13 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in British Columbia, 2021
The ski resorts in British Columbia draw visitors from around the world to their slopes for many reasons: First and foremost is the consistent snow, and lots of it. Second, a wide variety of resort styles are available to suit any budget and level of skier ability. Finally, good flight connections, generally through Vancouver, ensure that getting there and back home is easy and quick.
Most of the resorts are located in the southern part of the province, and a majority are in the Interior region. A popular option is to combine multiple ski resorts into one trip. This can be easily accomplished in the Okanagan Valley and in the Golden/Revelstoke areas.
For many, the time off the slopes is as important as the skiing itself. In this area, British Columbia's ski resorts excel. What you'll find at the base or surrounding areas ranges from international level amenities at places like Whistler/Blackcomb to old-school ski towns in spots like Rossland near Red Mountain.
Most ski resorts in British Columbia offer more than just downhill skiing. Many feature cross-country trails, snowshoeing, dogsledding, snowmobiling, skating, and tubing.
Changes for the 2020/2021 Ski Season: This year, resorts will be implementing different health and safety protocols, so be sure to check their websites prior to visiting. Some of the things to plan for include having to purchase your lift tickets in advance online, mask wearing in lift lines and inside buildings, and physical distancing requirements.
Check out the top destinations with our list of the best ski resorts in British Columbia.
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Often ranked as one of the best ski resorts in the world, Whistler Blackcomb has it all. Two mountains with 240 runs are set in some of British Columbia's most incredible scenery. Whistler Blackcomb is easily accessible via a two-hour scenic drive via the Sea to Sky Highway from downtown Vancouver.
Owing to its location, Whistler can usually be counted on for consistent snowfall resulting in a deep base. Uphill capacity is impressive, with recent improvements on Blackcomb, including a 10-passenger gondola and two new replacement chairs on Whistler. Even if you aren't a skier, a ride to the top of either mountain and a trip across the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is an experience not to be missed.
The town of Whistler is a wonderful alpine village with an extensive offering of fine and casual dining, shopping, and fun things to do. Accommodation options range from ski-in/ski-out luxury hotels, condos, and traditional hotels to private homes for rent. Most people park their car and walk everywhere.
Whistler/Blackcomb is owned by Vail Resorts and is part of the Epic Pass program.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Whistler: Best Areas & Hotels
Official site: https://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/
2. Big White Ski Resort
Copious quantities of snow and the unique snow ghosts are just some of what Big White is known for. The resort features a vertical drop of 2,550 feet and has 119 named runs serviced by 16 lifts including a gondola.
Over half the terrain is rated intermediate and features wide-open, long cruisers to allow you to work on your technique. TELUS Park is the boarder and ski cross area, complete with rails, bumps, boxes, and jumps. If you still want more skiing or want to get in a few laps after work, Big White has 38 acres of night skiing available.
Off the mountain, you'll find 25 kilometers of cross country (Nordic) trails, 14 kilometers of which are groomed daily. Be sure to check out the 60-foot-high, man-made ice tower (climbing allowed), along with the tubing park.
For those with children too young or unwilling to ski, day care is also available at Tot Town. Big White ski resort is just an hour from downtown Kelowna and easily reached via good roads.
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kelowna: Best Areas & Hotels
Official site: http://www.bigwhite.com/
3. Sun Peaks Resort
Many people are surprised to find that Sun Peaks Resort is Canada's second largest ski area, with over 4,200 skiable acres. Spread out over three mountains, Mount Todd, Mount Sundance, and Mount Morrisey, you'll find 132 named runs, many of which are best suited for beginner and intermediate skiers.
Sun Peaks has made a significant investment in their uphill capacity. A new lift, called the Crystal Chair, will boost the number of people getting to the top by 20 percent.
Thirteen lifts consisting of four high-speed quad chairs, two quad chairs, one triple chair, and six surface lifts service a vertical drop of 2,894 feet. On average, Sun Peaks gets about 18 feet of snow each year.
Sun Peaks has a delightful "ski-through" alpine village located right at the base of the runs, with restaurants and shops. It's a perfect place to relax and recount the adventures of your day.
Hotels and other accommodation is available in the village and the nearby area. Lower cost options can be found in the town of Kamloops, 45 minutes away.
