Nakiska Skiing Terrain

Nakiska Skiing Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded
Even though Nakiska ski resort was designed for ski racing, it is an ideal mountain for families and those learning to ski. It’s also a great place for intermediates to hone their carving skills. Considering that 70% of the runs are ranked as intermediate, there’s plenty of variety. The Olympic length steep runs and state of the art grooming on the wide runs makes for great cruising, or for testing the edges whilst racing against your mates. There are also some gladed areas.

The natural snowfall is the lowest in the area and Nakiska relies heavily on snowmaking. Thanks to the Olympics, there is great snowmaking infrastructure with the potential for 85% of the terrain to be covered in artificial snow.

The lift infrastructure is nothing too spectacular, but adequate considering that it doesn’t have to cover massive terrain. There are only three main chairlifts. The two quads at the lower part of the mountain are the Silver and Olympic chairs. The Gold lift provides access to the top part of the mountain. Anyone would think the resort was purpose built for the Olympics?

The ski resort of Nakiska is somewhat uncrowded so it may make a happy alternative to some of the busier resorts around Banff. Lift queues are definitely not an issue.

Nakiska is not a resort that you will have any difficult orienting yourself to, but there are free guided tours available if you wish.

Beginner Ski Terrain

The novice area at the base of the mountain is perfect with a 105 metre magic carpet. There is also a dedicated beginner area with its own lift, the Bronze chair, where there is no fear of being shown up by good skiers (except for the instructors). More confident beginners can ride the quad chairs and take the easy-out.

Nakiska Intermediate Skiing

Nakiska is perfect for intermediates with most of the terrain ranked as blue. With plenty of corduroy and runs of varying steepness, intermediates can choose their ideal run to advance the skills.

For the Family/Kids

Nakiska is a very family-friendly resort. Its compact size makes it easy to keep track of the family, although typically the older part of the family may want to remain on the upper parts of the mountain. The magic carpet and beginner area down the bottom have been well designed, and there is a children-specific area called Kritter World, with a small person friendly adventure park.

Parks and Pipes

There is a terrain park that is good for skill development, and the half-pipe is open from day one of the season thanks to snow-making. There is also a mini boarder cross course.

Advanced Skiing

A few challenging runs for advanced riders can be found at the top of the mountain, with 14% of the trails rated as expert. There are even a couple of runs rated as double blacks, but these certainly don’t compare to the double blacks of Kicking Horse (or even the black runs at Kicking Horse!).

For the Powder Hound

Unfortunately this mountain rarely has anything on offer for powder hounds. The powder days are few and far between, but when it does hit, the gladed areas or upper eagle tail are potential places to enjoy the pow.

Nakiska Snow

Nakiska only has an annual average snowfall of 2.5 metres, and considering the spring Chinooks, the snow tends to melt quickly. There is extensive snow-making but let’s face it, artificial snow is not the same as that which the snow gods make. When we visited in late February, cover was incredibly marginal on some of the ungroomed runs.