The best ski resorts in Canada

Canada has lots to offer with lots of information on all of these great resorts available we wanted to put together a list of our favourite resorts based on our own personal experiences.

British Columbia

Whistler
An ideal place to start skiing in Canada is Whistler. Easily accessed with direct flights from
London – Vancouver operating daily with a shuttle transfer of around two hours make this one of the easiest resorts to travel too. Once you arrive there is a beautiful pedestrian village with a wealth of accommodation options of all types close to the slopes.

Skiing in Whistler offers lots of varied terrain across the two brilliant mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb all included on one lift pass with plenty to keep skiers of all abilities occupied. The village itself has lots of restaurants ranging from a slice of pizza up to fine dining with everything in between.

The Après scene is alive and well with laidback bars for a relaxed evening, live music venues and nightclubs to keep you entertained in the evening if you have any energy left after hitting the slopes!

I love the GLC (Garibaldi Lift Company) great ales and live music. Best of all it is family friendly until 10pm!

Whistler

Whistler

Ski Stats
Whistler Blackcomb
Over 100 runs Over 100 runs
Adv 25%, Inter 55%, Beg 20% Adv 30%, Inter 50%, Beg 20%
4,757 acres 3,414 acres

Panorama
What a gem of a resort! Hidden away from the crowds but still easily accessible with a direct flight from London to Calgary followed by a shuttle transfer, Panorama gives you a taste of real Canada. A beautiful village surrounded by trees, stunning views of the surrounding mountains, with almost all of the accommodation within a very short walk/ski to the slopes.

There is a lot of varied skiing available in Panorama with a good mix for all abilities. Best of all with Panorama there are hardly ever any queues!

The village lends itself to a more laidback ski holiday with a nice café, bar and small selection of restaurants. Almost all of the accommodation have full kitchens too. There is also the nearby town of Invermere with a free shuttle should you want a change of scenery in the evenings.

Although everyone in the resort can use the hot pools at The Panorama Springs, I would recommend staying at Taynton Lodge as only guests here can use the outdoor hot tubs that Taynton offers. Also the chicken wings at the T-Bar are delicious!

Panorama

Panorama

Ski Stats Panorama
129 runs
25% Adv, 55% Inter, 20% Beg
2,975 acres

Sun Peaks
A pretty village which you can ski through, Sun Peaks is accessed with a flight into Vancouver or Calgary (depending on flight timings) with a short hop on an internal flight followed by an even shorter transfer. Baggage is checked all the way through for a smooth journey to this picturesque resort. Lots of accommodation to suit all; from hotel rooms up to private residences, make this ideal for families.

Canada’s second largest ski area spread over 3 mountains all on one lift pass means you will not have to go far to find suitable runs for all abilities.

A family friendly village with a variety of restaurants and bars (the steak at Mantle’s is delicious!), this is a perfect resort to ski all day and enjoy good food in the evenings.

I stayed in a One bedroom Suite at The Residences at Sun Peaks Grand which are a real home away from home with full kitchens. Best of all you can use all the facilities of the main hotel building!

Sun Peaks

Sun Peaks

Ski Stats Sun Peaks
129 runs
25% Adv, 55% Inter, 20% Beg
2,975 acres

Big White
A mid-mountain resort in a beautiful alpine setting. Getting to Big White is via either Vancouver or Calgary from London with a short onward flight to Kelowna followed by a short shuttle transfer. As we would book it all on one flight ticket there is no need to recheck in for the internal flight making for a hassle free journey. Big White has lots of self-catering condos some even have private hot tubs. There are also a number of comfortable hotel options available.

Being a mid-mountain village it is so convenient for access to the slopes; just strap on your skis and go! The skiing in Big White is a fantastic experience – zipping through the snow ghosts (trees) with plenty of terrain for all abilities.

The resort is very well suited to families with the Happy Valley area offering lots to keep the kids entertained off the slopes including kids snowmobiles, tubing and skating to name a few. There is also lots to keep the adults entertained in the evening with a wealth of dining options to suit all tastes and the thriving après scene (head to Snoeshow Sam’s for a very lively evening).

A “must do” when in Big White is to try the gun barrel coffee at The Gunbarrel Grill a very elaborate (and boozy) coffee served using believe it or not a gun barrel! Very tasty! Also I highly recommend a room with a private hot tub which is great to rest those aching muscles!

Big White

Big White

Ski Stats Big White
119 runs
6% Ext 22% Adv, 54% Inter, 18% Beg
2,765 acres

Silver Star
This brightly coloured resort is one that many people haven’t heard of, but we love it! Super convenient ski access due to its mid mountain location and only a short transfer from Kelowna Airport which itself is a short flight from Vancouver or Calgary. Luggage is checked through from London so know need to re-check in before the internal flight.

