J2Ski J2Ski logo
°F / in / ft / miles°C / cm / m / km


Nakiska Ski Resort Guide

Nakiska, Canada

Rated: 3/5 (from 6 ratings)

Ski Area Highlights
Recommended ForSnowboarders, Snowfall and Apres-Ski.
Highest Lift2,260m7,415ft
Resort Height1,530m5,020ft
 Nearest AirportsKelowna and Kamloops
Free Snow Reports by e-Mail  Sign Up Here


Purpose-built to stage the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics Alpine events, accommodation is centred on Kananakis Village, close to Canmore and Calgary.


The Canadian ski resort of Nakiska is in the Canadian Rockies at an altitude of 1,530m5,020ft.

Nakiska has direct access to 28 marked pistes, served by a total of 5 ski lifts.

The ski resort itself is at 1,530m5,020ft, so skiing or boarding back to the resort is usually possible. With ski lifts as high as 2,260m7,415ft, snow cover is generally reliable.

Snow and Weather

When will it snow in Nakiska?

There is currently no significant snow in the 7-day forecast for Nakiska.

See our long-range Snow Forecast for the latest update, or   Join our Snow Mail Here

Snow this week

Snow Forecast by day for Nakiska

Ski Area Stats

Nakiska Ski Area

Piste and Lift Stats
Black Pistes
Expert Trails
Red Pistes
Intermediate Runs
Blue Pistes
Easy Trails
Cross Country
Total Length
40km25 miles
Ski Lifts
Number of Lifts


Nakiska Ski Area Heights

Lift Heights and Resort Altitude
Highest Lift2,260m7,415ft
Lowest Piste1,530m5,020ft
Resort Altitude (Nakiska)1,530m5,020ft
Max Vertical730m2,395ft

Ratings & Suitability

Ratings for Nakiska
Expert Skiers
Intermediate Skiers

Nakiska Overview

Located in the heart of the spectacular Kananaskis Valley, Nakiska was specifically designed to host the alpine events of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Also known as Mount Allan, Nakiska is set within Kananaskis Country, a popular 4250 sq km/1615 sq mile) outdoor recreation area located an hour's drive southwest of Calgary (110km/68 miles) spanning both the foothills and the Rockies. Within Kananaskis Country there are 4 provincial parks; Peter Lougheed, Bow Valley, Bragg Creek and Elbow/Sheep Wilderness. The area is a real winter playground with a host of winter activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating and dog sledding as well as downhill skiing and snowboarding. Accommodation is directly adjacent to Nakiska in Kananaskis Village.

When Captain John Palliser led a British scientific expedition through this area between 1857 and 1860, he wrote in his journal about the legend of an Indian named Kananaskis, giving account of his most wonderful recovery from the blow of an axe to his head, which stunned but failed to kill him. Palliser gave the name Kananaskis to the Bow River tributary in the area. He named the Kananaskis River and the pass that he crossed, the Kananaskis Pass, which led him through the Rocky Mountains. The word Kananaskis is said to mean meeting of the waters.

Today Kananaskis Country is not only a multi-use recreational area, but other activities such as timber harvesting, ranching and natural gas operations also co-exist with the diversity of recreational uses. Alberta's youngest Rocky Mountain resort, Nakiska was designed using computer technology to best create long, wide, fall-line runs, perfect for ski racing during the Olympics and now a cruiser's paradise.

The layout of the ski trails is simple and very user-friendly with expert terrain primarily at the top of the mountain, intermediate runs in the middle and beginner areas at its base. Skiers and snowboarders can depend on quality snow coverage as Nakiska is equipped with extensive and sophisticated snowmaking systems. This combined with a commitment to world class grooming makes Nakiska a great choice for those that enjoy long cruising runs on the picture-perfect corduroy daily snow reports consistently speak of.

Only 30 minutes drive away through some spectacular wilderness is the neighbouring ski resort of Fortress Mountain. Lift tickets are transferable so you can ski the 2 areas in one day. The town of Canmore 60km/37 miles is considered to be the residential community of the area with an established infrastructure geared towards an outdoor lifestyle. Canmore Nordic Centre, which hosted the cross-country skiing, biathlon and nordic combined events of the XV Winter Olympics is considered to have some of the best developed nordic ski trails anywhere in the world.

