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Your guide to Canadian ski resorts

Your guide to Canadian ski resorts

With amazing resorts across the country, its hard to choose just one.

Photo: Mike Crane

Whistler, BCExternal Link Title


Whistler BlackcombExternal Link Title is impossible to describe without using superlatives. It's North America's biggest (8,171 skiable acres), Canada's best-known (thanks in part to the 2010 Olympic Games), and one of the world's most visited (skier visits often surpass 2 million a year) mountain resorts. Even its gondola boasts the distinction of being the highest in the world (the Peak 2 PeakExternal Link Title connects the two mountains, passing 1,427 feet above ground). It is, in short, one of the most incredible outdoor playgrounds in the multiverse.

But what makes WhistlerExternal Link Title, Whistler isn't necessarily the mountains themselves, but the diverse population of artists, innovators, filmmakers and writers that they draw. This ever-evolving community makes this place uniquely vibrant and contemporary--full of the lifeblood that makes Whistler External Link Titlearguably the beating heart of skidom.

In the pedestrian-only villageExternal Link Title, lit with thousands of twinkling lights, you can discover an apr?s sceneExternal Link Title as rowdy as the lines off Spanky's Ladder, stroll into a five-star restaurant that boasts some of the world's finest cuisine or attend a contemporary art opening that would be at home in New York City's Lower East Side. So pack your kick turns, your refined palate and your good vibes--because WhistlerExternal Link Title is, well, superlative in every way.


38 annual feet of snow

8,171 skiable acres

Epic PassExternal Link Title



Photo: Reuben Krabbe

SkiBig3, AlbertaExternal Link Title

SkiBig3's resorts--Banff SunshineExternal Link Title, Lake LouiseExternal Link Title, and Mt. NorquayExternal Link Title--each has enough terrain and character to be a singular destination that stands on its own. But they happen to all share the magical town of BanffExternal Link Title, cradled in Canada's oldest national park, making this ski destination an embarrassment of riches that can only be called Canada's crown jewel. (Oh, and did we mention fairytale castles? Banff National ParkExternal Link Title has two.)

Banff SunshineExternal Link Title, just a few minutes down the winding highway from town, is a sprawling 887-acre smorgasbord of goods known for its mettle-testing steeps of Wild West and Delirium Dive. Lake LouiseExternal Link Title lies a little farther through the humbling peaks (keeping your eyes on the road is no small feat), boasting high-alpine lines and a staggering 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, all of which overlook the lake itself (suffice it to say it's one of the most photographed places in Canada for a reason). And finally, Mt. NorquayExternal Link Title, just on the edge of town, is the area's best-kept secret. Here you'll find a hometown vibe, zero lift lines, sneaky steeps and the best lodge food.

Each resort has a unique flavour (they're all independently owned), but they share one lift ticket and accept both the Ikon PassExternal Link Title and Mountain CollectiveExternal Link Title, so you can affordably sample all three mountains. And, getting there is so easy--just an hour and a half west of Calgary International AirportExternal Link Title--that you'll be scratching your head at why there are so few people in the lift lines. So book now, and your memories will be with you happily ever after.


30 feet of snow

Over 10,000 total skiable acres

Ikon PassExternal Link Title

Mountain CollectiveExternal Link Title



Photo: Abby Cooper

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, BCExternal Link Title

There are some resorts that boast having "something for everyone," and then there is Kicking HorseExternal Link Title. Proudly etched in the pristine Purcell MountainsExternal Link Title that loom above the unassuming railroad town of Golden, BCExternal Link Title, this is a place for grizzly bears and wolverines...and the handful of local skiers who are just as fierce.

Even getting there takes commitment: It's a three-hour drive from CalgaryExternal Link Title, winding over harrowing mountain passes on the famed Powder HighwayExternal Link Title. And once you arrive, the 4,642-vertical-foot resort--bristling with double-black diamonds--is so steep and so spiny, the only reason it's skiable at all is the copious 24 annual feet of legendary BC powder that fills in its crevasses. Much of its plunderous bounty requires bootpacking, too, and at an elevation of 8,218 feet, you'll be treated to an amazing ride down..

But all this, of course, makes Kicking HorseExternal Link Title the ultimate grounds for big-mountain couloir hunting--and chances are the only tracks you cross will be your own. At Kicking HorseExternal Link Title, you will get the goods--unless, of course, the goods get you first.


