20 Best Ski Resorts In Canada: Experts Guide

There isn’t a better place to ski than the ski resorts in Canada. We may be biased, but there is no better place to ski than Western Canada for its incredible terrain, limited crowds, and abundant snowfall. Many other international destinations receive a lot of praise, but it’s pretty tough to compete with Canada ski resorts when it comes to natural beauty.

There may not be many bars and restaurants on the slopes here, as the best ski resorts in Canada are about one thing; skiing and snowboarding. As veterans of Western Canada, we share insights into our favorite ski resorts in Canada. It may be a hotly contested subject about the best ski resort, but you can’t go wrong with any of these Canada ski resorts.

These are our favorites, all of which we have personally snowboarded at.


About Skiing In Canada

whistler
Whistler Blackcomb / Best Ski Resorts in Canada

There is no denying that Canada has an abundance of snow and big mountains perfect for skiing. From charming mountain towns across the country, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy quiet runs in nature. Add to the fact that Canadian ski resorts come in at a fraction of the price compared to Switzerland or Colorado, and you have a wonderful country to ski or snowboard.

There is a wide variety of terrain, and if there is a particular type of ski you love, there is likely a resort in Canada that is the perfect fit. You can find everything from big open bowls, freshly groomed runs, tree skiing, bottomless powder, and stomach-turning chutes and drops.

Canada is our favorite place in the world to snowboard. If you’re looking to plan your next ski vacation, then check out some of these fabulous resorts. We’ve been to about every notable resort in Canada and will keep this list updated with the best Canadian ski resorts to visit every winter.


The Best Ski Resorts In Canada


Lake Louise Ski Resort

lake-louise-ski-resort
Snowboarding at Lake Louise / Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: November — May
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $119 – $154 CAD
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 179″
  • Vertical: 3251′
  • Total Lifts: 11
  • Ski Area: 4,200 ac.

Highlights

Lake Louise, Breathtaking Scenery, Long Runs, Resort Town (Banff), Variety of Terrain, Chutes, Bowls, Wildlife, Ski Touring, Long Runs, Reliable Snow, Lack of Crowds (Weekdays), Ikon Pass (7 days to SkiBig3), Beginner Terrain, Groomed Runs, A few Good Lifts, Decent Park

Negatives

Lacks On Mountain Accommodation, Expensive, Crowded Weekends, Cold Weather, Low snowfall, Somewhat deceitful marketing tactics, Ikon Pass crowds, Old lifts off the backside.

Lake Louise is one of Canada’s most well-known ski resorts, thanks to its location in Banff National Park. It’s one of the most gorgeous Canada ski resorts where the quality of the ski is only surpassed by its stunning natural location. Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of North America’s largest ski resorts, with 4,200 acres covering four mountain faces.

At actual Lake Louise in the winter

The terrain varies between beautiful groomers, challenging steeps, and expert-level chutes. Every skill level will find something enjoyable at Lake Louise, and it’s a manageable mountain to navigate after a bit of orientation. Experts love the extreme terrain, while intermediates and beginners love the long-groomed runs with stunning views.

Ski At Lake Louise Frontside
Views From The Frontside of Lake Louise Ski Resort

The cold climate ensures Lake Louise has one of the longest seasons in Canada, from November to May! While it is no powder mecca, the average snowfall is around 400-500 centimeters a year. The snow that does manage to fall on the mountain is of good quality, as the dry air and cold climates make for great snow. It can also be an incredibly rocky on years with low snowfall, I’ve nearly killed one of my boards in a chute.

Christmas in Banff
Downtown Banff

Lake Louise has one significant downside, which comes with the cost and lack of accommodation. Since it’s in a national park, there are no hotels on the mountain and only a handful in Lake Louise village. Most visitors will plan a trip to Lake Louise with a stay in nearby Banff, a 40-minute drive away.

Banff has an ample amount to offer visitors as one of the best resort towns in Canada. If skiing isn’t the only focus you can make a whole trip around Banff with a wealth of activities and sights off the ski hill. Plus there is more than just Lake Louise in Banff as there are three ski resorts Mt. Norquay, Banff Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise, known as SkiBig3.

Learn More About Lake Louise


Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb
Having fun at Whistler / Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: Late November — Mid May
  • Closest Airport: Vancouver Intl. Airport (YVR)
  • Avg Ticket: $160 – $229 (CAD)
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 449″
  • Vertical: 5279′
  • Total Lifts: 23
  • Ski Area: 8171 ac.

