We also rated Alberta as the best Canadian province to build a National Park and ski trip from.
List of All Alberta Ski Resorts
Skiing can get expensive. Besides equipment rentals, ski lift passes are expensive and really add up if you have a family. To combat this, multi-resort, multi-day lift passes were created to help offset this cost a bit. Buying lift pass days in bulk will usually net you around a 20% discount.
Explaining Our ‘Difficulty Score’
Parks & Trips created a proprietary Difficulty Score that is generated by looking at the number of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.
Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.
The Most Difficult Alberta Ski Resorts
Castle Mountain and Banff Sunshine are basically equals at the top of this leaderboard. They both have an identical near-80% difficulty score, but how they got there is different for each. Banff wins on vertical drop, elevation, and number of trails, while Castle Mountain wins on skiable acreage and the amount of difficult trails.
Nakiska Ski Area was built specifically for the 1988 Olympic Games.
The Easiest Ski Resorts in Alberta
Many of the ski areas in our top-5 easiest list for Alberta are community “skill hills” and not really resorts in any way. The top three areas here each have zero difficult trails, and only Rabbit Hill and Valley Ski Club have over 100 acres.
The Largest Ski Resorts in Alberta
Choosing the largest ski resorts is a bit of a tricky proposition. Do you look at just the summit elevation? How about the total acreage, most trails, or steepest vertical drop?
Well, we decided to combine all four of those metrics into one ranking to get the best idea, although we fully admit this is completely subjective. We’ve given you all the data in the following table to make your own decision.
Banff Sunshine comes out on top as the largest ski resort in Alberta, but it’s not a unanimous decision. Banff has the highest summit elevation and vertical drop, but comes in second for number of trails and third for total skiable acres. It’s neighbor resort Lake Louise takes second place with the most skiable acres and the second-highest vertical drop.