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Best ski resorts in Canada 2021

Ski the best Canada has to offer, from the Canadian Rockies to Ontario’s Blue Mountain.

Canada has more than its fair share of buzzing ski resorts, powdery snow and world-class skiing but with so much choice, you wouldn’t be blamed for being stuck on where to spend your time (and money).

Along with the obvious favourites of Whistler, Lake Louise and Mont Tremblant, our guide compares eight of the best to add to your must-visit list whether you’re a skiing newbie or already killing it out on the double blacks, travelling with family or would prefer après ski.

Quickly compare Canada’s best ski resorts:

ResortSki-in/ski-outDistanceLift pass price (3 days adult, 2019/2020)Is there a resort village?
WhistlerYes2 hour drive from Vancouver$504Yes
Mont TremblantYes1.5 hour drive from Montreal$315Yes
Blue MountainYes2 hour 15 minute drive from Toronto$255Yes
Lake LouiseNo2 hour drive from Calgary$357.12Yes (with very limited options)
RevelstokeYes2.5 hour drive from Kelowna$347Yes
Kicking HorseYes3 hour drive from Calgary$359.85Yes
Red MountainYes2.5 hour drive from Spokane$348Yes
Sun PeaksYes4.5 hour drive from Vancouver$327Yes

Which is the best ski resort in Canada?

Canada’s best ski resorts run the gamut from beginner-focused resorts with family-friendly villages to heli-skiing, off-piste mega mountains. Find out which one is right for you with our guide to the best ski resorts in Canada.

Snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb

1. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia: Best for overall terrain and après ski

Officially the largest ski resort in North America, this powerhouse provides a huge diversity for all levels. You could easily ski here for a week and not hit the same run twice.

Whistler Village is considered a destination in its own right, famed for its lively atmosphere and buzzing après ski.

  • Location: Pacific Coast Mountain Range, BC (2 hour drive from Vancouver)
  • Runs and terrain: 200 runs (20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 8,171 acres
  • Vertical drop: 1,609 metres

Pros:

  • Wide variety of outstanding terrain
  • Easy to access from both Vancouver and Seattle
  • World-class village full of amenities

Cons:

  • Snow can be heavy due to the low peak elevation
  • Its popularity means it can get very crowded
  • Prices are steep compared to other resorts

Learn more about Whistler Blackcomb


Ski lifts at Mont Tremblant village

2. Mont Tremblant, Quebec: Best beginners terrain

This picture-perfect resort comes complete with a purpose-built pedestrian village that is as close as you’ll get to a European town, without having to leave North America.

While all skill levels will be more than happy here, beginners have access to a 2-acre beginner area that includes a magic carpet and a small chairlift, ideal for perfecting your skills without more advanced skiers whizzing past.

  • Location:Laurentian Mountains, QC (1.5 hour drive from Montreal)
  • Runs and terrain: 102 runs (22% beginner, 30% intermediate, 48% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 755 acres
  • Vertical drop: 645 metres

Pros:

  • Easily accessible by car from Montreal and Ottawa with direct flights from Toronto
  • Vibrant nightlife and après ski in the village
  • Suitable for all skill levels

Cons:

  • Can get crowded, especially during the weekends and holidays
  • Harder to access from other major towns and cities
  • The temperature can drop significantly in this area

Learn more about Mont Tremblant


Sunrise on Blue Mountain

3. Blue Mountain, Ontario: Best for families

One the whole family can enjoy, Blue Mountain has plenty to offer both on and off the slopes.

Beginners can work on their skills at the snow school and in the dedicated beginner slopes while adrenaline junkies and seasoned veterans can head straight for freestyle terrain parks.

Once you’ve had your fill, take a break from skiing with activities like ice skating, snowshoe tours and tubing, or indulge in one of the many day spas.

  • Location: Grey County, ON (2 hour 15 minute drive from Toronto)
  • Runs and terrain: 58 runs (22% beginner, 35% intermediate, 44% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 365 acres
  • Vertical drop: 220 metres

Pros:

  • Ideally located for a weekend trip from Toronto
  • Wide range of accommodation to choose from
  • Best skiing Ontario has to offer

Cons:

  • Accommodation can be pricey in season
  • Crowds and long line-ups can take away from ski time

Learn more about Blue Mountain


he snowy mountain view at Lake Louise Gondola in winter season, Alberta Canada.

4. Lake Louise, Alberta: Best for intermediate terrain

Part of the “Big Three”, Lake Louise is often regarded as the best ski resort in Canada and is one of the most stunning ski destinations in the world.

Here you’ll find one of the largest terrain parks in Western Canada, a multi-lane tube park and a 360° panorama of Banff National Park.

  • Location: Banff National Park, AB (2 hour drive from Calgary)
  • Runs and terrain: 145 runs (25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 4,200 acres
  • Vertical drop: 991 metres

Pros:

  • Unbeatable scenery
  • One of the longest seasons in North America
  • Many high-speed lifts

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not a lot of natural powder
  • No on-mountain lodging

Starting a 6000 foot ski run.

5. Revelstoke, British Columbia: Best advanced on-piste terrain

Historically popular for cat-skiing and heli-skiing, Revelstoke has developed into a resort for advanced riders and those looking to get a thigh-burning vertical adventure.

