12 April 2019
Famed for plentiful powder, immaculate slopes and spacious tree-lined runs, there’s nothing quite like the ski resorts of Canada. Add to all of this, stunning national park scenery, superb service and a warm and friendly vibe, and you’ve got all the right ingredients for an unforgettable ski holiday.
Whether you’re an experienced skier, thrill-seeking snowboarder or it’s your first time on the slopes, here are five of the best destinations that Canada has to offer.
Located in British Columbia’s spectacular Coast Mountains, Whistler is the largest ski area in North America and is considered to be one of the hottest ski destinations in the world.
The ski resort is massive, with over 8,000 acres of snow-clad slopes spread over two massive mountains, in excess of 200 marked trails, a diverse range of terrains and a superb lift system. The two mountains of Blackcomb and Whistler are linked by the infamous Peak2Peak Gondola, which is a tourist attraction in itself.
Off the slopes, Whistler Village is nothing short of world-class and the après-ski scene is second to none. You’ll find a wealth of high-quality dining options, mountain bars, superb shopping and exciting nightlife, as well as endless activities such as zip-lines, tubing, snowmobile and dogsled tours, and snowshoeing. For some real adrenaline-fuelled fun, head to the Whistler Sliding Centre, where you can try your hand at bobsleigh and skeleton rides.
Chosen as the host mountain resort for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler is a fantastic all-round destination both on and off the slopes. Easily accessible from Vancouver (less than two hours) and Seattle (approximately five hours away), skiers looking to enjoy a luxury ski trip in Canada should look no further than wonderful Whistler.
At the Big White Ski Resort, skiing and snowboarding are quite literally on your doorstep. As Canada’s largest ski-in/ski-out village, this incredible resort is brimming with a superb selection of welcoming bars, restaurants and shops. Ideal for families, the Big White Ski Resort is easy to get around and there’s a huge variety of family-friendly activities on offer, including sleigh rides, skating, dog sleigh rides and ice wall climbing. There’s an award-winning children’s centre too, so it’s no surprise that Big White calls itself ‘Canada’s Favourite Family Resort.’
Big White also boasts the largest night skiing area in Western Canada and the snowfall is pretty big too, with over 300 days per year on average. A veritable powder paradise, Big White is one of the best resorts for powder skiing, with stunning ‘Champagne’ powder to be found all over the mountain. Plus, with a relatively high elevation, it stays that way too.
As the closest resort to Kelowna, just an hour’s drive away, and with slopes to suit all abilities, the Big White Ski Resort is a great choice for all levels of skier or snowboarder. While you’re there, be sure to keep an eye out for the resort’s famous ‘snow ghosts’ – the snow-blasted trees, which take on all sorts of fascinating shapes.
Nestled in the heart of the majestic Canadian Rockies, Mount Norquay is possibly Canada’s best-kept skiing secret. A hidden local gem, expect diverse terrain, relatively crowd-free slopes, affordable lift passes, a great ski school and a host of family-friendly amenities. Together with postcard-worthy views across the Bow River Valley and to the jagged peaks beyond, Mount Norquay makes a fantastic and relatively inexpensive alternative to the other Banff ski resorts of Lake Louise and Sunshine Village.
Whilst Mount Norquay is a relatively small resort, the slopes here will delight everyone from beginners to more advanced skiers. For the more adventurous, the trails off the North American Chair are where you’ll find the most challenging slopes, with the steepest run being Lone Pine - a double black leg burner that features demanding moguls. Conveniently located just seven miles from Banff and only a 25-minute drive from Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay is well worth a visit.
A charming village that’s teeming with unique Québécois culture and terrain to suit any ability, Mont Tremblant is generally considered as Eastern Canada’s premier ski resort and even the best resort on the east coast of North America.
With its beautiful European-style alpine setting, expect epic skiing at this glorious bi-lingual resort. Mont Tremblant’s big terrain (by eastern standards) is sure to impress any skier, and with up to 100 trails and three terrain parks to choose from, it’s suitable for skiers of all levels.
Brimming with vibrant nightlife, fantastic dining options and an exciting après ski scene, the enchanting car-free village makes for a relaxing and family-friendly experience, with the brightly coloured shops looking as though they’ve been plucked straight out of the Alps. Located just a 90-minute drive north-west of Montreal, Mont Tremblant is one of the most accessible resorts in all of Canada.
Located between Vancouver and Calgary, Sun Peaks is the second largest ski area in Canada after Whistler, with 4,270 skiable acres. Sun Peaks tends to be relatively crowd-free and with over 130 epic tree runs spread over three magnificent peaks, the diverse terrain here is suitable for all abilities, whether you’re a complete beginner or an advanced skier. Sun Peaks is also an especially popular choice with families on account of its exceptionally well laid-out and groomed slopes, excellent ski school, exciting kids’ facilities and reasonable prices.
Away from the slopes, you’ll also find an abundance of activities to enjoy, including skating, dog-sledging, snowmobiling, tobogganing and much more besides. Plus, the vast majority of accommodation in the cosy village features ski-in/ski-out access, so it’s easy to herd the little ones out onto the slopes. A 45-minute drive from the pretty city of Kamloops, Whistler’s less-crowded little brother of Sun Peaks is a firm favourite on the Canadian ski scene.
Are you ready to hit the slopes in Canada? Get in touch with your Travel Counsellor to find your skiing or snowboarding paradise.