Highlights

Advanced Terrain, Best Lift Infrastructure, Large Village, Huge Resort, Lots of accommodation, Excellent Terrain Parks, Off Mountain Activities, Excellent Resort Town, Apres Ski, Spas, Luxury Hotels, Restaurants, Annual Snowfall

Negatives

Incredibly Crowded, Mountain Gets Tracked Out Fast, BC Coastal Weather, Expensive, Mixed Snow Quality, No Half Pipe

Whistler Blackcomb is the most famous ski resort in Canada and North America. It’s a mega-resort that receives a vast annual snowfall over insane terrain and a full-service resort at the base. It’s not much of a surprise that it is considered one of the best ski resorts in the world. There’s a lot to be said about Whistler, but it holds a special place in heart and we love it dearly — we even spent a season living in Creekside Village.

Whistler is two hours from Vancouver along the Sea To Sky Highway. Its fame and excellent facilities bring in two million guests a year! This is also its most significant negative, as crowds and lines can be brutal. This is especially true on powder days when locals come out in force and compete for the best lines.

whistler ski resort
Riding at Whistler

Those locals include pros and experts because of the excellent terrain—which can make competition fierce for first tracks on the best lines. The two mountains are so big and have so much variety that it would take years to explore all they offer. The quality of the runs, parks, and expert terrain is impressive. There is something for everyone, and even the experts rave about Whistler Blackcomb.

When you’re off the mountain, the village has everything visitors could desire. It has many accommodation options, the apres-ski scene is vibrant, spas are abundant, activities are not limited to skiing, and there is no shortage of shops and Whistler restaurants. Of course, all of this comes with a very high price tag. Along with Jackson Hole, you’d be hard pressed to find a more expensive ski resort in North America. If you plan on spending more than a few days riding at Whistler, it’s best to buy an Epic Pass.

Learn More About Whistler


Revelstoke Mountain Resort

revelstoke mountain lodge
A rare moment of sun in the Tally Ho trees at Revy / Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: December — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Kelowna Airport (YLW)
  • Avg Ticket: $108 – $131
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 414″
  • Vertical: 5620′
  • Total Lifts: 6
  • Ski Area: 3121 ac

Highlights

Epic Powder, Open Terrain, Excellent Tree Skiing, Vertical, Lacks Crowds, Best Skiing In Canada, Ski Touring, Heli Skiing, Cat Skiing,

Negatives

Advanced & Expert, Not Full-Service Resort, Lift Infrastructure, Town Is Isolated,

At a place like Revelstoke, it’s common to see someone tear down the mountain and huck a backflip off a cat track under the Stoke Chair. The skiers and boarders on this mountain can rip. Over the years, Revelstoke has become a mecca for die-hard skiers and boarders.

Snowboarding at Revelstoke on a very common cloudy day

Many heli-ski operations call the Revelstoke home, the mountain receives enormous amounts of snow, and the backcountry ski routes are the stuff of legends. If you’ve watched a ski movie in the last decade, there’s definitely been a segment that included some shots from Revelstoke.

On the ripper chair / Revelstoke Mountain Resort

This Canadian ski resort has a reputation that proceeds itself for outstanding freeride terrain, tree skiing, and legendary powder. We spent an entire season there, and never ever got bored. To this day Revelstoke remains our favorite ski resort in the world. It’s where we first learned to drop cliff bands and get very out of our comfort zone. With only 93 marked runs and an enormous amount of terrain it’s a mountain meant to find your own line. To top it all off, Revelstoke gets over 12 meters of fresh powder a year. Chances are that many visitors will have an epic powder day on a trip to the resort.

Revelstoke does have one big downside. Despite it being called Revelstoke Mountain Resort, it’s not a good resort. The terrain is primarily ungroomed, and it’s not ideal for beginners or intermediate riders. Most of its “green” runs are essentially just cat tracks. It also lacks the very technical steep lines that you’ll find at Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, or Whistler. True experts may be disappointed with its lack of technical chutes and in bounds steeps. That said, there are still very tough lines to be found with creativity.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts the highest vertical in North America, but it’s really a technicality, as the ski at the bottom of the mountain is often variable. This BC town also lacks resort infrastructure that would complete a holiday package like in Whistler or Banff.

The town of Revelstoke is far from the prettiest Canadian ski town, and while there are a handful of hotels, cabins, and restaurants, it still leaves a lot to be desired. To us, that’s why we love Revy, but to those looking for a full ski vacation with the family that you can get in the Alps or in Aspen, Revy might feel disappointing. It’s not a complete holiday package for the family, but a destination for experts and advanced riders to check off the list.


