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Sunshine Village

 

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Trail Map
Trail Map
Sunshine Village Trail Map

Transportation
Transportation
AIR TRANSPORTATION

 

Calgary International Airport 

 
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
 
 
 
 
 

Lodging
Lodging
 
Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Sunshine Mountain Lodge

 

 

The only ski-in, ski-out accommodations in Banff National Park with restaurant, outdoor heated pool, hot tub, game and family rooms.
 

Extra person charges may apply 

 

Call for pricing 

 

Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine

 

In the heart of UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park, sit three of the world’s finest resorts; Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village. Our convenient tri-area lift ticket offers almost 8,000 acres of terrain. Plan and book your ski vacation to Banff National Park on our website!   Call or visit website for pricing
       
       
       

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Dining
Creekside Restaurant 
Goat's Eye Gardens
The Burger Shack 
Java Lift Coffee Bar
The Alpine Grill
Lookout Lounge
Mad Trapper's Saloon Pub
Chimney Corner
Eagle's Nest   
 

 

Sunshine Village
Description:

Sunshine Village, only 10 minutes west of Banff, provides skiers and boarders with a 12-lift system featuring 9 super lifts, the most in the Canadian Rockies. The first ride takes you up five miles to the base area. High-speed quads allow a faster ride, higher capacity, greater height on the mountain, and improved access to the runs leading to the Continental Divide. Ski or ride in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia on the same run. Sunshine Village celebrated their record breaking snowfall in 2011/2012, over 34 feet of champagne powder falling throughout the season. Canada’s highest elevated resort has guaranteed snow conditions from early November to late May, on over 3,300 acres of terrain. The Sunshine Mountain Lodge at Sunshine Village is a unique eco-boutique hotel in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It is the only ski-in, ski-out lodge in a Canadian National Park. The Sunshine Mountain Lodge is located in the heart of Sunshine Village, and offers casual and fine dining, hot pool, spa services and family friendly activities. The new West Wing offers rooms with in-floor heating, jetted tubs, large-screen LCD TVs, all in a rustic mountain theme. Sunshine Village offers a wealth of amenities and experiences. It features “Delirium Dive” considered Canada’s most extreme off-piste ski experience, for the expert skier in search of a rush. Facilities include a day lodge with cafeterias, a fine dining restaurant, lounges, deli, and bars. Ski shop, rentals, lessons, repair, retail shops, lockers, general store, arcade, and tea room. Day care is available for ages 19 months to 6 years. The Sunshine VIllage ski school offers innovative beginner programs for those who are new to the sport. Small group workshops and private sessions are available for experienced skiers and riders.

Details:
DetailValue
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double1
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad2
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad6
Lifts-Gondola1
Lifts-Total number of lifts12
Trails-1-Beginner20%
Trails-2-Intermediate55%
Trails-3-Advanced20%
Trails-4-Expert only5%
Trails-5-Terrain parkYes
Runs-Longest run5km
General-Base elevation5446
General-Vertical drop3510
General-Back country accessYes
General-Total area in bounds3358
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Posted

Pros: scenery

Cons: long lift lines, too much traversing, wind blown snow

Sunshine has great scenery but i would choose another resort to really ski! If looking for killer terrain i would go to Castle Mountain or Fernie Alpine Resort. If looking for deep snow and more chance of new snow I would go to Fernie or Red. Too much traversing and not enough fall line skiing at Sunshine

Posted

Pros: Long Season, Snow, Freeride Areas, Intermediate Terrain

Cons: Flats, Not a lot of challenge outside freeride terrain

Sunshine isn't my favorite hill, but I have had some of my best days on skis there. While I enjoy the hill, there are some things about sunshine that drive me nuts.

First, the marketers love to talk about sunshine's legendary snow. It really isn't a powder skier's paradise. While many people quote their average annual snowfall as 900 cm, if you look closely the website lists their "average" as "up to 900 cm. In reality they probably get 600-750 cm. A 900 cm year would be legendary. 

