While ski resorts are scattered across the country, the premier skiing in Canada is nestled in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta. The snow-clad peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains house world-class ski resorts, drawing enthusiasts from around the globe, as well as smaller resorts cherished primarily by locals.
Whistler Blackcomb, located just a two-hour drive from Vancouver, stands out as one of the top ski resorts in the world, providing a top-tier experience encompassing slopes, hotels, restaurants, and shops. The interior of BC hosts some lesser-known treasures with extreme terrain or family-friendly resorts. In Alberta, the ski resorts around Banff offer an exceptional initiation into Canadian Rockies skiing.
In central and eastern Canada, Ontario and Quebec present their skiing opportunities, catering primarily to an eastern audience. In Ontario, Blue Mountain, a delightful family hill, is conveniently located just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. Meanwhile, in Quebec, Mont-Tremblant, renowned for producing some of Canada’s most celebrated skiers, stands as one of the best skiing destinations in eastern Canada.
Plan your winter getaway with our compilation of the finest ski resorts in Canada.
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler Blackcomb, under the ownership of Vail Resorts, stands as Canada’s premier ski resort, boasting world-class skiing and top-notch facilities. The combined terrain of these two mountains positions it as the largest ski resort in North America. Whistler Blackcomb’s strategic location in the mountains, just behind the ocean, guarantees a consistent supply of snow, with an average annual snowfall of 35.5 feet. Nestled at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb is the captivating Whistler Village.
A visit to Whistler isn’t limited to skiing, but for those who indulge, the resort offers seemingly endless terrain suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to extreme skiers. With five terrain parks featuring over 150 features, 90 rails, and 40-plus jumps, skiers can enjoy wide-open bowls on Whistler Mountain and groomed runs across both mountains. Blackcomb’s Horstman Glacier even allows for year-round skiing.
The renowned PEAK 2 PEAK gondola, spanning over three kilometers and holding the title of the world’s longest unsupported lift span, seamlessly connects both mountains. Both skiers and non-skiers can revel in the gondola ride, which provides outstanding views of the mountains and ski runs.
For non-skiers seeking excitement, the BUBLY Tube Park offers seven different lanes catering to various ages, speed tolerances, and adventure levels. A separate ticket is required for the tube park, and booking in advance online proves to be more economical.
Situated in the stunning Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler is a mere two-hour drive from Vancouver. If you’re staying in the city or nearby and exploring other skiing options, check out our guide to the best ski resorts near Vancouver, many of which offer good value and experience fewer crowds.
2. Big White Ski Resort
Big White is renowned for its fantastic powder days, expansive vistas, a wealth of intermediate runs, and a well-balanced mix of beginner and expert terrain. Positioned as a fantastic family resort, it offers numerous convenient accommodation options, including ski-in, and ski-out lodgings.
With 16 lifts, including a gondola, and over 2,700 acres of terrain, including 39 acres illuminated at night, the mountain provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Beyond the slopes, you can choose from a variety of activities, including tubing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, and ice climbing. Big White sees an average annual snowfall of 26 feet.
For those with accommodation packages to collect, the spacious central reservations office is impressive, enabling a seamless check-in and checkout experience for guests staying on the hill. The addition of eight new cabins on Lara’s Gondola has increased capacity by 50 percent, and the installation of a new Magic Carpet lift has facilitated the learning process for beginner skiers and boarders.
A new $500,000 groomer has enhanced the spread of corduroy on the slopes, now more extensive than ever before. In the rental shop, a noteworthy innovation involves a new laser system that scans and provides an exact measurement of your foot, ensuring an optimal fit for rental skis and boots.
Situated in the enchanting Okanagan Valley in the interior of British Columbia, Big White is not far from the city of Kelowna.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Big White: Best Areas & Hotels
3. SilverStar Mountain Resort
4. Lake Louise Ski Resort
Situated in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and less than an hour from the town of Banff, Lake Louise stands as one of Canada’s most renowned resorts. The slopes offer majestic views extending over the Bow Valley, surrounding mountains, and towards the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Catering to skiers of all levels, from extreme enthusiasts to families learning the sport, Lake Louise boasts 4,200 acres of skiable terrain and an average snowfall of 15 feet. The diverse offerings include alpine bowls, steeps, chutes, and well-groomed runs.
