Panorama ski area encompasses 1152 hectares of skiable terrain and offers skiers and boarders 1225 metre vertical – not far off what Whistler offers up. However, we just love the fact that it nowhere near as busy. the resort also plays host to Canada’s largest slopeside hot-pool complex.
With a really varied mix of easy and difficult slopes, Panorama ticks the box if there’s a wide spread of ability levels. Green trails are accessible from every one of the 10 lifts, but it’s the new Discovery Chairlift and surrounding Discovery Zone that are the biggest boons to new skiers and snowboarders. This learn-to-turn area is groomed daily, includes two step-aboard magic carpet lifts, and embraces progressive learning. This means newbies can start with very gentle terrain and graduate to slightly steeper slopes as their skills improve.
Experts will be delighted to discover that there is heliski terrain within the resort boundaries. Taynton Bowl is a powder playground with more than 280 hectares of challenging chutes, bowls and glades. Drop right onto Heli High from the 2365-metre peak of Panorama Mountain, or hike along the summit ridge to tackle the aptly named Devil’s Drop. Genuine bucket-list material.
As touched on above, the largest resort hot-pool complex in Canada, Panorama Springs, lets adults relax in one of two enormous bubbling tubs while children cavort in an even larger warm pool. Indeed, with more than 150 square metres of pool space to go around, and a sauna to boot, there’s little chance your personal space will be invaded.
All Panorama guests can access the springs with their room key card, with towels supplied and showers, lockers and blow dryers available at no extra charge.
Unlike most ski resorts, where all the restaurants are clustered at the base of the lifts, there are three fantastic options on the hill – the Mile 1 Hut atop the Mile 1 Express chairlift, the mid-mountain Elkhorn Cabin, and the Summit Hut – serve everything from local microbrews and cappuccinos to cheese fondue and homemade chilli.
Panorama can also entertain those not skiing or boarding, with art classes, yoga, Yoga, or if you are feeling bit more adventurous, a guided snowmobile tour through stunning Purcell Mountains terrain.
December – April
Panorama Upper Village Premium CondosFacilitiesSleep CapacityThis accomodation sleeps 4-10...
Panorama Upper Village Gold CondosFacilitiesSleep CapacityThis accomodation sleeps 4-10...
Panorama Speciality TownhomesFacilitiesSleep CapacityThis accomodation sleeps 4-10...
Beginners are more than covered at the resort, and to make things even easier, much of the beginner terrain is centred around the ski-in ski-out accommodation at Panorama Springs and Taynton Lodge. Once beginners have mastered the basics then the Mile 1 Quad awaits so you can experience more of what Panorama mountain has to offer, not forgetting those fantastic views.
The terrain for intermediates in Panorama is simply perfect. There is a lot of fun to be had off the Champagne Express, Sunbird and Summit Quad lifts – super long, fast and wide-open pistes await. For intermediates looking at progressing off traditional pisted terrain, the likes of Sun Bowl and Founder’s Ridge offer an inbound freeride experience well worth checking out, with trees so well-spaced as if designed for skiing powder.
Panorama provides one of the best surprises going for advanced/expert skiers and snowboarders. Taynton Bowl, 750 acres of former heli-ski, hike-in terrain, will test the best, offering alpine bowl skiing and tight steep trees, chutes and cliffs and a seriously long 6.5 mile run out back to your accommodation. In fact, this terrain offers so much powder exhilaration for freeriders that Panorama Mountain Resort has expanded its offering even further by opening 128 acres of double black diamond terrain including an epic run nicknamed ‘the Monster’. Still not enough? A three-run heli-ski experience with RK Heliski, based in Panorama, is simply awesome and the perfect introduction to the world of heli-skiing.
Trees, trees and more trees. There’s a limitless amount of tree-riding here; steep, shallow, wide, tight, long short – you name it, they’ve got a tree run for you. The park is situated in the base area and has an okay pipe, a few hits and lots of rails. The park is fine but compared to some Canadian resorts, Panorama’s park is small and limited. The pistes don’t offer too much in the way of hits or rollers, but in Taynton Bowl there’s loads of rock drops to fling yourself off.
Over twenty kilometres of groomed trails are available for cross-country skiing, taking skiers through the scenic Greywolf Golf Course and along the Toby Creek. A variety of trails offers varying degrees of difficulty, catering to all skiing levels from beginner to advanced.
