Banff’s Sunshine has tons of terrain, 3,358-acres on three big beautiful mountains in Alberta Canada. Ski Sunshine Village is a unique ski experience – you must take a gondola to get to the ski area base village at 7,000’. Sunshine is also special as you are skiing within Banff National Park! Once you arrive at Sunshine Village, spectacular scenery and snowy mountains surround you.
Sunshine is so big you actually ski across the Continental Divide from Alberta to British Columbia. They proclaim “best snow in Canada” with the highest base elevation and annual snow totals averaging 30-feet (900 cm).
Sunshine has vast and very stunning above tree-line skiing, from groomed cruisers to gentle sun-soaked runs on the Wawa quad, to a mix of Blues and Blacks on Mt Standish, wide open bowl skiing on 8,954′ Lookout Mouatnin, to steep chutes and fun glades on Goat’s Eye.
Like its name, Sunshine can be gorgeously sunny, a photographer’s ski fantasy. Mt Assiniboine at 11,870′ is particularly prominent – peaking like The Matterhorn of Canada. Especially in spring, Sunshine is spectacular. In fact, Sunshine hosts the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada (read: Whistler Blackcomb), open typically early November until late May, 7 months of skiing! Note: if its dumping snow, you’re mostly above tree-line, no sunshine, powder, white out!
Modern Lifts are your ride at Sunshine, seven high-speed quads, the TeePee Town Luxury Lift even has a bubble and heated seats, plus the gondola are your ski transport. You can’t bank a bunch of skiing here!
For a real adventure, do The Dive – Sunshine’s double black diamond free-ride gated terrain from the summit of the Great Divide Express quad, and a short hike. Best to hire a guide to ski Delirium Dive, you get a knowledgeable guide, safe passage down Delirium’s steep staircase and craggy cliffs, and avalanche transceivers and shovels which are required. Sunshine’s Delirium Dive is exciting, up to 50-degrees steep, some of the steepest in Canada. We skied it, while its not super long, its truly steep, and exhilerating, one of those Top 10 ski runs.
Sunshine offers the only on-mountain ski-in ski-out lodging in Banff National Park – in fact you must ride a gondola to get to your high elevation bed at Sunshine Mountain Lodge – one of the Top Ski Hotels in Canada. This 70’s vintage lodge was completely redecorated and revamped recently with an environmentally friendly but classy art-deco rocky mountain style.
Ask for a loft in the Lodge’s West Wing, the perfect floor plan for a family and the view out the floor to cathedral ceiling window is unbelievable. Looking out at Sunshine’s jagged snow capped peaks, and knowing that you are perfectly poised to be the first on the slopes along with only 84 other hotel room guests, is dialed.
Staying at the hotel, watching all the day skiers depart by 5pm, you are left with the friendly alpine staff and gorgeous alpen glow followed by star filled skies over mountain peaks – best viewed from the oversized outdoor hot tub or the Eagle’s Nest dining room. It’s a high elevation intimate boutique hotel…the attitude at Sunshine is sunny and anything but hauty despite its lofty location.
Ski Sunshine, its just 10 miles from downtown Banff, 71 miles from Calgary on the beautiful Trans-Canada Highway 1. As part of your Banff ski trip, you can plan a few days skiing Lake Louise, and even a day or night-skiing at family-fun, affordable Norquay. Each of these #SkiBig3 resorts is unique, offering a wonderful Canadian Rocky Mountain vibe, and some of the most spectacular views in ski country. Banff Sunshine Village is among the Top Ski Resorts in the World.
Banff Sunshine Ski Stats
Summit 8,954′, 2730m
Vertical 3,514′, 1070m
Longest Run 5 miles, 8km to the Gondola base on Banff Ave.