When you think of Canada, a few images might pop into your mind. You might think of maple syrup, Mounties, ice honkey, extremely polite people and extremely cold weather.
While Canada’s below-freezing winters might not be ideal for city breaks, they’re perfect for skiing and snowboarding trips! Canada’s ski season typically starts in mid-November and ends in late April, depending on which ski resorts in Canada you visit.
Most of the best ski resorts in Canada are in the province of British Columbia. There are so many in one small area that it has the nickname ‘powder highway’.
This area enjoys average winter temperatures of -1°C to -10°C (30°F to 15°F), so it’s not as bracingly cold as you might think. The snowfall coverage is also perfect because it’s dry, fluffy, and cold. The low angle of the sun means even if it’s beaming, the snow won’t melt easily.
But Alberta and other provinces also have great ski resorts; Canada does make it difficult to choose where you should go for the perfect winter outdoor trip!
Whether you want to enjoy a winter break with the family or blow off some steam with your friends, this guide will help you choose the best Canadian ski resorts so you can have the best ski trip.
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Not only is Whistler Blackcomb one of the biggest ski resorts in Canada, but it’s also the biggest ski resort in North America! This is a year-round resort with a huge variety of terrain and slopes for skiers, snowboarders, and mountain bikers of all levels from beginners to professionals.
It has over 200 runs and 37 lifts catering to 8,172 acres of land. There are also hiking trails and glaciers that you can check out too. Whistler Canada skiing should be on any winter sports fan’s bucket list!
Whistler Blackcomb also has one of the best ski villages if you love a wide selection of hotels, restaurants, shops, museums, and bars for après-ski on pedestrianised streets.
Whistler has art museums, a post office, a golf club, a bike park, and so much more. You’ll find luxury hotels, budget lodges, and spacious communal chalets where you can chill out with your friends or family after a long day on the slopes.
Keep in mind that it is one of the busiest resorts Canada has, and also one of the pricier ones but you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Whistler Blackcomb is also super convenient to get to because it’s only a two-hour drive north of Vancouver Airport. Surprisingly, it’s also very accessible by bus! You can hop on the YVR Skylynx Whistler bus from Vancouver city centre straight to Whistler Village.
Accommodation near Whistler Blackcomb
- Budget – Pangea Pod Hotel
- Mid-range – Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites
- Luxury – Four Seasons Resort Whistler
Lake Louise Ski Resort
There are three world-class ski resorts in Banff National Park: Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and the Lake Louise Ski Resort.
Lake Louise is undoubtedly the most popular thanks to its exceptional views over the ranges and lake that it’s named after and it has great amenities.
It has 164 runs over four mountain faces and most of these are tried-and-tested slopes with soft, gradual inclines which makes it one of the best places to ski in Canada for families.
If you want to visit the other two resorts in the area too, you can get a SkiBig3 lift pass which includes everything.
Lake Louise Ski Resort in the Alberta province is just a 45-minute drive to Banff town so it’s well worth renting a car and taking advantage of the park-and-ride services.
Take advantage of being so close to one of the best mountain villages in the country with mountain shops, museums, and brilliant drinking and dining options like the Banff Avenue Brewing Co. or Parks Distillery Restaurant.
It’s one of the best Canadian ski resorts for Christmas vacation for this reason – Banff looks like a fairytale during the festive season!
The closest airport to Lake Louise is in Calgary. It’s only 200 km away, which is a two-hour drive west along the Trans-Canada highway.
You could drive from Vancouver Airport but you would probably need to factor in a night’s stay – it’s almost a 1,000-km drive!
Accommodation near Lake Louise Ski Resort
- Budget – HI Lake Louise Alpine Centre
- Mid-range – Lake Louise Inn
- Luxury – Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel
RED Mountain Resort
Are you a winter sports fanatic and want to escape the crowds and the nervous skiers getting in your way on the slopes? The RED mountain resort is one of the best places to ski in Canada for intermediate skiers.
Built within an old mountain town, RED is a backwoods, off-the-beaten-ski-trail kind of ski resort which is almost never packed with people.
It has 119 runs spread across three mountains: Red Mountain, Grey Mountain, and Granite Mountain. Most of the runs are better for avid skiers or snowboarders as there are lots of trees, cliffs, and steep slopes.
RED Mountain Resort is only a short bus ride or car journey from Rossland which offers lots of options for après-ski. Based near the US border in British Columbia, this resort is exactly between the international airports of Calgary and Vancouver.
Literally, it is 630 km or a seven-hour drive east of Vancouver or southwest of Calgary. RED’s remoteness is both a blessing and a curse!
Accommodation near RED Mountain Resort
- Budget – Red Shutter Inn
- Mid-range – HI RED Mountain, Nowhere Special
- Luxury – The Josie Hotel, Autograph Collection
Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke Mountain Resort in British Columbia offers some of the best skiing in Canada for adrenaline junkies. It holds the title of the Biggest Vertical Drop in North America and offers cat-skiing (skiing on untouched, off-trail snow and travelling to these areas via snowcat vehicles) and heli-skiing (the same, but travelling via a helicopter).
It’s one of the hosts of the Freeride World Tour, which is a prestigious and challenging snowboarding competition. As you might assume, this isn’t the most ideal resort for beginners or families.
This resort also received heaps of snow in comparison to other resorts. On average, Revelstoke gets 413 inches of snowfall every year across its 75 beginners, intermediate and advanced runs. There are some dining and bar options in the base village, but there aren’t as many amenities as in other resorts.
Revelstoke has its own regional airport (literally minutes away from the resort) but its closest international airport is Calgary. It’s 515 km through Banff National Park west of Calgary and just under six hours to drive.