Equipped with 11 lifts, including a gondola, a six-passenger chair, three high-speed quads, two fixed-grip quads, a triple chair, and three surface lifts, Lake Louise enhances the skiing experience. The newly added Summit chairlift to the West Bowl area creates a 480-acre playground for intermediate to advanced skiers, while the Juniper Quad chair, opened last season, provides new, beginner-friendly terrain.
For those who enjoy skiing in the trees, the resort has conducted thinning in the West Bowl area, making hidden stashes more accessible for skiing and riding.
While Lake Louise Ski Resort lacks on-site accommodation, it offers excellent day-use facilities at the base, including restaurants serving delectable meals and other on-mountain dining options. Skiers can choose to stay in the nearby village of Lake Louise or the town of Banff, approximately 45 minutes away.
Many skiers planning a multi-day trip to the Banff area often include both Lake Louise and Sunshine, and possibly Mount Nor quay, in their itinerary. Lake Louise is a part of the Mountain Collective pass program and the IKON pass program.
5. Sun Peaks Ski Resort
Ranked as Canada’s second-largest ski area, following Whistler, Sun Peaks remains relatively undiscovered outside of Canada and is even one of the lesser-known resorts within the country. Boasting an expansive terrain spread across three mountains, the resort caters to a diverse range of skiers with offerings like steeps, cruisers, and tree skiing. While a variety of runs are available, Sun Peaks places particular emphasis on beginner and intermediate skiing, making it an excellent choice for families.
Snow conditions are consistently reliable, with an average annual snowfall of 18 feet. The recent addition of the new Crystal chairlift and conveyor belt system has increased the resort’s uphill capacity by 20 percent. Complementing the Crystal chairlift, Sun Peaks features 12 lifts, including two high-speed quad chairs, four fixed-grip quad chairs, and six surface lifts.
The European-style village at the base provides ski-in, and ski-out accommodations and facilities, complete with a free resort shuttle, adding a layer of convenience for those choosing to stay on-site. All essential amenities, including quality hotels or condos and excellent restaurants, can be found within the resort, or visitors can opt for a 45-minute commute from nearby Kamloops.
6. Blue Mountain Resort
Located just over two hours north of Toronto, Blue Mountain Ski Resort stands out as one of the premier ski resorts in Ontario. This family-oriented hill offers a range of activities and facilities, compensating for its modest elevation by providing expansive terrain along the Niagara Escarpment, capable of accommodating the weekend crowds.
To efficiently transport skiers, the resort operates 11 lifts, the majority of which are high-speed. Among them are five six-passenger chairs, one fixed-grip quad, one fixed-grip triple, and four surface lifts.
What was once a small-town ski hill has transformed into a sophisticated ski resort with luxury hotels, excellent restaurants, and a variety of upscale stores. The Westin Trillium House, a luxury accommodation option, is particularly noteworthy, allowing easy access to lifts, shops, and restaurants within the village.
Blue Mountain stands as one of the top ski resorts near Toronto, drawing visitors year-round for activities, dining, and weekend getaways.
7. Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie Alpine Resort proves to be an excellent choice for a ski vacation for a wide range of individuals. Whether planning a family getaway, a weekend with friends, a week-long escape, or an extended winter stay, Fernie caters to diverse preferences. The snow conditions and skiing experience are comparable to other Western Canadian resorts, boasting an average annual snowfall of nearly 30 feet. The ski runs offer a well-balanced mix of terrain, including open bowls, groomed runs, and glades.
Featuring ten lifts, Fernie includes two high-speed quads, two fixed-grip quads, three fixed-grip triples, two T-Bars, and a surface lift.
At the mountain’s base lies a compact ski village offering restaurants, hotels, and ski-in, and ski-out accommodations. While some opt for on-site lodging, many people choose to stay in the town of Fernie, where a broader range of restaurant and hotel options, enhanced après-ski experiences, better prices, and a traditional ski-town ambiance can be found.
Notably, Fernie is a part of the EPIC pass program. For the 2023/24 ski season, day lift tickets at Fernie will be limited to prevent overcrowding. Access is guaranteed for EPIC season pass holders, EPIC Day Pass holders, and those taking ski lessons, with the number of available day lift tickets posted on the resort’s website.
8. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, situated outside of Golden, BC, may not be widely recognized on the international stage, but it’s a popular destination just a three-hour drive from the city of Calgary, attracting both families and dedicated skiers. With a substantial vertical drop of 4,133 feet, an annual snowfall averaging 24 feet, and exceptional expert terrain featuring steep and enticing hike-to-powder runs, the mountain offers an exhilarating experience.
