12 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Canada, 2021

Written by Lana Law
Nov 17, 2020

Ski resorts can be found across the country, but the best skiing in Canada is in the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta. The snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the Coast Mountains are home to world-class ski resorts that attract skiers and boarders from around the world, and smaller resorts frequented primarily by locals.

Whistler Blackcomb, just a two-hour drive from Vancouver, is one of the top ski resorts in the world, offering a first-class experience from the slopes to the hotels, restaurants, and shops. The interior of BC is home to some lesser visited gems with extreme terrain, or family-oriented resorts. In Alberta, the ski resorts around Banff are an exceptional introduction to skiing in the Canadian Rockies.

In central and eastern Canada, Ontario and Quebec offer skiing opportunities of their own, catering mainly to an eastern crowd. In Ontario, Blue Mountain is a wonderful family hill located just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Toronto. In Quebec, Mont-Tremblant, known for producing some of Canada's most famous skiers, offers some of the best skiing in eastern Canada.

Changes for the 2020/2021 Ski Season: All the ski resorts in Canada will have new rules in place for the 2020/2021 ski season. These may include online-only lift ticket purchases, mask wearing in lift lines and indoors, and physical distancing protocols. Be sure to check the website of your resort prior to your visit to avoid disappointment.

Plan your winter escape with our list of the best ski resorts in Canada.

1. Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb, owned by Vail Resorts, is Canada's premier ski resort with world-class skiing and facilities. The combined terrain of these two mountains makes it the largest ski resort in North America. At the base of Whistler and Blackcomb is the enchanting Whistler Village.

You don't even need to ski to enjoy a trip to Whistler, but if you do, you'll find seemingly unlimited terrain that can accommodate any level of skier, from first timers to extreme skiers. The resort has five terrain parks with over 150 features, 90 rails, and 40-plus jumps. Skiers will rejoice as they blast down beautiful wide-open bowls on Whistler Mountain, and cruise incredible groomed runs all over both mountains. On Blackcomb, the Horstman Glacier provides year-round skiing.

The famous PEAK 2 PEAK gondola, more than three kilometers in length and the world's longest unsupported lift span, connects both mountains. Skiers and non-skiers can enjoy this gondola ride for outstanding views over the mountains and ski runs.

Whistler is located in British Columbia's beautiful Coast Mountains, just a two-hour drive from Vancouver. If you are staying in the city or nearby and want to investigate other skiing options, see our guide to the best ski resorts near Vancouver. Many of these offer good value and see far fewer crowds.

Whistler Blackcomb is part of the EPIC pass program.

Official site: www.whistlerblackcomb.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay at Whistler: Best Areas & Hotels

2. Lake Louise Ski Resort

Lake Louise Ski Resort

Lake Louise, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, and less than an hour from the town of Banff, is one of Canada's most well-known resorts. From the slopes, majestic views stretch out over the Bow Valley and surrounding mountains and beyond to the palatial Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

This is a mountain for all skiers, from the die-hard extreme skiers to families coming here to learn the sport. With 4,200 acres of skiable terrain, the resort offers a mix of alpine bowls, steeps, chutes, and plenty of groomed runs.

After 25 years, the resort has finally expanded with the installation of a new chairlift that opens up the West Bowl area. This new area is 480 acres in size, and the runs are for intermediate to advanced level.

Lake Louise Ski Resort does not have on-site accommodation but does have fantastic day use facilities at the base, with restaurants serving tasty meals, as well as other on-mountain restaurants. Skiers can base themselves in the nearby village of Lake Louise or in the town of Banff, about 45 minutes away.

Most skiers doing a multi-day ski trip to the Banff area plan on skiing at both Lake Louise and Sunshine and possibly Mount Norquay.

Lake Louise is part of the Mountain Collective pass program.

Official site: www.skilouise.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Lake Louise

3. Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort

Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort

Located in Banff National Park, not far from the town of Banff, Sunshine Village is heavenly on a sunny day. A gondola uploads skiers from the parking lot to the village at the base of the runs. Lifts from here take you to runs above the tree line, where wide-open bowls offer incredible views over the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

The mountain is skewed towards intermediate skiers, with more than 50 percent of the runs falling into this category. Experts will find an impressive selection of extreme and advanced terrain, particularly on Goat's Eye Mountain. About 20 percent of the resort is beginner oriented. This is a great hill for intermediate skiers who want to challenge themselves and move to the next level.