 Notable Ski Runs

The most difficult run is the 'Eagle Tail'.


To help you get the most from your holiday, ski hosts lead free guided tours of the mountain. The mountain offers 28 different runs and a vertical drop of over 2,400 feet and features 5 lifts including 2 quad chairs, 1 triple chair, 1 double chair and a surface lift. Although designed with ski racing in mind Nakiska's terrain was carefully planned to meet the needs of family visitors. In fact 70% of Nakiska's terrain is rated as intermediate, with 16% classified as novice and the remaining 14% as expert. The overall design of the mountain is simple and very user friendly, with the expert terrain primarily at the top, intermediate runs in the middle, and the lower areas for beginners. There is also an Easy Way Down, a green run which starts at the very top of the mountain and will take novices all the way back down to the Day Lodge.

To fully ensure a successful Olympic games and reliable snow conditions for years to come, Nakiska was equipped with one of the most extensive and sophisticated snow making systems in the world. The end result is that skiers and snowboarders alike can depend on quality snow coverage from mountain top to valley bottom. This, combined with a commitment to world class grooming makes Nakiska the destination of choice for those that enjoy long cruising runs, or are looking for some serious carving. The daily snow report consistently talks about acres of picture-perfect corduroy. This is no idle boast, as those that are in the know will tell you that Nakiska is not only the closest to town, but is the destination of choice when it comes to groomed cruising and carving.

The Canmore Nordic Centre is considered to be one of the best developed cross-country ski and biathlon trails in the world, with over 70km of trail ideal for public use, snow-making, illuminated night skiing and a well appointed day lodge.

Nakiska offers good sking, particularly, for Expert and Intermediate skiers.


Nakiska has an FIS competition half pipe and terrain park on Homesteader while beginner/intermediate boarders have their own halfpipe at the top of the Silver Chair. A new superpipe, built by world renowned terrain park architect Jeff Patterson opened for the 2002-3 season.

Superpipes - traditionally used exclusively by snowboarders - are gaining in popularity amongst skiers these days. Nakiska also offers an advanced terrain park and a toned-down family park for beginners and younger children.

The Nakiska Snowboard club have their own fully certified coaches and organise courses in racing, boardercross and half pipe for all ages and skill levels. Committed to providing youth with the opportunities to participate in snowboard programmes and competitions, their courses run for 28, 35 or 50 days. A good grounding in basic riding skills is required as well as an advanced level of fitness. Courses are suited to those who would like to reach an advanced level of freeriding as well as those who wish to compete in racing, boardercross and halfpipe.

Location and Map

Where is Nakiska?

This ski resort is in the Canadian Rockies in North Okanagan, British Columbia.


Tap Show Map in Full Screen for Full-Screen, or see J2Ski's Resort map, showing Hotels and Ski Shops.

How to get there

 By Air

The nearest airport to Nakiska is Kelowna, 48 minutes drive away.

Kamloops and Penticton airports are all within three hours drive.

Kelowna is just one hours drive away, in good driving conditions, so you can be on the piste quickly.


Ski Lift Capacity

The five ski lifts are able to uplift 8,620 skiers and snowboarders every hour.

Snow Making

Snow-making is available, with 65 snow cannons.

Season Dates

When is Nakiska open?

We don't currently have confirmed season dates, but hope to soon.

Usual opening is mid November, and usual closing is Late April.

NOTE:- Ski area, lift and piste opening is subject to Current Snow Conditions.

COVID-19 / Coronavirus

We don't yet have specific details of the COVID-19 precautions being taken in Nakiska, but they are likely to include most of the following :-

  • Face masks required on lifts, and in shops.
  • Social distancing in public areas.
  • Reduced lift capacity.
  • Extensive disinfection / sanitization.

French Ski Resort COVID-19 Measures describes further measures that may also be applied.

Visit the Nakiska Tourist Office for the latest.

Talking about Nakiska

Mentions in recent J2Ski News Items and Snow Reports from our users...

Aprés Ski

Torchlight descents are available for group bookings. The Shine and Dine takes place at 4.30pm at the mid-mountain lodge. A cash bar is followed by a buffer dinner and then a guided torchlight descent back to the base station.