Summer Sightseeing on the Mount Norquay Chairlift

Author: Celine Brewer

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Mount Norquay is a ski resort just minutes from the town of Banff. Locals love Mt Norquay given its easy access and family-friendly atmosphere. But don’t be fooled, visiting Mount Norquay isn’t just for the winter!

There’s still plenty to do at Mt Norquay throughout the year. One of the best things to do at Mount Norquay when visiting Banff in the summer, is to take a ride on the Norquay chairlift.

The Mount Norquay Chairlift is worth it alone for the views, they are spectacular, but even better is enjoying the mountain scenery over lunch at the incredible Cliffhouse Bistro!

Mt Norquay Chairlift with view of Mt Rundle and Town of Banff in distance

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Mount Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift

Visitors to Mt Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift are taken up the Norquay chairlift. While it feels a little odd to get on a chairlift when you aren’t wearing skis, it’s an incredible way to enjoy the surrounding mountains.

Norquay Chair at Norquay Chairlift Summer

Being in the open air allows you to enjoy unimpeded views, smell the fresh mountain air and gives you the best chance to spot Banff wildlife along the way. We only saw a deer during our ride, but there’s always a chance to spot bears or bighorn sheep.

The ride to the top in a chairlift is slow and enjoyable. The ride to the top of the Mt Norquay Chairlift takes about 10 minutes.

two people on Norquay Summer Chairlift

As amazing as the ride up the Norquay Chairlift is, the ride down is simply incredible. The 180-degree views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains are impressive to say the least. You’ll get views of the town of Banff, Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain. It’s a sight you won’t soon forget.

view of Bow Valley from Mount Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift

Norquay Chairlift with Kids

Riding the Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift is a fun experience for the whole family, if you are visiting Banff with kids.

You’ll be riding on a double open-air chairlift, so be sure your kids will be comfortable with this. Kids under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and minimum age for riding the chairlift is 2 years old.

Mount Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift in Banff National Park

While we haven’t yet taken our kids up the Norquay Chairlift, we have ridden the Lake Louise Summer Chairlift with kids (who are 8 and 6 years old). They are comfortable riding a chairlift from skiing, and loved the experience of riding a chairlift in the summer.

Don’t worry about getting on and off the chairlift. The attendants are there to help you and stop the chairlift so everyone can get on and off safely.

Norquay Chairlift Hours

The Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift operates daily in the summer (June through mid-October) from 9 am to 6 pm. The hours do change slightly in the fall with the hours in September and October reduced to 10 am to 6 pm.

Always check the latest hours before planning your trip. The hours for Mt Norquay Chairlift can be found here.

Mt Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift in October

Mt Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift Prices

To purchase a ticket to ride the Mt Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift, it’s $43.05 for an adult (16+), $27.30 for a child (6-15) and free children 2-5 years old.

There is also a Family Pass available for $115, which includes 2 adults and 2 children (6-15 years old).

Man sitting on Norquay Chairlift in Banff

Note: the Norquay Chairlift offers a reduced rate for locals. This includes residents in the Bow Valley from Dead Man’s Flats to Field, but doesn’t extend as far as Calgary. Inquire when you purchase your ticket and be prepared to show your ID with an address.

Norquay Sightseeing Location

The Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift is one of 4 sightseeing chairlifts in Banff National Park and is located at the Mt Norquay Ski Resort.

Take Highway 1 west and exit at Mt Norquay Rd, continue right onto Mt Norquay Scenic Drive. Continue past the first large parking lot for the Mt Norquay Ski Resort and follow the signs to a smaller parking lot at the North American Lodge.

Direction Sign from Mt Norquay Chairlift in Summer

Banff Norquay offers a free shuttle from 4 spots in Banff to outside the North American Lodge at Norquay. You don’t even need to book in advance, just check the schedule and hop on. Just one more great way to get around Banff without a car!

Mt Norquay Chairlift Viewing Area

At the top of the chairlift, is a viewing platform where visitors can take in the mountain views. You’ll get incredible views of Stoney Lookout, Cascade Mountain, Mt Rundle, Mt Inglismaldie and the Town of Banff.

View from Mount Norquay Chairlift

Just a short walk downhill of the chairlift is another viewing area with chairs on a series of platforms. The vistas of the Bow Valley and the surrounding mountains are worth spending some time here!

Path to viewing platform from top of Norquay Chairlift

Mount Norquay Chairlift Restaurant – Cliffhouse Bistro

Located up a series of steps from the chairlift is the Cliffhouse Bistro. This renovated 1950’s tea house offers not only incredible food but scenery to match.

two glasses on table with mountain view in background - Mt Norquay Chairlift Banff

The restaurant only sits approximately 50 people, so make a reservation if you plan to eat here in the summer. We visited in early October and had no issues getting a table with a view.

We ordered the Shakshuka, the Gorditas and we couldn’t pass up an order of onion rings. The service was excellent and the food was amazing.

While this isn’t necessarily the place we’d recommend if you were visiting Banff on a budget, but if you are going to make one splurge then a meal atop one of the best Banff gondolas would be worth it!

Mt Norquay Sightseeing Platform

If you’d like to eat your own food while atop the Norquay Summer Chairlift, a fun alternative is to grab a couple of chairs on the viewing platform. Every chair will enjoy amazing mountain views at this 7000 ft elevation.

Viewing Platform with chairs at top of Mt Norquay Chairlift

Mt Norquay Hiking

Unfortunately, there is no hiking at the top of the Norquay Chairlift, although you can make a reservation for the Via Ferrata.

If you wanted to do a hike as well, the Stoney Lookout hike and the Cascade Amphitheatre hike (while this post describes the snowshoe, the hiking trail is the same) can both be accessed from the main Norquay Ski Resort parking lot. Hiking is one of our favorite free things to do in Banff!

mossy rockwall along Stoney Lookout hiking trail in Banff

What to Bring for the Norquay Sightseeing Chair

  • Bear Spray – Only if you plan to add a hike to your Norquay Chairlift experience.

  • Water Bottle – Don’t forget water on a hot summer day.

  • Sunscreen & Hats – Both the gondola ride and the area at the top are very exposed with no shade. Sunscreen and hats are a must!

  • Layers – It can feel much cooler higher up so be prepared with an extra layer.
Elevation Sign with viewing platform and town of Banff in distance - Mt Norquay Chairlift

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Incredible mountain views and one of the best restaurants in Banff. Don't miss the Norquay Sightseeing Chairlift when planning your trip to Banff National Park!
Celine Brewer - Travel Banff Canada

Celine Brewer, a local Canmore resident, is the co-owner of Travel Banff Canada. She has a passion for being out in the mountains any time of year. In the summer, you'll often find her hiking or mountain biking. In the winter, she enjoys cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking the most.

As much as she loves the mountains, she also loves travel! When she's not playing outdoors at home, she's either traveling the world with her husband and two kids or working on their other two travel sites: Family Can Travel and Baby Can Travel.