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BAnff in April?

Midlands, UK
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2 reviews
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BAnff in April?

Hi

We are thinking of going to Banff April 15-25 with 3 children, are we going to be too late for good skiing? Thanks

Calgary
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987 posts
60 reviews
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1. Re: BAnff in April?

There will still be lots of skiing. Sunshine Village in particular is usually open until late May.

Australia
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192 posts
65 reviews
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2. Re: BAnff in April?

Great spring skiing at that time of the year. mt Norquay will most likely be closed but the other resorts will still be in good shape.

Early April is known for excellent powder especially at Sunshine. Not sure if you can come earlier?

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: BAnff in April?

Sunshine Village still has great skiing all the way through til late May. With the added benefits of milder weather, outdoor concerts on the weekends, etc. it's a really fun time to be on the mountain!

Calgary, Canada
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18 posts
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4. Re: BAnff in April?

I love April skiing - April and May are some of my favourite times to go! Last year, we were out with the kids at Sunshine on May 5th right after a blizzard and had the best snow of the year! powder all over the groomers! I definitely wouldn't hesitate going in April. Plus the warmer temperatures are a bonus, especially with the kids who will be a lot happier in the milder weather. We were skiing a day with the kids this December and it was -22 when we got to Sunshine in the morning.

I would definitely say Sunshine in April!

Edmonton, Canada
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57 reviews
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5. Re: BAnff in April?

great time to ski. i love those days when you can just wear ski pants and a long sleeved shirt. sitting outside in the sunshine on the decks when you take a break. make sure you bring sunscreen. a lot of people don't think about it and end up with very red, painful faces.

Tel Aviv, Israel
2 posts
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6. Re: BAnff in April?

hi'

what about treavling in April and not just skiing?

Tel Aviv, Israel
2 posts
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7. Re: BAnff in April?

what else is there to do there ( and in Jasper) in this time of year (April), if in not a ski fan.?

thanks.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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8. Re: BAnff in April?

April is the beginning of spring-time in the valley bottoms where the towns are (at the lowest elevations) but trails are generally still icy, so walking/hiking options are usually quite limited. The best thing to do is to visit the visitor centres to get updates on current conditions (it's impossible to give much in the way of walking recommendations right now although I can say that here in Jasper, Trail #7, along the Athabasca River, starting from Old Fort Point and walking towards Jasper Park Lodge, is one of the reliable early season walks.)

By that time of year, in the townsite areas I would expect that most of the snow will be melted (although there will still be piles of dirty snow in places where it has been piled, and in shady spots). There can also be overnight snowfalls, but any new snow falling at low elevations usually isn't likely to stay around for long. But although the grass will be showing, it will still be brown ... green-up doesn't happen for another couple of weeks. Trees and bushes don't leaf out until about the third week of May.

At higher elevations, it is still winter.... as mentioned the ski resorts will be open. Other activities such as snowshoeing or cross country skiing may be possible, but ice skating is usually finished for the season by then.... the lakes are still frozen but either the ice is not thick enough to be on it, or else the quality of it for skating is impaired by the melt/freeze of warmer days and colder temperatures overnight. Seasonal roads and attractions (like the boat cruises, or Miette Hot Springs here in Jasper NP) don't open until May, or in some cases early June .... however, one that does - in mid-April - is the sno-coach tour on the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefields. However, one disadvantage of viewing snow-covered glaciers in a snow-covered landscape is that you don't see so much of the glacier ice since most of it is hidden by snow.

The mountains are beautiful all year long and sightseeing is still a big attraction in winter, however, along the Icefields Parkway, some of the pull-offs are not ploughed and therefore not accessible until later in the season. The Bow Summmit/Peyto Lake viewpoint is the most notable... to get here in April, you would need snowshoes to walk in from the road. Ditto for Sunwapta Falls. (However, Athabasca Falls is accessible all year round.)

Here in Jasper, the tramway is not usually open for the season that early, but the gondola in Banff is. There are also hot springs open year-round at Banff. Both towns have museums ... Banff has the Whyte Museum and some other smaller ones; Jasper has the small Jasper-Yellowhead Museum.

Your visit includes Easter weekend, which is a very busy long weekend in the resort towns, so be sure to book your accommodation for then as soon as your itinerary is set.

Edited: 25 January 2014, 17:11
9. Re: BAnff in April?

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