Best skiing holidays in Canada: Top 17 Canadian ski resorts

Mar 08, 2019 BY AWE365 Team

The best skiing holidays in Canada provide epic snow, superb pistes, endless backcountry, modern lifts, affordable food and unrivalled hospitality. But what are the top 17 Canadian ski resorts?

canada best skiing holidays - Flickr cc image by The Camp of Champions Snowboard & Ski Summer Camp

Best skiing holidays in Canada

Canada offers so much that it is hard to formulate a list of the top resorts. The country is full of amazing skiing!

Freestyle areas and snow-parks tend to eclipse their European counterparts. The standard of accommodation in Canada is usually better and more spacious than that typically found in most of Europe.

And the snow… Well many areas in western Canada receives over 10 meters of the white stuff each winter. Plus it is often light fluffy champagne powder that is so rare in Europe.

Top 17 Canadian ski resorts

If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to venture west. Here are out top 17 destinations for the best skiing holidays in Canada.

Whistler Blackcomb

Our first ski resort in the list is a strong candidate for the ‘World’s Greatest Ski Resort’. Located near the west coast in British Columbia, this incredible ski resort is only 76 miles from Vancouver.

10 best freeride ski destinations worldwide Image of Rachel Findler in Whistler at Kybers cliff

With more than 32 square kilometres of powder chutes, mogul fields, motorway pistes and tree skiing, the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains make up the largest ski area in North America.

It is also the largest ski resort outside of Europe. Whistler also benefits from a high-speed lift system including the Peak To Peak Gondola that links Whistler and Blackcomb

Boasting some of Canada’s biggest verticals and a snow-sure season from mid November to May it’s as reliable as they come. And an average snowfall of 12m, it is one of the safest bets when deciding where to head for the best skiing holidays in Canada.

Whistler-Blackcomb is ideal for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. But, if you are an advance rider you will not find a better playground! There is untold backcountry to explore, and within bounds there are seven powder filled black bowls to ski for some of the best freeride skiing worldwide.

For the park rats (or wanna be park rats) among you there is no less than 5 terrain parks to hit and a half pipe. In total there are over 150 features including 90 rails.

Whistler-blackcomb - best skiing holidays in canada - Flickr cc image by camp of champions ski & snowboard summer camp

‘Whistler is renown for its Après’, but there is so much more on offer than the bars and nightclubs. Add moonlit skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, cinema, spas and microbrewery tours to get you started.

On a slightly critical note, there can be long queues at the base and at various bottlenecks during busy times. Also, the resort is expensive compared to others in Canada.

Banff Sunshine

Deep in the Canadian Rockies at a height of 2200 m, Banff sunshine is a ski resort consisting of three mountains. It’s vast terrain seems a million miles from civilisation but remarkably only a 15 minute drive from Banff town.

Banff is so big that you can ski between the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia in one ski run. In fact, Banff sunshine is part of the SkiBig3 lift pass. The other two resorts are Lake Louise and Mount Norquay.

Another big attraction about Banff Sunshine is that it is about as snow sure as you can get with an average nine metres of snow a season. A season stretches out over an incredible seven months from November to late May. It is the longest non-glacier ski season in Canada.

banff sunshine - best ski resorts in canada - flickr cc image by warren long

With 3,300 acres of skiable terrain, the resort is certainly one of the top Canadian ski resorts. It also has a huge 12 acre park with over 50 features!

Banff Sunshine also boasts of the only heated ski lift in Canada – the Teepee Town LX. There are many places to stay in Banff, which is a lovely town.

Mount Norquay

This ski resort maybe the smaller cousin to Banff Sunshine, but when looking for the best skiing holidays in Canada, Mount Norquay just maybe the better option for families or beginners.

Part of the ‘SkiBig3’ ski pass, Mount Norquay has 60 runs over 190 acres of skiable terrain. Of which, 85% has snow making coverage.

There is also a terrain park that has lines to suit all abilities. From first time wannabe park rats, to the experts.

https://youtu.be/zYitvLRYcEA

Mount Norquay has an average snowfall of around three metres – low by Canadian standards but still good compared to Europe. The top reaches an elevation of 2,450m.

Lake Louise

Part of the UNESCO Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site. Lake Louise is part of the “SkiBig3” lift pass with Mont Norquay and Banff Sunshine.

It was voted ‘Canada’s best ski resort’ at the 2018 world ski awards. With 4,200 acres of ski terrain to explore it is easy to see why. The high altitude pistes provide great snow conditions and a long season.

The resort also boasts one of the biggest terrain parks in western Canada! Designed lines for progression and plenty of features to hit.

There are plenty of easy greens and gentle slopes that are ideal for beginners. But the vast ski area attracts adventurous intermediates and the endless powder skiing and decent mogul fields will satisfy experts.

