Best Ski Destinations in Canada
Winter can be the time to curl up with a hot drink in the coziness of your home, but for those willing to brave the cold the season can be a beautiful playground. Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular winter activities. In Canada, the country colloquially known as ‘The Great White North’, there are many notable ski destinations that are more than worth the trip.
So if you are a seasoned skier, or just a beginner looking to enjoy some beautiful scenery and practice, these winter resorts are a must see.
Banff, Lake Louise – AB
Banff Alberta is well known for being home to one of the most beautiful and picturesque winter resorts, Lake Louise. Known for its amazing ski hills and breathtaking scenery, the Lake Louise Ski Resort is located right in the heart of the Banff National Park. The resort has 139 runs with a range of terrain that is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. This mountain offers both downhill and cross country, with excellent black diamond runs on the backside of the mountain in an area known as the alpine bowls. The resort is also known for its modern high speed lifts, and the Grizzly Express Gondola which provides visitors the chance to really take in the beautiful views the mountain offers.
If you, or any in your family are not a skier, there is still plenty to do and see in this beautiful winter destination. The Lake Louise Resort area offers winter trekking (a type of hiking that typically involves the use of snowshoes or boot chains) dog sledding, tubing and the lake itself turns into a 2.5 km (1.5 miles) skating rink during the winter season. For days you just want to relax, Lake Louise also offers a range of culinary and spa experiences
Whistler Blackcomb – BC
Located in Whistler, a town just north of Vancouver British Columbia, the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is infamous for being one of the most popular ski resorts in the world. It has taken the title of the largest ski resort in North America, with 200 marked trails for beginners and trill seekers alike. The mountain offers varied terrain, from gentle slopes to steep alpine bowls, cross country and even a terrain park for those who enjoy the extreme. The resort is also known for its high speed modern lift systems as well as the Peak to Peak Gondola which connects the upper trails of Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain and offers a breathtaking view.
For those looking to spend some time off the mountain, Whistler offers an array of winter activities. Enjoy dog sledding, snowcat tours, outdoor skating in the Olympic Plaza, tubing, and a winter zip line experience. The town of Whistler is also home to many culinary, shopping and spa choices for the days you need a little rest and relaxation.
Fernie Alpine Resort – BC
The Fernie Alpine Resort is the regarded as possibly the highest mountain destination in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Located in Fernie British Columbia it is world renowned for its powder skiing, and has more than 140 runs and 5 alpine bowls. This beautiful mountain offers visitors a wide variety of terrain for both beginners and advanced skiers, with downhill (regarded as some of the most trilling and intense slopes in western Canada), cross country, and gentle slopes which are great for learning. Fernie Alpine Resort offers classes for both adults and children ages 6 and above as well as a child care center for those under 5 years of age.
Non-Skiers have an abundance of choices for activities in Fernie. The area also offers classic winter experiences like dog sledding, snowshoeing, and ice skating at an NHL size outdoor skating rink. Fernie is a great destination for shopping and dining and has many fun child friendly activities to choose from. Spend time visiting one of the local museums or trying the climbing gym located at the College of the Rockies. So if you are looking for a great spot for a family winter getaway, Fernie may be the perfect place for you.
Mont. Tremblant – QC
The popular Mont. Tremblant Ski Resort is located in the Laurentian Mountains approximately 130kms (80 miles) from the busy tourism destination of Montreal. Mont. Tremblant is home to 102 trails with a range of options for both beginners and experts alike. The mountain offers excellent downhill skiing across 4 main mountain slopes and more than 110km (68 miles) of cross country trails. For the trill seekers, Mont. Tremblant also has a terrain park with 60 different modules in 3 parks across the mountain. Another notable experience offered at the Mont. Tremblant Ski Resort is the Panoramic Gondola which brings you to the highest peak of the Laurentian Mountains, not only allowing you to soak in the surrounding beauty, but it also leads you to some more great vacation experiences.
After taking the Panoramic Gondola you have access to some exciting activities that even the non-skiers will appreciate. This area of the mountain offers some amazing hiking trails, a 360 observation tower and a Birds of Prey Show. The Mont. Tremblant area also offers dog sledding and tubing for those not looking to ski or snowboard. If you are looking to leave the mountain for a while, you can take a tour of one of the many nearby Quebecois Villages, or enjoy some time to relax at a spa or the Scandinavian Baths.
Sun Peaks Resort – BC
The Sun Peaks Ski Resort is located 58km (36 miles) away from Kamloops British Columbia. It holds the title of the second largest ski resort in Canada, and is immensely popular as a family vacation destination. With a beautiful ski-in village, and a its wide range of trails for beginner and intermediate skiers its easy to understand why Sun Peaks is the favored winter resort for North American families. The resort offers over 130 trails for both downhill and cross country skiers of all skill levels spread across several mountains. Known for being family friendly, Sun Peaks has several ‘Ski Schools’ to introduce children to skiing and snowboarding as well as a child care center for those to young to participate.
One of the most notable features about Sun Peaks is the ski-in village. This is where visitors can access their lodgings as well as various shopping boutiques and restaurants without having to take of their gear. Not only is the village convenient for those coming off the mountain but also creates a beautifully picturesque scene for you to enjoy. Sun Peaks offers many other experiences for non-skiers and children to enjoy. Be sure to make some time for activities such as dogsledding, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, tubing, or snowmobile tours. Lastly, if you just need some time to relax you can visit one of the day spas in the village.