Overview of Banff Ski Resort
Although most people know Banff resort as one of the world’s great ski destinations, few are aware of the key differences between it and most other ski resorts. In fact the historic town has three ski areas and offers a lift pass that includes all three as well as operating a shuttle bus between them.
You can opt to ski Mount Norquay, a local ski hill and the closest to Banff, located ten minutes drive from most of the resort’s accommodation, just across the trans-Canada highways. Despite being small it nonetheless has enough to keep beginners busy all week, or an early intermediate most of the week – there are even plenty of steeps for more advanced skiers – several Canadian Olympic champions have trained here. The other two areas are much bigger but a little more distant, with a 30-45 minute drive to reach them each day – you can ski Lake Louise or ski Sunshine.
Banff grew up in the 1880s as the railway line was developed across Canada and workers discovered the hot springs here (where you can still take a dip during your stay in your accommodation). The vast Banff National Park was established around it, and this recently celebrated its 125th birthday. Although still a vibrant, buzzing resort in winter, the town actually does still more business in summer when millions of campers and hikers descend to explore the area’s stunning natural beauty.
In 2008 Banff completed a ‘refreshing’ project which made it even more attractive. The main street, lined with hotels, condos, shops, cafes and restaurants has seen a complete rejuvenation. Downtown Banff has an improved streetscape including wider pavements, more rest spots, additional trees and landscaped areas and new lighting to reduce light pollution. The town was also the first municipality in Canada to introduce an all-hybrid electric bus
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