Whether you are a total novice or have years of experience under your belt, Toby Creek Adventures has a tour for you! With over 32,000 acres of terrain to explore, they offer a variety of exhilarating tours, from the ever-popular half day Paradise Basin Tour to the exhilarating Mountaineering X Tours.
Trapper’s Cabin Sleigh Ride
For a great activity that will be a huge hit with every member of the family, relax together on an exciting sleigh ride along snow-covered winter trails. Travel along the banks of Toby Creek and take in the spectacular views of the Rocky and Purcell Mountains, and then enjoy a roaring bonfire, hot chocolate and those inimitable roasted marshmallows!
Night Skiing and Riding
Night skiing is available on Friday and Saturdays all season long. Perfect your night skiing technique or just have fun with friends.
Kicking Horse Day Trips
Also part of the Powder Highway, experience the incredible terrain of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort on a day trip to this great BC resort. Just 1.5 hours away, buses depart at 7.30am and return to Panorama at around 5.30pm. Kicking Horse day trips are available on Wednesdays.
An excursion with a difference; go snowshoe orienteering or take a twilight snowshoe and s’mores tour.
Fat Tire Bikes
With specially designed tires that are perfect for riding on snow, Fat Bikes are available to rent from the Panorama Ski Cabin in the Upper Village. Try a completely new way to enjoy the snow this winter in Panorama!
This boutique ski resort ticks all the boxes with an affordable price tag.
It’s known for top of the line rental equipment, comfortable slope-side condos and an accessible pedestrian village. You’ll find a bunch of super cool mountain pit stops, and some pretty damn good hot chocolate at the Mile One Hut. And we haven’t even mentioned the snow yet.
Just two hours from Banff, Panorama has more than 100 kms of runs – over 75 per cent of which are beginner and intermediate. The other 25% are a great challenge for families of mixed ability.
The resort also has a ‘discovery zone’ for beginners. Two magic carpets, a t-bar and a slow speed quad chair makes getting up the mountain that little bit easier. Panorama has a terrain park, a secret treehouse with a slide and kids activities held daily such as tie-dying, scavenger hunts and movie nights.
View the live snow report for Panorama here
With little ones in tow, the logistics of a family ski vacation to Banff National Park may be a little daunting – but we’ve got you covered. From easy rental and lift ticket pick-up, to the best runs for kids, here’s everything you need to know about our Big 3 resorts.
Glacius will ensure that all tickets & ski passes will be waiting for you at hotel check-in.
Ski Rentals will also be pre booked.
Lessons and Child Care are available at all three resorts. Space is limited and demand is high so we will get this organised as soon as you book!
Getting your kids into a lesson will allow you to enjoy ski-free slope exploration.
Banff Sunshine Village – Families
Banff Sunshine is well-known for its stunning scenery, beautiful snow, and family-friendly accessibility. Their terrain suits all abilities of skiers and snowboarders, from cruisy greens to steep and deep blacks.
Staying together will be a piece of cake! No matter what which mountain you’re on, all runs lead back to the main artery – the gondola – meaning you’ll always end up at the Village or Goat’s Eye Garden. Have older kids who want to branch off on their own? Rest assured that they’ll find their way around the resort in no time.
Where to Ski: A great area for families is right at the village. Strawberry Chair accesses green and blue runs only, perfect for getting comfortable on the snow and ready for the bigger slopes. Not too far away is Wawa Chair, where you’ll find Tin Can Alley (run 60) – a beautiful wide run with lots of room to explore. There are also two magic carpets near the Daycare Centre – one dedicated to Tiny Tiger’s lessons, and the other open to the public.
The runs off Wolverine and Jackrabbit Chair are great for kids to push their abilities, as they’re shorter than runs on other areas of the mountain. You’ll also find ‘Kid’s Play’, an amusing terrain park where they can take their first freestyle steps, with an easy green run parallel to the park. A kids’ favourite is the famous Roller Coaster (run 99) off of Wolverine Chair, a swingy ride through the trees (warning to parents – don’t follow if you have tender knee joints).
Where to eat
The Alpine Grill is super for picky eaters. It offers a wide selection of international meals to choose from. Pizza, pasta, pho and burritos, are all available, or keep it simple with classic chicken fingers to refuel for the slopes.
The Sunshine Burger Company serves up some of the greatest gourmet burgers in Banff National Park and is easily located right on the main level of Lookout Lodge. You’ll be in and out in no time to make the most of your time on the slopes!
