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As Canada is one of the world’s largest countries, it comes as no surprise that there are so many ski resorts scattered across the vast country. But just how many are there? And which ones are the best?
The Definitive List Of Canadian Ski Resorts
To come up with the definitive list of Canadian ski resorts, we first had to settle on a definition of a ‘ski resort’. To us, a ski resort is simply a place where you can ski (or snowboard) on professionally designed slopes. Strictly speaking, a Canadian ski resort should also have a snow park, half-pipes and a freeride terrain, but we thought that the list would be clearer if we kept it short.
After careful consideration, here are our top 10 picks for the best Canadian ski resorts.
Top 10 Canadian Ski Resort
Situated in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff is the largest and most popular resort in North America, drawing millions of visitors every year. Not only is it one of the oldest ski resorts in existence, but it also boasts some of the best snow-making machines in the world. With more than 120 kilometers of slopes spread across six mountain ranges, there’s something for everyone.
Next on our list is Val d’Or, the ‘Queen of the Valleys’, located in the Charlevoix region of Quebec. With more than 150 kilometers of trails and 65 lifts, this resort is a true mountain paradise. The snowmaking system here is also one of the largest in North America, and the longest ski run in the world, the Supertrail, gives you the sensation of skiing through an entire resort.
Wondering Which Resort To Visit?
Many Canadian skiers and snowboarders will tell you that the country’s best skiing is to be found in British Columbia. Whistler offers some of the longest slopes and best nightlife in North America. You’ll find 22 trails and 80 kilometers of slopes, with spectacular views of the ocean and Mt. Baker, the largest ski resort in Washington.
Vancouver is home to another majestic mountain, Mt. Price, and with more than 100 kilometers of trails and 30 slopes, it’s one of North America’s biggest and most popular resorts. Some of the best intermediate and advanced slopes in Canada are to be found in this British Columbian resort.
Best Overall Resort
Our first-place winner is none other than our beloved Banff, which takes the crown not only for being the best Canadian resort, but for being one of the best in the world. With more than 120 kilometers of slopes, over 100,000 skiers and snowboarders visit each year, making it the largest and most popular resort in North America. What’s more is that Banff is open all year round, which means that you can enjoy the benefits of a Canadian winter anywhere in the country!
After closely following the evolution of ski resorts over the past few years, we have noticed a trend: more and more people are looking for the ultimate high-end holiday rather than just a quick weekend getaway. The demand for luxury resorts has grown, which has made the owners of these destinations more than happy to offer top-notch services, such as pre-arranged hotel accommodations and international school enrollments for the kids.
Our second-place choice reflects the fact that many Canadian skiers and snowboarders prefer to enjoy the wonders of the backcountry rather than the hustle and bustle of the slopes. With more than 450 kilometers of trails and 46 ski resorts scattered across the entire country, you can certainly find your own private paradise in the woods. The locals in the backcountry are some of the most helpful people you could ever meet, and they’ll be more than happy to give you pointers on how to improve your skiing experience.
Don’t Forget The Classic Resorts
Staying true to our definition of a Canadian ski resort, we must point out that not all Canadian resorts are created equal. There are many classic and smaller resorts across the country, offering a quieter and more secluded atmosphere. In fact, depending on the time of year, you might want to try and visit a few of these lesser-known destinations, as they can be quite beautiful. Locals in the know will also guide you to the best spots for wildlife-watching, mountain biking and fishing.
Top Overall Resort For Families
What is a family trip to Canada without visiting a ski resort? With 46 smaller resorts scattered across the country, you can certainly find a resort that is just right for the whole family. Also, the expertise of Canadian ski instructors is internationally respected, so while you’re there, feel free to ask for help – anyone will be more than happy to help you improve your skiing experience. Plus, your kids will love the snow and the cold better than anyone else’s!
One of our readers will no doubt disagree with our top choice, but we would like to point out that these are all highly debatable topics, and one person’s opinion is certainly not set in stone. Remember: this is a question that gets asked every year, so don’t get discouraged if your favorite resort is not on this list. Instead, try to find another, or make new friends at the resort, so that you can swap ideas and discuss what makes a good ski resort. Don’t forget: this is a country that is bigger than Texas, so there’s certainly plenty of opportunity for all of us to explore the vast backcountry, and discover some of Canada’s hidden gems.