A classic skiers’ mountain, you won’t find many beginner runs or family-friendly facilities, although it is improving in these areas. Revelstoke holds the record in Canada for snowfall at 24 metres and gets an average of 10.5 metres with a high number of powder days to look forward to.

  • Location: Mt. Mackenzie, BC (2.5 hour drive from Kelowna or Kamloops)
  • Runs and terrain: 75 runs (12% beginner, 43% intermediate, 45% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 3,121 acres
  • Vertical drop: 1,713 metres

Pros:

  • North America’s biggest vertical drop
  • Lack of crowds on non-powder days
  • Modestly priced accommodation

Cons:

  • Not particularly family-friendly or good for beginners
  • Difficult to get to
  • Village is small with limited lodging and dining options

Purcell Powder Day

6. Kicking Horse, British Columbia: Best for off-piste, expert and extreme terrain

Found in the Powder Highway’s most formidable location with 45 degree descents that’ll impress even the hardiest of skiers, Kicking Horse is ideal for thrill-seekers and champagne powder lovers.

If you’re on the hunt for steeps, chutes and trees along with some dramatically beautiful scenery, this off-the-radar resort packs a punch.

  • Location: Golden, BC (3 hour drive from Calgary)
  • Runs and terrain: 129 runs (16% beginner, 11% intermediate, 73% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 1,113 acres
  • Vertical drop: 1,260 metres

Pros:

  • North facing mountain with reliable snow conditions
  • Little to no lift lines and empty slopes
  • Amongst the best for expert and extreme terrain

Cons:

  • Few beginner and intermediate runs
  • The village is very quiet with little nightlife
  • The hills need more lifts, especially for advanced and expert riders

Man skiing though fresh snow

7. Red Mountain, British Columbia: Best for tree skiing and value for money

Even though it’s got legendary tree skiing, cliffs and steeps to brag about, Red Mountain keeps it real with an authentic and old-school charm that’s hard to find in a country laden with mega-resorts.

Located near an old mining town, the resort has a reputation for being tough to access. Once you do get there, your reward will be uncrowded runs and reasonable prices.

  • Location: Rossland, BC (2.5 hour drive from Spokane)
  • Runs and terrain: 119 runs (17% beginner, 34% intermediate, 49% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 3,850 acres
  • Vertical drop: 890 metres

Pros:

  • Uncrowded on non-powder days
  • Friendly and laid back vibe
  • Great bang for your buck

Cons:

  • Lifts can be very slow
  • Not much to do for non-skiers and snowboarders
  • Mountain can be difficult to navigate

A woman enjoys a cross-country skate ski next to a river in the Rocky Mountains of Canada.

8. Sun Peaks, British Columbia: Best for uncrowded runs

Known as Whistler’s less crowded little brother, Sun Peaks is Canada’s second-largest resort. All that space and the proximity to more popular resorts means that you’ll have lots of room to breathe here.

This is a great choice for families as well since Sun Peaks has a real focus on beginner and intermediate skiing, well laid out slopes and the convenience of a ski-in ski-out village.

  • Location: Sun Peaks, BC (4.5 hour drive from Vancouver)
  • Runs and terrain: 137 runs (10% beginner, 58% intermediate, 32% advanced)
  • Skiable terrain: 4,270 acres
  • Vertical drop: 882 metres

Pros:

  • Family-friendly village and resort
  • Epic tree runs
  • Great groomed slopes and diverse terrain

Cons:

  • Less snowfall than nearby resorts
  • Slopes can be icy

Best ski resorts in Canada by the numbers

ResortNumber of runsSkiable terrainVertical drop
Whistler Blackcomb200 (20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 25% advanced)8,171 acres1,609 metres
Mont Tremblant102 (22% beginner, 30% intermediate, 48% advanced)755 acres645 metres
Blue Mountain58 runs (22% beginner, 35% intermediate, 44% advanced)365 acres220 metres
Lake Louise145 (25% beginner, 45% intermediate, 30% advanced)4,200 acres991 metres
Revelstoke75 (12% beginner, 43% intermediate, 45% advanced)3,121 acres1,713 metres
Kicking Horse129 (16% beginner, 11% intermediate, 73% advanced)1,113 acres1,260 metres
Red Mountain119 (17% beginner, 34% intermediate, 49% advanced)3,850 acres890 metres
Sun Peaks137 (10% beginner, 58% intermediate, 32% advanced)4,270 acres882 metres

Where can you go skiing in Canada?

Skiing in Canada is broken up into western Canada and eastern Canada.

Out west you’ll find most resorts centred around British Columbia and Alberta and in the east, Quebec and Ontario are the most popular destinations.

When is the best time to ski in Canada?

The snow season runs from November to April in Canada, with variations depending on the snowfall per resort.

The best time to arrive for snow is December to March, whereas if you’re looking to score a good deal, visit from late-March to early-April when crowds and prices have dropped.

To give you an idea of approximate season dates, in 2019 Whistler Blackcomb opened on 28 November, Blue Mountain on 15 November and Mont Tremblant on 22 November.

See the latest snow deals in Canada

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