian Rockies ski vacation online and take advantage of our Ski & Stay Package deals.