Mont Tremblant

Riding at Mont Tremblant / Canada Ski Resorts

Resort Overview

  • Season: Late November — Mid April
  • Closest Airport: Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (YHU)
  • Avg Ticket: $89 – $145
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 178″
  • Vertical: 2116′
  • Total Lifts: 14
  • Ski Area: 754 ac

Highlights

Family Friendly, Best in Eastern Canada, Charming Village, Variety Of Activities, Accessible to Montreal, Affordable, Decently Long Runs, Snow Making Abilities, Quebecois Culture, Gladed Tree Runs

Negatives

East Coast Skiing, Crowds On Weekends/Holidays,

Mont Tremblant is an excellent Canadian ski resort, especially considering its location on the East Coast. While the annual snowfall and terrain won’t blow away expert skiers, it has plenty to offer the vast majority. They have a picturesque ski village, excellent facilities, and a respectable amount of vertical.

Enjoying the town of Mont Tremblant

The summit offers breathtaking views over the Laurentians of rolling hills. The resort’s pistes spread out from the summit, and there are many possibilities for all ski and snowboard abilities. Mont Tremblant has a decent park, a few steep runs, glades, and plenty of beginner terrain.

Skier On Mont Tremblant

It’s a sizeable resort with 96 beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. Mont Tremblant’s incredible snowmaking and grooming abilities are considered some of the best in North America. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it’s considered one of the best ski resorts on the East Coast.

Above all else, Mont-Tremblant offers exceptional Quebec charm in a sea of maple trees. People are just darn friendly here, and the resort offers the best holiday on the East Coast. There are many family-friendly winter activities to enjoy in the area and plenty of maple syrup to go around!

It’s worth noting that this is an East Coast resort, so obviously ski quality and terrain is nothing like the resorts out west. It’s the best on the East Coast, but for some that’s not saying much.

Learn More About Mont Tremblant


Banff Sunshine Village

Banff Sunshine Village

Resort Overview

  • Season: November — Late May
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $119 – $154 CAD
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 360″
  • Vertical: 3510′
  • Total Lifts: 11
  • Ski Area: 3358 ac

Highlights

Resort Town (Banff), Variety of Terrain, Chutes, Bowls, Ski Touring, Long Runs, Reliable Snow, Lack of Crowds (Weekdays), Ikon Pass (7 days to SkiBig3), Beginner Terrain, Groomed Runs, Good Lifts, Great Park, Good Snow, Long Season

Negatives

Short Runs, Flat Light, One Isolated On Mountain Lodge, Flat Spots, Cold Weather

Banff Sunshine is a mountain that offers something to everyone, from professionals to beginners. You can easily find yourself smack dab in freeride terrain that would be considered out-of-bounds in other resorts or cruising down a mellow green to the Trappers Pub. Jagged peaks loom high above alpine trees, and the views of untouched alpine are unparalleled.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort
Taking the gondy up at Sunshine

When you first arrive in the parking lot, the mountain does not look like much, as the base is simply a gondola station and one restaurant. To reach the actual resort base, guests must take a 15-minute gondola that delivers them into a sprawling resort that looks like it belongs in the Alps, not North America.

Sunshine Village has a central resort center with several restaurants, shops, and a hotel. It serves as an excellent meeting point for groups of varying riding abilities. From the center, several lifts go out to the mountains and ridges in the area. Since the resort base is high in elevation, most runs are relatively short. However, there is a ton of variety in the terrain and something for every level of skier.

Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Don’t let the expert terrain detract you from visiting the resort, as it also has a plethora of groomed beginner and intermediate runs. The resort has something for everyone, and the base area makes for a perfect central point to meet after skiing the surrounding peaks.

The downside to Banff Sunshine Village is the shorter runs, various flat sections connecting the mountain, and the weather. As the resort sits in the alpine, there are a lot of days with very flat light and cloud coverage. It can be bone-chillingly cold on a frigid day when the wind blows.

Similar to Lake Louise, Sunshine Village lacks on-mountain accommodation. However, they are 20 minutes closer to the town of Banff and have one mountain lodge that makes for an extraordinary experience. The resort claims the “best snow in Canada,” and it’s true the cold temperatures in the Banff National Park preserve the snow well, but it can get icy and windswept.

