Looking to get away for a quick vacation over the Christmas break? There’s nothing like popping out to the mountains for a day or two of hitting the slopes.
Here’s the 10 Best Ski Resorts within 5 hours of Calgary and a quick glance at the kinds of activities they have going on over the holidays.
Winner of 2018 Canada’s Best Ski Resort.
Located 57 km west of Banff. Lake Louise is one of three major ski resorts located in Banff National Park. The resort is situated on the southern slopes of the Slate Range, between the heights of Mount Richardson, Ptarmigan Peak, Pika Peak and Redoubt Mountain. The base of the slopes is defined by Pipestone River, a tributary of the Bow River, immediately north of the intersections between Highway 1A (Bow Valley Trail), Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway), and Highway 93(Icefields Parkway).
Dec. 22 & 23 – Christmas Cheer with Santa Claus, Find Santa on the Slopes with his Elves
Dec. 24 – Christmas Turkey Feast, Night Tubing & Magical Entertainment, Plus a Visit from Santa Claus
Dec. 31 – Rocky Mountain New Year’s Eve – Spectacular Buffet Dinner, Night Tubing & Dance Party wit hOne Nite Band
Marmot Basin has 91 named runs on four mountain faces with 3,000 vertical feet of drop. The area has a lift capacity of close to 12,000 skiers per hour on seven lifts. With 30% novice, 30% intermediate, 20% advanced and 20% expert runs, Marmot Basin is well-balanced in the terrain it offers to skiers. Marmot Basin’s facilities and services include 7 lifts, including the Canadian Rockies Express high-speed quad chair – the longest in the Canadian Rockies, 3 on-mountain day lodges, a full-service Rental Shop, Snow Sports School, eateries, a nursery, retail shop, and 45 acres of incredible advanced and expert off-piste skiing and snowboarding terrain. Marmot Basin is located twenty minutes south of the town of Jasper.
Dec. 25 – Ski with Santa
Jan. 5 – Aprés with Pete
Delivering over 2500 acres of skiable terrain, up to 37 feet of snow in a season, 142 named runs, 5 alpine bowls, state of the art snowmaking and grooming equipment, and an exceptional beginner’s area, Fernie is a true winter playground for skiers and riders of all levels. Also now featuring the most snow, most ski runs, and biggest vertical in the Rockies! Epic snow. Big lines. Vast mountains. A historic town complete with stories & legends. Interesting characters. Passionate people. This is Fernie. Where legendary skiing and snowboarding fuses with real stories from locals, pioneers, ski bums and freeskiers in one of the most classic Rocky Mountain ski towns in North America.
Dec. 23 & 24 – Ski & Photos with Santa
Dec. 31 – Cirque New Year’s Eve Dinner & Party
Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve Family Fun Event (Including Fire Works)
Castle Mountain is a ski resort located in the Westcastle Valley of southwest Alberta. It is approximately 270 kilometres from Calgary and 50 kilometres west of Pincher Creek. The resort is renowned for long steep runs and an average 9 metres (30 ft) of snowfall yearly. Despite the name, Castle Mountain Resort is not actually on Castle Mountain, which is about 240km away. The resort maintains 78 ski trails including 8 alpine bowls, with 15% beginner, 40% intermediate, 35% advanced, 10% expert terrain. Six lift systems are operated on the slopes of Mount Haig and Gravenstafel Ridge.
Dec. 22 – Ugly Sweater Day & Party
Dec. 25 – Ski with Santa
Dec. 28 & 29 – Scenic Snow Cat Experience
Dec. 29 – Night Skiing
Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve Party
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located 14 km outside of Golden. It features what is currently the fourth highest vertical drop in North America, at 4,133 feet (1,260 m). It is only 6 feet (1.8 m) shorter than Jackson Hole. In total, the resort includes over 2,800 acres of skiable lift-served terrain. The resort was named after the nearby Kicking Horse River and Kicking Horse Pass, although the resort is in the Purcell Mountains.
Dec. 22 & 23 – Ski with Santa
Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve Service & Santa Deliveries
Dec. 27 – Kicking it with the Kids
Dec. 29 – Whitetooth Grill Aprés Concert Series
Dec. 31 – New Year’s Eve at Kicking Horse
The resort proudly boasts the best combination of sun and light powder of any other resort in Canada! With over 1,800 acres of terrain, 80 named runs and glades, and a variety of TRUE ski-in/ski-out accommodations, there’s plenty to discover. Located in the Purcell Range of the Canadian Rockies, Kimberley offers stunning scenery and a laid-back, relaxed atmosphere that lets you make the most of your winter getaway. On North Star Mountain, your skiing experience includes a newly enhanced beginner’s area, enjoyable long intermediate trails, and exciting glades and steep terrain for the advanced skier and rider. Other incredible activities include cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and snowshoeing.
