Winter of 2022/23 brings Canada’s first full ski season with open borders since the pandemic began, and accordingly, powder hounds from around the world are flocking to the Great White North to partake in its renowned snow sports and enjoy its famed alpine landscapes.
Canada has nearly 300 ski resorts, so finding the country’s best skiing opportunities requires research on its mountainous corners. We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled some of the best ski resorts in Canada and recommendations for local hotels with views of Canada’s natural scenery—plus other practical information to help you make the most of your vacation.
1. Whistler Blackcomb
Whistler, British Columbia
- Best for: Variety of terrain options and difficulty levels
- Price for a day pass: Adults starting at $110, children starting at $55; whistlerblackcomb.com
Whistler not only enjoys a reputation as the premier skiing destination in Canada, but it’s also the largest ski resort on the continent and the largest in the world outside Europe. The slopes deliver a mind-bogglingly diverse range of terrain and trail types, while the town of Whistler itself offers an appealing experience for visitors, replete with fine dining, a lively bar scene, shopping, art, and an overall pleasant vibe. It’s no surprise that it was the setting for a range of downhill events during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
The Whistler Blackcomb Resort comprises two interconnected mountains: Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. Spanning a vast 8,171 acres of terrain, the resort is crisscrossed by a network of over 200 trails and boasts a massive vertical drop of 1,609 meters. Here you’ll find something for every type of skier and snowboarder, including first-timers and the most seasoned snow enthusiasts. The resort also has a substantial sustainability program focusing on more efficient food waste management, which has helped reduce its waste by over 70 percent since 2000.
Where to stay
Book now: Four Season Whistler, Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
The resort has no accommodations of its own, but the area offers plenty of options. Four Seasons Whistler’s 273 rooms offer a supremely luxurious experience without lapsing into pretension. The 2019-renovated property boasts a comfy yet stylish aesthetic featuring lots of wood and art and has an outstanding steakhouse in the form of Sidecut.
If you’re looking for more homelike digs, especially for a family, check out Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside. Its 121 rooms are more like apartments, including fully equipped kitchens, spacious interiors, and a fireplace for warming up after a day on the slopes. Wherever you stay, be sure to spend a few hours at Scandinave Spa: a silent, Scandinavian-style spa where you can unwind with various baths, saunas, yoga rooms, solariums, and more.
Read more: Your Guide to Skiing, Staying, and Eating in the Winter Wonderland of Whistler
2. Banff Sunshine Village
- Best for: Stunning scenery and diverse runs
- Price for a day pass: Adults starting at $99, youths age 13–17 starting at $76, children 6–12 starting at $39; skibanff.com
There are few natural regions in the world as renowned as Banff. A mere 90-minute drive into the mountains outside of Calgary, it’s popular with outdoor sport enthusiasts year-round, and in the winter its gorgeous vistas become a snowy wonderland. There are a number of skiing and snowboarding opportunities in the area, but Banff Sunshine Village is the most popular.
Banff Sunshine Village offers an expansive 3,358-acre terrain stitched with 115 runs of widely varying styles; both novices and experts seeking wild backcountry runs will find something suitable. But here skiing is only half the equation—the epic scenery of the Canadian Rockies is reason enough to visit this spot on the Continental Divide. Sunshine has also spent the past 20 years working to improve its sustainability practices, implementing high-efficiency technology in its on-mountain buildings to reduce water use per skier visit by 29 percent.
Where to stay
Book now: Sunshine Mountain Lodge, Rimrock Resort Hotel, Fairmont Banff Spring
Unlike its neighboring ski resorts, Banff Sunshine Village has its own on-site accommodations in the form of the 84-room Sunshine Mountain Lodge. A key reason to go to Banff is because you want to spend time in the charming town, however—if you’re looking for a hotel closer to the action, check out either the 333-room Rimrock Resort Hotel or 739-room Fairmont Banff Springs. The former leans into quiet, secluded luxury while the latter has more of a bustling—but nonetheless luxurious—atmosphere.
Read more: Pristine Powder and Fields of Flowers: A Seasonal Guide to Banff and Jasper
3. Marmot Basin
- Best for: Magnificent scenery
- Price for a day pass: Adults starting at $125, youths age 13–17 starting at $102, children 6–12 starting at $44; skimarmot.com
When it comes to sheer magnificence, only a handful of drives in the world rival the stunning lakes, ice fields, and other natural phenomenon presented over the three-hour stretch between Banff and Jasper. Thanks to its remote location, Jasper has fewer crowds to congest the pleasantly small town. Just outside of town, Marmot Basin provides memorable views from its relatively compact slopes.
Clocking in at 1,675 acres containing 86 runs, Marmot Basin certainly isn’t the biggest ski resort on this list. But what it lacks in expansiveness it makes up for in terms of grandeur. From its modest 914-meter drop you’ll enjoy dazzling views of Eagle Ridge from the Knob chairs. Its ski area is both above and below the treeline, and it offers a solid range of terrain spanning alpine bowls, groomed runs, glades, cliff features, and more. Marmot Basin was the first ski resort in the Canadian Rockies to establish a Vision Statement for sustainability with Parks Canada, and it reduces its carbon footprint by nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually with initiatives like providing group transportation and door-to-door service.
Where to stay
Book now: Pyramid Lake Resort
The ski resort has no accommodations of its own, so you’ll have to book something in town. Pyramid Lake Resort is one option that offers scenic, tranquil lakeside seclusion in its 62 rooms. Suites are cozy, romantic, and equipped with a fireplace for warming up after a day outdoors.
4. Revelstoke Mountain Resort
Revelstoke, British Columbia
- Best for: Advanced skiers, heli-skiing, lack of crowds
- Price for a day pass: Adults starting at $159, seniors and youths starting at $123, children starting at $60; revelstokemountainresort.com
Two hours west of Banff or eight hours northeast of Vancouver, Revelstoke Mountain Resort provides an epic experience for advanced skiers. It’s not really the place for beginners or families, but if you’re an adventure junkie looking for heli-skiing or otherwise wild runs, it delivers big thrills.
Revelstoke—also known as “Revy”—is massive. It covers 3,121 acres but has only 75 trails, so that should give you a sense of how wild the skiing can get. It has the longest vertical on the continent at 1,713 meters, and most of it is below the treeline, consisting of a few mellow groomed runs, groomers that are long and steep, glades, moguls, alpine bowl skiing, and more. It’s known for getting lots of snow—as much as 18 meters of powder per season. The resort has a number of sustainability initiatives, emphasizing the use of green transportation with its resort shuttles and electric vehicle charge station.
Where to stay
Book now: Heather Mountain Lodge, Basecamp Resorts Revelstoke
There are no on-site accommodations, so you’ll need to book something nearby. Two options stand out: The first is Heather Mountain Lodge, which has 24 rooms located high in the mountains; from its remote location, you can launch heli-skiing adventures, enjoy comfy rooms, and gather with your fellow powder hounds at the on-site bar. If you’re looking to be closer to the town of Revelstoke or need longer-term accommodations, consider Basecamp Resorts Revelstoke. Its 32 suites are massive, easily accommodating a family while providing full kitchens, balconies, and lovely riverside views.