Lake Louise Ski resort – Families
The ‘friendly giant’ of Banff National Park’s resorts, Lake Louise Ski Resort has plenty of winter goodness to offer. With world-class terrain spanning three mountain faces to explore, getting around can take some legwork. There are great family ‘hubs’ on the hill to explore and hang out for the day, with amenities to meet your every need.
Where to Ski: For families with true beginners, the base area is your best friend. Daycare, Whiskey Jack Lodge and the Lodge of Ten Peaks are all right near the Sunny Side Kid Zone, serviced by a surface carpet lift.
Once the kids have built a bit of confidence, Glacier Express will take you to shorter green runs than the Gondola, such as Wiwaxy (run 9) and Pine Cone Way (run 10), while the Juniper runs (runs 2, 3, 4) are nice blues to ease in to. Their most beginner-friendly terrain park, Easy Street, can also be accessed off Glacier Chair.
It may be counterintuitive, but the backside of Lake Louise Ski Resort has some of the best spots for families to enjoy. Larch chair provides access to several green and blue runs, as well as some shorter blacks perfect for kids at a more advanced level. Lipalian Chutes (run 149) is a short hike for older kids wanting a bit of adventure. Plus, Temple Lodge is right nearby the base of Larch chair.
Where to Eat
Whiskey Jack Lodge: The new ‘Super $8 Menu’ at the cafeteria in Whiskey Jack Lodge provides filling meals for great value, perfect for families on a budget. From lasagna with garlic toast, taco mac and cheese, and loaded baked potatoes, there’s nothing skimpy about these meals except the price.
North Face Bistro: The breakfast buffet and lunch stations at the North Face Bistro are sure to keep you fuelled well into your ski day. Watch as your meal is prepared before you with the freshest ingredients. Plus, they accept reservations!* No waiting in line for the microwave here.
Mount Norquay – Families
Mt. Norquay has long been known as a great resort to make your first ski tracks at. Conveniently located right outside the town of Banff, their beginner-friendly terrain has drawn families for decades, and it’s easy to see why. Four easy-to-navigate lifts on one mountain cut down the logistical hassles, while still providing challenging terrain for the more advanced skier and snowboarder.
Where to Ski: Cascade Chair and Sundance Surface Lift are conveniently located side-by-side, making it the perfect starting area for beginners. Plus, it’s just out front of the main lodge, making for easy ins and outs and frequent warm-up breaks on colder days.
The Spirit Chair is a good spot for kids to test out their skills on new terrain. It’s easy to ski back to the lodge from here, and just a short walk if you go to the bottom of the chair first. Ray’s Run (run 35) and Abracadabra (run 36) are fun blues that quickly blend into greens. And Rob’s Run (run 31) is a nice, short and wide black to test out for first-timers.
Where to Eat
The Lone Pine: If your kids love nachos – getting to The Lone Pine is a must. This apres classic is famous here for being fully-loaded with cheesy goodness. Serving up fresh salads, yummy sandwiches, and hot home-made soup, kids of all ages will leave satisfied.
The Cliffhouse Bistro: The Cliffhouse Bistro is worth a visit to Mt. Norquay on it’s own! Open year-round, this uniquely designed restaurant was built in the 1950s, and offers beautiful view of Banff and the Bow Valley below. This restaurant is at the top of the North American chair, but beginner skiers and snowboarders are welcome to take the chair down if uncomfortable with terrain.
Panorama Upper Village Premium Condos
Panorama Upper Village Gold Condos
Panorama Speciality Townhomes
Panorama is situated in BC’s Purcell Mountains, with alpine views to the Rocky Mountains. The nearest major city is Calgary, AB, just a 3½ hour drive away. Access from Calgary is west, via Highway 1 through the Banff and Kootenay National Parks, followed by a turn south on Highway 93 through to Radium and onwards to Invermere, BC.
Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the most common access point to Panorama. It’s 311 km from Panorama through the world famous Banff and Kootenay National Parks. During the winter season we offer airport transfers from YYC.
Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC) is just 161 km from Panorama.
Spokane International Airport (GEG) is 464 km from Panorama.
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, MT is 349 km from Panorama.
There are on offer a range of travel arrangements to assist Panorama guests travelling to and from the airport, whether that be by airport shuttles or private charters.