Every once in a while, a resort surprises us. Banff Sunshine, outside of the town of Banff, is once of those places. There’s no snow-making here—Sunshine relies on Mother Nature’s good graces, which typically supplies the resort with 360 inches of fluff annually.
The terrain is expansive: three mountains, offering 3,358 acres, in a horseshoe around a central base and single hotel. The base area is a gondola ride from the parking lot, so guests at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge get the resort to themselves—and first tracks when the lift start spinning in the morning. A high elevation means it can get pretty chilly here, but if that’s the price of a relatively snow-sure season, we’ll pack our extra layers. Experts: Consider testing your mettle on Delirium Dive. Pack your avy gear and sign in at the patrol shack first.
No. 4 in the West: Banff Sunshine, Alb.
Banff Sunshine Mountain Stats
Banff Sunshine Pass Info
Banff Sunshine is on the Ikon Pass and the Mountain Collective pass. Ikon Pass holders get 7 days (shared between Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay, and Banff Sunshine). Ikon Base Pass holders get 5 blackout-restricted days, also shared between Lake Louise, Mt. Norquay, and Banff Sunshine). Mountain Collective Pass holders get 2 days at the resort.
From lodging and and dining to off-slope activities and local tips, here are the SKI editors’ picks for what to do in Banff Sunshine, Alb.
Lots of Banff-focused news for skiers staying in the charming town 20 minutes from the ski area. There are no fewer than five new/newish/updated hotels and lodges to choose from, including the town’s first true boutique hotel, The Dorothy. Also check out Peaks Hotel & Suites, Banff Aspen, The Juniper (at the base of Mt. Norquay), and Buffalo Mountain Lodge.
Also of interest, Ski Big 3, which is the tourism organization that includes Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay ski resorts, is offering free cancellation and changes for all bookings up to 14 days before travel.
As for the resort, Banff Sunshine is working on a long-range vision that includes a new day lodge planned for the 2026-’27 season. It’ll be located at the juncture of the Wolverine and Jackrabbit chairs, where services are sorely needed. The resort is also planning to add a new high-speed chair and increase capacity on another chair, both improvements intended to increase uphill capacity and improve the skier experience. These upgrades are still in the approval phase.
Delirium Dive is a coveted feather in any skier’s cap. Don’t have a partner? Book the ski school’s “Day in the Dive” to get a guide and avy gear.
Locals crowd into Creekside (at the base) to chug bargain-priced drinks while they wait to board buses back to Banff, Canmore, and Calgary.
The resort’s only hotel, Sunshine Mountain Lodge, is a killer deal in ski-in/ski-out lodging, with rates from $150 per night.
A standard ski patrol safety procedure has resulted in a lawsuit from four fired Sunshine Village ski resort employees, with the growing controversy creating a rift between management and employees during the middle of the ski season.
When four patrollers were dismissed with no explanation, the resort community in Sunshine Village came together to support them. Now, the patrollers are engaged in a lawsuit with the resort owner, Ralph Scurfield. Here are the details as they unfolded.