Lake Louise - Best skiing holidays in canada - flickr cc image by Larry Kwan

Not a destination for all-night parties. Lake Louise attracts serious skiers who like to get an early night. Also, it is one of the best skiing holidays in Canada for progression.

Panorama

Panorama in BC is one of the top ski resorts in Canada if you enjoy quiet and intimate winter holidays. 10 lifts serve 129 runs, with a vertical drop of 1,300m.

75% of the ski runs are suitable for beginners or intermediates. For the more advanced head to Taynton Bowl. All the runs into this 750 acre bowl are black runs. The longest run is 6.5km.

Cypress Mountain

Vancouver’s largest ski resort is a 30 minute drive north of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia.

The resort has incredible Insta ‘#nofilterrequired’ views and 53 ski runs to play around. Other activities include Gnarly’s Tube Park, riding inflatable tubes through a choice of six 100m long chutes is fun for everyone.

Cypress Mountain - top canadian ski resorts - Flickr cc Kyle Pearce

But out of the top Canadian ski resorts, Cypress Mountain is one of the closest to a major city. It also has 19 km of groomed Cross Country ski trails, one of the best ski areas for this in Canada.

Fernie

In the Canadian Rockies, Fernie is located on Lizard Range, British Columbia.

Fernie has reportedly the highest annual snowfall for any resort in the Canadian Rockies. So it is no surprise that the it has a reputation for incredible off-piste.

If you want to stick to the groomed runs then you have a vast choice of 142 to choose from. The longest being 5km.

The ski lift infrastructure is not the best. But there is about 2,500 acres of varied terrain to explore from open faces to wooded glades and thick forest.

Fernie - top canadian ski resorts - flickr cc image by Owen Richard

Mount Washington

Possibly British Columbia’s better value resort, it offers the best skiing holidays in Canada for those on a budget. Mount Washington benefits from supreme powder, two terrain parks, night skiing and Nordic trails.

It’s located on the east of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and receives an average of 11m of fresh snow each year. It has 505m of vertical and boasts a total of 1,700 acres of in-bound terrain.

Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks, BC, is Canada’s 2nd largest ski area with a colossal 4,270 acres of skiable terrain on offer. It has come along way since 1993, where it was basically a hill for locals called Tod Mountain.

13 lifts service a total of 137 runs. Over half of these (58%) are ideal for intermediate level. Which combined with quiet slopes makes it a great resort for beginners and families.

And advances skiers are not left out in the cold. A whopping 32% of the runs are black diamond or double-diamond. Sun Peaks has a skiable vertical of 882m. With the longest run a thigh burning 8km!

Sun Peaks - best skiing holidays in Canada - flickr cc image by Ruth Hartnup

The village is quaint, beautiful and friendly. It is small for the size of the resort and quiet. Plus there are some decent bars to have a beer in after a day on the slopes.

For sure Sun Peaks is one of the top Canadian ski resorts. If you don’t fancy Whistler but what to go skiing in British Columbia then Sun Peaks is a great option.

Revelstoke

Revelstoke has the most vertical (1,713m) of lift accessed terrain in North America.

The resort also has 3,121 acres of fall line skiing with 69 runs. But that doesn’t tell half the story, for backcountry enthusiasts there is a whopping 515,000 acres to explore!

Revelstoke also has a 14 acre terrain park that has been designed for riders of all abilities.

Revelstoke - best skiing holidays in canada - flickr cc image by Robert Tadlock

The resort has big development plans to turn Revelstoke into THE destination for the best skiing holidays in Canada. So watch this space!

Apex Mountain

A good value resort with an authentic atmosphere, great snow cover and plenty of ski-action. Apex Mountain offers the best skiing holidays in Canada if you’re looking for tranquillity in an excellent small resort.

Unlike some of the big boy resorts in Canada, with Apex Mountain you will enjoy uncrowded slopes and short lift queues.

The terrain combines gentle cruisers with big fall-lines and challenging off-piste. There is a total of 78 marked runs, but impressively there is more than 40 unmarked runs to explore as well.

In fact, Apex Park has a colossal 12 acres of backcountry terrain for those serious skiers and snowboarders.

Apex mountain - best ski resorts in canada - pic by apexmountain

Also, for such a small resort it is quite amazing that they boast a total of four terrain Parks! They have been designed for progression from beginners and kids up to pro standard.

Kicking Horse

Home to the second biggest vertical in Canada and part of the ‘Powder Highway‘. Kicking Horse is renowned for its champagne powder and excellent snow retention – no two seasons here are ever quite the same!

Although catering for all abilities, the mountain terrain is particularly good for experts and heli-skiing is popular. Meaning Kicking Horse has a reputation for being one of the top Canadian ski resorts for backcountry.

Kicking Horse also boasts of the highest elevated restaurant in all of Canada! The restaurant sits at the top of the Eagle’s Eye Express at an impressive 2,300 metres above sea level. A wonderful dining experience with spectacular views.

kicking horse - top canadian ski resorts - flickrcc image by fil al

Kicking Horse should be included in any list of the best skiing holidays in Canada. One of the reasons for this is the authentic town which has retained a true local culture and vibe that can only be Canadian.

