Canada is home to majestic snow-capped mountains, vast tundra, and epic glacial sceneries making it more than deserving of its nickname “the Great White North”. With white snow stretching as far as the horizon, this winter wonderland is a must-visit for skiers, snowboarders, and other winter sports enthusiasts. With such landscapes and terrains, one will have no trouble finding Canadian ski resorts to visit. If you’re planning to go skiing in Canada, we have listed below some of the best ski resorts for you to visit. Take note though that they are not arranged in any particular order since choosing the best (the term is subjective and influenced by an individual’s personal opinions) is truly challenging.
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Considered by many as Canada’s premier ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb is North America’s biggest and most diverse ski resort and boats of providing visitors with a world-class skiing experience. Located in British Columbia’s beautiful Coast Mountains and two hours away from Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb offers epic terrains that can be accessed from Whistler Village, Whistler Creekside, and the Upper Village.
The combined terrains of Whistler and Blackcomb make it the largest ski resort in North America with over 8,000 acres of varied skiing terrains that can accommodate any level of skier, from first-timers with their beginner skis to seasoned pros and everyone else in between. With several green groomers and blue cruisers, alpine bowls and glades and steeps and chutes, it can be pretty hard to resist the lure of these twin peaks.
Reasons We Love Whistler Blackcomb
- Peak to Peak Gondola allows you to hop back and forth between Whistler and Blackcomb in a matter of minutes.
- Variety of terrains that caters to skiers of all levels.
- Lots of off-slope activities including fine dining and shopping in the Whistler Village.
2. Lake Louise
The largest of the Tri-Area ski resorts in Banff National Park, Lake Louise has something for everyone. From stunning glacier sceneries (so don’t forget to bring your skiing cameras) for those who are skiing for relaxation to steep and deep terrains for those who are looking to challenge their skiing abilities, you can find them all in Lake Louise.
Lake Louise boasts of a vast terrain spread over the slopes of Mt. Whitehorn and Saddleback, with the front-side south face directly above the base area and the Larch area on the southeast. Juniper Jungle near the base area also features a wide range of boxes, rails, jumps, spines, and others. The forest-covered slopes have over 100 runs and acres of ungroomed terrains as well.
Reasons We Love Lake Louise
- Offers one of the longest ski seasons (typically running from November to May) among all resorts
- A dedicated zone for beginning skiers
- Licensed Day Care Center where you can leave your kids (18 months to six years old) while you enjoy the slopes
The phenomenal snowfalls at Revelstoke are what make the place a haven for intermediate and seasoned skiers. With its long vertical (the longest in North America to date) and high powder days, it is no wonder that skiers from almost every part of the globe flock to this place. However, the number of people visiting this ski resort is still much lesser than the ones visiting the other more popular skiing destinations, so if you’re trying to avoid the crowds then this is the place for you.
Revelstoke offers various terrains from open bowls to tree runs, though most of them are aimed at intermediates and advanced skiers. There are some well-groomed runs where beginners can plant their ski poles and ride away, but they comprise only a small portion of the whole resort. Nonetheless, beginning skiers are still encouraged to visit the resort as the beginner tracks, despite being small in number, are well worth the ride.
Reasons We Love Revelstoke
- Excellent ski-in and ski-out facilities
- Grand and picture-perfect mountain sceneries all around
- Reasonably priced accommodations
4. Sun Peaks
This is one of the lesser-known ski resorts in Canada, but it is also the second-largest ski resort in the country next to Whistler Blackcomb. With its terrain spread over three mountains, Sun Peaks has something to offer everyone.
Whereas Revelstoke is aimed at strong intermediates and professional skiers, Sun Peaks is much more forgiving and its terrains are mostly designed for beginners and those who just progressed to intermediate levels. You can find all kinds of runs in this ski resort, from groomed cruisers to enjoyable tree runs. Advanced skiers can still have fun in the resort because there are also a few steeps, powder bowls, and even off-piste skiing. Because the ski resort is primarily focused on beginners and intermediates, this is a great place for kids to start dipping their toes in the world of skiing. Plus, Sun Peaks has some of the fluffiest snow in all of Canada, so you’re sure to find kids donned in children’s ski jackets and children’s ski pants playing in the snow instead of racing down the slopes.
Reasons We Love Sun Peaks
- Excellent powder for skiing and other winter activities
- Great Nordic skiing experience with plenty of sunshine, dry snow, and consistent temperatures
- Charming European-style, ski-through village filled with quaint shops, cafés, and eateries to visit
5. Kicking Horse
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is situated outside Golden, British Columbia, and is three hours away from Calgary. On the way, you’ll be driving too many well-known ski resorts but there’s a variety of reasons why skiers of all levels go the extra mile and drive a bit further to get to this resort.
Kicking Horse boasts of over 4,000 feet of vertical and features incredible terrains. It is home to the fourth-highest vertical drop in North America and being able to ski there makes it worth the long travel. There are huge bowls divided by ridges with an expanse of tree runs which intermediate and advanced skiers love. There are steeps and hike-to powder runs as well, and the bowls drain into a more gentle terrain with beginner-friendly runs. Being an out-of-the-way ski resort also means that you’ll get to experience the true and unspoiled charms of an authentic Canadian town.
