Sunshine Village vs Mt. Norquay: Best Place to Ski in Banff?

Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay are two ski resorts which are located very closely together in Banff, Canada, but what is the difference between them? In this article, I’ll be directly comparing the pros and cons of Mt. Norquay and Sunshine village so you can decide which to go to next!

Mt. Norquay vs Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village is a significantly larger resort and has better snow quality compared to Mt. Norquay. Mt. Norquay is cheaper and is located closer to Banff town and Calgary compared to Sunshine Village. Mt. Norquay is the only resort which offers night skiing.

Aspect of the ResortBest Resort
Number and Variety of TrailsSunshine Village
Night SkiingMt. Norquay
Snow QualitySunshine Village
Ski VillageSunshine Village
Cheapest Tickets/ RentalsMt. Norquay
Most Accessible LocationMt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay vs Sunshine Village

Ski Map and Pistes

Sunshine Village is a much larger resort compared to Mount Norquay and has 3500 acres of skiable terrain compared to Mt. Norquay’s 190 acres.

Sunshine Village has a wide variety of terrain and trails to suit all ability levels. Mt. Norquay doesn’t have many trails for intermediate level skiers (blue circle) and mainly caters for expert skiers. There also some trails suitable for beginners but not as many compared to Sunshine Village.

  • Average Ski Season Dates for Sunshine Village Resort: Early Nov – Late May
  • Average Ski Season Dates for Mt. Norquay Resort: Early Nov – Late April

Mt. Norquay is the only resort out of the Banff big three (Sunshine Village, Lake Louse and Mt. Norquay) that offers night skiing.

Here is a link to the piste maps for both resorts:

StatisticsSunshine VillageMt. Norquay
Base Elevation5450 feet (1660 m)5500 feet (1680 m)
Top Elevation8960 feet (2730 m)8040 feet (2450 m)
Skiable Terrain3500 acres190 acres
Vertical Drop3361 feet (1070 m)1650 feet (503 m)
Total Trails120 60
Green Circle Trails (Beginner)23%38%
Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)46%25%
Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)31%37%
Longest Run5 miles (8 km)0.75 miles (1.2 km)
Night SkiingNoYes
Slope and piste map information for Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay

Snow and Weather

Sunshine Village has a higher elevation compared to Mt. Norquay which means it has better snow quality and a longer ski season. If you’re looking for the best ski experience possible then Sunshine Village is by far the best option.

  • Average Ski Season Dates for Sunshine Village Resort: Early Nov – Late May
  • Average Ski Season Dates for Mt. Norquay Resort: Early Nov – Late April
MonthTemperature in
Sunshine Village
Temperature in
Mt. Norquay
November-7°C / 19°F-6°C / 21°F
December-14°C / 7°F-12°C / 10°F
January-12°C / 10.5°F-13°C / 8.5°F
February-12.5°C / 9.5°F-12°C / 10°F
March-7°C / 19°F-5°C / 23°F
April-1°C / 30°F1°C / 34°F
Average temperature during ski season of Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay
MonthBase Snow Depth Sunshine VillageBase Snow Depth Mt. NorquayPeak Snow Depth Sunshine VillagePeak Snow Depth Mt. Norquay
Nov81 cm (32”)35.5 cm (14”)97 cm (38”)35.5 cm (14”)
Dec112 cm (44”)53 cm (21”)127 cm (50”) 71 cm (28”)
Jan135 cm (53”)74 cm (29”)178 cm (70”) 84 cm (33”)
Feb157 cm (62”) 71 cm (28”)213 cm (84”)94 cm (37”)
Mar183 cm (72”)66 cm (26”)241 cm (95”)102 cm (40”)
Apr165 cm (65”)53 cm (21”)241 cm (95”)91 cm (36”)
May137 cm (54”)0 cm (0”)208 cm (82”) 15 cm (6”)
Average snow depth in Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay per month

Village, Restaurants and Other Activities

Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village are both close to Banff which means there’s access to a wide range of restaurants, bars and other activities to keep you entertained when you’re not on the slopes. In the resort itself, Sunshine Village offers more to do and feels more self-contained. However, only Mt. Norquay offers tubing so you may find yourself visiting both resorts during your trip.

