Best Ski Resorts In Canada

Lake Louise Canada

Canada is the home of the most popular ski resort in North America and it’s not hard to imagine why. With impressive snowfall throughout the whole season, breathtaking scenery, and impressive customer service, the Canadian ski resorts are crowded with powder-junkies all season long.

There are some impressive mountain peaks, challenging terrain, and a lot of sunlight, which all put together can offer an unforgettable skiing experience for skiers and snowboarders from all ability levels. The best part about Canadian ski resorts is that they also offer plenty of off-slopes activity and fun. Visitors can always count on the great customer service from the polite Canadians and expect a cozy and relaxed atmosphere on every ski resort.

So with all that in mind, what are the best ski resorts in Canada? 

This is actually not an easy question to answer as the competition between Canadian amazing ski resorts which are spread throughout the whole country is pretty tight. In making our decision we have considered some important factors such as the quality of the powder, the wideness of the ski terran, the accommodation, as well as the diversity of the ski terrains.

By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be ready to start preparing your winter escape in some of Canada’s top-notch ski resorts.

Big White

Big White is Canada’s biggest ski-in ski-out resort and is mostly seen as a family-centred ski resort. This resort village will give you that cozy winterland feel because with an annual snowfall of over 300 in, Big White gives its visitors breathtaking views of mountains covered with a blast of snow. Often called Kelowna’s gentle giant, this ski resort is widely known for its great customer service, amazing design, and great ski-in, ski-out conveniences that has even brought it awards for best conditions many years in a row. Big White even has an award winning Kid’s center. With its gorgeous scenery, glistening mountain peaks, and family-friendly activities, this ski resort is ideal for families looking to spend their winter holidays in a fun atmosphere. 

Pros

  • Amazing scenery;
  • Top-notch champagne powder;
  • The widest area for ski-in/ski-out lodging in Canada;
  • Wide night ski area;
  • Just 1-hour drive away from Kelowna;
  • Friendly atmosphere.

Cons

  • The east side terrain can get icy;
  • Foggy terrain.

Famous for: great scenery, champagne powder and vibrant atmosphere.

Town

In the village there are many things to enjoy both outdoors and indoors. There’s an array of diverse bars, lounges, cafes, and restaurants where visitors can spend their time after a day of skiing. A number of grills, bistros, and tapas are also available for the gourmets – Big White has plenty of options if you’re looking for a relaxing meal out with your friends or family.

But it also offers a surprisingly vibrant lifestyle for a resort village. All restaurants are open late and the savvy partygoers will find a venue of pubs packed with friendly skiers and snowboarders who want to enjoy some great bands and DJs while drinking beer. Big White’s greatest charm is that it offers both families and young people plenty of fun. 

Ski Terrain

With a 2,756 acres of terrain, this resort is a nirvana for savvy skiers and snowboarders eager to explore a large terrain. Groomed runs, glades, bumps, tight trees, and a wide terrain park, make Big White appropriate for beginners but also challenging for intermediates. But expert powder-junkies will also have some fun time in Big White as there are a few pretty challenging slopes on the terrain. Besides that, the sheer size of the mountain makes it impossible to explore the entire trail map in just a single day, which means that longer stays guarantee excitement.

Those interested in the excitement of night skiing will be impressed by Big White’s long blue runs and green bunny runs.

Crowd Density And Ski Lifts

Big White’s ski infrastructure is very good and it continues to develop. Its 118 runs are serviced by 15 lifts and an impressive village gondola. The lifts include a high-speed 6 pack chair and four high-speed quads.The best part? The lifts can sweep 28.000 skiers per hour which means you won’t spend your time waiting in lines.

When it comes to crowds, Big White  doesn’t have a problem handling crowds like other nearby ski terrains, partly due to it’s smooth lift connection, and in part, thanks to the wide tracks.

The village gondola is used to transport visitors from the Happy Valley region to the mid-mountain village, while in the resort village visitors can take the Plaza Chair which will take them to the Ridge Rocket Express and Snow Ghost Express where they can find some exciting blue runs. 

