From British Columbia to Quebec, there’s an abundance of Canadian ski resorts to suit everyone, regardless of your skill level. While many are better suited for families, the steep vertical drops you’ll find in others are strictly for advanced skiers only. Read on for our roundup of the best the Great White North has to offer.
Even without its excellent ski facilities, Mount Norquay has a range of fun activities that the family can enjoy, including tubing – which you can also do at night – and snowshoeing on one of five trails. Little ones that are age 4-5 can enrol on two-hour ski programs such as Wee Warrior. Mount Norquay, an hour and a half from Calgary, is the closest resort to Banff and Canmore, so it’s a great spot to incorporate into your Rockies itinerary. Free ski buses are available daily from Banff.
The best selling point of Big White Ski resort is the fact that virtually all accommodations have ski-in, ski-out access. Located in the picturesque Okanagan Valley, overlooking the Monashee Mountains, it’s home to wide, expansive terrain suited to all skill levels. Here, you’ll find 65mi (105km) of marked runs ranging from beginner slopes to single- and double-black diamond. It’s also a popular choice for its light, dry powder, short lift lines and modern facilities, as well as being an excellent family destination. Activities for non-skiers include snowshoeing, tubing and skating.
Around 30 minutes from Quebec City, Mont-Sainte-Anne is a great resort for all levels. Home to three snow parks and 56 trails, nearly half of the runs are designated for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. When it gets dark, several slopes are lit up from the summit down to the valley for night skiing. There are also options to try cross-country skiing and other winter activities. Mont-Sainte-Anne’s seven lifts transport guests to the resort, providing impressive views of the Saint Lawrence River and the Île-d’Orléans. The village has various accommodation options, restaurants and shops.
Lake Louise is a must-visit, if only to see the area’s incredible scenery from the 145 runs here. Stretching over 4,200 acres (1,700ha), it’s one of the largest ski resorts in North America, offering runs to suit all levels, but with lots of more advanced terrain. After hitting the slopes, you can ice skate on the frozen Lake Louise, or explore all that Banff National Park has to offer. Nearby Lake Louise Village is also a pretty place to visit with lots of restaurants, bars, shops and hotels.
Sunshine, a 15-minute drive from Banff, is known for its long season from November to May – the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada. As well as offering up to 30ft (9m) of snow, the resort also has a great combination of beginner slopes and advanced mountain trails. Sunshine Village is a part of Banff’s SkiBig3, together with Lake Louise and Mount Norquay. Take advantage of the discounted tickets and shuttle services offered here.
Additional reporting by Emma Gibbins