Learn more About Sunshine Village


Sun Peaks Resort

I LOVE the snow ghosts at Sun Peaks
Resort Overview
  • Season: Mid-November — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Kamloops (YKA) or Vancouver (YVR)
  • Avg Ticket: $88 – $149 CAD
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 237″
  • Vertical: 2894′
  • Total Lifts: 13
  • Ski Area: 4270 ac

Highlights

Beginner Friendly, Decent For Advanced Riders, Good Resort Village, Three Mountains, Terrain Park, Glade Runs, Lacks Crowds, Cross-Country Skiing

Negatives

Lacks Expert Terrain, Less Snow Than Other B.C. Ski Resorts

Sun Peaks is a favorite ski resort of many Canadian Families as the resort is good at everything. It has a charming village with variety, good service, great value, and decent ski hill that is easy to navigate. As one of the best places to visit in BC it also has some great activities such as dog sledding, cross country skiing, and snow-shoeing.

The ski resort trails are well laid out and easy to navigate, with almost all runs leading back to the base village. It’s nearly impossible to get lost, especially compared to resorts like Whistler Blackcomb, Revelstoke, or Lake Louise.

The resort doesn’t serve as a mecca for ski bums, but that doesn’t mean the ski runs aren’t notable. Several challenging pistes, bowls, glades, and an excellent terrain park with plenty to offer expert and advanced ability levels. It’s a great resort for groups of various ability levels.

It’s a friendly full-service ski resort and the second largest in Canada, smaller than the monstrous Whistler-Blackcomb, but great for families and those looking for a full-on ski vacation. Sun Peaks also has some of the best snow ghost trees in Canada!

Learn More About Sun Peaks


Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-December — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $123 – $143 CAD
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 288″
  • Vertical: 4134′
  • Total Lifts: 5
  • Ski Area: 2800 ac

Highlights

Champagne Powder, Alpine Terrain, Technical Runs, Expert’s Mountain, Free Ride World Tour, Vertical, Lacks Crowds, Small Town Feel

Negatives

Lift Infrastructure, Requires Long Traverses, Ski To Bottom After Many Runs

British Columbia is well known for its legendary ski resorts, and Kicking Horse consistently makes the list of best ski resorts in Canada. The Kicking Horse Ski Area was only heli-skiing for years, but with the addition of a massive gondola, a world of terrain opened up to everyone.

This Canada ski resort is no beginner’s mountain with crazy double black diamond chutes and bowls. Over half the runs on the mountain are either rated as black or double black, and it’s well known for being an advanced and expert rider’s mountain. You’ll want to look for another resort if you’re a beginner. What makes the mountain even better is its location on the Powder Highway, known for getting epic snow dumps and being the “Champagne Powder” capital of Canada.

There is a lot of hike to terrain at Kicking Horse

The big downside to Kicking Horse? There’s one gondola and just a few chairlifts to access a huge area of terrain. What this means is on powder days there’s often a long line, and your ability to do laps and laps on end is limited. Instead you’ll tucker yourself out riding top to bottom of the resort to get back to the gondy at the base.

Beyond that, we also love the town of Golden, which sits below the mountain, and there are some great restaurants in Golden to eat at after a day out on the mountain. If you get the chance, check out Whitetooth Brewing, as it’s one of our favorite breweries in the area.


Whitewater

Whitewater Tree skiing

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-December — Early April
  • Closest Airport: Spokane International Airport
  • Avg Ticket: $88 – $125
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 473″
  • Vertical: 2044′
  • Total Lifts: 4
  • Ski Area: 2367 ac

Highlights

POWDER, Town Of Nelson, Epic Tree Skiing, Lacks Crowds, Old-School, Ski Touring Options, Inexpensive,

Negatives

Low Elevation, Isolated, Old Lifts, Small Terrain Size, No On-Mountain Accommodation

Just an hour away from Rossland is Whitewater Ski Resort near Nelson. Whitewater is similar to Red Resort in that it is small, quiet, and gets tons of powder. When you go to Whitewater, it’s like stepping back in time. The lifts are old-school, guests are primarily locals, and facilities are limited.

However, that’s all a part of its charm, as you’ll be grinning ear-to-ear from the face shots. It feels like a resort that belongs in Japan rather than North America. Averaging 12 meters of snow annually, Whitewater is a favorite Canadian Ski Resort. Tree skiing is excellent here, and the locals are known to rip. This makes sense with how much skiing you can do with no lift lines.

Whitewater isn’t as big as neighboring Red Mountain or Revelstoke and offers less terrain. But what it lacks is the terrain it makes up for in snowfall. The best part is the town Nelson is a fantastic ski town known for its laid-back culture. Nelson has plenty of restaurants, bars, and excellent shops.

