Canada, with its diverse landscapes and snowy winters, is a haven for ski enthusiasts. From the towering peaks of the Rockies to the scenic beauty of the Laurentians, Canada's ski resorts offer world-class facilities, breathtaking views, and activities for all levels. Whether you're an experienced skier or a beginner, there's a perfect resort waiting for you. Plus, we've included some other activities to check out while you're there, ensuring a memorable winter getaway.

1. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Whistler Blackcomb is arguably the most famous ski resort in Canada and for good reason. Located just two hours from Vancouver, it boasts the largest ski area in North America, with over 8,000 acres of terrain. The resort's two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, offer a combined 200+ marked trails, 16 alpine bowls, and three glaciers. The resort's diverse terrain caters to all levels, from gentle beginner slopes to challenging double black diamond runs.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 1,609 meters (5,280 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 200+
  • Ski Season: November to May
  • Accommodations: Luxurious hotels, cozy lodges, and ski-in/ski-out options
  • Activities: Snowboarding, heli-skiing, snowshoeing, and an apr√®s-ski scene with vibrant nightlife and dining

Things to Do Around:

  • Whistler Village: Stroll through the pedestrian village, filled with shops, restaurants, and art galleries. The village is a hub of activity year-round, offering a mix of luxury boutiques, cozy coffee shops, and lively bars.
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola: Ride the world-record-breaking gondola connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The ride offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
  • Scandinave Spa: Relax in the outdoor baths and spa treatments nestled in a peaceful forest setting. The spa provides a perfect retreat after a day on the slopes, with hot baths, saunas, and massage therapy.

2. Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff and Lake Louise offer stunning scenery and excellent skiing. The area includes three major resorts: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay. Together, they form the Big 3, providing over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. Each resort has its unique charm, with Lake Louise known for its wide-open runs and Banff Sunshine for its high alpine terrain.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: Up to 1,200 meters (4,000 feet)
  • Number of Runs: Lake Louise: 145; Banff Sunshine: 137; Mt. Norquay: 60
  • Ski Season: November to May
  • Accommodations: Historic lodges, luxurious hotels, and charming inns
  • Activities: Ice skating on Lake Louise, dog sledding, and soaking in the Banff Upper Hot Springs

Things to Do Around:

  • Banff National Park: Explore the natural beauty of Canada's oldest national park with its stunning landscapes and wildlife. Activities include hiking, wildlife viewing, and scenic drives.
  • Johnston Canyon: Hike through the canyon to see frozen waterfalls and ice formations. The trail features catwalks built into the canyon walls, offering unique views.
  • Banff Gondola: Take a ride up Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of the Rockies. At the summit, enjoy interpretive exhibits, a boardwalk, and a restaurant with stunning views.

3. Mont Tremblant, Quebec

Mont Tremblant, located in the Laurentian Mountains, is known for its picturesque village and excellent skiing. The resort offers over 100 trails on four distinct mountain faces, catering to skiers of all levels. The pedestrian village at the base of the mountain is reminiscent of a European ski town, complete with cobblestone streets and vibrant facades.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 645 meters (2,116 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 102
  • Ski Season: November to April
  • Accommodations: Vibrant pedestrian village with hotels, condos, and chalets
  • Activities: Snow tubing, ice climbing, and enjoying the European-style village with its shops, restaurants, and spas

Things to Do Around:

  • Mont Tremblant National Park: Explore the park's trails, lakes, and diverse wildlife. The park offers activities like hiking, snowshoeing, and canoeing.
  • Casino de Mont-Tremblant: Try your luck at the local casino nestled in the mountains. The casino features slot machines, table games, and fine dining.
  • Le Scandinave Spa: Indulge in a relaxing spa experience with hot baths, saunas, and massages. The spa is located along the banks of the Diable River, providing a serene natural setting.

4. Big White, British Columbia

Big White, located near Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, is known for its "champagne powder" and family-friendly atmosphere. The resort offers a wide range of terrain across 2,765 acres, including groomed runs, glades, and bowls. Big White is particularly popular with families due to its excellent ski school and abundance of kid-friendly activities.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 777 meters (2,550 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 119
  • Ski Season: November to April
  • Accommodations: Ski-in/ski-out hotels, vacation rentals, and chalets
  • Activities: Snowmobiling, ice skating, tubing, and dog sledding

Things to Do Around:

  • Okanagan Wine Tours: Discover the region's renowned wineries with a tasting tour. The Okanagan Valley is famous for its wine production, particularly its ice wines.
  • Kelowna Art Gallery: Visit the gallery to see contemporary Canadian art. The gallery features rotating exhibitions and a collection of local artwork.
  • Myra Canyon Trestles: Hike or bike along the historic Kettle Valley Railway trestles for stunning views. The trestles are a series of wooden bridges spanning deep canyons.

5. Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is famous for its deep powder, long runs, and incredible vertical descent. With the longest vertical in North America at 1,713 meters (5,620 feet), it offers challenging terrain for advanced skiers, as well as areas for beginners and intermediates. Revelstoke is also renowned for its backcountry and heli-skiing opportunities.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 1,713 meters (5,620 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 69
  • Ski Season: December to April
  • Accommodations: Luxurious hotels, modern condos, and mountain lodges
  • Activities: Cat skiing, heli-skiing, and backcountry touring

Things to Do Around:

  • Revelstoke Railway Museum: Learn about the history of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The museum features exhibits on the construction of the railway and the lives of the workers.
  • Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre: Explore one of British Columbia's largest hydroelectric dams. The visitor centre offers interactive exhibits and panoramic views of the dam and reservoir.
  • Meadows in the Sky Parkway: Drive up to Mount Revelstoke National Park for stunning views and hiking trails. The parkway leads to a subalpine meadow with wildflowers in the summer.

