Marmot Basin Ski Resort in Jasper National Park is a place of beauty. The views from the Eagle Ridge and the Knob chairs are particularly awe inspiring, and then there is the dramatic Icefield Parkway on the drive to Marmot Basin. Surrounding the ski resort, the vast Jasper National Park also offers many breathtaking landscapes.
Marmot Basin Jasper is popular with skiers and snowboarders from Edmonton, whilst for others it’s a good choice for a multi-day trip as an alternative to the much busier Banff ski resorts
Summary of Pros and Cons of Marmot Basin Jasper
- The natural beauty of the ski resort and national park is very impressive.
- The ski resort provides reasonable value for money, especially compared to Sunshine and Lake Louise.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
- There is no on-mountain accommodation at Marmot Basin.
- Proficient riders might want a bigger hill, as the Marmot Basin Ski Resort is smaller than average for the main BC and Alberta ski resorts.
- It takes some commitment to get to Marmot Basin, but as a result the ski resort is generally not as crowded as the Banff ski resorts and some of the BC resorts further south.
Marmot Basin Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Marmot Basin isn’t huge with only 86 runs and 1,675 acres (678 hectares) of skiable terrain, so it doesn’t take long to suss out the general layout. Sunshine Village
is twice the size and Lake Louise
is 2.5 times the size, but on the plus side, Marmot is about 9 times bigger than the little Banff Norquay
resort. Marmot Basin has a vertical drop of 914 metres (3,000 ft) from 2,612 to 1,698m, although part of the vertical includes some hike-to-terrain.
The Marmot Basin ski area is above and below the treeline so it provides the best of both worlds: the majesty of the open alpine; and the protection of the trees. There is good terrain variety including groomed runs, moguls, glades, tight trees, alpine bowls, chutes and cliffs/rock features.
Trails are evenly spread by ability with 30% for beginners, 30% intermediate, 20% advanced and 20% double black diamond. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the shots off the Eagle Ridge chair and Knob chair, particularly with a hike up to the top of Marmot Peak.
Marmot Basin Ski Resort has 7 lift including 3 high speed quad chairs. The only archaic chair is the Knob Chair that was built in 1976, but no one seems to mind the slowness of the chair considering the terrain it accesses.
The hill can get pretty busy on weekends and holidays, but relative to Banff it’s reasonably quiet and generally there’s a lack of crowds midweek.
Like some of the other Alberta ski resorts, it doesn’t snow that much at Marmot Basin with an average of only 4 metres (160 inches) of snowfall per season. However when it does snow, the quality tends to stay good for days, thanks to cold temps, a reasonable aspect (many runs face east to northeast) and good elevation. Marmot Basin Resort prides itself on having the highest base elevation of the Canadian ski resorts.
Where is Marmot Basin?
Marmot Basin Resort is 21km (20-30 minute drive) south of the town of Jasper in the Jasper National Park of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There are shuttle services between Jasper hotels and the ski resort.
Jasper Alberta is only 26km from the border with British Columbia, and 288km northwest of Banff
, 365km southwest of Edmonton and 412km northwest of Calgary. There are shuttle operators providing transport services to Jasper from both Edmonton and Calgary airports.
There is no on-mountain lodging at Marmot Basin. The main accommodation base is 21km away in the town of Jasper. Once a hub for the fur trade then a railway town, Jasper is now the base for the National Park which teems with visitors in summer. In winter it’s much quieter, and Jasper Alberta has a small town feel.
Jasper Hotel Listings
Ski Resort Facilities
The on-mountain amenities are housed within the main day lodge at the base area as well as two mid-mountain lodges that are mainly for dining amenities. Marmot has improved its food options somewhat, but this is not the place to come if you’re looking for fine dining opportunities.
Other ski resort amenities include a child care facility (19 months to 6 years), an equipment rental and repair shop, a retail shop, and a snow sports school for ski and snowboard lessons.
Other Jasper winter activities include dog sledding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and ice-skating on frozen lakes. Or for crazy people, there’s a lake that’s not frozen where you can go for a very chilly swim.
A highlight during winter is the spectacular Maligne Canyon where you can walk (with cleats) on the ice through a deep canyon and over frozen river rapids and waterfalls.