Ski Resorts in Alberta

They’re still making hay from the 1988 Winter Olympics, held in and around Calgary (the downhill events took place at 325-acre Nakiska, 55 miles from downtown), but the province holds more than just collective memories of Alberto Tomba and Eddie the Eagle. Lake Louise is Canada’s biggest resort at 4,200 acres; Sunshine Village, down the road in Banff, is rated as having some of North America's finest snow. Head 150 miles further north to Jasper and carve the blissful untrammeled stashes of low-key Marmot Basin. And all this is to be had within the beautiful cradle of two World Heritage-listed national parks, Jasper and Banff. Meanwhile, 59 trails and 2,833 feet of vertical await at Castle Mountain, two and half hours south of Calgary and halfway to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the Canada-U.S. border.

Stellar facilities and the world-famous Canadian hospitality notwithstanding, there's one other major boon to skiing Alberta: a gloriously long season. High in the Rockies, the seasons at Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper usually kickoff mid-November and can last well into May. Throw in some famously dry, billowy powder and you've got yourself one perfect recipe for a great ski vacation.

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