The Ski Resort
Welcome to Alberta's charming ski resort Mount Norquay. It is located about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Banff town, so you will have lodges and all kind of accommodations pretty closeby. Next to Lake Louise Mountain and Sunshine Village it is the third ski resort located around the quirky city Alberta. 190 acres constitute your paradise for perfect skiing or snowboarding. Both experts and advanced skiers find suitable slopes, but it also boasts terrain and super convenient slopes for beginners and intermediates in order to improve their skiing skills. There are five lifts starting from the base, which will whisk you up the mountain to explore the ski trails. You might not be entertained for weeks but for a few days or even just a day trip it is always a blast for the whole family.
The North American is a grip double chair and services blacks only. Up here, no matter if you are an experienced intermediate or expert skier, you have the choice between usual black runs and double black runs that are supposed to be super challenging. For the ones who love off-piste activities even more, tree-skiing is also available.
The Sundance Conveyor, a surface lift, and the Cascade, a grip quad chair, give you access to the second terrain, where you will find mostly greens. This is really the bunny hill of the ski resort and a terrain to warm up the ski legs. Here, you will also find the the terrain park, known as Banff´s Backyard, which is lighted at night for some great night skiing and which pleases all freestylers. New updates, such as a brand new fleet of boxes and rails made it even more appealing. The park really caters to the needs of every skill level, whether you are a novice or a pro, a skier or a boarder, and welcomes you with open arms.
The Spirit is another grip quad chair, that takes you mid-mountain. Two blues are accessible from the top station as well as a black trail. The rest is green and an awesome hangout for beginners who are just getting used to standing on skis.
The fastest lift and probably the best choice for skiers with more experience under their belt: Mystic Express. A high speed quad chair that brings you to runs of all kind. Heading to the top station, you will have some serious tree-skiing runs right in front of you. If you head in the other direction, you will mostly see blue runs that are easily manageable for intermediates. Stoney Trail and Easy Out are designated as greens, and both descend back to the valley.
- Banff Mount Norquay is among the 15 best rated Ski Resorts in Canada.
- Elevated between 5397 ft and 6998 ft, the Ski Resort is among the 15 highest elevated Ski Resorts in Canada. The vertical drop from summit to base is 1601 ft. The average difference in altitude between base and summit of Ski Resorts in Canada is 1191 ft. Most runs are therefore relatively long.
- Average snow depth during the season is 36 " at summit elevation and 18 " at base elevation. Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 42 " at summit elevation and 26 " at the base. Therefore Banff Mount Norquay is among the 3 ski Resorts with best snow conditions in Canada.
- Banff Mount Norquay features 41 sunny days on average per season. The average for all ski Resorts in Canada is 42 sunny days. March is the sunniest month with an average of 16 sunny days.
Snow Safety & Snowmaking
On Mountain Dining
You want to have breakfast, lunch or a mid-afternoon snack on the mountain? Check out the two Lodges or the newly renovated Cliffhouse bistro. The Cascade Logde, right at the ski resort base, features the perfect panorama and laid-back yet tasty food. You can either create your own meal of house-made fare at the self service Deli & Cafeteria or you can pay a visit to the Lone Pine Pub. Giant TV screens, crispy salads, delicious sandwiches, and home-made soups will sweep off your feet!
The Cliffhouse Bistro is actually a part of Norquay's history, since it already opened its doors in the 1950s. Look for the healthier options like Quinoa salad or fancier meals like Beef Bourguignon. You won't be disappointed.
Another great spot to hang out and grab some food is The North American Logde in the Tube Town. The Deli & Cafeteria serves great affordable breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks.
The longest downhill run is almost a mile (1.2km) and called Knight Flight. With a difference in altitude of about 1200 ft (350m), it is located at Mystic Express and particularly suitable for advanced skiers.
Another run, which is designated as black, is the Gun Run. Its length of 2000ft (600m) and difference in altitude of about 1000ft (300m) will not disappoint. The double black diamond slopes at the North American Express are considered the most serious downhill runs in Canada.
Most Difficult Runs
The huge tube park is definitely one of the highlights at Norquay Mountain. Feel the rush of speed when you hit the snow-covered hills in the first snow tube park of the Banff area. Climbing is also a huge deal on the mountain. It does not even require any experience since a well-informed guide will introduce you to techniques and equipment.
Snowshoeing is also great to get to know the beautiful winter landscape. You do not have to bring your own shoes, for a small charge you can rent them on the spot.
The Arts and Culture scene is something that the town of Banff is rather proud of. Check out the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, as well as private art galleries and live music venues. If you are looking for an amazing spa, The Canadian Rockies Hot Springs is your place to be! You will pretty much find everything health and wellness related there.
Après-Ski and Nightlife
You do not have to give up on crazy parties, you can have it all in Banff, where you can find a decent nightlife scene. Boasting brewing bars, huge nightclubs, and sophisticated set-ups to come for mixed drinks, it will not disappoint. For example The Bears Den Pub is a good place to get started. It serves local brews and is great for a hangout.
The Dancing Sasquatch Nightclub is for those who want to rock the dancefloor at night. Divas, a Martini Lounge, is a great example for a more fancy bar, which also features screens to keep up with major Canadian sports events.
The Aurora Nightclub & Lounge is a massive night club that will get everyone in the dancing mood. Definitely worth checking out!
Dining and Restaurants
Again, right at Mount Norquay you probably won't be pleased with the variety of fine dining options, but Banff downtown has a ton of choices, so foodies should schedule a trip to Banff, as the options of fine dining are endless: The Banffshire Club gives the feeling that comes with a private club and has the atmosphere of a gentlemen club. The cuisine's origin is French-based by using only regional ingredients. It also takes pride in its wine list and you will find close to 2000 labels on the menu.
Another place where reservations for gourmets are a must is Maple Leaf Grille & Spirits, located on Banff Avenue, which specializes in Canadian cuisine. You get to choose from menus with Alberta Beef, Seafood, Bison and Elk meat. La Terraza, the name speaks for itself, serves mainly Italian specialties. The fireplace makes it super cozy and the food is almost as beautiful as it tastes.
The Rundle Lounge is another fantastic dining place in Banff Springs. It is probably most famous for the Afternoon Tea and their seasonal BBQ. The East Coast menu is breathtaking and even though it is more on the pricy side, it is worthwhile to dig deeper in your wallet. Bamboo Garden is owned by a local family and you can taste influences from the Thai, Chinese and other Asian cuisines. They also have vegetarian and gluten-free dishes on their menu.
From Calagary International Airport, which is just an hour's drive away, simply head west on Highway 1, take the second Banff exit and then make a turn onto the Mount Norquay road. You can either get a rental car or go by bus.
Mount Norquay is only 6 km from Downtown Banff, which takes about 5 minutes by car. Ski busses run regularly between the three ski resorts located around Banff.