By Where Staff
Canadian Rockies’ ski resorts have been drawing crowds for nearly a century. If skiing or boarding isn’t for you, or if you just want to try something different, there’s still plenty of fun to be had on and off the slopes.
Tube Park Fun
The whole family can delight in speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube. Groomed lanes ensure safe, smooth sliding. At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park, slide for $22 (yth $20, ch $15, -5 free). Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri/Sat) has six chutes, two lifts and a play zone with a small sliding area ($35, yth/sr $25, ch $20). Nakiska Tube Park ($19, ch $15) has an additional lane this year.
Ticket to Ride & See the Sights
Ski Big3’s Tri-Area Sightseeing Ticket ($40, yth/sr $36, ch $30) includes shuttles to Lake Louise, Sunshine and Norquay, a $12 food voucher and a gondola/chairlift ride to see the scenery. At Norquay, ride the same lift to the renovated Cliffhouse Bistro as did Marilyn Monroe ($15, yth/sr $12, ch $10).
Ski Area by Snowshoe
Ptarmigan Ridge Tours at Lake Louise ($65, 90 minutes) offer a gondola ride and incredible views. Sunshine Village Top of the World tours ($75) with Banff shuttle and gondola and chairlift rides are operated by White Mountain Adventures. At Norquay, explore three snowshoe trails (rentals $15, ch $10).
Best Slopeside Parties
- Lake Louise: Torchlight Dinner & Ski (Feb 14; $74) with mid mountain drinks, torch-lit ski, buffet and band. Ski Louise Stampede Mar 21. Spring Music Sessions in Apr. Cardboard Box Downhill Derby Apr 19. Bikinis for Breast Cancer May 2 group ski.
- Sunshine: Bikinis & Boardshorts May 17 breast cancer fundraiser. Slush Cup May 18 icy pond jumps. Yoga & Ski on spring weekends.
- Norquay: 80s Day Apr 18 wear a retro suit.
- Nakiska: Spring Fiesta Apr weekends with outdoor DJs and family activities.
- Marmot: Pajama Day Feb 28 race to support auto-immune disease research. April TBA: Aloha Cup with tropical clothes, race, BBQ and prizes; and Kokanee Freeride with live music.
Bypass the cafeteria for a leisurely lunch at these table-service restaurants.
- Lake Louise: Mid mountain, renovated Whitehorn Lodge Bistro is now the resort’s top dining facility with one of the Rockies’ best views. Also enjoy Powder Keg Lounge, the Northface Bistro or Sawyer’s Nook in the loft of backside Temple Lodge (ski access only).
- Sunshine: Try historic Mad Trapper’s Saloon for smokehouse fare. Sit by the fireplace or glass ‘view’ wall at Chimney Corner Lounge. ‘Taste of Sunshine’ Friday dinners at Eagle Nest include gondola access to 10 pm.
- Norquay: For fresh flavours, craft brews, unique wines and a superb Banff townsite view, ride the lift to historic Cliffhouse Bistro.
- Nakiska: Dining venues in the day lodge have been expanded. Try a Big Nak burger (Ski Canada magazine’s ‘best big bun’) in upstairs Finish Line Lounge with fireplace, balcony and big screen sports. On nice days, the BBQ Pit beckons.
- Marmot: Mid mountain Eagle Dining Room and Charlie’s Lounge display historic ski memorabilia and maintain the authenticity of earlier times. Big decks entice on sunny days.
>> For more Canadian Rockies activities, shops, restaurants and entertainment, read our digital magazine.