Official site: https://www.sunpeaksresort.com/
4. Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is located in a snowy valley in eastern British Colombia, where the snowfall is an astounding 30 feet per year. The ski hill is located on Mount Mackenzie and has a vertical drop of 5,620 feet, the highest vertical drop in North America.
Uphill capacity consists of the eight-passenger Revelation Gondola, three detachable quad chairlifts, and two Magic Carpets. Skiing here skews towards intermediate and advanced, which makes up 88 percent of the terrain. Four big bowls feature wide-open skiing above the tree line and can be spectacular following a big dump of snow.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort has also recently installed a new lift called the Stellar Chair. This lift will be a welcome addition and especially favored by beginner and intermediate skiers. In addition to the new chair, three other lifts have additional chairs and gondolas added to the existing infrastructure, boosting capacity by just over 20 percent.
If you are looking for heli-skiing, Selkirk Tangiers operates a base a short distance from town. In mere minutes, you'll be on top of a mountain with thousands of feet of untracked snow in front of you.
The town of Revelstoke is a good place to stay. Accommodation is varied and includes hotels, upscale bed and breakfasts, and private rentals.
Official site: https://www.revelstokemountainresort.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Revelstoke
5. SilverStar Mountain Resort
In operation for over 60 years, SilverStar is one of BC's best family ski resorts. It offers nearly 2,500 feet of vertical drop and 132 runs, including one that is five miles long.
An abundance of mid-level terrain on the front side of the mountain is perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The back is steep and deep.
One of the highlights of SilverStar is the picture-perfect alpine village located right on the ski hill. Here, you'll find good accommodation options, 18 restaurants, and several unique shops. Cars are of limited use up here, so the resort is a perfect spot to hang up the keys for the week and walk everywhere.
Silverstar is located about 25 minutes from Vernon and a little over an hour from Kelowna.
Official site: https://www.skisilverstar.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay near Silverstar
6. Apex Mountain Resort
Located close to Penticton, Apex is known for its dry, fluffy powder. Sunny skies are a regular occurrence here as are short lift lines. The average wait time is a paltry two minutes.
Apex is the only resort in the Okanagan Valley that faces northeast. The upside of this alignment is that the beautiful light powder snow is not sun affected and stays pristine longer.
For those less accustomed to powder snow, Apex has an extensive program of grooming, and miles of corduroy are available for those who love groomed runs. Over 2,000 feet of vertical are spread across 119 runs (79 marked, 40 plus unmarked). Snowboarders and skiers will also find four terrain parks spread across the mountain.
Official Site: https://www.apexresort.com/
7. Red Mountain Resort
For those purists looking for old school skiing in a relaxed atmosphere, look no further than Red Mountain Resort. This hidden gem of a ski hill is all about skiing and snowboarding.
The skiable terrain is spread out over 3,850 acres and features 110 marked runs. For those with the skills, the glade (tree) skiing is some of the best in North America.
You can rack up impressive vertical here. The lift lines are always short, and even if you do have to wait, the locals are a friendly bunch. Red Mountain Resort now has seven lifts, and the recently installed Topping Creek chairlift has opened up 300 brand new acres of fun.
If you really want to get off the beaten track, cat skiing is also available on Mount Kirkup approximately six times a day. You just pay on a per run basis.
The best place to stay is in nearby Rossland, a laid-back mountain town with a mining history. A variety of hotels, bed and breakfasts, and hostels are available along with a decent selection of restaurants. For something completely different, you can stay in your own hostel-style cabin midway up the mountain. This new offering, called Constella, consists of six cabins and a central clubhouse.
Official site: https://www.redresort.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Rossland
8. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located near the town of Golden, British Columbia. This resort is noted for its frequent dumps of powder snow, and is a true skier's mountain.
The terrain here is intense; 80 percent of the runs are suited to intermediate and advanced skiers. Make sure you have your skiing legs tuned up, Kicking Horse has some of the longest runs around.
An eight-passenger gondola will whisk you up to the top in 12 minutes, and from here, you have your choice of almost 120 different runs leading down over 4,300 vertical feet. In addition to the gondola, three other fixed grip chairlifts and a surface lift are available.