So 600 cm is about 20 feet. A respectable amount for sure, but this isn't little cottonwood canyon. It is also important to note that most of the snow comes from regular small storms. There are always a few really good dumps per season, but chest deep days are pretty rare.

Although Sunshine isn't a must hit for powder skiers, their claim of Canada's Best Snow, is not without merit. Bad snow days are really rare at sunshine. It's elevation (most of the skiing is above 7000 feet) and northerly location means that the snow stays in great condition long after the storm. Winter rain and meltdowns are almost unheard of, and the snow that falls usually sticks around until April. 

But in the Canadian Rockies, expect to hit rocks when exploring off piste options.

Sunshine's freeride areas offer some of the best inbounds steeps in North America. Delirium Dive is a huge area that offers lines that resemble a typical resort "double black" runs as well as some really technical lines. The wild west has some interesting (and tight) chutes, and Silver City is the toughest inbounds terrain I have seen.

You need avy gear and a buddy to access these areas, and although they are controlled, the terrain is tricky, so you should know how to use it. So come prepared, but don't be surprised if all three of the zones are closed because of difficult avalanche conditions, poor coverage, or no vis. While the Dive opened in november somewhat recently, if your plan is to ski the freeride zones, it is best to wait until february or march. Note that silver city is rarely open....

Outside of the freeride areas, there aren't a lot of options for experts. This is particularly true for the old side of the mountain, where steeps exist, but come in very short bursts. Your best bets are the standish headwall area, the shoulder, and bye-bye bowl. If you choose to ski the shoulder or other tee-pee town chutes, you will likely have to ride the slow, and cold, tee-pee town double. 

Advanced skiers will have more choices on Goat's Eye. While the top of the mountain is a little flattish, it drops steeply on the south side, where there are some chutes and nice tree-line glades. The "front side" of goat's eye offers free fall, which is a nice bump run somewhat ruined by a steep and rocky middle is impossible to navigate without breaking your rhythm, and hells kitchen, a shortish glade near the Wild West area.

The snow conditions on Goats Eye tend to deteriorate earlier than the old side because of a lower bottom elevation and south facing slopes.

Intermediates and lower will find a lot of options at sunshine. It should be noted that boarders can be frustrated because of frequent flat sections on beginner terrain.

Lastly, a popular option at the end of the day is to ski out instead of downloading on the gondola. This seems to be a real hit with the kids, but i try to avoid the ski out if i leave after 3 pm on a saturday. Things just get too crowded, kids play in the trees and tend to come out from nowhere, and there are enough flat sections that most will want to maintain their speed. This seems like a recipe for disaster to me, so I usually download.


Posted

Pros: Nice views, some challenging terrain on and off goats eye mountain

Cons: not easy to navigate the 3 mountains

Nice views from the top and a variety of terrain for all levels; beginners and ski off the top of most chairs which makes it easier for mixed-level groups to ski together.  Goats eye mountain has the best and most challenging terrain for advanced and expert skiers.  One of he days we skied here it was raining at the bottom and snowing at the top.  The visibility at the top of goats eye was very poor so we ended up skiing the trees off Waawaa chair which had great powder.  

Posted

Pros: tons of natural powder, nice environment, friendly

Cons: short runs, flats, can have limited visibility

Sunshine has great snow. This season (12/13), they already have received 4.5m of snow, with a 1.6m base. Wow! No artificial snow on this mountain. My first ski day this year was Nov 12, already with nearly 1m snow :).

I am an intermediate skier, I like to ski blues. In this category, Sunshine has a lot of blue runs. However many are never groomed, making them more difficult than a typical blue. That said, Sunshine doesn't usually get icy (vs Lake Louise, that is often icy). A lot of the runs are relatively short. It is hard to get into a nice rhythm on them, because a. they are already over or b. there is a flat section. However these flat sections have a bonus: they keep a lot of snowboarders away! I find it really irritating to be overtaken by a bunch of fast, nearly out of control boarders. At Sunshine, this risk is minimized (way more boarders at Lake Louise). In addition, on a low visibility day (which can occur quite often at Sunshine because it is often snowing), I find it impossible to ski Angel chair or Goat mtn due to total lack of visibility. On these days, I retreat down to Wawa etc.

