Canada is home to some of the best and most spectacular skiing and snowboarding destinations in the world. Some are famed for powder, others for vast skiable acres. Either way, a trip to this endowed North American country will be worth your time and money.
The Canadian ski resorts are distributed across the country. However, the most notable ski fields are those found in Alberta and British Columbia. Snow lovers from around the world flock to Canada during the snow season to experience winter thrills in its world-class ski resorts situated in the Rocky and Coastal mountains.
So if you’re craving to ski or snowboard really big miles, you’re in luck. The following is a great Canadian bucket list of the biggest ski resorts in the country, where you can ski and snowboard to your heart’s content.
Whistler Blackcomb is a household name in the skiing and snowboarding fraternity. It is considered one of the hottest winter sports destinations in North America and the world. Its terrain is massive and highly dynamic, offering slopes for all skill levels and abilities.
In addition, Whistler Blackcomb offers plenty of off-slope activities to keep the entire family entertained. Its pedestrian-only village offers a great range of great accommodation facilities, with plenty of ski life amenities such as shopping spots, restaurants, and bars.
The resort has been the host of several international winter sports events, including the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, skeleton events, and the bobsled luge.
How To Get to Whistler Blackcomb
The resort is located in British Columbia, close to the west coast of Canada. It is 125 kilometers away from Vancouver, about a 4-hour drive from Seattle, Washington, and 58 kilometers away from Squamish. Pemberton lies 33 kilometers to the north of Whistler Blackcomb.
The closest airport to the resort is Vancouver International Airport, which lies about 140 kilometers from Whistler Blackcomb. This airport has many flight services and receives direct flights from Canadian cities, the US, Europe, and Australia. The most convenient mode of transfer to the resort is by renting cars, and public or private shuttle rides.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Terrain
Whistler Blackcomb is the largest skiable area in North America and the largest resort in the world outside of Europe. The snow domain consists of interconnected ski areas of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. It features a whopping 8,171 acres of terrain, with over 200 marked trails situated on a vertical drop of 1,609 meters.
The terrain has something for every skier and snowboarder level. It varies incredibly from mellow beginner and intermediate slopes to steep alpine bowls with pleasant advanced features that excite more experienced snow lovers.
Where to Stay and Dine at Whistler Blackcomb
The resort features plenty of lodging and dining options that range from deluxe to budget-friendly. Its accommodations include 5-star hotels, lodges, apartments, condos, and chalet-style accommodations. Visitors have two main options for staying at the resort. These include:
- Whistler Village – Which is the resort’s main village and has great ski life amenities such as restaurants, bars, and shops.
- The North Village – This area is further from the ski field and the lifts but has most of the amenities
- The Upper Village – This village is at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and offers great ski-in/ski-out accommodations.
Fernie Ski Resort
This resort has an all-rounder terrain that makes for a great winter destination for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities and levels. It is a ski field to include in your Powder Highway excursion. Part of its allure is that it is moderately less crowded than the other resorts on the Powder Highway.
If you’re planning a winter getaway with your friends or family, Fernie is one of the best winter sports destinations. Its terrain has a great mix of thrilling features including open bowls, groomed trails, and gladed areas.
When you visit Fernie, be sure to engage a local so you can learn about the legend of the Griz. They might embellish a little, but the mythical story will be worth your while.
How To Get to Fernie Ski Resort
Fernie is located in South Eastern British Columbia’s Kootenay region, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. It is quite far from any major cities, hence the fewer crowds. It lies about 5 kilometers from Fernie Town and about 60 kilometers from the US border and Alberta.
The closest airport to the resort is the Calgary International Airport which is 3.5 hours away from Fernie. The airport has many flight options from local Canadian cities as well as international destinations. There are several transfer options which include shuttle rides and rental vehicles.
Fernie Ski Resort’s Terrain
Locals attribute the copious amounts of powder to the Griz, a mythical being whose legend is eagerly told by the locals. The ski field receives a high average seasonal snowfall of about 9 meters, typical of the other resorts on the Powder Highway.
The resort’s terrain is known for its five large bowls that constitute its 2,504 acres of skiable terrain. It has 142 runs situated on a 1,082-meter vertical, with 10 lifts allowing access to various slopes.
Fernie Ski Resort has great terrain that suits all abilities and levels. It has great beginner slopes where novices can learn to ski and snowboard undisturbed and also includes great beginner-friendly lifts. On the other end of the spectrum, it has superb intermediate, advanced, and expert terrain with plenty of features to keep snow lovers entertained.
Where to Stay and Dine at Fernie Ski Resort
Fernie ski resort’s on-mountain village has lots of condos and great ski life amenities such as bars, ski shops, and several restaurants. If you don’t wish to stay on the mountain, you can stay in the nearby Fernie Town, which has more accommodation options.
Lake Louise Ski Resort
The Lake Louise Ski Resort is one of Canada’s most beautiful places for a skiing and snowboarding vacation. The resort sits on a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is immersed in the spectacular Canadian Rockies.
Visitors are treated to beautiful scenery with beautiful mountain backdrops. Majestic views jut over and beyond the Bow valley and the surrounding mountains and provide great views for boarders of the palatial Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
The resort is also family-friendly and has world-class facilities loved by thrill-seekers. It also has off-slope activities that delight the entire family. More experienced skiers and snowboarders also flock to the resort for its steep, challenging advanced areas.
How To Get to Lake Louise Ski Resort
The resort is situated in Banff National Park in Alberta, about 57 kilometers from Banff Town. It lies about 40 minutes away to the west of Calgary. Lake Louise Ski Resort consists of three areas:
- The area where the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is located
- The tranquil village of Lake Louise
- The lake Louise Ski Resort
The gateway airport is the Calgary International Airport, which lies about 2 hours away from the resort. The airport has many flight services from local Canadian locations as well as international destinations. There are several airport transfer options but the most popular are shuttle transfers (both public and private) and rental cars.
