The Nakiska ski resort was purpose-built for the alpine events of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. It is a fairly small and simple ski resort, but it’s a favourite amongst local Calgary families. It doesn’t see too many international visitors considering it has to compete with the nearby Banff ski resorts
of Lake Louise
and Sunshine Village
. Nevertheless, if your family prefers a petite and easy to navigate resort, then Nakiska is worth a visit.
Where is Nakiska Ski Resort?
Nakiska is in the Canadian Rockies in the Kananaskis region, and is the local ski mountain for Calgary. It’s only 45 minutes west (83km) of the city. There’s no Nakiska accommodation
on-mountain, but there are hotels in Kananaskis Village only five minutes away from Nakiska. Alternatively you can commute from Canmore, Banff
Nakiska Ski and Snowboard Terrain
The presence of Olympic length runs is a good sign that the Nakiska ski resort terrain features decent vertical. Considering Nakiska was specifically designed and built for ski racing, it also has a lot of investment in infrastructure. There’s state of the art grooming and to make up for the lack of natural snowfall, most of the skiable area is supplemented with snowmaking. The wide corduroy runs are fun for cruising (or racing!).
The 413 hectares of skiable terrain is mostly suited to intermediates, but there are enough runs for beginners, and a few challenging runs for advanced riders. For freestylers, there's a terrain park and a half-pipe. Unfortunately this mountain doesn’t have much on offer for expert skiers or powderhounds. The annual snowfall is only 2.5 metres, so powder days are very few and far between.
Why Ski Nakiska?
Nakiska is an ideal mountain for families and those learning to ski. It’s not fantastic for others, but I wouldn’t complain if the city I lived in was only 45 minutes away from Nakiska.