Ski-in, ski-out accommodation options are available at Sunshine Village, but many visitors choose to stay 20 minutes away in nearby Banff, where there is a fine selection of hotels, restaurants, shops, and a lively après-ski scene.

Sunshine is part of the Mountain Collective pass program

Official site: www.skibanff.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay near Sunshine Village

4. Big White Ski Resort

Big White Ski Resort | Hamish / photo modified

Big White is known for awesome powder days, wide-open views, an abundance of intermediate runs, as well as a good mix of beginner and expert terrain. This is a wonderful family resort, with plenty of convenient accommodation options, including ski-in, ski-out lodging.

The mountain offers 16 lifts, including a gondola, and more than 2,700 acres of terrain, 39 acres of which is lit at night. Views from the slopes out over the surrounding countryside are incredible. Off the ski hill, you'll have your choice of tubing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, and ice climbing.

The resort is located in the enchanting Okanagan Valley, in the interior of British Columbia, not far from the city of Kelowna.

Official site: http://www.bigwhite.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay at Big White

5. Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Located in the interior of British Columbia, about a 2.5-hour drive from the city of Kelowna, Revelstoke is a little more difficult to get to than some resorts but well worth the effort. The mountain sees a high number of powder days; has few crowds; and offers excellent terrain, from open bowls to tree runs and beginner areas.

The resort has recently installed a new lift called the Stella Chair. This opens up new terrain and makes getting around the mountain easier. Add to this improvement reasonably priced accommodation options in the town of Revelstoke; ski-in, ski-out facilities at the mountain; and fabulous scenery, and it's hard to beat this resort.

This isn't the place to come for a glamorous five-star experience or high-end shopping. This is a skiers' mountain and a great place for families.

Revelstoke is part of both the IKON and Mountain Collective pass programs.

Official site: www.revelstokemountainresort.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Revelstoke

6. Sun Peaks Ski Resort

Sun Peaks Ski Resort

Sun Peaks is Canada's second largest ski area, after Whistler but is still largely unknown outside of Canada and even one of the lesser-known resorts within Canada. Given the amount of terrain, spread over three mountains, it's not surprising this resort offers a little something for everyone, with steeps, cruisers, and tree skiing. And, although you can find a wide variety of runs, Sun Peaks is particularly focused on beginner and intermediate skiing, making it a great choice for families.

Sun Peaks continues to get better each season, and 2020/21 will be no exception with the installation of the new Crystal chairlift. This will increase the resort's uphill capacity by a whopping 20 percent.

The European-style village at the base offers ski-in, ski-out accommodation and facilities, adding a level of convenience for people who choose to stay here. You can find everything you need right at the resort, including quality hotels or condos and good restaurants, or you can commute from nearby Kamloops, 45 minutes away.

Sun Peaks is part of the Mountain Collective pass program

Official site: www.sunpeaksresort.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay at Sun Peaks

7. SilverStar Mountain Resort

SilverStar Mountain Resort

SilverStar Mountain Resort is a family focused resort with a charming village at the base of the slopes. Buildings in the village are painted in bright colors and are all designed around a similar concept.

The mountain offers a varied terrain that caters to all levels of ability. It has slightly less beginner terrain than many of the other major resorts in British Columbia, and more expert terrain. Snow quality is one of the resort's many bragging points, with frequent snowfalls of dry powder and generally good visibility.

SilverStar is located in the Okanagan Valley, a short drive from the city of Kelowna. Most people who ski here stay at SilverStar, where you can find hotels and condos for rent.

Official site: www.skisilverstar.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay at SilverStar

8. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort | Photo Copyright: Mark Eleven Photography, Courtesy of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Lesser known on an international scale, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, outside of Golden, BC, is a three-hour drive from the city of Calgary, and is frequented by both families and hard-core skiers. The mountain has 4,133 feet of vertical, features incredible expert terrain, with steeps and great hike-to powder runs.

The mountain is north facing and as a result, good snow conditions tend to endure. Three bowls drain down into more gentle terrain, where you'll find intermediate and beginner runs.

