Banff National Park comes close to paradise if you’re a skier or snowboarder. The terrain here is some of the best and most varied in North America, and three world-class resorts lie in the park: two close to Banff – Mount Norquay and Sunshine Village – and one in Lake Louise. On top of great snow and pristine runs, you get crisp air, monumental mountains, sky-high forests, and low prices and space that make a mockery of Europe’s exorbitant and crowded winter playgrounds. The Ski Banff-Lake Louise-Sunshine Tri-Area Pass (w skibig3.com) is valid for between three and nine days’ skiing at the three resorts; a three-day pass is $265, six days $507.
The park also offers the full gamut of winter activities, embracing everything from skating, ice-fishing and toboggan trips to dogsledding, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. What the brochures don’t tell you is that it can be bitterly cold for much of the skiing season, so come prepared.