Reasons We Love Kicking Horse
- Not as crowded as other ski resorts
- Lodgings located close to the slopes
- Expert and extreme terrains for advanced skiers looking for some adrenaline rush
6. Mont Tremblant
Mont Tremblant is one of those ski resorts that offer excellent skiing and charming landscapes. Located an hour and a half away from Montreal, it is one of the most accessible and convenient ski resorts in the country.
Mont Tremblant is easily one of the most premier skiing destinations in Canada, delivering a fabulous skiing experience for all its visitors. Its more than 500 acres of skiable terrain spread over four mountain faces offers something for skiers of all levels including an exhilarating 2,000 feet of vertical drop. There’s also the Tremblant Snow School that offers personalized services to small groups, which also gives you the benefit of getting priority access at the lifts.
After taking off their all-mountain skis and ski boots, visitors can treat themselves to a relaxing and family-friendly experience in the picturesque European style village at the base. The village is equipped with colorful shops, luxury accommodations, fine dining, and many more. The town is reminiscent of communities in the Alps that visitors feel as though they’ve been transported to the other side of the world.
Reasons We Love Mont Tremblant
- Family-friendly skiing destination
- A wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
- Nearby micro-brewery serves excellent beer and good food
7. Red Mountain
Red Mountain is one of the several out-of-the-way ski resorts and takes a little more time to get to. But the best thing about such destinations is that only a handful of people ever take the time to visit them. So if you’re looking to share the mountain with only a handful of people at any given time, then Red Mountain is where you should be beheaded.
Red Mountain is most famously known for its challenging terrains and ski runs. This is why you’ll mostly find advanced level skiers in Red Mountain. With steeps and cliffs that are guaranteed to raise your heart rates, it’s no wonder that Red Mountain has produced more Canadian Ski Team members than any other place in the country. However, there are also a bunch of skis runs for beginners and intermediates, especially after the ski resorts expansion. The legendary tree runs and over 4,000 acres of powder spread over two mountains have something to offer skiers of varying skill levels. That and the old mining town charm of Rossland with its old building that dates back to the 1800s is more than enough reason to add this ski resort to your skiing bucket list.
Reasons We Love Red Mountain
- The friendly and laid-back vibe
- Amazing tree line tracks
- Nice snow hosts that can take you on a tour to help you get oriented to the terrain
8. Fernie Alpine
Fernie Alpine is located in the interiors of British Columbia, thus causing snowstorms to lose their moisture in the far west and leaving the ski resort with nothing but light and dry powder. That and the challenging terrains are some of the reasons why skiers love heading to this place.
Fernie Alpine has some of the most epic bowls and deep, steep runs which are sure to test your skiing skills. If you’re looking for something more challenging, then you can bring your cross country skis and explore the ungroomed glades and gullies in the area. This doesn’t mean though that beginners and children should stay away from this ski resort because it does have some runs which are suitable for their skill levels.
Reasons We Love Fernie Alpine
- Various winter activities like snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, sleigh rides, and more
- Cat skiing operations available
- Affordable accommodations near the resort
9. Mt. Norquay
Mt. Norquay is often considered by many as the birthplace of skiing in the Canadian Rockies, but it isn’t as popular as many of the ski resorts mentioned in this list. Nonetheless, it does offer some of the best experiences for those who are looking to go skiing in Canada and is worth adding to this list. Conveniently located just outside the town of Banff, this is one of the most accessible ski resorts in the country. With affordable lift tickets and ski school, this is the perfect jump-off point for those who are just getting started with skiing.
An underrated gem, Mt. Norquay has over 50 runs that cater more towards beginner and intermediate skiers. However, there are also some steep slopes in the face of the mountain which is great for those who want to progress to the next level. There are steep double blacks with unforgiving moguls which are sure to burn your legs after a day of skiing them. Some consider this to be a great warm-up before heading to the more challenging ski resorts like Revelstoke and others.
Mt. Norquay isn’t as large and vast as other Canadian ski resorts, but what little it has to offer is more than enough to leave a smile on every skier’s face. Couple that with postcard-worthy landscapes and views and you’ve got the perfect skiing vacation.
Reasons We Love Mt. Norquay
- Generally uncrowded even on weekends
- Affordable lift tickets and skiing lessons
- A short ride away from the Banff Township
Another underrated gem of a ski resort in Panorama, mainly because of its smaller size compared to its neighboring ski resorts. Despite its size though, it has a lot of terrains and verticals to offer the adventuring skier.
Panorama has terrains that span almost 3,000 acres all below the tree line, which makes it the perfect destination for those who are looking to enjoy the glazed areas. Most of the terrains and tracks are suited for intermediate skiers, though there are wide cruising groomers and terrain parks where beginners can practice with their skis.
Reasons We Love Panorama
- Family-friendly with lots of free and paid for activities for kids
- Generally, uncrowded which means shorter lines at the lift and more spacious skiing grounds
- The mountain provides a lot of highly advanced terrains for those looking to grow their skills on the mountain
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There are certainly plenty of other Canadian ski resorts worth visiting, but the ones mentioned above are certainly some of the best ones that deserve a spot on your skiing bucket list. So go ahead and grab your gear and make your reservations and prepare yourself for one epic adventure as you go skiing in Canada. Whether you’re looking for well-groomed pistes for a weekend getaway or a backcountry track for a more challenging experience, you’re bound to find them all in the Great White North.
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