The resort’s proximity to Calgary means that it may be crowded especially during the weekends, the season’s peak, and the holidays.
Lake Louise Ski Resort’s Terrain
The resort receives a modest average seasonal snowfall of about 3.6 meters. This is about half of what the other Canadian ski resorts receive. The low ambient temperatures at the resort ensure that the powder that falls is dry and fluffy, and remains fresh for longer.
The resort is one of the largest ski resorts in Canada, featuring a massive 4,200 acres of skiable terrain. The snow domain is spread across three areas:
- The Larch area – This area has great gladed terrain that advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders love
- The backside bowls – This is chiefly an expert area and has interesting features such as gullies, chutes, and steep bowls.
- The frontside – This area has wide groomed runs that are mostly rated blue and lie on almost a kilometer of vertical
Where to Stay and Dine at Lake Louise Ski Resort
Lake Louise Ski Resort has no on-mountain accommodations. However, there are ample and comfy lodgings in the quiet and tranquil town of Lake Louise. The accommodations there consist of hotels and lodges, hostels, and the iconic Chateau Lake Louise located close to the lake.
Sun Peaks Ski Resort
Sun Peaks Ski Resort is one of British Columbia’s favorite winter getaways, with terrain that has something for everyone. The resort is especially popular with families visiting with their kids due to its well-laid-out slopes and its great on-mountain accommodation. There is also a child care center and a ski school where parents can have their kids cared for as they hit the slopes.
How To Get to Sun Peaks Ski Resort
The Sun Peaks Ski Resort is located in interior British Columbia, in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. It lies about 409 kilometers northeast of Vancouver and about 58 kilometers from Kamloops. The Kamloops Airport offers daily flights to Canadian cities as well as connecting flights to major Canadian airports such as Vancouver and Calgary.
Sun Peaks Ski Resort’s Terrain
The resort receives a modest average seasonal snowfall of about 6 meters. While this is lower than in the other resorts in BC, it still provides a thrilling winter experience on the slopes. At the Sun Peaks Ski Resort, the emphasis is on the quality of the snow, not the quantity.
The resort is the second largest in Canada, featuring 4,270 skiable acres. It has a great blend of beginner, intermediate, and single and double black runs. Its slopes lean more toward intermediates, but other levels are also well-taken care of.
Where to Stay and Dine at Sun Peaks Ski Resort
The Sun Peaks accommodation is designed to cater to about 7,000 guests. The village is laid out in a European village style, with most of the lodging facilities close to the slopes, offering true ski-in/ski-out access. The facilities include lodges, condos, hotels, townhomes, hotels, and apartments.
Big White Ski Resort
This resort is renowned for its great powder days, spectacular wide-open views, and a wide variety of intermediate terrain. It also has a blend of awesome beginner, expert, and advanced slopes.
The Big White Ski Resort is a family-friendly snow field as it is easy to get around. In addition, it has plenty of off-slope activities that the entire family can participate in. it is also renowned for its award-winning Kids’ Center where parents can leave their kids as they hit the slopes.
The resort is beautifully designed and most of its accommodation facilities are ski-in/ski-out.
How To Get to Big White Ski Resort
The resort is situated on the Big White Mountain in British Columbia’s Kootenay Boundary Regional District. It lies in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, about 60 kilometers from Kelowna. It also lies about 450 kilometers from Vancouver and about 650 kilometers from Calgary.
The main gateway airport to the resort is Kelowna Airport, which is about 14 kilometers from the city’s center and about an hour’s drive to the Big White Ski Resort. Several flight services operate out of Kelowna and connect Vancouver, Calgary, Seattle, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles airports.
To get to the resort from the airport and the city, you can board a shuttle (privately arranged or public) or rent a 4WD vehicle.
Big White Ski Resort’s Terrain
The Big White Ski Resort is famed for its high-quality BC powder, dubbed champagne powder. The resort even adopted the motto, “it’s the snow.” Big White receives an average seasonal snowfall of about 7.5 meters. The precipitation occurs as regular snowfalls, rather than copious dumps of powder.
The resort features 2,655 acres of skiable terrain, with 105 kilometers of marked runs and 118 trails lying on an 811-meter vertical. The terrain leans towards intermediates with a large proportion of the slopes being rated blue. It has a great blend of terrain including groomed runs, tight trees, glades, bumps, and a terrain park. That said the terrain is dynamic, offering something for everyone, from beginners to expert skiers and snowboarders.
Where to Stay and Dine in Big White Ski Resort
The main attraction of the Big White Ski resort is its splendid ski-in/ski-out accommodation facilities. They include condos, townhomes, apartments, and a handful of hotels. The accommodation options cater to a range of budgets, from deluxe to pocket-friendly options.
Brealpa Would Like to Help You Plan A Memorable Winter Getaway
Winter thrills and revels await you in Canada. With its numerous ski resorts in both Alberta and British Columbia drenched in the famous BC and Okanagan powder, the North American country is on most skiers' and snowboarders’ bucket lists. Visit Canadian ski resorts and experience the legendary snow and vast snow playgrounds where you can hit the slopes to your heart’s fill.
Not sure where to start? Brealpa curates a wealth of accurate and up-to-date information to help you choose the best location for a fun-filled holiday. We provide handy information on:
- Flight, hotel, tour, and travel insurance bookings
- What to pack for a skiing and snowboarding holiday
- Activities you can take part in various ski fields to keep your whole family engaged