Accommodation near Revelstoke Mountain Resort
- Budget – Super 8 by Wyndham Revelstoke BC
- Mid-range – Arrows Edge Lodge
- Luxury – Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Most of the best ski resorts in Canada are out west in British Columbia, but not all of them! Blue Mountain Ski Resort is the largest ski resort in Ontario and ideal if you’d rather ski in the east.
The elevations aren’t as high as they are out west, with most of the mountains climbing somewhere between 230 and 450 m. But, there are 29.3 km of slopes, 11 lifts, and 1.1 km of ski routes for skiing or snowboarding where you can enjoy hours of winter fun with your friends or family.
Plus, Blue Mountain has a large village packed with restaurants, bars, hikes, and more. It’s in a built-up neighbourhood by Georgian Bay Lake so there are lots of supermarkets and amenities in the wider area too.
The resort is only 160 km or a two-hour drive north of Toronto so it’s the perfect airport if you are flying in from abroad.
Accommodation near Blue Mountain Ski Resort
- Budget – Bowering Lodge
- Mid-range – 107 Birchview Trail | Stay At Blue Mountain
- Luxury – The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain
Sunshine Village is one of the other ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies/Banff National Park along with Lake Louise and Mount Norquay.
So, it’s also one of the resorts included if you invest in a SkiBig3 lift pass. It’s one of the smaller resorts, but it has the only ski-in/ski-out mountain lodge in Banff, plus some of the best dry, natural powder because of its high elevation. It’s great for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
There isn’t much of a ‘village’ at Sunshine Village, but Banff town is only a 25-minute drive away anyway! Plus, it’s super close to Calgary Airport as it’s only 144 km or a 90-minute drive west.
Accommodation near Sunshine Village
Ontario isn’t the only eastern province to have excellent ski resorts because Mont-Tremblant Resort in Quebec has some of the best skiing in Eastern Canada.
It’s the closest Canada has to a European ski resort with a real Alpine feel. Its 102 runs are supported by 14 lifts and there is a fantastic mix of beginner and intermediate slopes, so it’s perfect for families.
Mont-Tremblant Ski Village has lots of options for après-ski and a thriving nightlife scene if you are skiing with your friends. But its array of shops, restaurants, arcades and other forms of entertainment are perfect for families.
Mont-Tremblant is only 145 km northwest of Montreal, which is a 90-minute drive. Yes, this means weekends can be very busy at this resort but the convenience is worth battling the crowds.
Accommodation near Mont-Tremblant Resort
- Budget – Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tremblant, an IHG Hotel
- Mid-range – Lodge de la Montagne
- Luxury – Hôtel Quintessence
Mount Norquay Resort
Mount Norquay Resort is the final ski resort in Banff National Park, Alberta where you can ski or snowboard with the SkiBig3 lift pass. It’s almost half the size of Sunshine Village (60 runs to Sunshine’s 120) but it’s, by far, the closest ski resort to Banff town.
It is literally a 15-minute drive away down the mountain, so even though Mount Norquay doesn’t have its own ski village, you really don’t need one.
Calgary Airport is the closest to Mount Norquay Resort and driving is the best way to access it. You’ll want a car to drive to Banff from the ski resort anyway! Luckily, it’s only 135 km away which is a quick 90-minute drive.
Accommodation near Mount Norquay Resort
- Budget – Tunnel Mountain Resort
- Mid-range – Banff Rocky Mountain Resort
- Luxury – Fairmont Banff Springs
Big White Ski Resort
This large ski resort offers far more than just skiing and snowboarding. Big White Ski Resort also offers dog sledging, skating, ice climbing, night skiing, tree skiing, and much more.
It has almost 120 runs and over 50% of those are for beginners, which is far more than most ski resorts in Canada. It has the biggest ski-in/ski-out village in Canada so it’s ideal for families, newbies, and people who love all kinds of winter sports.
Big White Ski Resort also lives up to its name because the village is huge with lots of restaurants and bars. There are 16 different lifts taking you straight from the hotels and lodges to the slopes.
While it’s a long 460 km drive from Vancouver, Big White Ski Resort is only an hour’s drive east from the airport at Kelowna in British Columbia.
Accommodation near Big White Ski Resort
- Budget – Urban Retreat Hostel
- Mid-range – Sundance Resort, Big White
- Luxury – White Crystal Inn, Big White
Sun Peaks Resort
Sun Peaks Resort is Canada’s second-largest resort after the first resort on this list, Whistler’s Blackcomb. It has 137 runs and 40 km of cross-country ski trails across three mountains: Tod Mountain, Sundance Mountain, and Mount Morrissey.
This is a supremely well-organised ski resort with lots of ski lifts, groomed open-bowl ski slopes, and a range of ski-in/ski-out accommodation options. It’s great for families as most of the slopes cater for beginners and you can even try tubing.
Sun Peaks Resort Village has lots of bars, restaurants, and hotels that are all accessible by walking. There’s a skating rink, dog sledging, shops and markets to keep everyone occupied when you’re not on the slopes. Sun Peaks is usually less crowded than Whistler Blackcomb and definitely less expensive.
And because you don’t need a car to drive from the village to the mountains, you might not even need a car at all!
The nearest airports at Kelowna and Kamloops both offer shuttle buses to this resort. So even if you can only get flights to Calgary or Vancouver, it could be worth booking a connecting flight so you can ditch the need for a rental altogether.
Accommodation near Sun Peaks Resort
- Budget – Pinnacle Lodge
- Mid-range – Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Hotel & Suites
- Luxury – Sun Peaks Grand Hotel & Conference Centre