Benefiting from a north-facing orientation, Kicking Horse maintains consistently good snow conditions. Three bowls channel into gentler terrain, hosting a range of intermediate and beginner runs. The resort boasts five lifts, including a gondola, two fixed-grip quads, a fixed-grip double chair, and a surface lift.
Strategically located approximately 15 minutes from Golden, skiers can choose to stay either in Golden or at Kicking Horse Resort.
Kicking Horse is affiliated with the EPIC pass program. Notably, for the 2023/24 ski season, day lift tickets at Kicking Horse will be limited to prevent overcrowding. Access is assured for EPIC season pass holders, EPIC Day Pass holders, and individuals taking ski lessons, with the number of available day lift tickets communicated on the resort’s website.
9. Mont Tremblant Ski Resort
While Quebec produces some of Canada’s top competitive skiers, skiing in this province remains one of Canada’s well-kept secrets. Conveniently situated just 1.5 hours from Montreal and under two hours from Ottawa, Tremblant provides an excellent skiing experience in eastern Canada.
The mountain boasts 665 acres of skiable terrain across four faces, over 2,000 feet of vertical drop, and a total lift capacity of 27,230 skiers per hour. Skiers ascend the hill using one of the various lifts available, including three gondolas, six high-speed detachable quads, a fixed-grip quad, a fixed-grip triple, or one of three surface lifts.
The charming European-style village at the base is well-appointed with a comprehensive range of amenities, offering luxury accommodations, fine dining, and upscale shopping.
For additional details on skiing in Quebec, refer to our guide on the best ski resorts in Quebec. If you are not acquainted with this region of Canada, you might be surprised by the abundance of resorts in the province.
10. Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Situated in the interior of British Columbia, approximately a 2.5-hour drive from the city of Kelowna, Revelstoke may be a bit more challenging to reach than some resorts, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Renowned for a high number of powder days, minimal crowds, and exceptional terrain encompassing open bowls, tree runs, and beginner areas, Revelstoke consistently delivers favorable conditions, with an average annual snowfall of 30 feet.
Revelstoke operates seven lifts, including two gondolas, two high-speed quads, one fixed-grip quad, and two surface lifts.
For skiers exploring the Ripper and Stella areas, notable improvements have been made. The Sally Alley run is now straighter, offering an enhanced experience, and the Chopper run has been adjusted for a more enjoyable grade. In the Stella area, the Big Bend run has undergone significant widening.
Featuring reasonably priced accommodation options in the town of Revelstoke, ski-in, and ski-out facilities at the mountain, and breathtaking scenery, this resort stands out as a top-notch destination.
11. Red Mountain Resort
Situated in the interior of British Columbia, this secluded ski resort near Rossland has long been a preferred destination for advanced and expert skiers, renowned for its exceptional tree skiing. Accessible with a bit more time and planning, Red Mountain offers the reward of uncrowded runs, a welcoming town exuding old-school charm, and reasonable prices. Each season, Red receives an impressive 25 feet of snow, making it the go-to destination for remarkable powder days.
While Red Mountain caters primarily to advanced skiers and boarders, it provides ample runs for beginners and intermediate skiers. Spanning two mountains, the resort encompasses a total of 4,200 acres of terrain, all serviced by fixed-grip equipment, including two quad chairs, three triple chairs, a double chair, a T-Bar, and a surface lift.
For those interested in cat skiing, Red Mountain is the place to be. For a modest fee of $10.00, you can ascend in one of these impressive vehicles and ski down runs considered “in bounds” but not lift-serviced.
Q: How do I choose the best ski resort for my skill level?
A: Consider your skiing or snowboarding proficiency and choose a resort that offers slopes suitable for your skill level, with options for progression.
Q: Are these resorts family-friendly?
A: Many of the mentioned resorts are family-friendly, offering kid-friendly slopes, lessons, and additional winter activities for families.
Q: What is après-ski, and why is it important?
A: Après-ski refers to social activities and entertainment after a day on the slopes. It’s a crucial part of the ski resort experience, enhancing the overall enjoyment of your winter vacation.
Q: Can I find accommodations on-site at these resorts?
A: Yes, most ski resorts offer a range of on-site accommodations, from cozy lodges to luxury hotels, providing convenient access to the slopes.
Q: Are these resorts open year-round?
A: While some resorts operate year-round, the prime skiing season typically runs from late fall to early spring. Check individual resort websites for specific opening and closing dates.