6. Sun Peaks, British Columbia

Sun Peaks, the second-largest ski area in Canada, offers a diverse range of terrain across three mountains. The resort is renowned for its family-friendly environment and efficient lift system, ensuring minimal wait times. Sun Peaks also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including music festivals and sporting events.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 881 meters (2,891 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 138
  • Ski Season: November to April
  • Accommodations: Ski-in/ski-out hotels, cozy lodges, and condos
  • Activities: Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and apr√®s-ski in the European-style village

Things to Do Around:

  • Kamloops: Explore this nearby city known for its outdoor activities and cultural attractions. Kamloops offers hiking, mountain biking, and a vibrant arts scene.
  • Riverside Park: Enjoy the scenic views and trails along the Thompson River. The park is a popular spot for picnics and leisurely walks.
  • Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park: Learn about the history and culture of the Secwepemc people. The museum features exhibits on traditional lifestyles and the impact of European settlement.

7. Fernie Alpine Resort, British Columbia

Fernie Alpine Resort, located in the Kootenay Rockies, is known for its high snowfall and varied terrain. The resort offers over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain with a mix of groomed trails, glades, and alpine bowls. Fernie is also famous for its welcoming community and vibrant arts scene.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 1,082 meters (3,550 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 142
  • Ski Season: December to April
  • Accommodations: Ski-in/ski-out options, lodges, and vacation rentals
  • Activities: Snowshoeing, fat biking, and exploring the charming town of Fernie

Things to Do Around:

  • Fernie Museum: Dive into the history of Fernie and its coal mining heritage. The museum features exhibits on the town's development and cultural heritage.
  • Island Lake Lodge: Enjoy cat skiing, snowshoeing, and spa treatments at this luxurious lodge. The lodge is located in a pristine wilderness area and offers gourmet dining.
  • Fernie Arts Co-op: Browse through local art and crafts created by Fernie artists. The co-op showcases a variety of mediums, including painting, pottery, and jewelry.

8. Blue Mountain, Ontario

Blue Mountain, located near Collingwood, is Ontario's largest ski resort. It offers a variety of runs for all skill levels and is known for its vibrant village and proximity to Toronto, making it a popular destination for weekend getaways. The resort also features a comprehensive snowmaking system, ensuring reliable snow conditions throughout the season.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 220 meters (720 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 43
  • Ski Season: December to March
  • Accommodations: Hotels, condos, and chalet rentals
  • Activities: Snow tubing, ice skating, and apr√®s-ski in the lively village

Things to Do Around:

  • Scenic Caves Nature Adventures: Explore caves, suspension bridges, and zipline tours. The park offers a unique combination of natural beauty and adventure activities.
  • Georgian Bay: Visit the bay for beautiful waterfront views and activities. In the summer, Georgian Bay is popular for boating, swimming, and fishing.
  • Collingwood Brewery: Sample local craft beers and enjoy the brewery's taproom. The brewery offers tours and tastings of its award-winning beers.

9. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, British Columbia

Kicking Horse, known for its challenging terrain and deep powder, is a paradise for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resort offers over 120 runs across 2,800 acres, with plenty of steep chutes and alpine bowls. Kicking Horse is also famous for its breathtaking scenery and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Highlights:

  • Vertical Drop: 1,260 meters (4,133 feet)
  • Number of Runs: 129
  • Ski Season: December to April
  • Accommodations: Luxurious lodges, vacation rentals, and on-mountain hotels
  • Activities: Heli-skiing, snowshoeing, and dining at Eagle‚Äôs Eye Restaurant, Canada's highest restaurant

Things to Do Around:

  • Yoho National Park: Explore stunning natural attractions like Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls. The park offers hiking, canoeing, and scenic drives.
  • Golden Skybridge: Walk across Canada's highest suspension bridge for breathtaking views. The attraction features two suspension bridges, a canyon edge walkway, and adventure courses.
  • Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre: Learn about wolves and conservation efforts. The centre offers educational tours and the opportunity to see wolves up close.

Tips for Planning Your Ski Trip

  1. Book Ahead: Ski resorts can get busy, especially during peak season. Book your accommodation, lift tickets, and equipment rentals in advance to secure the best deals and availability.
  2. Travel Off-Peak: If possible, plan your trip outside of the busiest periods, such as Christmas and spring break. You’ll find lower rates, fewer crowds, and a more relaxed experience.
  3. Reciprocal Days: Check if your local ski mountain has a reciprocal agreement with the resort you're visiting. Many resorts offer free or discounted lift tickets to pass holders from other mountains.
  4. Gear Up Properly: Make sure you have the right equipment and clothing for the conditions. Dressing in layers and having good-quality gear can make a significant difference in comfort and safety.
  5. Explore Beyond Skiing: Take advantage of the other activities offered at and around the resort. Whether it’s a spa day, a scenic hike, or exploring a local town, these experiences can enrich your trip.

Canada's ski resorts offer something for everyone, from beginners to advanced skiers, and provide a unique winter experience with stunning landscapes and top-notch facilities. Whether you're looking for family-friendly slopes, challenging runs, or vibrant après-ski scenes, the best ski resorts in Canada have it all. So, pack your gear and get ready to explore the Great White North's snowy wonderlands.

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Posted 
Jul 9, 2024
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