Castle Mountain3.5 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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banff powder highway tour

Castle Mountain Ski Resort
Castle Mountain Ski Resort
Castle Mountain has plenty of slopes for advanced riders
Castle Mountain has plenty of slopes for advanced riders
Plenty of open slopes
Plenty of open slopes
The base area of Castle Mountain Resort
The base area of Castle Mountain Resort
The Huckleberry chair lift
The Huckleberry chair lift
Castle Mountain Canada
Castle Mountain Canada
Views over the back of Castle Mountain
Views over the back of Castle Mountain
Castle Mountain offers amazing views
Castle Mountain offers amazing views
More great views
More great views
Castle Mountain Alberta
Castle Mountain Alberta
Many single black diamond lines
Many single black diamond lines
A traverse trail along the top
A traverse trail along the top
Top of the Huckleberry chair
Top of the Huckleberry chair
Afternoon snowshoeing tour
Afternoon snowshoeing tour
A guide takes you down through the forest on snowshoes
A guide takes you down through the forest on snowshoes
Dramatic views from the top
Dramatic views from the top
The Chutes area
The Chutes area
Castle Mountain Resort
Castle Mountain Resort
Castle Mountain Canada
Castle Mountain Canada
Castle Mountain Ski Resort
Castle Mountain Ski Resort

Castle Mountain

At Castle Mountain Ski Resort you might feel like nobility when you score princely amounts of powder, but you’re unlikely to receive the full royal treatment! At Castle Mountain Resort in Alberta Canada there are no days spas or sleigh rides, and you’re unlikely to spot any fur jackets or anyone strutting about. Castle Ski Resort is delightfully non-commercialised, non-fancy and reasonably low key. The ski area has an old school vibe and it’s ideal for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding without all the extra frills.

Castle Mountain is mostly frequented by locals who come for the weekend, but it’s worth adding on a few days at Castle if you’re heading to the Banff ski resorts. Or if you’re chasing powder on a big road trip, it’s worth skiing at Castle Mountain Canada as an extension to the BC Powder Highway.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Castle Mountain Canada

Pros
  • Castle Mountain Ski Resort has plenty of challenging terrain for advanced and expert riders.
  • There are lots of decent length fall line runs.
  • It’s rather unique for a Canadian cat skiing operation to be co-located with a ski resort, the Powder Stagecoach.
  • The lift tickets are reasonably inexpensive. Facilities and services and on-mountain accommodations are also rather affordable.
  • It is not a heavily trafficked ski resort relative to some of the other Alberta ski areas.
  • The mountain generally receives very respectable snowfalls.
Cons
  • There are only 3 lifts that service most of the terrain, so a lot of travel time is required to get to and from the outer runs.
  • The lifts are rather slow but the upside is that this tends to keep the crowds away.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The amenities are reasonably low frills and cell service and internet may not be too crash hot.
  • Mid-week it’s a sleepy hollow so there’s little to do outside of the skiing and snowboarding, and some of the amenities and services (including grooming) don’t fully operate on weekdays.
  • Castle Mountain is renowned for the oft windy conditions, but the upside is that big bumps tend not to develop due to the wind sift.

Castle Ski and Snowboard Terrain

On paper, Castle Mountain Resort appears reasonably large with 863 metres of vertical (1,410 - 2,273 metres), 79 trails, 8 alpine bowls, and 3,592 acres (1,450 hectares). However in reality it seems much smaller, particularly for beginners and intermediates. It’s unclear what’s counted in the 3,500+ acres and it’s likely that it includes the 800 acre Powder Stagecoach cat skiing area. And if the top lift closes due to wind hold, then Castle Mountain becomes rather small.

The Castle ski terrain has plenty of long runs, good fall line skiing, and decent variety. Beginners have 15% of the trails, and intermediates officially have 40% of the trails but in reality it feels like much less.

Castle Mountain’s real strength is its appeal for advanced and expert riders. The ski area has lots of steeps, good glades, mini moguls, chutes, and cliff bands that have to be sensibly navigated. Some of the wider runs need a long traverse in and out, but the upside is that the freshies last a long time in these areas.

Weekend powder day lift queues can ensue, but generally crowds are not a problem, especially on weekdays and relative to the Banff ski resorts.

Castle Snow

Castle Mountain receives 9.1 metres of snowfall per season on average, which is pretty good for an Alberta ski resort. The frequent cold temps aid in maintaining good snow quality.

Where is Castle Mountain?

Castle Ski Resort is located 45km southwest of the town of Pincher Creek, a drive that takes approximately 35-40 minutes. Castle is situated in the southwest corner of Alberta Canada, just east of the Continental Divide and 136km southeast of Fernie BC. Castle is 250km south of Calgary (267km from Calgary International Airport). You’ll need a car to get to Castle.

The Castle Mountain Resort shouldn’t be confused with Castle Mountain in the Banff National Park.

Castle Mountain Accommodation

There are definitely no castles to stay at! Castle Lodge is the primary on-mountain accommodation, which features simple lodge rooms as well as a hostel section with budget bunk beds.

Otherwise there are hotels and motels in the quiet town of Pincher Creek.

Pincher Creek Accommodation Listings

Ski Resort Facilities

The ski hill has adequate but basic base facilities. These include a retail shop, inexpensive ski and snowboard rentals, ski and snowboard lessons, and child care (on weekends and holidays).

For food there is a day lodge cafeteria and coffee shop, and the T-Bar Pub and Grill that has plenty of cool vintage décor and a friendly vibe.

Activities

Don’t expect an extensive repertoire of activities for non-skiers to do. Castle is mostly about the skiing and snowboarding.

Castle Mountain cat skiing is available in avalanche-controlled terrain adjacent to the resort. The Powder Stagecoach is lift-assisted snowcat skiing whereby the terrain is accessed by a chair lift and then the snowcat. The cat skiing offers plenty of freshies - get on the powder stagecoach before you turn into a pumpkin!

Castle also has a small cross country trail at the resort and there is also the Syncline Nordic area on the road to Castle. Snowshoeing is another option and there are afternoon snowshoe tours that start at the top of the Huckleberry chair. You can then wander down through the forest, along the trail back to the resort, and finish with an apres-shoe drink at the pub.

Tours That May Include Castle Mountain

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Pure Powder Adventure DETAILS
FULLY HOSTED & GUIDED SAFARI
9 Days | 9 Nights | 7 Skiing | 4 Resorts
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,761
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
This tour checks out some of Canada's best powder skiing destinations including Sunshine & Lake Louise (Banff, Alberta) and Fernie, Castle Mountain and Kicking Horse in BC. Fixed tour date for mixed group or custom private group.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Castle Mountain here
Cat Skiing Tours
Powder Stagecoach - Day Cat Skiing DETAILS
CASTLE MOUNTAIN DAY CAT SKIING
Single-Day Cat Skiing Adventure
From price based on single day of cat skiing per person.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD ex 5% GST.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 311
To be eligible for any advertised specials you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions. Conditions apply...please enquire for an accurate quote.
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Powder Stagecoach Cat Skiing offer single day snowcat skiing trips for mixed groups (where you can buy individual seats) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Breakfast, lunch & apres drink included. Prior bookings are essential.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Castle Mountain here