Official site: https://kickinghorseresort.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Golden
9. Fernie Alpine Resort
Fernie has a bit of everything: wide groomers, long mogul runs, terrain parks, and five alpine bowls that catch the storms and can be full of beautiful snow.
The resort has a vertical of 3,550 feet and receives on average over 30 feet of snow. Plus, being at a lower elevation, Fernie can be a warmer place to ski than many other resorts in BC.
Ten lifts, including two high-speed quads, provide good uphill capacity for the 142 runs, plus the aforementioned bowls.
The mountain has five dining options that range from coffee shops to cafeteria style, right through to sit-down full-service restaurants. Be sure to check out the Lost Boys Café at the very top for spectacular views.
Accommodation ranges from ski-in/ski-out options on the hill to more affordable places in the main town of Fernie, just five to 10 minutes away.
Official site: https://skifernie.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Fernie
10. Panorama Mountain Resort
Wide-open groomers greet skiers at Panorama. Located 20 minutes from Invermere, this casual, family friendly resort is ideal for a fun and relaxed ski vacation. Panorama skews to beginner and intermediate, with 50 percent of the runs suitable for this skill level.
Advanced skiers have their own playground in the Taynton Bowl, where all the runs are black diamond routes, steep, deep, and sure to get your heart pounding.
For those looking for a ski hill with accommodation right on the slopes, Panorama fits the bill. You can park your car here and walk everywhere. A big bonus is that all resort guests get to use the extensive outdoor pools.
The 4,625 feet of vertical drop is spread across 129 runs and is serviced by 10 lifts, including a gondola.
Official site: https://www.panoramaresort.com/
11. Kimberley Alpine Resort
Located a very short drive up the road from the picturesque town of Kimberley, this small resort should definitely be on your Okanagan ski resort hit list. The mountain has two unique features: North America's largest gladed terrain and longest lit run.
Four different areas on the hill all have their own look and feel: Northstar Mountain is perfect for beginners, Vimy Ridge is a mix of intermediate and black diamond runs, and Black Forest and Tamarack Ridge are full of challenging black diamond and gladed runs.
Four lifts service 80 runs zipping down 2,465 vertical feet of drop spread across 1,800 acres.
Off the hill, dog sledding is popular, and the Bavarian-themed small town of Kimberley has a great assortment of restaurants and accommodation options.
Official site: https://skikimberley.com/
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Kimberley
12. Whitewater Ski Resort
This funky ski resort is as old school as it gets. Located near the equally quirky town of Nelson, this local ski hill has a reputation for copious quantities of snow. In fact, Whitewater gets an average of over 40 feet of snow every season.
The ski hill is compact and has a local ski hill vibe, with an unusual cast of characters skiing and living life to the fullest. Three fixed grip lifts (one quad, one triple, one double) along with a handle tow, service 2,367 acres of skiable terrain, and the vertical drop is just over 2,000 feet.
A wide variety of accommodation options are available in nearby Nelson.
Official site: https://www.skiwhitewater.com/
13. Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Long a local treasure on Vancouver Island, Mount Washington Alpine Resort is well worth the effort to get to. An affordable ski destination, the resort has eight lifts and a vertical drop of just over 1,500 feet. When it snows here, it can be massive — the resort claims to receive over 33 feet of snow a year.
The pace here is relaxed and family friendly. It's a perfect place to learn how to ski, and the four magic carpets make getting back to the top for beginners easy. For intermediate and advanced skiers, a wide variety of runs are on offer, from long cruisers right through to glades. The view from the peak is stunning on a clear day.
Off the hill, you'll find 55 kilometers of cross-country trails, 25 kilometers of snowshoeing, a tubing park, and fat tire bike trails.
Note that the road up to the mountain requires that you have good winter tires, and if it is really dumping snow and the flashing chain lights are on, tire chains must be used.
Official site: https://www.mountwashington.ca/
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Skiing in Canada: You can find great ski resorts right across the country. For more ideas on where to go, see our guide to the best ski resorts in Canada. This is our comprehensive guide to the best ski resorts from coast to coast. In eastern Canada, you can find a number of ski resorts in Ontario, as well as ski resorts near Toronto, which includes a few within easy reach in Upstate New York. One province over, you can find some excellent ski resorts in Quebec.