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Beautiful Banff


Victoria

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A last minute Banff ski trip to visit my cousins resulted in a 6 a.m. drive to the airport on Boxing Day. After arriving in Calgary, I took a shuttle to Banff, which took about an hour and forty minutes. It was a beautiful drive through the mountains.
 
I skied Lake Louise on December 27. While it was awesome to be skiing a big mountain, I did not find the conditions great. Nearly every black diamond had rocks and sticks coming through the snow. It was also very busy near the base of the mountain and therefore icy at the bottom because of the traffic. However, the Back Bowl was relatively quiet because it was mainly black diamond runs, and we found some nice snow in the glades.  We went to see Lake Louise after we finished skiing and it looked like lots of people were having fun skating. 

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The next day I skied Sunshine, which I preferred it because it had more snow coverage. Bye Bye Bowl quickly became my favourite run: lots of snow, a wide face to ski on, nearly empty, and a breathtaking view! 

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Sunshine also had a great jump line set up in their Rogers Terrain Park. I spent my last day skiing at Sunshine, and it lived up to its name with a clear and sunny day to enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

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After skiing there was lots to do in Banff. I stayed at Ptarmigan Inn, which was located right beside all of the shops and restaurants. Evelyn’s Coffee Bar is a well-known place to get hot drinks and delicious cookies. There are lots of touristy shops, clothing stores, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Cows Ice Cream, etc. Banff has a large variety of restaurants so you should be able to find a place to suit your taste buds: Old Spaghetti Factory, Fondue restaurants, steakhouses, Sushi, Greek food, Korean food, etc.

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Overall, I had a fantastic experience in Banff and I can’t wait to go back!

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  • 5 years later...

Hi @Après Skier. I would say a car or a ride is required to get around but if you stay at one of the larger destinations like Sunshine Village or Lake Louise, they have on mountain lodging so once you are there you would be all set. Norquay while a nice mountain is the closest to the Banff Village but is smaller than the other two I referenced above, and I don't believe there is on mountain lodging there or whatnot (I could be wrong).

There is also Sun Peaks which is quite large. Lots of great choices, but to really enjoy the region, you would be better having a car or a rental.

If you ended up going in the summer (not the Winter) you definitely should check out Johnston Canyon near Banff. I'll let you Google that as the photos are an easy sell, but it is one of my favorite spots to visit when I am in Calgary or Banff.

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@ShaneThank you for the advice! I was hoping for a car-free trip but it looks like I might need to rent a car after all. I just get nervous after so many years of living in an area with hardly any rain and never any snow.

The Johnston Canyon looks stunning.

Sun Peaks is on my list of top places I would like to ski before I die... unsurprisingly there are several Canadian resorts on the list.

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