Reliable snow, great scenery, uncrowded slopes, big verticals at relatively low altitudes, a good variety of lodging, and a discounted Canadian dollar all make for an irresistible ski destination.
Banff Mount Norquay
Four miles north of Banff; 1,650-foot vertical; five lifts; 25 runs on 162 acres; new base lodge; the only night skiing in the Canadian Rockies. This vest-pocket resort lures advanced locals and visitors with well-groomed trails, black-diamond runs on Norquay, and new cruising routes on Mystic Ridge.
Ten miles southwest of Banff; 20-minute gondola ride from parking lot to lifts; 3,514-foot vertical; 12 lifts; 89 runs on 2,250 acres; all natural snow. Sunshine gets high North American rankings for scenery, snow quality, and a whopping vertical.
Three miles northeast of Lake Louise Village; 3,250-foot vertical; 11 lifts; 104 runs on 4,000 acres; renovated base lodge; Lake Louise is usually ranked second in Canada behind Whistler-Blackcomb (north of Vancouver).
Twelve miles south of Jasper; 2,950-foot vertical; seven lifts; 52 runs on 1,000 acres. This regional family resort deserves wider recognition, if only for its great scenery.