24 annual feet of snowfall

3,400 skiable acres

Epic PassExternal Link Title


Photo: Steve Ogle

Fernie, BCExternal Link Title

Folded into a pocket of the Lizard Range near the Montana border, FernieExternal Link Title might just be the world's greatest ski town. A historic mining community with all the requisite charm, it has just enough shine to satisfy the five-star set, too. It's friendly, quaint and home to Fernie Alpine ResortExternal Link Title, which of course is the best part.

The resort boasts six vast bowls, each with endless ridgeline tree shots and sneaky chutes, plus Polar Peak, a puckering double-diamond-studded formerly hike-to zone that now boasts a lift that spins whenever the weather permits. Experts won't want for anything here--save more time to purr through the blower Kootenay powder (Fernie gets 30 annual feet of the stuff). The aspiring set need not worry, however, as FernieExternal Link Title serves up plenty of gentler fare on the lower flanks and in Lizard Bowl, where skiers of all abilities can find what they're after and meet at the bottom.

As for apr?s, this place is known for its casual pubs. The Griz BarExternal Link Title is one of the most authentic anywhere. You'll find some higher end spots, sushi and a welcoming crowd that's there for the same reason you are-- an early night that makes way for some fresh tracks.


30 annual feet of snowfall

2,500 skiable acres

Epic PassExternal Link Title


Photo: Blake Jorgenson

SilverStar, BCExternal Link Title

The ski-through village at SilverStar Mountain ResortExternal Link Title, located just 40 minutes from the Kelowna airportExternal Link Title in British Columbia, is the definition of quaint. And it's perfect for all levels of skier, which has given it the reputation of being a family hill. the Though the front side offers a kaleidoscope of blues and greens for the littles, but flip the map to the backside and you'll find terrain rugged enough to challenge the most seasoned expert in your group.

Riddled with steep chutes that fan out from three separate ridges, SilverStar'sExternal Link Title challenging backside will leave your legs burning. It's all served by a single quad chair--the aptly named Powder Gulch Express--meaning you'll have plenty of terrain to yourself. And the liftlines back there? Your legs will make you wish there were some.

What to do when you wake up thrashed from skiing so much powder? Explore SilverStar'sExternal Link Title 65 miles of cross-country trails, which curve quietly around the idyllic hills and warm up with a hot drink at Paradise CampExternal Link Title along the way.

SilverStarExternal Link Title may not be on your radar yet, so hear us now and thank us later. (You're welcome.)


23 annual feet of snowfall

3,281 skiable acres

Photo: Grant Gunderson

Sun Peaks, BCExternal Link Title


Sun PeaksExternal Link Title, in British Columbia'sExternal Link Title interior, is the biggest mountain you've never heard of 4,270 acres of skiable terrain, the second largest in Canada. How they've managed to keep this quiet is beyond us, especially considering it's an easy 45-minute drive from KamloopsExternal Link Title, which in turn is a quick flight from VancouverExternal Link Title, and CalgaryExternal Link Title.

The resort is shaped like a catcher's mitt--with five fingers of mostly friendly terrain with deep pockets of unrelenting steeps and powdery glades in between. Those who have heard of it think of it mostly as a family place, which is understandable when you pull into a village so quaint it resembles those ceramic ensembles under the Christmas tree. (Park your car and leave it: You can ski through the village.) That said, it's also true that the terrain offers plenty for the blue-square and green-circle set, but rippers will feel plenty of burn on the runs off Burfield, or by hiking into Gil's, a controlled zone with a backcountry vibe.

No matter where you go, though, the catcher's mitt will funnel you right down to the village, where you can join the locals for apr?s beers at Bottoms Bar & GrillExternal Link Title and spray about your day on social. With zero (and we mean zero) liftlines, Sun PeaksExternal Link Title is a secret that can stand to be shared.


