Where can I ski in Canada? Guide to Canadian skiing locations

Jun 27, 2019 BY Luke Rees

Ever wondered ‘Where can I ski in Canada?’. Well this guide to Canadian skiing locations looks at each province and territory and summarises where you can hit the slopes in the Great White North. 

Why ski in Canada?

Canada’s ski resorts offer great snow, uncrowded slopes, and fantastic facilities. If you want a ski holiday with deep powder, lots of variety and an easygoing vibe, Canada is for you.

Most Canadian skiing locations get significantly more snow than the Alps so powder days are more frequent. Some places receive light fluffy champagne powder that rivals the snow in Japan.

Where can I ski in Canada Guide to Canadian skiing locations Royalty free image from Pixabay

Canada’s long season means you can take a ski holiday there when the slopes in Europe are still green. In many places the season runs from early November to late May.

You’re more likely to get good snow over Christmas and New Year in Canada than you are in the Alps. So many Canadian skiing locations are perfect for a snow-sure festive ski holiday. Plus of course they speak English (except in Quebec).

Where can I ski in Canada? Off-piste!

Skiing in Canada is as much about the off-piste as the groomed slopes. Anywhere within bounds is made avalanche safe before it opens, so you can go anywhere within the ski area.

Of course there are many other dangers when heading off-piste. So you still need to know what you are doing and where you are going. And if heading out-of-bounds into the vast backcountry avalanche is still a risk.

Heli-skiing was invented in Canada, and offers the chance to make fresh tracks just about anywhere there’s snow. The big snowfalls and varied terrain create enticing off-piste for all levels. While heli skiing is not cheap it is usually less expensive than in Europe.

Where can I ski in Canada? Guide to Canadian skiing locations Image of Rachel Findler in Whistler by Andrew Strain

 

Getting to, and travelling within, Canada

With just shy of 10 million square kilometers, Canada is the world’s second largest country. The east coast is closer to Europe than it is to it’s west coast, so travelling within Canada can be quite an undertaking.

But getting to Canada is easy from most countries. There are plenty of airlines to choose from but Air Canada has the most flights to, and within, the country. For the best prices check out the Air Canada Reservations by Faremart.

Within Canada the distances are huge. There are coach and rail services but many people take internal flights. If you fancy a road-trip be prepared to spend a lot of time behind the wheel.

Guide to Canadian skiing locations

In order to answer the question ‘Where can I ski in Canada?’, we are going to look at each province and territory. For a different outlook, check out our article about the best ski resorts in Canada.

Starting on the west coast we will work our way east through all 13 Canadian provinces and territories.

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

Skiing in British Columbia

Vancouver is the gateway to western Canada and a lovely city to visit. Within British Columbia there are over 80 ski areas. Mount Seymour, Grouse Mountain and Cypress Mountain are all on the doorstep of Vancouver.

Not far away you’ll find Whistler Blackcomb which is the most well known of Canadian skiing locations. With 200 km of slopes it is the largest ski area in North America and also has the biggest vertical – 1513m. Epic snow, crazy parties and incredible terrain make Whistler a top choice. 

But there is more to skiing in British Columbia than Whistler. There are dozens of small ski areas dotted everywhere from Vancouver Island to the far north near the Alaskan border.

The majority of the ski areas are in the south east corner of BC. The big names that are well worth checking out include Revelstoke, Kimberley, Fernie, Sun Peaks, Red Mountain, Panorama, Silver Star, Kicking Horse/Golden and Big White.

Kicking Horse is ideal for those up for a challenge. Over half its runs rated black or double black diamond. Fernie is a more friendly resort with lots of variety, and no snow canons – it doesn’t need them.

Where can I ski in Canada? Guide to Canadian skiing locations Image of Rachel Findler in Whistler at Kybers cliff

Skiing in Yukon

Directly north of British Columbia is Yukon. This far north there is plenty of snow but not many people. There are just three ski areas one of which is a heli drop zone. Mount Maichen and Mount Sima both offer around 10 km of piste and 200-300m of vertical.

At 5956m Mount Logan in Yukon is the highest point is Canada. The St. Elias Mountain range offers lots of ski touring and heli skiing potential for the more adventurous.

Skiing in Northwest Territories

Where can I ski in Canada? Not the Northwest Territories unless you plan to put a lot of hard work in! There is lots of snow and a handful of cross country ski clubs. There are mountains reaching up to 2,700m so there is potentially ski touring to be had. But no ski resorts.

