Sunshine is right in the heart of the Canadian Rockies just 16km from Banff. It actually dates back to the 1920's and is one of Canada's original resorts. Heavy infrastructure development means the resort has expanded to cover 3 peaks and have generally excellent facilities.
- 1 Location
- 2 Pros
- 3 Cons
- 4 Contacts
- 5 Planning
- 6 Resort Facilities
- 7 Ride Guide
- 8 Other
- 9 Resources
Sunshine Village is a ski resort in Banff National Park, Alberta. Located in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Sunshine Village spans the continental divide and the Alberta-British Columbia border. Parts of the ski area are in British Columbia, however access is solely from the base area in Alberta. It is twenty minutes away from the town of Banff, and one hour and thirty minutes away from the city of Calgary, Alberta. The base of the Sunshine Village ski runs and lifts can only be accessed via its eight person high speed gondola, which takes guests from the car park (or bus terminal) to the upper village in about 15 minutes.
- Awesome scenery
- Usually good snow
- Great expert terrain
- A great variety of terrain mountain wide.
- Can be very cold.
- Some flat spots for boarders.
- Bad weather limits options - not a lot of shelter compared to other resorts in the area.
Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine
Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine
PO Box 1085
Nearest airport is Calgary (YYC) which is 130km away. There is a train station at Banff, 16km from the slopes. Nearby resorts are Lake Louise and Mount Norquay. Shuttle service from Banff and Lake Louise is also offered multiple times daily.
The Sunshine Mountain Lodge, located in the centre of Sunshine Village ski area at 7200 feet, is Banff's only ski in ski out hotel and is accessed by the resort's high speed 8 person gondola. Road access to the Sunshine Inn is not possible during winter months.
Can be purchased online at http://www.skibig3.com or at the base of the gondola in the parking lot. The Ski Hub store in Banff sells tickets also. Tri-area ski passes with Mt Norquay and Lake Louise are a good way to go if staying in Banff.
Prior to the construction of the high speed gondola the base area was accessed by buses from the resort's parking lot further down the mountain. The narrow access road used by the buses was dangerous due to its narrow width and snow conditions. The road is no longer open during the winter months and has become the resort's ski-out, allowing skiers to ski down to their parked cars.
There is a large carpark at the base of the gondola
- EDIT ACTIVITY
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Timbers food co banff located on wolf street enjoy a nice reasonably priced meal great for familys
Bars & Entertainment
Trappers! Wednesday night is staff night, with a DJ and lots of young staff members drinking away their inhibitions
Day care available in main village area.
There is some easy beginner terrain at mid mountain served by some moving carpets. There some nice flat terrain off the Strawberry Chair but this is the main region for ski schools and the chair is slow. There some nice greens if you get off the Standish Chair and go right.
Goats Eye Mountain has no beginner terrain.
There are some great, long groomers from the top of the Continental Divide chair. Lots of groomers around the Jack Rabbit and Wolverine Chair too, noticably Short and Sweet for intermediates (name says it all). Goats Eye has Sunshine Coast which is a hoot. Eagle Creek run is one of the most fun runs possible - its flat, narrow and has some wonderful fast corners with some fun features off the track a bit.
Delirium Dive is the obvious choice for advanced skiers/boarders. It is accessed through gates from the top of the Continental Divide and you must carry transceivers to be allowed through. A short hike brings you to some seriously steep, extreme terrain. Other Extreme freeride zones have recently been opened such as Wild West and Silver City. Wild West is located on the skiers right of Goats eye, and includes many steep narrow coluoirs and chutes, including some mandatory cliff drops. Silver City is the most recently opened area at Sunshine, with it also being the most challenging and difficult. It is located on the same face as Delirium Dive, only further down the mountain, and is viewable from Teepee town chair. There are only one or two lines that would be considered skiable to a mortal person. Silver City is often closed due to high avalanche danger, such as in March 2007 when three patrollers were buried in an avalanche in the area.
Goats Eye has a wide variety of off piste options that cater to intermediate to advanced skiiers and boarders. Lots of gladed areas and long wooded runs. There is some fun off piste off the Teepee Town Double chair as well.
Out of Bounds
Sunshine is an excellent place to begin venturing out into the backcountry. Places such as Wawa ridge and Twin Cairns are easy one to two hour hikes from lifts and offer some great terrain. Venturing further out Assinbone national park has some spectacular mountains and challenging lines available to the experienced backcountry skier.
Visitors to the resort will often access adjacent backcountry terrain such as 'Delirium Dive', 'Wawa Ridge', 'Wild West', 'Silver City', or Mt. Assiniboine provincial park in British Columbia. Avalanche rescue equipment is recommended for most backcountry areas and is in fact a requirement for access to Delirium Dive. Access to Delirium Dive is controlled by an Avalanche Control Gate which remains locked at all times unless it detects a working avalanche transceiver on each person that passes through it.
Parks & Pipes
The park is accessed from continental divide chair. The park develops during the season, with the first stage usually including small rails, various boxes and small kickers and one or two larger jumps. The second stage usually includes some much larger kickers and stepups, longer and more advanced rails and a wall ride.
Due to the advanced grooming system, sunshine has the ability to groom even the steepest runs, meaning bumps can be groomed over. Goats eye mountain frequently has large amount of moguls. Freefall is a great bump run for the advanced. Around the TeePee town chair line has a bunch of steep bumps.
Anything on Goats Eye mountain is amazing with fresh snow.
Wolverine chair is the only heavily tree'ed run on sunshine, making the only place with visibility in bad weather. The Bottom half of goats eye has trees as well, but the top half is very open and exposed and can be completley whited out and unplesant in bad weather. Wawa chair is on option with runs like Star Trek and Old T-Bar.