Whitewater is known for being weird and we mean that in the best way possible, the fortunate few who ski here hope it never changes. You won’t catch these guys on mega passes like the Ikon, Epic, or Mountain Collective.

Learn More About Nelson


Fernie Alpine Resort

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-December — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $123 – $143 CAD
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 444″
  • Vertical: 3550′
  • Total Lifts: 10
  • Ski Area: 2504 ac

Highlights

Powder, Alpine Terrain, Abundant Snowfall, Small Town Charm, Experts Mountain, Long runs, Tree Skiing, “Steep And Deep”

Negatives

Lots Of Rain or Snow, Crappy Lifts, Top Lift Never Opens, Lacks Terrain Park

Fernie has been named one of the best ski towns globally by countless sites and magazines, including National Geographic. It’s historically a mining town and voted the “Best Little Town in B.C.” for a good reason. There is more than just a charming town here because the ski is legendary.

This resort in the Canadian Rockies is known for drowning in piles of snow. Powder days are common at Fernie with an average of nearly 9m of snow or about 29 ft a year. This falls on a wealth of terrain that spans over 2,504 acres, including five large bowls, ridges, and meadows. Exploring all the mountain has to offer would take a season at least, with countless options for new lines. The one saying you’ll hear a lot in Fernie is “steep and deep.”

Hiking To The Peak Fernie
Hiking at Fernie

The downside to Fernie is its very fickle weather and a relatively short season compared to other resorts in the area. We’ve ridden across puddles of water and worn trash bags to stop the old lifts from dripping oil on our Gore-Tex jackets in the middle of February. This is because the resort sits in a “rainforest” with heavy amounts of precipitation, either heavy rain or heavy snow.

That being said like many of our favorite ski resorts in B.C. Fernie feels like stepping back in time and remains of our ski resorts in Canada. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise they shot the cult classic “Hot Tub Time Machine” at the resort.


RED Mountain Resort

Natasha At Red Mountain
Pow day at Red Mountain

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-December — Early April
  • Closest Airport: Spokane International Airport (GEG)
  • Avg Ticket: $115
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 300″
  • Vertical: 2920′
  • Total Lifts: 8
  • Ski Area: 3850 ac

Highlights

Abundant Snowfall, Crowds Rare, Charming Ski Town, Expert & Advanced Terrain, Long Runs, Tree Skiing,

Negatives

Fickle Weather, Slow Lifts, Remote Location

Red Resort on the aptly named Powder Highway gets around 750cm of snow a season and is well known for its surprisingly challenging terrain. When the snow starts to fall it often dumps which makes for epic powder days and tree skiing. The resort lies a short drive outside of Rossland, which happens to be one of the most charming little towns in B.C.

Days there can be a bit quiet and there aren’t a wealth of restaurants or hotels, but the ski more than makes up for it. The ski at Red Mountain is impressive, with a wide variety of terrain which is often deceptively deep. It’s big too with 3,850 acres of skiable terrain that fans out across three mountains — Red, Granite, and Grey.

Lots of fog at Red

Each mountain can offer riders and skiers something different, but all have a nice mix of terrain. Red Mountain may be the easiest to ski but it does have some steep tree skiing. Granite offers the greatest and most intriguing terrains that skews towards advanced level skiers. While Grey Mountain has excellent groomed runs and steep powder drops. To be honest, there’s not a ton of beginner/intermediate terrain.

Red Mountain is known for its tree skiing, and there is lots of it. Red typically gets quite a lot of powder, though expect it to be heavy B.C. coastal snow much of the time. It also has a long history as one of the oldest ski hills in North America, dating back to the creation of the Red Mountain Ski Club in the first decade of the 1900s!

That age, means the lifts need some serious upgrading. They are painfully slow, especially the Motherload chair, which gets you up Granite Mountain and to all the best terrain. That means on an epic day, you won’t be able to lap the mountain as much as you might want, but the slow chairs keep the powder lasting longer.

