This story and its distribution was paid for by the Canadian Ski Council.
Canada is undoubtedly a skier's paradise--from French-speaking Québec to the Canadian Rockies, Canada's mountainous landscape has wooed international powder seekers for decades. But which mountain resort should you be booking for your next big skiing adventure? We've handily divvied up Canada's ski resorts into every type of skiing personality, so you know exactly where to go for the perfect kind of snow, whether you're a thrill-seeker, a fresh powder chaser, or a beginner bunny.
From cozy, quiet hillside towns to bustling powder keg resorts, these are the resorts you should check out for your next downhill adventure in the Great White North.
1. Thrill-seekers - Whistler
Whistler is arguably Canada's most famous mountain resort, and for good reason. Whistler Blackcomb offers an insane amount of terrain diversity (8,171 acres, to be exact), as well as some of the more unique ways to explore it. If you're looking for a little more leg room, heli-skiing on the mountain can grant you access to 432,000 exclusive acres of big mountain territory worthy of any skier's bucket list. With 37 lifts,16 alpine bowls, three glaciers and 200 marked runs across both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, you may need to make this an annual visit.
2. Wild Things - SkiBig3
Those looking to lose themselves (or find themselves, rather) in the wilderness should look no further than SkiBig3, a group of three resorts in the heart of the Canadian Rockies: Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay. The mountains here are endless, pure and untouched, allowing skiers to escape to a place where nature remains as it was intended. It goes beyond a place that is simply experienced by visitors. It is a place that is lived, from the moment of arrival to the moment of departure. A ski vacation to Banff and Lake Louise is a bucket list trip that will remain forever locked in your favorite powder memories.
3. "Local" Experts - Resorts of the Canadian Rockies
Nestled in the formidable Rocky Mountains, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR) is a collection of four skiing mountains, with Fernie Alpine Resort in Fernie, BC and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, BC shining as its crown jewels. Each has its own quirkiness and local charm which, combined with their proximity to the Powder Highway, make them the ideal pick for skiers who want to experience a resort like a local. Fernie is known for its many downhill area options, including five bowls and one main peak. Kicking Horse, dubbed "the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada," sports every type of downhill powder-lovers could ask for, from gnarly chutes to smooth and gentle groomers. Time your visit around one of the region's annual events, like Fernival or the Snow King Masque Parade, for a true North experience.
4. First Trackers - Big White
For fresh powder hounds who are always hungry for untouched snow and new lines, Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, BC, is the place to be. Big White is Canada's largest totally ski-in ski-out resort and known for its uncrowded slopes and sparkling champagne powder. It's easy to earn your first powder turns from your slopeside accommodations on the way to the lift in the morning, making it a great spot for those looking to carve fresh turns. Looking for a local tip? First track-seekers should make their way through Snow Ghosts in the mountain's Enchanted Forest, a gorgeous landscape of crystalline snow-covered trees and waist-deep powder. Cool off from your big day of earning your turns at one of the resort's staggering 20 mountain restaurants, like the upscale, slopeside 6 Degrees Bistro or Snowshoe Sam's, voted #1 ski bar by Ski Canada Magazine.
5. World Travelers – Ski Québec
Those suffering from wanderlust this winter may find peace in Canada's Francophone province, Québec, which feels like a little slice of Europe in North America. Québec Ski boasts three major ski regions, The Laurentians, Eastern Townships, and Québec City – Charlevoix, each with their own unique blend of skiing style opportunities.
Where you go depends on what you like best: The Laurentians are renown for superb lodging, the best apres-ski to be found, and gourmet dining (we recommend finding a patio in Tremblant's picturesque pedestrian village, where you can catch the last rays of the day while enjoying an après ski bevvy); the four mountains of the Eastern Townships are all very close--just minutes apart from each other--in the heart of wine country, giving plenty of activity options; and finally, Québec City – Charlevoix's claim to fame is the St. Lawrence Summits, which offers amazing views of the St. Lawrence River and over 20 feet of fresh powder each year.
6. Vertical Junkies - Sun Peaks
Speaking of unfussy, uncrowded mountains, Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops, BC, is great for skiers looking for a big mountain feel without the long lines. With Sun Peaks' short lift lines, vertical junkies can maximize their runs and happily stay on the hill all day. As Canada's second largest ski area, boasting an incredible 4,270 acres of skiable terrain, you're not going to run out of trails to try and vertical to explore (this season or the next). Nordic skiers will not feel left out of this hunt for distance skied in a day--Sun Peaks Nordic Centre is home to 35 km of pristine trails, including the lift-accessed and track-set Holy Cow.
7. Alpine Explorers - SilverStar
SilverStar Mountain Resort near Kelowna, BC, is renown for the diversity of its runs, from jaw-dropping backside chutes to easy cruisers. This (combined with its bustling resort village and mild climate) makes it the place to go when you need to satisfy the ski bum, the beginner, and the foodie in your party. Those looking to experience all that SilverStar has to offer should consider taking the Wild Horseman Dinner Tour, available by sleigh ride or snowmobile. The tour takes guests through the mountain's exquisite natural landscape before depositing them at the secluded Wild Horseman's Cabin, where they can warm up with hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and a barbeque buffet dinner.
8. Experience-chasers - Blue Mountain Resort
You're heading north to Canada, so it makes sense that you're chasing new adventures. Blue Mountain Resort, located just two hours north of Toronto on the edge of Georgian Bay, promises just that. When it comes to skiing, we recommend checking out the unique experience of night skiing under the Ontario stars. Meanwhile, more laid-back visitors might want to glide along the mountaintop skating loop, which affords skaters breathtaking vistas from the top of the Niagara Escarpment. Blue Mountain's resort village has endless opportunity to explore day or night, with both casual eateries and fine dining options, unique concept shopping and award-winning spas for cooling those muscles down after a day on the slopes.