Kicking Horse is located about 15 minutes from Golden, and skiers can base themselves here or at Kicking Horse Resort.

Kicking Horse is part of the EPIC pass program.

Official site: http://kickinghorseresort.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay near Kicking Horse

9. Red Mountain Resort

Red Mountain Resort | Murray Foubister / photo modified

This out-of-the-way ski resort in the interior of British Columbia has long been a favorite with advanced and expert skiers and known particularly for its awesome tree skiing. Located near Rossland, Red Mountain takes a little more time and planning to access, but the reward is uncrowded runs, a friendly town with old-school charm, and reasonable prices. It's also the place to come to find great powder days.

While Red Mountain is skewed towards advanced skiers and boarders, it does offer plenty of runs for beginners and intermediate skiers. The resort, spread over two mountains, boasts a total of 4,200 acres of terrain.

Red Mountain is part of the IKON pass program

Official site: www.redresort.com

Accommodation: Where to Stay near Red Mountain

10. Fernie Alpine Resort

Fernie Alpine Resort | Photo Copyright: Abbydell Photography, Courtesy of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies

Fernie Alpine Resort is a great ski vacation option for almost anyone. You can plan a family vacation here, a friends weekend or week-long getaway, or park yourself here for a winter. The snow and skiing are comparable to other resorts in Western Canada, with a good mix of terrain, from open bowls to groomed runs and glades.

At the base of the mountain is a small ski village with restaurants; hotels; and ski-in, ski-out accommodations. Many people choose to stay in the town of Fernie rather than at the resort, where there are more options for restaurants and hotels, better après-ski, better prices, and a traditional ski-town vibe.

Fernie is part of the EPIC pass program.

Official site: http://skifernie.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Fernie

11. Mont Tremblant Ski Resort

Mont Tremblant Ski Resort

Although the province of Quebec produces some of Canada's best competitive skiers, skiing in this province is still one of Canada's great secrets. Conveniently located just 1.5 hours from Montreal and less than two hours from Ottawa, Tremblant delivers a fabulous skiing opportunity in eastern Canada.

The mountain offers 665 acres of skiable terrain on four mountain faces, more than 2,000 feet of vertical drop, and a total lift capacity of 27,230 skiers per hour. The picturesque European-style village at the base is equipped with a full range of options, including luxury accommodation, fine dining, and high-end shopping.

For more information on skiing in Quebec, see our guide to the best ski resorts in Quebec. If you are not familiar with this part of Canada, you may be surprised by the number of resorts in the province.

Mount Tremblant is part of the IKON pass program

Official site: www.tremblant.ca

Accommodation: Where to Stay at Mont-Tremblant

12. Blue Mountain Resort

Blue Mountain Resort

Blue Mountain Ski Resort, a little over two hours north of Toronto, is one of the top ski resorts in Ontario. This is a fun, family focused hill, with all kinds of activities and facilities. What Blue lacks in elevation, it makes up for in overall terrain, stretching along the Niagara Escarpment, with plenty of room to accommodate the crowds that descend on this resort on weekends.

While this used to be a small-town ski hill, it has grown into a posh ski resort with luxury hotels, great restaurants, and a good selection of high-end stores. One of the best places to stay at Blue Mountain is the luxury Westin Trillium House. From here, you can easily walk to the lifts, as well as the shops and restaurants in the village.

Blue Mountain is one of the best ski resorts near Toronto. People come to the mountain year-round for activities, dining, and weekend getaways.

Blue Mountain is part of the IKON pass program.

Official site: www.bluemountain.ca

Accommodation: Where to Stay at Blue Mountain

Ski Packages and Deals

You can often find great ski packages that include flights, hotels, transfers, and lift tickets. Start looking in the fall to get the best deals. From major cities in Canada, you can typically find excellent packages to Kelowna, which will include skiing at nearby resorts like Big White and SilverStar.

Package vacations to Whistler, or even hotel and lift ticket deals, also offer excellent value.

The Best Ski Resorts in North America

Colorado, Utah, and California: When it come to skiing in the mountains, some of the best ski resorts in North America can be found in these states. For details on where to go and what to expect, see our guides to the best ski resorts in Colorado, Utah, and California.

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