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 Resort||Best Resort|
|Beginner Trails||Lake Louise|
|Intermediate Trails||Lake Louise|
|Expert Trails||Lake Louise|
|Snow Quality||Lake Louise|
|Village and Activities||Draw|
|Best Value for Money||Mt. Norquay|
|Easiest to Travel To||Mt. Norquay|
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:
|Statistics||Mt. Norquay||Lake Louise|
|Base Elevation||5500 feet (1680 m)||5400 feet (1646 m)|
|Top Elevation||8040 feet (2450 m)||8650 feet (2637 m)|
|Skiable Terrain||190 acres||4200 acres|
|Vertical Drop||1650 feet (503 m)||3250 feet (991 m)|
|Green Circle Trails (Beginner)||23||41|
|Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)||15||74|
|Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)||22||49|
|Longest Run||0.75 miles (1.2 km)||5 miles (8 km)|
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
|Month||Temperature in Mt. Norquay||Temperature in Lake Louise||Snowfall in Mt. Norquay||Snowfall in Lake Louise|
|November||-6°C / 21°F||-7°C/ 19°F||34 cm||60 cm|
|December||-12°C / 10°F||-13°C/ 8.5°F||44 cm||75 cm|
|January||-13°C / 8.5°F||-14°C/ 7°F||38 cm||63 cm|
|February||-12°C / 10°F||-10°C/ °F||30 cm||40 cm|
|March||-5°C / 23°F||-5°C/ 23°F||27 cm||33 cm|
|April||1°C / 34°F||1°C/ 34°F||26 cm||22 cm|
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.
|Activity||Available in Mt. Norquay||Available in Lake Louise|
|Dining||4 restaurants||35 restaurants|
|Cinema||1 cinema||5 cinemas|
|Dog Sled Tours||Yes||Yes|
|Horse Drawn Sleigh Rides||Yes||Yes|
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
|First Time – Adult||Group||2 hours/ 4 hours||$129/ $179|
|Private – Adult||Private||2 hours/ 4 hours||$279/ $499|
|Family||Family Private||2 hours/ 4 hours||$429/ $699|
|Kinder (age 3-5)||Private||1 hour||$99|
|Kinder (3-5)||Group||2 hours||$79|
|First Time (age 6-14)||Group||2 hours/ 4 hours||$119/ $149|
|Youth Group (age 6-14)||Group||2 hours/ 4 hours||$99/ $139|
|Private – Youth (age 6-14)||Private||2 hours/ 4 hours||$199/ $399|
Lake Louise Ski School
|Private – Adult||Private||2 hours/ 6 hours||$319/ $699|
|Adult – First Timer||Group||2 hours/ 5 hours||$169/ $199 (inc. rental and ticket)|
|Adult Group||Group||2 hours/ 5 hours||$154/ $184|
|Kids Beginner (under 13)||Group||2 hours/ 5 hours||$139/ $159 (inc. rental and ticket)|
|Kids – Group (under 13)||Group||2 hours/ 5 hours||$109/ $135|
|Kids – Private (5-13)||Private||2 hours/ 3 hours/ 6 hours||To be announced|
|Kinder – Private (3-4)||Private||1 hour||To be announced|
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.
|Location||Distance from Lake Louise||Distance from Norquay|
|Calgary||2 hour drive||1 hour 20 minute drive|
|Calgary International Airport||2 hour 15 minute drive||1 hour 30 minute drive|
|Banff||40 minute drive||10 minute drive|
|Sunshine Village||45 minute drive||25 minute drive|
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. Norquay||Lake Louise|
|Equipment Rental (Daily)||Mt. Norquay||Lake Louise|
|Skis and Poles/ Snowboard||$33||$44|
|Skis, Poles/ Snowboard and Boots||$45||$55|
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.