Location, location, location. A mantra for real estate agents and brokers everywhere, but also a great (unofficial) slogan for Nakiska Ski Area as location is perhaps one of Nakiska’s greatest assets.
Nakiska Ski Area is located in Kananaskis Country, Alberta – being a unique ski resort it’s not located in a stereotypical Canadian Ski town, in fact it’s not even located nearby one, it is however still in one of the best locations a ski hill could be in. Nakiska is the closest mountain to the dynamic city of Calgary and also within close driving distance to Canmore, Alberta’s outdoor adventure centre, as well as Banff and Lake Louise – both destinations sought out by travelers from around the entire world.
You might be wondering some things about Nakiska. For example – Why is Nakiska located where it is? Why was it built? What the heck is up with the name anyways?
Now, to tackle these questions one at a time. Nearly all of these questions can be answered by looking in Nakiska’s somewhat brief, yet rich history.
Nakiska was built from the ground up for the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games’ Alpine Events, being the closest ‘real’ mountain location to Calgary it was the most convenient and sensible option. (1988 Olympic games’ fun fact – it broke a record at it’s time for having 57 nations competing)! Since it was built to host the world’s best alpine athletes, it is home to Olympic sized groomed runs and also a state of the art snowmaking system, still continually upgrade for increased improvement every year. With such a great snowmaking system built in from the very beginning Nakiska’s time it ensures great snow coverage throughout the season and is often the first ski resort in Canada to open and close to the last to close.
Okay, what is up with that name? Alberta is the home to the Cree First Nations tribe. Nakiska: (Na-kiss-ka) is a Cree word which means ‘to meet’, chosen to respect the people of the region and to designate the ski resort in its birth year as the host of the 1988 Olympic Games. Do you wonder where some of the name of Nakiska runs came from? Check it out on the About Nakiska section on our website.
These days, Nakiska is Calgary’s Closest Mountain and a family favourite, especially with the recent addition of a Tube Park to the base area of the resort. Being driving distance to Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise only add to its vacation appeal and contribute to its great location.
If it’s your first time to Nakiska this winter, read about one family’s experience and get some helpful tips on “Family friendly guide to skiing/snowboarding at Nakiska, Calgary’s Closest Mountain”.
Words by Cali Sammel
Photos by Nakiska, Abbydell Photography and Cali Sammel