Due to it’s location in the interior of B.C. you’ll hardly come across many crowds at Red. It’s a local’s mountain, and even on a powder day, you’ll have a run all to yourself. It’s very similar to Whitewater


Silver Star Ski Resort

Silver Star Ski Resort

Resort Overview

  • Season: December — Early April
  • Closest Airport: Kelowna International Airport (YLW)
  • Avg Ticket: $119 – $159
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 276″
  • Vertical: 2493′
  • Total Lifts: 11
  • Ski Area: 3282 ac

Highlights

Family Friendly Resort, Nice Base Village, Ski-In Ski-Out Accommodation, Good Value, Great Village With Cross Country Skiing, Good Service

Negatives

Little Limited For Advanced Riders

Silver Star near Kelowna is a hit with families similar to Sun Peaks – it’s good for everything. It’s a family-friendly resort that feels approachable but offers invigorating skiing that even experienced skiers will enjoy. It may not be the spot to huck it off a cliff, but it’s perfect for ripping down some groomers with friends and family.

The resort village is cute, with colorful buildings and an excellent selection of restaurants, shops, and accommodation options. It’s a manufactured resort, but it’s a great vibe, and with all of the activities, it’s easy to see why so many love Silver Star Resort.


Panorama Mountain Resort

Resort Overview

  • Season: December — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $120 – $150
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 205″
  • Vertical: 4265′
  • Total Lifts: 10
  • Ski Area: 2975 ac

Highlights

Modern Amenities, Freeride Terrain, Decent Park, Resort Amenities, Variety Of Runs, Night Skiing, Day Heli Skiing

Negatives

Fickle Weather, Poor Location For Snow Quality,

Panorama is a hidden secret in the Purcell Mountain range on the Powder Highway. Many opt for other full-service resorts in Canada and the U.S. When it comes to ski holidays, people think in the hive mind – as they all flock to the same resorts. That means ski resorts in Colorado, California, and Vermont can become insanely busy and overpriced. Panorama is a quiet mountain tucked away in the Purcells with excellent terrain and an impressive vertical drop. It’s a modern resort with decent lift infrastructure and an excellent selection of holiday rentals at the base.

It’s a great family resort with beautifully groomed runs ranging from beginner to intermediate. Advanced skiers will largely be confined to mogul runs unless they’re ready for big ski terrain. As Panorama Resort operates on a former heli-ski area, they have some extreme terrain, such as the Extreme Dream Zone, a long ridge with alpine and steep tree skiing. There is also the Tayton Bowl which can be accessed by snowcat when the conditions are good.

Panorama’s largest issues lies with its unfortunate location as the mountain receives a lot of sunshine and a moderate amount of snowfall. The average season will see a healthy blanket of snow, but it’s often firm and icy from the sun. We’ve never been fortunate enough to visit Panorama with ideal conditions, but on a powder day we have no doubt it would be a blast. We find none of the headaches of a busy resort at Panorama as only the two small towns of Invermere and Radium Hot Springs are in proximity.

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Powder King

Powder Skiing In Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: December — Mid-April
  • Closest Airport: Edmonton Airport (YEG)
  • Avg Ticket: $98
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 492″!!!
  • Vertical: 1902′
  • Total Lifts: 3
  • Ski Area: 925 acres

Highlights

Ridiculous Amounts Of Snow, Never Crowded, Tree Skiing, Friendly “Local’s” Resort, Old-School Vibes

Negatives

Not Much Of A Resort, Super Isolated, Lacks Steep Terrain, One Chairlift, Open Weekends

If you’re after powder, you can’t beat the aptly named Powder King. The resort in the middle of nowhere B.C. receives the most snow of any ski resort in Canada. It’s tough to consider Powder King a resort as it has very limited facilities and only one chairlift.

However, with 492″ of snow a season, you’ll want to break out a snorkel to get through the deep tree skiing here. Due to its remote location, okay terrain, and limited facilities, there is not much in terms of crowds. It’s not hard to understand why, as it only appeals to a select die-hard powder hound who’s already skied other B.C. ski resorts.

Skiers and riders often need to traverse for various runs because there is only one slow chairlift. As you go back and forth across the mountain to reach new runs, this can be arduous. Of course, the good news is that you’ll get plenty of fresh powder runs.

Learn More Here


Castle Mountain

Tree Skiing Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: November — Early April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $95 – $120
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 355″
  • Vertical: 2831′
  • Total Lifts: 6
  • Ski Area: 3592 ac

Highlights

Expert Terrain, Long Runs, Great Value, Decent Snowfall, Not Crowded, “Hidden” Gem,

Negatives

Three Main Lifts, Slow Lifts, Lacks Facilities

Castle Mountain is considered a hidden gem amongst Alberta locals and a favorite with Calgarians. While most will head to Banff for Lake Louise and Sunshine, those in the know will head to Castle Mountain. It’s a decent-sized resort with 79 trails, 8 bowls, and 3,592 acres of skiable terrain.