If you are an advanced skier, you will probably like this mountain more because they get so much powder and they also have a bunch of advanced "off piste" (Delerium Dive, Wild West etc) that people seem to like a lot. 

There is a full "to the valley" run, however I have found the bottom to be either icy or rocky and so I don't usually use this run. Lodge facilities are ok. You can bring your own lunch and just leave your backpack there. The lodge food is overpriced and disgusting. 

In total, I like Sunshine for its great snow quality and relatively uncrowded nature, but I wish it had longer runs! 

Posted

Pros: fast lift system, well set up for families, better coverage than any of the resorts nearby.

Cons: Not as much vertical as advertised unless you want to take a 15 minute gondola ride to the village, and then another few minutes to get to the top.

I really like how Sunshine is set-up. (some people disagree). Even though the vertical isn't exactly true to what they advertise. From lookout mountain or standish, there is an estimated 1500 to 2200 vertical down to the hotel and everything, then there is a relatively flat runout from there all the way to the gondola parking lot. Other than that minor annoyance, is that they dont actually get 900 cm annually. it is more like 500-700 cm.

The base here is almost always much better than nearby resorts. There is something for everyone. (experts bring a beacon!) Lake Louise usually gets all the hype for scenery, but Sunshine is incredible to. If your'e lucky enough to get up here on a bluebird day, it is stunning. Excellent groomed runs on standish and lookout. The park is always awsome to if your'e into that sort of thing. All in all, probably the best resort in the alberta rockies.

Posted

Pros: Nice powder and backcountry

Cons: Crowded

This mountain is great, got powder every time and trails are awesome. Everyone would enjoy

Posted

Pros: The best snow; all natural and very dry snow

Cons: When we have to wait for the DIVE to open

 Friends; It simply does'nt get better. I skied 65 days at Sunshine Village last year and nearly cried when the Slush Cup ended it all. Come ski the DIVE and enter another world. Powder is every day and back country is always available if you know where to go. Three mountains and Canada's best snow. Check out the You-Tube videos, free tours with the Snow Hosts that are sure to please. See our video!!!, rows of double blacks sure to challenge. Check it out...

Posted

Pros: Large open skiing

Cons: Crowded on weekends

Been to Sunshine 3x, loved it every time I've been. The only downside is the long lineups on weekends.
It is a very fun mountain to ski!

Posted

Pros: Snow, powder, varied terrain, alpine open, glades, great ski school, on-mountain lodge great

Cons: access to mountain restricted hours, inn rooms very small

Great mountain. Exensive terrain. Skiier mecca. Sunshine Inn on the mountain cosy, good service, not cheap though. Helpful staff. Big thing, gondola from base to sunshine inn and mountain operates roughly 830am to430pm; which can make mincemeat with outbound plans, since hotel takes a very long time with luggage transport via their valet service, they ask you to give them 3 hours! In Austria, in a similar situation, the luggage is in your room with 45mins of handing it over! mountain area over 3600 acres, and is snow-sure into May. So great spring skiing, not sure in winter it could be very cold. Lift system is ok, nothing fancy. Great place to take kids, no lift lines and kids sure to learn all kinds of ski tricks, bumps, moguls, trees, glades and all that

Posted

Pros: Great snow, long season

Cons: -40C is the same temp as -40F

One of my fav resorts anywhere.  Above-tree line skiing that you need to go 3/4 of  a mile higher to get in Colorado, fabulous spring skiing, and for powder hounds - if you can stand the cold of -40 (C or F, makes no difference), in Jan and Feb you can snorkel ski until your nose falls off or a Chinook warms things up.