ActivityAvailable in Sunshine VillageAvailable in Mt. Norquay
Dining10 locations4 locations
Spas/ MassagesYesYes
Dog Sled ToursYesYes
Fat BikingYesYes
Ice FishingNoYes
Horse Drawn Sleigh RidesYesYes
Ice SkatingYesYes
Helicopter SkiingYesYes
Snowmobile ToursYesYes
Snowshoe ToursYesYes
Ice ClimbingYesYes
Activities available in Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay ski resort villages

Ski School

Both Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay offer group and private sessions for all ages and abilities. The lessons at Mt. Norquay are cheaper compared to Sunshine Village however the terrain is more limited so you’re likely to get more out of a lesson at Sunshine compared to Mount Norquay.

See the table below for lesson prices.

Prices are based on the most up to date info at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please check the resort websites for up to date prices. Note that not all lessons are listed below, just examples to give you guideline prices for comparison.

Lesson TypeSunshine Village PriceMt. Norquay Price
2 Hour Private (Adult)$325$279
Full Day Private (Adult)$699 (5 hours)$499 (4 hours)
Half Day Group (Adult)$149$129
Full Day Group (Adult)$179$179
Average price of ski school lessons in Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay. Prices in CAD


In Sunshine Village there is only one on-mountain accommodation option, Sunshine Mountain Lodge. This gets booked up very quickly and is quite expensive. Another option is to stay in Banff town itself which is lively and a great place to be based during your stay.

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

Although Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village are both located closely to one another, Mt. Norquay is much more accessible.

Sunshine Village is only accessible by gondola once you get to the base so it’ll take you approximately 20 minutes to get up there. It is also slightly further from Banff, Lake Louise and Calgary and parking fills up very quickly so you’ll need to get there early.

LocationDistance from Sunshine VillageDistance from Mt. Norquay
Calgary1 hour 30 minute drive1 hour 20 minute drive
Calgary International Airport1 hour 45 minute drive1 hour 30 minute drive
Banff20 minute drive10 minute drive
Lake Louise45 minute drive40 minute drive
Drive time from major locations to Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay ski resorts

Additional Costs

Day lift tickets and equipment rental is cheaper in Mt. Norquay compared to Sunshine Village, making Mt. Norquay a much cheaper day out for the family. Check out the tables below for prices.

*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.

Remember you can also get some deals to ski at the “big 3” (Sunshine, Lake Louise and Mt. Norquay) if you want to ski at multiple resorts during your stay.

Ticket Price Day Lift (Peak Season)Sunshine VillageMt. Norquay
Prices in CAD

Standard Adult Equipment Rental Prices

Equipment Rental (Daily)Sunshine VillageMt Norquay
Skis and Poles$46$43
Skis, Poles and Boots$57$45
Prices in CAD

High Performance Equipment Rental Prices

Equipment Rental (Daily)Sunshine VillageMt. Norquay
Skis $66$46
Boots$26$17 (same as mid-range)
Skis, Poles and Boots$72$56
Prices in CAD

Child (12 and under) Equipment Rental Prices

Equipment Rental (Daily)Sunshine VillageMt. Norquay
Skis and Poles$29$27
Skis, Poles and Boots$36$32
Prices in CAD

Which Resort is Best?

Sunshine Village offers a better skiing/ snowboarding experience compared to Mt. Norquay as it is much larger so has more trails for all ability levels and the snow quality is better. However, Mt. Norquay is more accessible and cheaper so is still a good option for a day trip.

If you are just planning on visiting one resort on your trip, go for either Sunshine Village or Lake Louise and consider taking a day trip or going night skiing in Mt. Norquay if you are staying in or around Banff.

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


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 ski resorts are Lake Louise in Canada and Obergurgl-Hochgurgl in Austria.

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