From the towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the beauty of the Coast Ranges, Western Canada’s landscapes are a winter-through-spring playground for skiing enthusiasts. Packed with some of the most scenic ski trails you’ll ever encounter and home to Lake Louise, which has received USA Today’s coveted title of “the most scenic ski resort in the world” and Ski magazine’s Best Scenery in the West award, you can expect every thrilling run to be matched by stunning vistas. The spellbinding scenery is matched equally by Canada’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty, efforts that ensure every turn on every piste is not just an exhilarating endeavour but an impressive journey that will still be inspiring future generations for many years to come.
In this post, we highlight five ski resorts across Canada and some of their most breathtaking trails. We also feature alternatives to skiing, with opportunities to view the surroundings from fat bikes, snowmobiles, horse-drawn sleighs, and even hot springs!
Nestled high in the Canadian Rockies, Banff Ski Resort has big terrain with 3,300 acres to ski. The average annual snowfall is 30 feet, and the resort is recognised as being the home of the deepest snow in Alberta. Connected to Goat’s Eye Mountain and visible from the mid-point of the high-speed gondola, the stunning Wild West trail switchbacks across powder-covered slopes for amazing views of the Rocky Mountains and stunning panoramas. Known for offering some of the wildest available resort-accessed ski terrain in the Canadian Rockies, the “Wild West Free Ride Zone” is full of deep powder pockets, intense chutes, and slopes that are upwards of 40 degrees!
Of course, as Banff Ski Resort is situated right in the heart of Banff National Park, every trail is surrounded by gorgeous mountain views. First-time skiers should head for Strawberry Face, located off the Strawberry Express beginner chair. From the very top of the run, you’ll have a knockout view of the resort with a breathtaking backdrop of Bourgeau Mountain.
For an alternative to skiing, try hiking Sulphur Mountain on micro-spikes. You can also hop on the Banff Gondola and travel upwards for 698 metres to the summit ridge for splendid views of Cascade Mountain and the Sundance Range. And don’t miss the opportunity for a relaxing soak in the upper hot springs. Aim for sunset on a winter evening and bathe in temperatures as hot as 47°C with the snow falling around you and on the surrounding peaks.
Amassing over 8,000 acres of terrain, Whistler has a trail for every skill level, and with the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola connecting skiers and riders from Whistler to Blackcomb, there are plenty of spectacular panoramas to gaze at from the slopes. Starting at the summit of Whistler Mountain, take in views of icy mountain peaks while floating through fresh powder runs on the 16-kilometre Peak to Creek or survey blissful scenes out over the valley on the Blue Line, the trail located on Blackcomb Mountain. Beginning at the Hortsman Hut and accessed by the 7th Heaven Express Chair, the Blue Line run reveals breathtaking 180-degree panoramas, encompassing the magnificent Spearhead Range, from Whistler Mountain to Black Tusk, and extending to the Tantulus.
Blackcomb Mountain also has specific trails for snowshoeing, and you can access them via the Excalibur Gondola. Once at the top, the views of the alpine environment are astounding.
For a more laidback option, anyone can ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola between the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and “kiss the sky,” the journey leaving you with incredible views of both hills along with Fissile Mountain, the Overlord Glacier, Whistler Village, Rainbow Mountain, and more. Our tip: travel in the glass bottom cabin for a glimpse of the glistening snow covered trees below you.
For more peaceful mountain vistas head to Sun Peaks, Canada’s second-largest ski area boasting 4,270 acres of terrain. With runs spread across three mountains, there is plenty on offer for all abilities and picturesque vantage points to boot. Genuine stop and stare ski, the Chief will get your heart pumping and also provide you with some pretty spectacular visionary accompaniments. The Black Diamond Run is accessed from the top of the Burfield Quad Chair, where on a clear day you might spy sweeping 360-degree views or even spot BC landmarks including Dunn Peak, Shuswap Lake, and the Coast and Monashee Mountain ranges.
Take a break from skiing and jump on the Sunburst Express Chairlift to the summit of Mt. Tod for breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Alternatively, enjoy a snowmobiling tour in the Sun Peaks backcountry, with the exhilarating trails taking you by wide open frozen lakes and across clear meadows to enjoy gorgeous views of the Thompson Nicola region.
Snuggled amongst the Purcell Mountains, Panorama Mountain Resort offers over 2,800 acres of terrain to satisfy every ski craving. View of 1000 Peaks is possibly Panorama’s most beautiful trail by far, the run forming the ridgeline between the Extreme Dream and Taynton Bowl zones. Smooth corduroy all the way, the high-speed groomer, is best attempted at your leisure, as the views of the resort and surrounding mountaintops from the summit are mesmerising. Truly humbling, spy Mt. Nelson and get a 360-degree perspective of the Purcell and Rocky Mountains—a literal sea of mountains stretching out before you.
For an alternative to skiing, take the Mile 1 Express Gondola for a scenic ride to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views of the Purcell Mountains and the Columbia Valley. Or, explore the trails surrounding Panorama by fat bike. The oversized tyres are perfect for riding on packed snow. Travel along the Mineral King trail that parallels Toby Creek for some mind-blowing scenery.
Boasting award-winning views, Lake Louise is hard to beat when it comes to the combination of great skiing and breathtaking panoramas—its 4,200+ acres spread across four mountain faces. Still bringing home the accolades, the resort was named “Canada’s Best Ski Resort” at the 2023 World Ski Awards, with its 145 marked runs and back bowls offering plenty to keep intermediate and advanced skiers occupied. The views from its ridges and peaks have been described over and over again as some of the most spectacular in the Rockies, and there’s plenty on offer for beginners, too. For example, Saddleback is ideal green run, which winds along a gentle ridge, allowing you to experience beauty of Lake Louise’s famous back bowls while still getting in some practice on your turns.
At Lake Louise, you also have the option to enjoy a classic sleigh ride on the lakeside trail beneath the Victoria Glacier. Snuggle under blankets and soak up views of the Ice Falls at the end of the lake by day or the magical glow of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise by night. Alternatively, head out on an exhilarating dog sled with the magnificent Canadian Rockies contrasted against a brilliant, bright blue sky.
Epic ski adventures await at all the resorts we feature, the snow-covered slopes and breathtaking scenery combining to create an unforgettable ski holiday.
Built up over the course of three decades, at Frontier Ski, you benefit from our unrivalled personal knowledge, as every recommendation is based on first-hand experience. As an ATOL and ABTA-protected tour operator, you can also book with complete confidence.
Contact us today on 020 8776 8709 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your tailor-made ski holiday today. ATOL PROTECTED No 5405 ABTA W3207.