About 22 percent of all three Banff ski resorts terrain is rated green, so intermediate skiers on a Banff Lake Louise ski vacation are guaranteed plenty of options. Lake Louise, specifically, has a bit more beginner terrain than its sister resorts and is generally renowned as the best choice for beginners and families. However, the other two resorts—Mt. Norquay and Sunshine Village—also have plenty of redeeming qualities making them a great option, too. For example, Mt. Norquay is considered a “locals” mountain and is the smallest, with only 77 acres of skiing, and closest to the town of Banff, so if you’re looking for laidback trails look no further Mt. Norquay. Alternatively, Sunshine has an ideal beginner area in the below tree line saddle between Lookout Mountain and Goat’s Eye Mountain.
If convenience is high on your list, then beginners will be spending the majority of their time at Mt. Norquay. First time skiers will like the easy access of the Sundance surface lift (magic carpet) which is located just steps from the base village lodge. Once you’ve acquired the skills to wedge turn and stop, the Cascade chairlft, which is right next to the Sundance lift, offers comfortable progression to longer, slightly steeper green slopes below the lift. And when you’re ready there are more meandering trails to skier’s right off the chairlift.
If Norquay seems a little small for your liking, then Lake Louise will impress. The base area offers a small lift and some surface area lifts ideal for first timers. And when you’re ready to explore more of the mountain the Glacier Express Quad accesses a lovely meandering green trail, which drops you back off at the base. One of the best aspects of Mt. Norquay beginner terrain is that it’s literally all over the resort’s expansive 4,200 acres. Beginners can enjoy the upper front side of the resort via Grizzly Express Gondola, which accesses an incredibly long and enjoyable green run. Beginners looking to explore even more have two green runs which access the back side Powder Bowls, and allow for epic, wide-open views. And if that’s not enough beginner skiers can also enjoy Mt. Norquay’s Larch area from the top of Larch Express Quad.