Jasper

Set in the stunning Jasper National Park. The town is just 20 minutes from the un-crowded slopes of Marmot Basin.

Where 1,675 acres of terrain and 86 runs, two terrain parks, plus glaciers, forests and frozen lakes await. At, 410 metres high, Marmot Basin has the highest slopes in Jasper.

Set in the Alberta Rockies, Jasper is one of the top Canadian ski resorts for champagne powder. You can also expect roaming elks, affordable prices, family-friendly facilities and a decent après scene.

Jasper - top canadian ski resorts - flickr cc image by Kyle Greenberg

Jasper is actually a collection of satellite ski resorts with Marmot Basin being the most popular. Two high speed quad ski lifts whisk you up from the base station where you will find 91 km of slopes to play around on.

Le Massif

A resort for purists, Le Massif is located 70 km from Quebec City. With the highest point at 806m it has the highest vertical east of the Canadian Rockies. For the est it receives big snowfalls and has good retention,

It is not the biggest resort on this list of the best Canada skiing holidays, but it has a modern ski lift system that includes a high speed gondola. There are slopes for all abilities, and a terrain park aimed at intermediate to expert riders. In total there are 52 runs to explore.

Other activities include a 7.5km toboggan run which is great fun for all the family.

Marble Mountain

Located in Newfoundland’s Long Range Mountains, this remote resort has a reputation for its warm hospitality. It offers some of the best skiing conditions east of Alberta.

best canada skiing holidays - Marble mountain - flickr cc image by Derrick Mercer

A compact resort, Marble Mountain has 3 ski lifts (and a magic carpet) servicing a varied 39 runs – ideal for families. The longest run is 3km.

Beyond some great downhill there is plenty on offer. The cat skiing, ice-climbing, snow kiting and dogsledding make this one of the top Canadian ski resorts if you like a bit of variety.

Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant is an accessible resort offering skiing on the highest peak in the Laurentians. Located 90 minutes from Montreal it’s one of the best skiing holidays in Canada within easy reach of Europe.

At 875 metres, eastern Canada’s most popular ski resort does not disappoint on the slope with 102 trails for all abilities. Mont Tremblant has an authentic ambience to its ingrained French-Canadian culture.

Enjoy a bit of a flutter on the blackjack table or on the slot machines? Then spend an evening or two at the Casino de Mont-Tremblant. It is the only casino in a ski resort in Canada.

Mont Tremblant - canada best skiing holidays - Flickr cc image by Shelby L Bell

Big White

BC’s second biggest resort with a vertical drop of 777 metres and a colossal 2,800 acres of skiable terrain.

Big White has 119 designated ski runs and over 25 km of Nordic Trails. The longest run is 4.5 miles on the ‘Around the World Route’.

Unlike many other Canadian ski resorts there is plenty of ski-in ski-out accommodation. It’s a favourite with intermediates, experts and families, although not ideal for beginners. Over half the runs are intermediate level.

There’s also a great park including a 150m Superpipe plus a boarder cross track. For those of you who are nocturnal there is nearly 40 acres of night skiing terrain to enjoy.

Big White - best Canada skiing holidays - Flickr cc image by Christine Rondeau

Although great for families, Big White also has a reputation for it’s awesome apres ski bars. Ideal after a hard day on the slopes!

Blue Mountain

As the largest ski area near Toronto in Ontario Blue Mountain had to be included. There are 365 acres of terrain to explore including 43 named trails many of which are lit for night skiing. There is also a very good snowpark.

It is a small ski area but it offers something for all abilities plus lots to do beyond skiing and snowboarding. A must visit if you are going to be in Toronto anyway.

I hope you enjoyed our list of the top 17 Canadian ski resorts. What do you think? Are there any resorts that you feel should be included? Which one is your favourite Canadian resort? Let us know in the comments.

 
 
     

    Related Articles

     

    Small rucksack with adjustable back: Vaude Brenta 24 reviewed

    Taller people need small rucksacks too. The problem is getting a small rucksack with an adjustable back. The Vaude Brenta 24 reviewed here looks like an answer to a...

    Destinations: N/A
    Read Article
     

    The best kept kitesurfing secrets: 4 unknown kitesurf spots to visit

    We just discovered this article that was written back in 2005 about the best kept kitesurfing secrets. Obviously 15 years later these '4 unknown kitesurf spots to...

    Activities: Kitesurfing
    Read Article
     

    Review of LARQ self cleaning bottle: Flask with UV water purification

    Would you like to buy less plastic bottles of water, particularly when travelling? But are you worried whether the tap, or wild, water you fill your bottle with is...

    Destinations: N/A
    Read Article

    Newsletter sign up