Having lived in Calgary for more than ten years, you’d think I know all there is to know about the Banff-area. But that’s of course not true, which is sort of why I love it. Even after all this time Banff National Park continues to surprise me with new and exciting ways to explore it’s stunning beauty.
The most recent one was Mt. Norquay’s sightseeing chairlift, which we discovered rather accidentally. My family was visiting from the East Coast and I wanted to show them the mountains. My normal itinerary includes the Banff Gondola, but as it turns out, that’s actually closed for the next little while for renovations.
I quickly googled some alternatives and as it turns out, there’s only one sight seeing chair open in the winter and it can be found at Mt. Norquay!
I knew that Mt. Norquay has a similar experience in the summer time, but I didn’t know it was open in the winter. Basically you get to go up the ski hill, but you don’t have to ski down. And at only $20, it’s quite a reasonable price, especially when you consider the view:
Once a top the mountain, you can stay as long as you want. Up there, you’ll also find the The Cliff House Bistro, which was built in the 1950′s and offers up majestic views of Banff while you sip hot chocolate, wine or some enjoyable snacks. We had an absolute fantastic time, and got to see Banff in a way that I don’t think many people have.
Maybe the winter sightseeing chair isn’t a new experience, but it’s definitely new to me. My family loved that we didn’t have to be skiers to enjoy one of the best views in the entire world and that we also didn’t break the bank so that we could see it! The chairs go up two at a time and they’re quiet small. If you’re afraid of heights, maybe go up with someone that makes you feel comfortable.
While at Mt. Norquay, I found that there’s lots more things left to discover. Like their tube park which looks like a lot of fun! We didn’t have time this trip, but I’m definitely going to head back. How can you say no to a tube park!
The sightseeing chairlift runs Weekends 9am – 6pm and Weekdays 10:30am – 6pm.
Adult $19.95 Ages 18 and up.
Youth $14.95 Ages 13-17.
Child $9.95 Ages 4-12.