Plenty of accommodation options are available from the modern & stylish Firelight Lodge or the centrally located Snowbird Lodge. These are among our favourites as both also have options with private hot tubs. There are also large private homes and smaller hotels available.

The terrain in Silver Star is spread over four distant mountain faces and really does offer something for everyone with some great beginner areas along with some good tricky bits on the back bowls.

The village itself is compact and easy to navigate with a variety of dining options along with some fantastic local brews. Silver Star is ideal for those wanting a ski holiday away from the main resorts in Canada.

I had a very enjoyable evening at the bowling alley at Firelight which is a great way to spend an evening in Silver Star.

Silver Star

Silver Star

Ski Stats Silver Star
132 runs
10% Ext 35% Adv, 40% Inter, 15% Beg
3,282 acres

Revelstoke
Wow! Was the first thing I said when I arrived into Revelstoke what a fantastic place for the advanced skier to visit. The whole resort is simply stunning, well kept landscaping and gorgeous views make the travel all worth it. You fly in to Kelowna via Vancouver or Calgary followed by a shuttle transfer, but trust me when I say it is worth it when you get there!

The beautiful village sprawls around the base of the hill with great access to the lifts. There is (currently) only one on mountain accommodation which is the amazing Sutton Place, but it is the nicest condo hotel I have ever stayed in. Beautiful spacious suites all with cooking and laundry faculties make this ideal for all sizes of groups.

The skiing in Revelstoke is mostly for the more adventurous skier. Surrounded by trees, lots of the runs offer challenges as well as dramatic views of the valley well below. Day Heli-skiing and Cat skiing are also offered in the surrounding areas for the very adventurous!

Although you mostly go to Revelstoke for the amazing terrain I was surprised at the quality and variety of food served in resort. While there are not an extensive amount of restaurants, the food at The Rockford is delicious and there is the nearby town of Revelstoke which you can access via the free resort shuttle for further options and a real taste of a Canadian town.

Revelstoke

Revelstoke

Ski Stats Revelstoke
75 runs
47.5% Adv, 45.5% Inter, 7% Beg
3,121 acres

Fernie
A resort that is on a lot of people’s list due to it’s famed terrain and powder. To get to Fernie you take a direct flight into Calgary and either pick up a car or a transfer to the resort itself. You can either stay in the charming town of Fernie itself or stay on mountain in one of the many self-catering accommodations and private homes that are on offer.

The ski hill spreads out along the base with some of the accommodation creeping up the side of the mountains offering great ski in ski out access. Although there are a number of restaurants and The Griz Bar, the resort is very much focused on the skiing!

There are some novice areas and a good amount of cruiser runs in Fernie but to get the full experience it suits the more advanced skier to take advantage for the famous powder.

I enjoyed the real local feel of the resort where you really feel you are experiencing the authentic Canada.

Fernie

Fernie

Ski Stats Fernie
142 runs
30% Adv, 40% Inter, 30% Beg
2,504 acres

Kicking Horse
Where else can you take a single gondola ride to the summit! Kicking Horse is a traditional ski resort, best as part of a multi-resort ski holiday teamed with Banff/Lake Louise to help break up the drive to and from Calgary Airport.

A compact village surrounds the base area with a variety of condo accommodation some just steps from the slopes. There are a few restaurants on the hill with the nearby town of Kicking Horse a short drive away if you are wanting more variety.

Given the challenging terrain Kicking Horse really is a resort aimed at advanced skiers.

Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse

Ski Stats Kicking Horse
120+ runs
15% Exp, 45% Adv, 20% Inter, 20% Beg
3,400 acres

Kimberley
Another resort that works well on a multi-centre self-drive ski holiday is Kimberley. Ideal for expert skiers Kimberley boasts the largest gladed terrain in North America. Although one of the smaller resorts in Canada, it is well worth a visit for the challenging runs and beautiful Germanic Architecture you pass through in the town of Kimberley on the way to the resort.

The main accommodation is Trickle Creek Lodge which has condo style rooms with full kitchens, along with a restaurant, outdoor pool and hot  tubs.

Kimberley

Kimberley

Ski Stats Kimberley
80 runs including 12 gladed runs
38% Adv, 42% Inter, 20% Beg
1,800 acres

Red Mountain
Not the easiest to get to but then skiing Western Canada’s first ski resort has got to be worth the journey. Fly into Spokane (Washington) or Cranbrook on an internal flight from one of the larger cities (sometimes you will need an overnight stay on the way out) or team Red up with the other fantastic resorts along the powder highway for a truly epic self-drive ski safari.

Ideally suited for experiences skiers, Red offers a unique experience of being able to cat ski for $10. Show up on the day, pay the driver and away you go.

Red Mountain

Red Mountain

Ski Stats Red Mountain
110 runs
28% Exp, 23% Adv, 31% Inter, 18% Beg
3,850 acres

 

Alberta

Banff and Lake Louise

Banff
A beautiful Canadian town, some of the best skiing in the world and only 90 minutes from Calgary are just some of the reasons Banff is one of the best ski holidays to be had in Canada.