Skiing in Alberta

Sharing a border and plenty of mountains with British Columbia, Alberta has over 30 ski ski areas. Most people access the province from Calgary. To the west of Calgary is mountainous but to the east rather flat.

The most famous resort in Alberta is Banff. This pretty town gives you access to the ski areas of Lake Louise and Sunshine Village, which each have over 100 km of piste, plus the smaller Mt. Norquay.

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

Castle Mountain in the south and Jasper/Marmot Basin in the north both have over 90 km of slopes. There are five other ski ares in Alberta with more than 10 km of slopes, the rest are tiny.

Skiing in Nunavut

The majority of Nunavut falls within the Arctic circle and there are plenty of mountains. However, skiing in Nunavut is only possible under your own steam by touring or cross country skiing. Where can I ski in Canada? Not Nunavut unless looking for a serious adventure! 

Skiing in Saskatchewan

Located in the middle of Canada and bordering the US to the south, Saskatchewan has eight recognised ski areas. They are dotted around the southern half of the province. The largest, Ochapowace, has 10 km of slopes.

Skiing in Manitoba

To the east of Saskatchewan, next in this guide to Canadian skiing locations is Manitoba. It also has eight ski areas all of which are rather small. The largest is Asessippi with 10 km of slopes.

Ontario

Despite having a maximum elevation of just 693m Ontario has over 50 ski areas. This is because it is the most populated province, and over five million people live in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.

Skiing at Blue Mountain Where can I ski in Canada? Guide to Canadian skiing locations  Image courtesy of Blue Mountain

The biggest ski area in Ontario is Blue mountain with just shy of 30 km of slopes. It is located a couple of hours drive north of Toronto along with a few other ski areas.

There are four ski areas in Ontario with over 20 km of slopes. Unfortunately, a lack of mountains means the biggest vertical is 295m at the Alpine Ski Club in Collingwood. With snow throughout the winter if you want to ski in Ontario you certainly can!

Skiing in Quebec

With over 70 ski areas Quebec is one of the obvious answers to the question ‘Where can I ski in Canada?’. With mountains reaching over 1600m, the second largest population and a lot of snow there are some very good conditions. It is also not too long a flight from Europe.

Eastern Canada’s star resort is Tremblant with nearly 80 km of piste and 645m of vertical to play in. You’ll get a little of that French Alpine feel, and a huge choice of runs.

Mont Sainte Anne is the second largest with over 70 km of runs. The largest vertical, 770m, can be skied at Le Massif. It is a fast-growing resort with plenty of steep runs and some big investment taking place.

Skiing in canada at Le Massif Wikimedia Commons image by Datch78

Nearly all of the ski areas are found on Quebec’s southern border with the US. There are 10 ski areas with more 25 km of slopes including Bromont, Stoneham and Mont Saint-Sauveur.

Skiing in Newfoundland and Labrador

There are six ski areas in Newfoundland and Labrador. The largest are Marble Mountain and Smokey Mountain both with over 20 km of slopes. White Hills, with 10 km of piste is the furthest point east you can ski in North America.

Skiing in New Brunswick

New Brunswick is a province just north of the USA. There are five ski area including three with more than 10 km of slopes. The largest, with 20 km, is Crabbe Mountain, its an impressive title for a 370m peak.

Skiing in Prince Edward Island

A relatively small island (by Canadian standards), Prince Edward is located north of New Brunswick. Brookvale Ski Park is the only ski area with around 5 km of slopes and 76m of vertical.

Skiing in Nova Scotia

Finally Nova Scotia is a larger island to the east of New Brunswick. There are four ski areas on what is a relatively flat island – the high point is just 535m. Wentworth and Ben Eoin both have around 10 km of piste so there is fun to be had.

Guide to Canadian skiing locations: Conclusion

With lots of snow, low temperatures for half the year, and many mountains you can ski all over Canada. Some of the provinces and territories may not have any proper ski resorts but there is skiing to be enjoyed in every corner of this great country.

Skiing in Whistler Royalty free image from Pixabay

In British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec there are excellent ski resorts that rival, and if not better, those in Europe. Even Ontario, the flattest of the major provinces has some reasonable sized ski areas.

So, choose a Canada ski holiday next winter. You’ll get friendly ski resorts with great snow, a long season and plenty of varied terrain. What’s not to like about that?

We hope you found this guide to Canadian skiing locations useful. Check out our Canada ski discounts as you could save a fortune.

 
 
     

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