Accommodation

Big White’s accommodation is always in high demand but there are plenty of accommodation options which can fit all types of budget and requirements. From luxury hotels, chalets, and townhouses to self-contained condos, Big White has available options for families, groups, couples, and singles. Aside from that, almost all accommodations offer the convenience of being ski-in/ski-out or very near to the ski area. What’s more, some of the lodgings offer some amazing facilities like an outdoor hot tub, sauna, spa, and irish tavern that can give your stay a little extra charm.

Those interested in both Big White’s champagne powder and vibrant social life can pick a location in close proximity to the resort village as well as the slopes.

Verdict

Big White is right up there with the best ski resorts in the entire territory of Canada. This is a wholesome ski resort that offers the best Canada can provide: champagne powder, wide ski terrain, great accomodation and dining, and challenging terrain.

Whistler Blackcomb

Frequently compared with the Alps, Whistler Blackcomb is the biggest ski resort in North America. As you can imagine, the area offers an enormous skiing terrain (over 8,000 ac), amazing atmosphere, and exciting off-slopes activities. 

This is a mega ski resort that can be found on the bucket lists of every powder-junkie. Whistler Blackcomb hosted the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and is known for throwing amazing luge, bobsled, and skeleton events. Whether you’re interested in challenging terrain, vibrant après ski, or a quiet retrait, Whistler Blackcomb is wide enough to fit everyone’s tastes.

Pros

  • Top-notch world class terrain;
  • Amazing scenery;
  • Impressive powder;
  • Great ski terrain suitable for beginners and intermediates;
  • Heli skiing available;
  • Lively town atmosphere;
  • Easy to access from Vancouver and Seattle.

Cons

  • The resort can get a bit crowded;
  • Long lift queues.

Famous for: unmatched variety of terrain, gorgeous scenery and amazing lift infrastructure.

Town Area

Aside from having a wide ski terrain and champagne powder, Whistler’s popularity among powder-junkies is particularly due to the great number of après ski activities. After a long day at the terrain, why not pamper yourself with a hot tub or a spa treatment? Or, if you are looking for some excitement off-slopes, you can always take a snowmobile or a dog sledding tour. The kids will love this. 

The best part? Whistler’s Blackcomb offers heli skiing. Adrenaline-junkies will love it as Whistler’s has one of the most popular and oldest heli skiing companies in the country. Imagine leaving the lifts and crowds behind, to delve into remote slopes while gazing at gorgeous scenery. Heli-skiing is the ultimate experience for powder junkies looking for that extra adrenaline. 

Whistler Blackcomb’s also has a number of dining options, bars, cafes, and pubs. There’s usually a band playing every Saturday or a DJ entertaining the skiers and snowboarders after a long day at the slopes. All in all, Whistler’s town area is a lively hub with fun activities for students, young families, and elders. 

Ski Terrain

The ski terrain at Whistler’s has a lot to offer – the tracks are in primo condition and there are multiple terrain parks that allow easy progression. The best part about Whistler’s terrain parks is that it offers excitement for everyone – beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers and this is mostly due to the wideness of the terrain. Blackcomb is also the home of a pro level terrain park and a superpipe. Around the superpipe you’ll always find some savvy snowboarders and adrenaline junkies ready for some adventure.

The best spot for beginners is on Whistler Mountain at Olympic Station where novices can find some green and blue runs as well as a magic carpet.

Crowd Density & Ski Lifts

If you’re looking for an undiscovered ski resort where you can enjoy a peaceful vacation, then properly Whistler Blackcomb is not the best option for you. With champagne powder, great customer service, and challenging terrain, Whistler is truly impressive and therefore one of the most popular ski resorts in North America. During the peak of the season, and this is mainly during the winter holiday and February, it may be hard to arrange your accommodation. During these periods it’s hard to find fresh powder and there can be some ridiculous long lift lines. However, early January as well as in middle February, the crowds can be quite manageable which means that visitors can even enjoy some fresh powder. 

When it comes to the lifts, Whistler’s organisation can exceed your expectations like rarely other ski terrains. The place has an impressive lift infrastructure built to handle large crowds. The lifts are effective and super fast and part of the Whistler’s lift infrastructure are also 3 gondolas (Creekside, Whistler Village, Blackcomb  Excalibur). Those looking to catch a glimpse of some amazing views can take Whistler Peak-to-Peak Gondola which provides the peaks of the two mountains. Additionally, Whistler’s lift infrastructure includes 13 high-speed quad chair lifts,  a harmony 6-pack chair, and an abundance of magic carpets.