The Town of Banff has so many different hotel options, most of which are along the iconic Banff Avenue with the towering mountains in the distance, making this a true winter paradise. Plenty of bars, restaurants and shops meaning that even a non-skier wouldn’t be bored on a  holiday to Banff. Access to the ski areas is via the very efficient complimentary ski shuttles (or you can hire a car) which run to the three different mountains which are all included on one lift ticket.

Banff really does offer a fantastic experience; staying in a bustling town where people live and work rather than a purpose built ski resort.

I have to say the amount of food choices in Banff is huge and varied. My favourite place is the roof terrace at The Elk and Oarsman.

Lake Louise
The picturesque village of Lake Louise is perfect for those wanting a quieter area to stay in while still having fantastic world class skiing on your doorstep. Located just 2 hours shuttle from Calgary Airport and only 5 minutes from the Lake Louise Ski area means this is a convenient location for your ski holiday to Canada. Again when staying in Lake Louise all three areas are included on the Ski Big 3 lift ticket giving you access to all three of the ski areas below.

The mountains

Sunshine is where most people tend to spend the majority of their ski days with plenty of terrain to suit all abilities. It also offers the most comprehensive ski school options.

Mount Norquay offers great tree lined trails and also night skiing making the smaller of the three areas well worth a visit. Also just 5 minutes from Banff.

Lake Louise is also included on the Ski Big 3 lift pass and can be accessed from Banff via shuttle.

Banff

Banff

 Ski Stats
Banff Sunshine Mount Norquay Lake Louise
137+ runs 74 runs 145 +
Adv 25%, Inter 55%,
Beg 20%
Adv 44%, Inter 36%,
Beg 20%
Adv 30%, Inter 45%,
Beg 25%
3,358 acres 190 acres 4,680

Jasper
Nestled away in the heart of the Jasper National Park,  You will find the scenic town of Jasper. Typically you would need to overnight in Edmonton (fly in via Calgary) before transferring the following morning to Jasper. Alternatively you can hire a car from Calgary and stop off at Banff or Lake Louise along the way as part of a multi-resort holiday.

The town itself offers comfortable hotel accommodation under 30 minutes from the ski area of Marmot Basin. There are a variety of restaurants in the town along with a good après scene to keep you entertained off the slopes.

Marmot Basin is the hidden secret of the Canadian Rockies. Skiers can experience a variety of terrain such as glades, bowls, tree runs and rhythmic groomers. Make the effort to get there and you will see why Jasper enjoys many return visitors.

Be sure to head to De’d Dog Bar & Grill in downtown Jasper for a post ski refreshment – a brilliant spot.

Jasper

Jasper

Ski Stats Marmot Basin
91 runs
20% Exp, 20% Adv, 30% Inter, 30% Beg
1,720 acres

Quebec

Tremblant
The closest Canadian ski resort to the UK, Tremblant offers a European feel to a North American Ski holiday; French being the main language spoken (but don’t worry, everyone speaks English as well). Fly direct into Montreal before taking a transfer to the resort.

When you arrive into Tremblant you will find a European styled ski resort with attractive brightly coloured buildings. The accommodation in the lower based area is connected to the upper area via a very short cabriolet lift.

The skiing, and Tremblant as a whole, is ideally suited for families and beginners with some great learner slopes at the base. It also offers one of the best terrain parks in North America for those wanting to brush up on their free style skills.

Tremblant

Tremblant

Ski Stats Tremblant
102 runs
47% Adv, 32% Inter, 21% Beg
755 acres

Quebec City
For a truly unique ski holiday Quebec City is a fantastic option. Stay in an historic vibrant city but spend your days on the slopes. There is plenty to see and do in Quebec City with extensive dining and nightlife as well as exploring the history of the walled citadel.

There are 3 ski areas located within easy reach and in our opinion the easiest option is to hire a car so you can drive to the different areas at your leisure.

Le Massif has some beautiful groomed pistes and the highest vertical in Eastern Canada with amazing views of the St Lawrence Seaway from virtually every slope. Mont St Anne also offers great views, with a variety of terrain on mainly tree-lined slopes, along with some great glades and terrain parks. Stoneham is just 20 minutes from the city and is known for is terrain parks and half pipe as well as one of the largest night skiing networks in Canada.

Quebec City

Quebec City

Ski Stats
Mont St Anne Le Massif Stoneham
71 runs 52 runs 42 runs
Adv 33%, Inter 46%,
Beg 21%
Adv 55%, Inter 30%,
Beg 15%
Adv 55%, Inter 26%,
Beg 19%
2,145 acres 406 acres 333 acres

 

Written by Michael Williamson,  Ski Product Manager, Frontier Ski