O Canada, I have you on the brain.
Recently, Expedia Canada asked me to feature some “don’t miss” Canadian ski resorts. With over 180 resorts and ski clubs (with at least one in every province), Canada has plenty of options from which to choose, ranging from Whistler Blackcomb in the far west to eastern favorite Mont Tremblant in Quebec.
And this doesn’t even begin to consider numerous helicopter and cat skiing operations.
Forced to narrow my options, I chose three resorts I’ve enjoyed and a preview of three resorts my family and I will visit over Spring Break.
With a 625 meter (2000 feet) vertical drop and 547 acres of skiable terrain, Mont-Sainte-Anne is not exceptionally large, but the mountain skis big.
Fully 59% of the mountain is rated difficult or extreme, with famously steep black and double black runs off of the Panorama Express Quad, in the resort’s expert zone.
Elsewhere, skiers and riders will find terrain of all levels, radiating out in all directions from the mountain summit.
Free bunny slope access, including a 185 meter (607 foot) magic carpet at the resort base.
The Express du Sud detachable bubble lift with top-to-bottom beginner and intermediate runs.
Make-your-own Maple Taffy at the sugar shack off of intermediate La Pichard.
Stunning views of the Saint Lawrence River from La Crete, the easiest of the black runs on the resort’s western edge.
200 km of Nordic skiing trails, 30 km of snowshoe trails and the highest vertical drop night skiing in Canada.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia
With bragging rights for the most vertical in North America at 1,713 meters (5,620 feet), Revelstoke is known for spectacular free ride and steep fall line skiing. Yet it is also surprisingly accessible for skiers of all levels.
Until 2007, the only lift-served skiing in the area was at a small, local hill called Powder Springs. The addition of a well-placed gondola and two high-speed lifts extended the resort into a cat skiing area and made Revy a bucket list staple.
Easier terrain is found at the bottom of the mountain and the runs get progressively more difficult as you gain altitude. Glade skiing abounds and if you’re up for boot packing, you’ll be rewarded in a big way.
Top-to-bottom skiing on Snow Rodeo, a rollicking groomed run.
Stoke Chair steeps: Choose from bumped up burners like Jalapeno or the aptly named Vertigo.
Family fun skiing for beginners and the tubing hill at Turtle Creek.
Intermediate glade skiing off of the Ripper chair.
Silver Star Mountain Resort, British Columbia
A big modern mountain, with a tiny Victorian village, Silver Star is a family-friendly destination offering solid value.
Within the village, you’ll find a full range of lodging (check out the Snowbird Lodge with private hot tubs!), numerous dining choices and a surprising assortment of shops.
Of course, it’s the skiing and outdoor fun that makes Silver Star a winter wonderland.
An “all-inclusive” ticket lets you alpine or Nordic ski, ice skate, snowshoe or go tubing whenever you want, without additional costs.
3,065 acres of skiable terrain, with a 760 meter (2,500 foot) vertical drop. You’ll find more terrain than you can ski in a weekend.
World-famous Nordic terrain, with 60 km of groomed trail.
Bowling at the Firelight Lodge.
On mountain evening dining. Choose your mode of transport, from snow cat to sleigh, from snowmobile to snowshoes or cross-country skis, and head out for a night of culinary delight.
Banff, Alberta: Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mount Norquay
Like the Grand Canyon, Banff National Park is one of those astoundingly beautiful locales that many of us can picture before we actually arrive.
A wonderland of peaks, glaciers, waterfalls and canyons, Banff is the winter hub for three ski resorts: Mount Norquay, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Sunshine Village.
Mount Norquay, is the smallest of the Banff resorts with 190 acres, 6 chairlifts and 28 runs. With 503 meters (1,650 feet) of vertical, this small ski resort is plenty tall and features the annual Mountain Smoker mogul competition.
Lake Louise Ski Resort, at 4,200 skiable acres, is the biggest of the three resorts and one of the world’s most famous beauty spots, with Victoria glacier providing a spectacular backdrop to the lake itself.
Sunshine Village sprawls across three mountains high up against the continental divide, just 30 minutes from the town of Banff. Another huge resort with 3,358 acres, Sunshine Village features dramatic vistas and exciting big mountain skiing.
All together, these three resorts offer up over 124 miles of ski runs (on one tri-area lift ticket), endless cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, world-class spas, dog sledding and just about any other winter diversion you can imagine.
So far this winter, the Banff area has received abundant snow! We’re counting the days.
We’re Looking Forward To:
The region’s only night-skiing at Mount Norquay, including a fully lit terrain park.
Half-day guided ice climbing lessons. Or if that’s too ambitious, an ice walk to the waterfalls of Johnston Canyon.
Soaking in Banff Upper Hot Springs.
Skiing Lake Louise’s World Cup Downhill run.
Ice skating and pick up hockey on Lake Louise.
Skiing Sunshine Village’s Delirium Dive and Wild West, hike-to terrain rated as some of the best off-piste skiing in the world.
- Quebec City: My Kind of Ski Town, December 10, 2014.
- Revelstoke Mountain Resort: For Families Who Love to Ski and More, March 3, 2014.
- At Quebec’s Le Massif We Can All Be Lugers, February 4, 2014.
- British Columbia’s Family Paradise: Silver Star Mountain Resort, January 27, 2014.
- Heli Skiing…Falling…And Getting Up Again, January 15, 2014.
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