Mt. Norquay vs Lake Louise: Ski Resort Comparison


Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise are both amazing ski resorts in Banff, but which one is the best option for your next season? In this article I’ll be comparing these two ski resorts in-depth in terms of the slopes, snow quality, accommodation, ski villages, prices and more to help you decide.

Mt. Norquay vs Lake Louise

Lake Louise ski resort is much larger compared to Mt. Norquay and has more trails for beginner, intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders. The ski season in Lake Louise is slightly longer and the snow quality is usually also better. However, Mt. Norquay is easier to access and closer to Banff town.

Aspect of the ResortBest Resort
Beginner TrailsLake Louise
Intermediate TrailsLake Louise
Expert TrailsLake Louise
Snow QualityLake Louise
Village and ActivitiesDraw
Best Value for MoneyMt. Norquay
Easiest to Travel ToMt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay vs Lake Louise Ski Resorts

Ski Map and Pistes

Lake Louise is a far bigger resort compared to Mt. Norquay with a much larger skiable area and more trails for beginners, intermediates and experts.

Mt. Norquay only has 190 acres of skiable terrain with the longest run being 1.2 km, whereas Lake Louise has 4200 acres of skiable terrain with the longest run being 8 km.

Mt. Norquay has more runs for beginners and experts but not many runs for intermediates out of the 60 available. Lake Louise also has more runs for all ability levels as there are 164 available in total, but the focus is more on intermediate slopes.

Here is a link to the trail map for each resort:

StatisticsMt. NorquayLake Louise
Base Elevation5500 feet (1680 m)5400 feet (1646 m)
Top Elevation8040 feet (2450 m)8650 feet (2637 m)
Skiable Terrain190 acres4200 acres
Vertical Drop1650 feet (503 m)3250 feet (991 m)
Total Trails60164
Green Circle Trails (Beginner)2341
Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)1574
Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)2249
Longest Run0.75 miles (1.2 km)5 miles (8 km)
Night SkiingYesNo

Snow and Weather

The snow quality in Lake Louise is significantly better compared to Mt. Norquay due to its higher elevation. This brings more snow in Lake Louise and a longer ski season.

  • Average Ski Season Dates for Mt. Norquay Resort: Early Nov – Late April
  • Average Ski Season Dates for Lake Louise Resort: Early Nov – Early May
MonthTemperature in Mt. NorquayTemperature in Lake LouiseSnowfall in Mt. NorquaySnowfall in Lake Louise
November-6°C / 21°F-7°C/ 19°F34 cm60 cm
December-12°C / 10°F-13°C/ 8.5°F44 cm75 cm
January-13°C / 8.5°F-14°C/ 7°F38 cm63 cm
February-12°C / 10°F-10°C/ °F 30 cm40 cm
March-5°C / 23°F-5°C/ 23°F27 cm33 cm
April1°C / 34°F1°C/ 34°F26 cm22 cm
Average temperature and snowfall per month in Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise

Village, Restaurants and Other Activities

Lake Louise and Mount Norquay resorts both give you access to a wide range of activities besides just skiing and snowboarding. Since they are both part of the “Big Three”, and they aren’t located too far from one another you can easily access plenty of activities that might not be exactly on your doorstep.

Mt. Norquay is located very close to Banff town, meaning you’ll be spending your time there when you’re not on the slopes. This gives you access to more dining establishments and other activities compared to those just located in the resort.

In Lake Louise there is more to do in the resort itself, but you will need to travel around 40 minutes if you want to head into Banff town.

If you are spending more than a few days on your trip, it doesn’t matter too much where you stay as you’ll more probably be traveling to different areas at some point during your stay.