However, much of the terrain is only accessible with the resort’s in-bounds cat-skiing operation. The runs also skew towards advanced and expert levels, making it a little limited for beginners and intermediates. This is especially true if the notorious winds pick up and stop the top lift.

The resort has excellent terrain variety with long runs, tree skiing, chutes, cliff bands, and a park. It’s a balanced mountain, even if it skews toward the more advanced rider. Castle Mountain is an incredible gem as it has decent snow, a variety of terrain, and quality service.

Learn More Here


Marmot Basin

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-November — Early May
  • Closest Airport: Edmonton International Airport (YEG)
  • Avg Ticket: $125
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 174″
  • Vertical: 3002′
  • Total Lifts: 7
  • Ski Area: 1720 ac

Highlights

Quiet Compared to Other Canadian Rockies Resorts, Family friendly, Fantastic Mountain Town, Activities, Stunning Landscapes, Wildlife, Jasper National Park

Negatives

No On Mountain Accommodation, Lacks Snowfall, Not Great For As Ski Destination, A Little Small

Marmot Basin is a beautiful resort in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. Compared to the Banff resorts, it is far quieter. The ski resort is less than a 30-minute drive away from the town of Jasper. Which has to be one of the best mountain towns in Canada.

The resort isn’t huge at 1,720 acres, but in that skiable terrain, it packs a lot of punch and amazing views of Jasper National Park. However, it still has 91 named runs on four mountain faces and 3,000 vertical feet of drop. Compared to resorts out East, it would be substantial.

Marmot Basin
Powder day at Marmot Basin

Marmot Basin has a vertical drop of 914 meters, with most of the resort above the treeline. There’s some good off-piste riding for advanced riders, and if you get lucky and hit this Canada ski resort on a powder day mid-week, you’ll be doing powder turns all day. There’s something for everyone here with alpine bowls, tight tree runs, glades, moguls, and of course, groomers. There are even a few cliff features for expert riders.

The only downside is Marmot Basin doesn’t get that much powder, with an average of fewer than 5 meters in a season. Still, the quality is excellent, and like other resorts in the Rockies, the snow sticks around thanks to the cold temperatures. As the snowfall is a little limited and the resort is not huge, it’s better suited as an addition to a trip to the Rockies or Jasper National Park.

Learn More About Jasper


Kimberley Alpine Resort

Resort Overview

  • Season: Mid-December — Early-April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $89 – $120
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 150″
  • Vertical: 2464′
  • Total Lifts: 5
  • Ski Area: 1,800 ac.

Highlights

Family-Friendly, Night Skiing, Quiet, Some Decent Advanced Terrain, Tree Skiing, Easy To Navigate, Small Town Charm

Negatives

No Alpine, No Expert Terrain, Lacks Snowfall, Only Has Rail Park

Here’s one you won’t find on many best Canada ski resorts list, but we promise this little resorts has a lot going for it! Kimberley is a great little resort because it is unassuming. Unlike Fernie, Kicking Horse, or Panorama, there are no massive bowls, famed double blacks, or white knuckle glades to scare your ski pants off. Instead, it is a magical, simple, and quiet mountain perfect for ripping a groomer or letting your kids have fun without fearing they’ll fall off a cliff.

canada ski resorts

If you like gladed runs, you’ll love Kimberley. The tree-lined runs off the Black Forest are a real treat. It was arguably our quietest time on pistes as we never saw another skier or snowboarder in our path. If you’re looking for our favorite run on the mountain, it would be Vortex. It’s a tree-lined run in the Black Forest area with a natural half-pipe perfect for snowboarders and skiers.

Learn More Here


Nakiska Ski Area

Canada ski resort
Riding in the glades at Nakiska / Best Ski Resorts in Canada

Resort Overview

  • Season: Late November — Late April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $88 – $110
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 99″
  • Vertical: 2411′
  • Total Lifts: 6
  • Ski Area: 1021 ac.

Highlights

Proximity to Calgary, Fun gladed area, Quiet During Week, Family Orientated, Long Season, Cheap, Ski School, Good Grooming

Negatives

Weekend Crowds, Poor Snowfall, Small Terrain, Lacks Park,

Nakiska Ski Area was our first introduction to the Canadian Rockies before moving here, and we are happy we made the stop. Many people skip over Nakiska for its more significant and intimidating counterparts of Lake Louise and Banff Sunshine.

