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Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village is located in Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies just 30 minutes from the town of Canmore (weather permitting). The access road is clearly signposted from Trans-Canada Highway #1, and winds up the mountain to the base station for about 7km, so if you're on this road and think it's taking too long to get to the ski hill keep going because eventually it runs out and you've arrived at Sunshine.

There is a reasonable amount of parking at the base station, but it soon fills up, especially on holidays. A shuttle for people to hitch a ride to and from their cars does operate, though not always, so if you don't want to be parking well down the mountain you need to get there early on powder days, holidays and weekends.

sunshine village ski resort
A typical "crowded" day at Sunshine

The high speed gondola ferries skiers and boarders up to the village, with a stop-off point mid-way for people wanting to get off or on at Goat's Eye Mountain.

Ski & snowboard school:

  • Adults, kids of all ages, performance lessons,private lessons, Delirium Dive Challenge and ladies only
  • Tiny Tigers Daycare covers 19 months to 6 years
  • Tiny Tigers Ski & Play for 3-5 year olds
  • plus other programs are available

A wide variety of tickets and ski passes are available at the base station: season pass, full day, half day, group rates (20+) and multi-day tickets.

Sunshine Village has terrain to suit all abilities of skier and rider. However for those adrenalin junkies looking for something a little bit more challenging it also has some exciting double black diamond terrain:

  • Delirium Dive
    Opening depends on day-to-day/hour-to-hour conditions. Avalanche control required, and anyone accessing this area must carry a tranceiver, shovel and have at least one other person with them.
  • Wildside, Farside, Hell's Kitchen, Freefall
  • Think Again, Renegade, Stampede, Saddledome
sunshine village ski resort
Sunshine Village 2160m (7082 ft)

Sunshine stats:

  • Area elevation:
    Top: 2,730m (8,954 ft)
    Base: 1,660m (5,440 ft)
  • Vertical drop: 1,070m (3,514 ft)
  • Longest run:
  • Skiable terrain: 107 runs over 3,358 acres (spread over 3 mountains and 2 provinces)
  • Terrain breakdown: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% expert
  • Ski season: mid November to late May
  • Average snowfall: 900cm (354") (snow report)
  • Lifts: 1 high speed 8 passenger gondola, 5 high speed quad chairs, 2 quad chairs, 1 triple chair, 1 double chair, 2 magic carpets

Sunshine food facilities:

Sunshine Village has a variety of food & drink available from a cup of coffee to a three course meal.

  • Day lodge
    The Deli - serving breakfast, sandwiches, soups, snacks, hot & cold drinks.
    The Alpine Grill - full service cafeteria serving breakfast, chilli, burgers, pasta, pizza, salad, soup and sandwiches.
    Lookout Pasta Company - full service licensed restaurant and bar.
  • Sunshine Inn
    Java Lift - brewing Starbucks coffee and a small kiosk for snacks, magazines and toiletries.
    The Chimney Corner Lounge - varied menu and daily specials.
    The Eagle's Nest - fine dining restaurant.
  • Old Sunshine Lodge
    Mad Trapper's Saloon - western style saloon with hearty pub style menu for lunch or après-ski. BBQ deck serves freshly cooked burgers and hotdogs.
  • Goat's Eye
    Goat's Eye Gardens - located mid-mountain, serving breakfast, hot food and drinks, licensed for beer & wine.
  • Gondola Base
    Creekside Bar & Grill - offering a grab & go breakfast, baked goods, special coffees, burgers, salads, pizza, hot & cold sandwiches, full sit down menu and après-ski bar.

The base area also has a rental shop where you can get skiing or riding equipment, plus anything else that you might have forgotten such as clothing, helmets etc.

In the upper village there is the Salomon Rental & Test Centre, featuring the latest performance technology from Salomon.

Sunshine Snowhosts are at the Village to help you make the most of your visit to Sunshine, from "where is the best snow?" to "where is the washroom?" The Snowhosts also give free tours of the mountain helping intermediate skiers or riders new to the mountain to find their way around.

sunshine village ski resort slush cup

The Slush Cup:

On the last ski day of the season Sunshine Village hosts the Slush Cup, usually around mid to late May. While it's still feasible to ski on this day, the snow conditions are less than ideal and it can be a bit more like waterskiing than snowskiing once the early morning coolness has cleared.

Most people come up to the village on the last ski day purely to watch the Slush Cup.

A large rectangular tank is created at the base of one of the ski runs and filled with water, lots of cold, deep water. Competitors ski down the run and the object is to surf across the water and end up on the other side still dry. Skiers and snowboarders alike take part in various forms of dress (or undress).

For spectators it's great entertainment, and watching unsuccessful competitors fishing around in the tank for their skis, while mini icebergs float by is as funny as watching them fall in in the first place, or indeed succeed and hit dry land.

Live music is also part of the Slush Cup, and in 2006 BC/DC gave a great performance amongst the snowcapped mountains with the happy skiers and snowboarders enjoying a day in the sun.

sunshine village ski resort
Not too crowded for a lunch stop at Goat's Eye

Sunshine Village is also serviced by shuttle buses. The Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle provides a regular service from Calgary International Airport to Canmore, Banff and Sunshine. You can book seats with Rocky Mountain Sky Shuttle directly on their website or call 1-888-762-8754 or 1-403-762-5200.

Sunshine Coach offers a service from Calgary and Canmore to Sunshine with several pickup points along the route. It also operates between Banff and Sunshine with pickup points for the hotels in Banff. You can book your seats by calling 1-866-666-6Bus or 1-403-241-8314.

For more information visit the Sunshine Village website.

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