Accommodation

Whistler is a mega ski resort that offers lodgings that suit all budgets and requirements. There are many lodging options on the ski terrain, some close to the slopes, and of course, the high-rolling hotels that are a bit further, for that extra privacy and tranquility. 

There’s a diverse selection of luxury hotels, hostels, condos, and single apartments. There are also some great options for holiday packages that include everything from accomodations, transfers, and lift tickets to equipment rentals. Some lodgings at Whistler offer indoor pools, hot tubs, and saunas for reasonable prices.

Verdict

Whistler Blackcomb is one of the biggest and most popular ski resorts in Canada. It’s incredibly lively, it offers various accommodation and dining options, and the scenery is simply gorgeous. The resort has great ski terrains for beginners but it can also provide intermediates and experts with some fun. With great conditions for skiing, amazing customer service, and exciting après ski activities, this ski resort is a go-to for the most savvy powder-junkies.

Lake Louise

The Lake Louise resort in Canada is widely considered as one of the most beautiful places in the world. The place offers some gorgeous scenery, terrain for all ability levels, and exciting long fall line runs. Lake Louise has some spectacular views and going there without a camera can be really frustrating. Large crowds are visiting this place every season because this world class ski resort has an abundance of terrains, après ski activities, and impressive lift infrastructure.  All of these factors make it the perfect holiday resort whether you’re traveling with your mates, your partner, or your whole family.

Pros

  • Amazing scenery;
  • Challenging terrain for all ability levels;
  • Impressive lift infrastructure;
  • Long ski season ( 6 months).

Cons

  • A very pricey ski resort;
  • Lacking in ski-in ski-out accommodation;
  • Inconsistent snowfall.

Famous for: breathtaking views, long seasons and terrain for all ability levels.

Town Area

As we already mentioned, Lake Louise is a top-notch ski resort with a number of great facilities and services. There are a great number of après ski festivities and some live music during the weekends. However, the most interesting events in Lake Louise are usually occurring within the lodgings – hostels, hotels, and the chateaus.

In the village, there are a limited number of dining options, restaurants, and cafes. The village is pretty small with just a few shops and dining options, but definitely worth visiting as you get to enjoy some breathtaking lake views.

Ski Terrain

With over 1,700 hectares of skiable terrain, the Lake Louise ski area has some amazing slopes, chutes, and free runs suitable for all ability levels. Beginners and intermediates will love the front side of the mountain as this terrain is most suitable for powder novices. However, on the back side of the mountain, there’s some exciting terrain for experts with chutes, free runs, and steep bowls. Favourite among daredevils is the Men’s downhill run which is also suitable for races. 

It’s important to mention that wearing a helmet in some of the ski areas is a must as some falling in some of these regions can lead to injuries. But, that’s exactly why hard-core skiers and snowboarders find Lake Louise ski terrains fantastic. For example, the Eagle Ridge off the Paradise chair has cornice-capped chutes. Pretty exciting!

Crowd Density & Ski Lifts

If you do decide to visit Lake Louise ski resort, you might be surprised to see that there aren’t many crowds around. This might be due to the fact that there is such a large skiable area, so you won’t be able to encounter large groups of people in one place. Aside from that, the prices can get a bit steepy, so many powder-junkies decide to visit some other nearby ski resorts.

Lake Louise has a massive ski terrain serviced by 10 lifts. They are all in great condition, fast and well-connected so they provide access to multiple runs. There are also 3 magic carpets. 

Accommodation

The Lake itself is a popular destination for visitors but the prices can get very expensive. However, you can get some discounts with the SKiBIg3 pass that also provides you with access to Sunshine Village and Mt.Norquay. There aren’t many on-mountain accommodation options at the resort itself, which is a major drawback. But you can find plenty of lodging options at Lake Louise village instead. There are a number of hotels and hostels, but the prices are very high during the entire season.

Verdict

It’s safe to say that Lake Louise family-friendly ski resort that promises lots of fun on the slopes. Visitors claim that the atmosphere in this place is cosy which is definitely a plus for a winter getaway. The terrain is very diverse and suitable for all ability levels and can satisfy even adrenaline junkies. The main drawback is that it is very expensive and can be hard to find accomodation. 

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated September 2021