While the surrounding region of Kananaskis may not be as world-renowned as Banff, it is stunning and has less tourism. To get to Nakiska, you will most likely start in Calgary, only an hour’s drive away.

Nakiska Ski Resort

The drive into Kananaskis Country instantly makes you feel small, as the Canadian Rockies make you forget you were just in a city. Nakiska Ski Area was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. It’s not a massive resort and is well known to be the local’s mountain for Calgary residents.

There really isn’t anything all that impressive about the resort, but they have some excellent groomed runs that are empty mid-week. It’s not uncommon to get a scene like the one above on a regular Tuesday. Nearby the resort is a fantastic Kananaskis Hotel, the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, which also is home to the Nordic Spa.

Learn More About Nakiska


Mt Norquay

Mt Norquay Ski Resort
Snowboarding at Mt Norquay on Christmas Day

Resort Overview

  • Season: Early November — Late April
  • Closest Airport: Calgary International Airport (YYC)
  • Avg Ticket: $88 – $129
  • Average Annual Snowfall: 119″
  • Vertical: 1650′
  • Total Lifts: 6
  • Ski Area: 190 ac

Highlights

Beginner Friendly, Proximity To Banff, Rail Park, Night Skiing, Tube Park, Cheap Lift Tickets, Uncrowded

Negatives

Crappy Conditions, Most Steep Runs Are Just Firm Moguls, Small Terrain

Mt Norquay is the most digestible of resorts here and the least imposing for beginners/intermediates. It’s only a 10-minute drive from the town of Banff, making it a great option to get some quick runs. Banff. However, it’s also referred to as the very ugly cousin of Lake Louise and Sunshine. While it’s a member of “SkiBig3,” it’s not so big, and the ski is sub-par for Western Canada.

The resort has been operating since 1926 and offers several activities, including snowboarding and skiing. It’s also the only mountain that offers night skiing in the area and is relatively small compared to the other resorts of SkiBig3.

Mt Norquay Cascade Chair Sun Shining

Its shortcomings lie in the lack of snowfall and the resort’s orientation, which leads to poor snow conditions. If you plan to ski at Mt. Norquay, come expecting ice and hard-packed snow. The steepest runs also develop massive moguls that can get pretty firm — no fun on a snowboard.

Of course, if you’re used to skiing on the East Coast, Mt. Norquay can seem pretty impressive. There are some steep black runs and excellent groomers. They also have a pretty sweet little rail park, suitable for a nighttime park sesh. Norquay also has fantastic views over Banff, the Bow Valley, and Mt. Rundle.

On a powder day, the resort is super close to town, and you won’t compete against powder-hungry locals who head to Lake Louise and Sunshine Village—of course, you’ll miss out on the vastly superior resorts.


When is the Best Time to Ski in Canada?

lake louise ski resort

I recommend visiting these Canada ski resorts between January and March for the best conditions. You’ll have epic powder days in January, but it can also be brutally cold this month.

If you can wait until April, prices will be lower at most Canadian ski resorts. Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise sometimes operate until June! See the best times to visit Canada here!


What is the Best Way to Get to the Ski Resorts in Canada?

Skoki Parking Lot With Truck and Snowboard

Like the United States, the most efficient and best way to get around Canada is by car. If you are an American citizen residing near the border, perhaps you can take a road trip from the States.


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Plan Your Trip to the Canadian Rockies

  • Tours (New in 2024): The Banff Blog is partnering with one of the leading tour companies in Western Canada so readers can experience the magic of the Rockies with other travelers – without having to think about a thing. See all our 2024 tour offerings here!
  • Get to Banff or Canmore Without a Car: The Banff Airporter provides fantastic service connecting you from the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Banff or Canmore.
  • Get Around: We suggest renting a car to get around. You can search for rental cars on Rentalcars.com. Or embark on an epic campervan trip, we like to compare camper prices on Outdoorsy.
  • Cheaper Airfare: We also use Going to watch for cheap airfare deals!
  • Hop On, Hop Off: This tour is taking Banff by storm. It’s exactly what it sounds like, hop on and off a bus bound for all the best attractions at your own pace!
About Natasha

Natasha calls Canmore, Alberta home. After traveling across seven continents and 90 countries with Cameron, she settled down in the stunning Canadian Rockies. She loves to help others travel and make their planning easier. She is a winter enthusiast and loves to snowboard, ice skate, and snowshoe and enjoy all the fantastic summer opportunities in Banff like hiking, scrambling, and biking. You can find her in the mountains or enjoying a coffee by the river. Learn more on the about us page!

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