Banff National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, and for good reason. The park is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, from the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the picturesque lakes and vast forests.
There is so much to do in Banff in the winter.
The whole area turns into a winter wonderland!
Banff National Park is also one of the most iconic places to snowboard in the world.
Want to go snowboarding with your kids but not sure where to start? Check out “How to Teach a Kid to Snowboard”.
Where to go Snowboarding in Banff
The national park is home to three world-class resorts – Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Norquay – each offering a unique snowboarding experience.
Enjoy the longest season at Sunshine Village Ski Resort
About Sunshine Village
Sunshine Village Ski Resort is the highest elevation at 1,070 metres/3,514 feet high and an iconic place in Banff to go snowboarding.
It is the first to open each season and the typically the last one to close allowing for some fun spring snowboarding.
The resort also sees some of the most consistent snowfall in Banff National Park, with an average of 9 metres/30 feet of natural snow each year.
It is hard to cover the full area in a day as the resort boasts 137 runs and 12 lifts across three mountains to explore, Standish Mountain, Goat’s Eye and Lookout Mountain.
Where to Snowboard at Sunshine
Snowboarding for the first time in a new place can be overwhelming.
There are a few spots that are perfect for those new to snowboarding or skiing or for families with kids that are learning.
Standish Chairlift, located beside the mountain top hotel, has nice green and easy blue runs to enjoy.
Unloading the gondola at halfway to enjoy the easy runs at Goat’s Eye is another option and can sometimes be less busy especially in the morning.
From Goat’s Eye, take the trail down to Wolverine Express Chair. From there you can enjoy Kid’s Play, Larch Glade, or Banff Avenue.
Sunshine Village SnowHosts offer daily free tours of the mountain for intermediate riders. For the cold and windy days, the new heated chairlift “TeePee Town” is a nice addition to enjoy snowboarding right from the top Lookout Mountain.
There are three terrain parks to enjoy at Sunshine Village with a variety of features for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
Our family loves the beginner options in the terrain park off Strawberry Chair and then the slightly more advanced features off of Wolverine Express which is accessed via Goat’s Eye (the midway Gondola drop off).
Advanced snowboarders will enjoy the variety of black and double black diamonds at Sunshine Village.
For the most challenging runs on the hill and those with avalanche gear will enjoy “The Delirium Dive” which is a black diamond run that includes three long chutes.
Snowboard Epic Powder at Lake Louise
About Lake Louise Ski Resort
Located in Banff National Park, Lake Louise Ski Resort is a world-renowned ski resort that offers visitors the opportunity to experience this stunning landscape firsthand.
The resort boasts over 11 lifts and over 4,200 acres of skiable terrain across four mountains making it a paradise for snowboarders and skiers.
They offer some of the best terrain for new riders. On powder days, Lake Louise is epic with challenging runs you can hike to in bounds to enjoy some untouched powder.
Where to Snowboard at Lake Louise
Completely new riders will enjoy the reduced day pass to the magic carpet area which is also one of the best places to learn in Banff.
This hill is big enough to learn on and has three different magic carpet lifts so that you don’t need to start at the very top when you are first starting out.
If you have advanced beyond the magic carpet, then there are options for you too!
These options are fun but are a step up from the magic carpet.
Juniper Express takes you double the height of the magic carpet area and has Easy Street, a green run that takes you back to the base area. For a little more height, the Glacier Express takes you up further to two great green runs called Wixwaxy and Pine Cone Way which our two of my girls favourite
The gondola is an option as well and provides shelter from cold winds but the runs are more challenging and long.
For Intermediate Riders
There is so much fun terrain for intermediate riders.
From the top of the gondola, enjoy green runs until you reach the blue run Cameron’s Way. As you near the base area, there is a really fun mini terrain park with small jumps and boxes.
On the backside, Larch Express has some fun intermediate runs including Wolverine.
Enjoy lunch and a drink at Temple Way while on the backside.
For Advanced Riders
Lake Louise is fun on a powder day. There is seriously epic terrain that is inbounds and accessible.
The best terrain for experienced riders is on the backside of the Top of the World Express and the Summit Chair.
Our all-time favourite run that we have done with our girls is up Top of the World Express and then the new Summit Chair.
From there, we take the blue run “Boomerang” to the black diamond “Upper Boomerang”.
Then, we take off our boards and hike up a little way to drop in the powder and enjoy a short, challenging run. There are no cliffs or rocks to worry about which makes it a great place for young riders to enjoy a challenging untouched powder run.
Snowboarding at Norquay
Norquay is a great place to go snowboarding in Banff National Park if you are a beginner.
The mountain is smaller but still boasts 6 lifts, 60 runs, and over 190 acres of skiable terrain and is considerably more affordable than the more touristy Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.
At Norquay you will find a lot of younger local families snowboarding and skiing.
Where to Snowboard at Norquay
Best Place for Beginners
Cascade Chairlift and Spirit Chairlift offer access to 26 different green runs.
There is only one black and one blue run off Spirit Chairlift making it easier to go down a suitable run for a beginner.
Once kids can ski or snowboard on their own, Cascade Chairlift is a great area for them to explore on their own since every run off this lift is a green.
For Intermediate Riders
Mystic Express provides access to some great intermediate runs by taking the route to the right.
Every single run down this side of the mountain is either blue or green so you don’t have to worry about finding yourself down a run that is too hard.
There are no double black diamonds at Mount Norquay. North American Chair provides access to all black diamonds.
If you don’t want to ride a black diamond, then do not go up the North American chairlift.
Mystic Express also offers access to the black diamonds to the left of the chairlift.
Looking for things to do in Banff in Winter? Check out these 12 Amazing Things To Do in Banff in Winter.
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