Dec. 23 – Photos with Santa, Smash the Pinata, Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating & Kids Night Out
Dec. 24 – Breakfast with Santa, Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Santa’s Baloon Parade
Dec. 26 – Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Family Slalom, Kids Night Out & Night Skiing
Dec. 27 – Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Smash the Pinata, Photo Scavenger Hunt, Kids Night Out & Night Skiing
Dec. 28 – Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Ice Skating Party, Night Skiing & Kids Night Out
Dec. 29 – Lost Elves, Smash the Pinata, Night Skiing & Kids Night Out
Dec. 30 – Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Powder Pig’s Baloon Parade, Holiday Family Game, Night Skiing & Kidz Night Out
Dec. 31 – Free Face Painting, Helmet Decorating, Snowflake Hunt, New Years Eve Party & Fireworks
Nakiska is located 83 km from Calgary, west on Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) and south on Highway 40 (Kananaskis Trail). “Nakiska” is a Cree word meaning “to meet” or “meeting place.” Set on the east face of the southern end of Mount Allan, Nakiska has 64 trails with four chairlifts (3 high-speed quads and 1 double), 1 Reg Magic Carpet and 1 Monster Carpet) set up over an area of 3 km. The longest run is 3.3 km, from a top lift-served elevation of 2,258 m (7,408 ft) to the base at 1,479 m (4,852 ft).
Dec. 23 – 25 – Christmas at Nakiska
Panorama is magical. It’s where the winter and the wild meets warmth and welcome. It’s a mountain resort and an alpine village tucked deep into Canada’s oldest mountains. It’s not just another resort with great skiing and riding. This is where the best winter memories are made. Panorama Mountain Resort is located in the Purcell Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Part of the Columbia Valley sub-region of the East Kootenay region, it is a tourist destination known for its rolling cliffs and views of the Rocky Mountains.
Dec. 23 – Maple Taffy, Storytelling with Mrs. Claus, Snowshoe Tour, Letters to Santa, Snow Fun, Christmas Tie Dye, PJ Movie Party, Christmas Nature Crafts, Christmas Beading Workshop, Twilight Snowshoe & S’mores
Dec. 24 – Sip n’ Skate, Photos with Santa, Guided Snowshoe Tour, Scavenger Hunt, Wood Burning, Ornament Decorating, Letters to Santa, Carols by Candlelight, Campfire & S’mores
Dec. 25 – Paragliding Santa, Maple Taffy, Guided Snowshoe Tour, Gingerbread House Building, Snow n’ Swim, Musical Bingo, Christmas Tie Dye, Christmas Dinner, Twilight Snowshoe & S’mores
Dec. 26 – Sip n’ Skate, Guided Snowshoe Tour, Ornament Decorating, Scavenger Hunt, Nature Crafts, Family Movie Night, Beading Workshop
Dec. 31 – Sip n’ Skate, Ukulele Lesson, Wood Burning, New Year’s Eve Dinner, Campfire & S’mores, Snowshoe & Fireworks Tour, Parade & Fireworks, Family New Year’s Eve Party
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is just outside Revelstoke, British Columbia. For decades, helicopter and cat skiers from around the world have flocked to Revelstoke attracted by its perfect powder, varied alpine terrain and quaint mountain community. RMR offers the most vertical in North America at 1,713 metres (5,620 ft) of lift-accessed terrain, 3,121 acres of fall line skiing, 4 high alpine bowls, and 69 named runs and areas, including legendary glades and phenomenal groomers. Skiers and snowboarders visiting Revelstoke can access a total of 515,000 acres of terrain, including our Cat Ski terrain, guided backcountry touring, and Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing’s tenure.
Dec. 21 – Bonfire & Hot Chocolate
Dec. 22 – Gnome Hunt & Movie Night
Dec. 23 – Craft Night
Dec. 24 – Gingerbread House Night
Dec. 25 – Ski with Santa
Dec. 26 – Boxing Day Derby
Dec. 27 – Pop Up Food Shop & Decorate Cookie Night
Dec. 28 – Craft Night
Dec. 29 – Decorate Cookie Night
Dec. 30 – Movie Night
Dec. 31 – Craft Night for Kids & New Years Eve Extravaganza
Sunshine Village is located on the Continental Divide within Banff National Park in Alberta and Mt Assiniboine Provincial Park in British Columbia. Because of its location straddling the Continental Divide, Sunshine receives more snow than the neighbouring ski resorts. The Sunshine base area is located 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) Southwest of the town of Banff. By car, it is about a one-hour, thirty-minute drive from the city of Calgary. Sunshine Village ski runs and lifts are accessed via an eight-person high-speed gondola. The gondola takes people from the parking lot (or bus terminal) to Goat’s Eye mountain in 10 minutes and to the Upper Village area in 18 minutes. There are 9 chairlifts and 120 trails within the alpine valley formed by the three mountains (Mount Standish, Lookout Mountain, and Goat’s Eye Mountain) that constitute Sunshine Village.
Dec. 22 & 23 – Santa on the Mountain
Dec. 24 – Torch Light Parade
Dec. 31 – Torch Light Parade