ActivityAvailable in Mt. NorquayAvailable in Lake Louise
Dining4 restaurants35 restaurants
Cinema1 cinema5 cinemas
Spas/ MassagesYesYes
Dog Sled ToursYesYes
Fat BikingYesYes
Ice FishingYesYes
Horse Drawn Sleigh RidesYesYes
Ice SkatingYesYes
Helicopter SkiingYesYes
Snowmobile ToursYesYes
Snowshoe ToursYesYes
Ice ClimbingYesYes
Cave TourYesYes
Golf CourseYesYes
TubingYesYes

Ski School

Mt. Norquay and Lake Louise resorts both offer a range of skiing and snowboarding lessons for all abilities and ages. However, the ski school prices in Mt. Norquay do tend to be slightly less compared to the prices in Lake Louise.

Prices are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.

Mt. Norquay Ski School

LessonTypeLengthPrice (CAD)
First Time – AdultGroup2 hours/ 4 hours$129/ $179
Private – AdultPrivate2 hours/ 4 hours$279/ $499
FamilyFamily Private2 hours/ 4 hours$429/ $699
Kinder (age 3-5)Private1 hour$99
Kinder (3-5)Group2 hours$79
First Time (age 6-14)Group2 hours/ 4 hours$119/ $149
Youth Group (age 6-14)Group2 hours/ 4 hours$99/ $139
Private – Youth (age 6-14)Private2 hours/ 4 hours$199/ $399

Lake Louise Ski School

LessonTypeLengthPrice (CAD)
Private – AdultPrivate2 hours/ 6 hours$319/ $699
Adult – First TimerGroup2 hours/ 5 hours$169/ $199 (inc. rental and ticket)
Adult GroupGroup2 hours/ 5 hours$154/ $184
Kids Beginner (under 13)Group2 hours/ 5 hours$139/ $159 (inc. rental and ticket)
Kids – Group (under 13)Group2 hours/ 5 hours$109/ $135
Kids – Private (5-13)Private2 hours/ 3 hours/ 6 hoursTo be announced
Kinder – Private (3-4)Private1 hourTo be announced

Accommodation

There are plenty of accommodation options in Lake Louise. Within the resort, there are 10 places you can stay ranging from the grand Fairmont Chateau hotel to the more casual and secluded Bakes Creek Mountain Resort.

Mt. Norquay does not have any on-mountain accommodation, however it is a 10 minute drive from the town of Banff. There are over 30 hotels and plenty of condos available in the area to suit all budgets.

Location and Traveling

Both Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay are located in Alberta, Canada and are around a 45 minute drive away from one another. Mt. Norquay is closer to Calgary so is quicker to get to from the airport compared to Lake Louise. Mt. Norquay is also closer to Sunshine Village Resort compared to Lake Louise.

LocationDistance from Lake LouiseDistance from Norquay
Calgary2 hour drive1 hour 20 minute drive
Calgary International Airport2 hour 15 minute drive1 hour 30 minute drive
Banff40 minute drive10 minute drive
Sunshine Village45 minute drive25 minute drive

Additional Costs

Both day passes and equipment rental are more expensive at Lake Louise compared to Mt. Norquay ski resort. Check out the tables below for details.

Costs are based on the most recent ski season at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices.

Ticket Price Day Lift (Peak Season)Mt. NorquayLake Louise
Adult$97$129
Teenager$74$99
Child$38$39
Senior$74$99
Prices in CAD
Equipment Rental (Daily)Mt. NorquayLake Louise
Skis and Poles/ Snowboard$33$44
Boots$17$20
Helmet$10$13
Skis, Poles/ Snowboard and Boots$45$55
Prices in CAD based on mid-range equipment for adults. High-performance and child equipment is available.

Which Resort is Best?

Lake Louise resort offers a better skiing/ snowboarding experience compared to Mt. Norquay as it is significantly larger so has more trails for all ability levels and it has better quality snow. However, Mt. Norquay is a better option if you want to be closer to Banff and it offers cheaper equipment rentals, lessons and day passes compared to Lake Louise.

Check out my comparison between Lake Louise and Sunshine Village and my comparison between Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay.

Rosie

I have been a keen skier for a number of years, skiing in different locations around the world, and have a real passion for snow sports. My favourite skiing resort is in Banff, Canada!

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