19 annual feet of snowfall

4,270 skiable acres

Photo: Grant Gunderson

Big White Ski Resort, BCExternal Link Title


Big White Ski ResortExternal Link Title, located less than an hour's drive from Kelowna International AirportExternal Link Title in the world-famous Monashee Mountains has a lack of crowds that will entice any skier. Aptly named, Big WhiteExternal Link Title spills down 2,549 vertical feet from two massive white peaks, with terrain that seems designed solely for the purpose of making you smile. Its 2,765 skiable acres (accessible via the second-largest lift system in Canada) consist of mellow powdery bowls, perfectly spaced glades, steep shots through the woods, and impeccably groomed blues--all coated in nearly 24 feet of dry, fluffy Okanagan champagne powder each year.

But at Big WhiteExternal Link Title, skiing is just part of the fun. A huge ice-skating rinkExternal Link Title at the base encourages that favorite Canadian pastime, pond hockey; an 59-foot ice climbing towerExternal Link Title will get you solidly out of your comfort zone; 16 miles of Nordic trailsExternal Link Title beckon for a peaceful workout; and tubing gives the kids (and their parents) belly laughs they'll remember forever. Oh, and did we mention the wine and food in the quaint ski-through village? The Okanagan Valley is famous for both--and this place has been doing "farm to table" before that was a thing.

At Big WhiteExternal Link Title, you choose your own adventure. You can't go wrong.


24 annual feet of snowfall

2.765 skiable acres

Photo: Courtesy of Mont Tremblant

Qu?becExternal Link Title

With nearly 80 ski resorts spread across three regions--the LaurentiansExternal Link TitleCharlevoixExternal Link Title, and the Eastern TownshipsExternal Link Title--and quaint towns rich in history and each with a unique flavour, Qu?becExternal Link Title is like a trip to Europe without the jet lag or the bank-draining expense.

The main thing about Qu?becExternal Link Title is that it takes its culture (not to mention its cheese) seriously. Originally settled by the French in the 17th century, it's a proud province where cuisine du terroir is not just a trend, it's a way of life. Even the resort fare is high-brow, and every inn and restaurant, no matter how small, serves up local cuisine that will change the way you think of Canada.

The skiing will burn it off, too. In the CharlevoixExternal Link Title region around Qu?bec CityExternal Link Title, an ancient walled city that's nothing less than enchanting, you can choose from StonehamExternal Link TitleMont-Sainte-AnneExternal Link Title, and Massif de CharlevoixExternal Link Title. In the Laurentians,External Link Title Mont TremblantExternal Link Title takes top billing, but Sommet Saint-SauveurExternal Link Title and Mont-BlancExternal Link Title are worthy destinations as well. In the Eastern TownshipsExternal Link Title, you can roadtrip around SuttonExternal Link TitleOwl's HeadExternal Link TitleBromontExternal Link Title, and OrfordExternal Link Title, and perhaps tack on a day to explore cosmopolitan Montr?alExternal Link Title.

Photo: Ian Houghton

Revelstoke Mountain Resort, BCExternal Link Title


RevelstokeExternal Link Title, or "Revy," as it's affectionately called, is deep in the Monashee Mountains of British ColumbiaExternal Link Title. It's not easy to get to--the closest airport is KelownaExternal Link Title, a two and half-hour drive away. It's not quite as easy to ski--the resort rates 45 percent of the terrain as "expert," and trust us, they mean it. But RevyExternal Link Title is proof that nothing worth doing ever comes easy.

With the longest vertical drop of any resort in North America--5,620 feet, a third more than Jackson Hole's--and 34 feet of average annual snowfall, this place is the real deal. The mountain is so big that to ski down the whole thing is an endeavor in and of itself, so big that you pass through several climates and ecosystems, each with its own snow conditions. There are cliffs to huck, couloirs to thread, powdery aprons to plunder, groomers to match, and bumps to zipper. If you find yourself standing atop the North Bowl, as the wind whips up snow devils that whirl through the cliffs, you will know you are really, really alive. And maybe a little scared, too.

The town far, far below is exactly what you'd expect at the base of a mountain this big. Its cute and brightly colored Victorians are an historic slice of its hardscrabble mining origins, and its residents are, first and foremost, mountain people--also of a hardscrabble ilk. Pull up a chair made from old straight skis at the Village IdiotExternal Link Title, which might just be our favorite ski town bar on the planet. Biased? Perhaps. Because nothing makes beer taste better than purring through 5,620 vertical feet of pure British ColumbiaExternal Link Title pow.


34 feet of annual snowfall

3,121 skiable acres

Ikon PassExternal Link Title