Looking forward to rocking the upcoming ski season in Canada? We’ve got your back.
Wintertime is almost here, and many have decided to go on a holiday at an alpine cottage somewhere or have some quiet time near the fireplace looms.
Others are excited about the snow because this is the only time in the year when they can go skiing but it isn’t always possible to do that in a location nearby and most have to travel great distances for the privilege.
There are some scintillating ski destinations all over the planet to choose from and wonderful Canada is undeniably near the top of the list. Canada is an incredibly diverse country, truly worth exploring but contains some of the best slopes known to skiers.
If this is your first time going on a ski vacation, you will want to prepare yourself for it. The fun skiing brings to everyone is truly amazing, you get to glide around whilst feeling on top of the world. If you are not familiar with the preparations or you do not know where to start your ski vacation, keep reading. This article will guide you on what to do and where to go before heading to the slopes, making sure you have an incredible ski season in Canada.
- When is the Ski Season in Canada?
- Where is the best snow in Canada
- Which are the best ski resorts in Canada?
- How to get ready for a ski season in Canada?
- Which are the best bars and restaurants on the Canadian slopes?
- What else can you in Canada in Winter?
When is the Ski Season in Canada?
Canada’s ski season is between November to April, having said that it is almost possible to find somewhere to ski just about any time of year. Canada is such a huge place; ski seasons can differ slightly from place to place so don’t think there is one rule for all.
It’s worth mentioning that the best snowfalls between December and March, so if you are planning on taking in the whole season – and want it to be budget-friendly – it’s worth making sure you travel outside of those months, in October/November and the end of March/April to avoid peak season inflated travel costs.
Where is the best snow in Canada
It’s best to decide first on where you want to do some skiing before you decide when you want to go. Canada is known for its superb ski resorts, and there are many of them so it’s a good idea to do in-depth research depending on the sort of vacation you are looking for. It’s smart to not just think about the snow and the ski experience but to think about what else the resort and area have to offer. Some are quite remote with slow lifts and quiet towns and some have a livelier nightlife but can be very crowded.
If the choices overwhelm you, here is a quick guide that will help you decide which destinations to choose:
This is where you can find most of the ski resorts in Canada. British Columbia is known for its airy powdered snow, high mountain ranges, and moderate weather.
If you want a challenging ski route, Alberta has the Rocky Mountains, thus boasting the 3 biggest ski draws in the area. If you’re into heli-skiing (off-trail skiing), you can also find skiing resorts that offer this in Alberta.
While Quebec does not have great mountain ranges like the ones found on British Columbia and Alberta, this place is still popular for its skiing resorts as not only Quebec offers delightful and decent skiing spots, but it’s also near Quebec City and Montreal – unique and popular cities, you can tie into your Canada ski trip easily.
If you’re more of a beginner, Ontario does not have a mountain range, so their ski hills are not that overwhelming for newbies. Ontario has a lot of groomed hills and great lift systems too, so you can enjoy other activities like walking and sightseeing here as well.
Which are the best ski resorts in Canada?
Not sure what resort to pick? To give you some ideas, below are some of the best places to ski in Canada:
Whistler Ski Resort, BC
This resort is certainly one of the most popular ski resorts in Canada and probably the world. Here, they boast of the 2 connected mountain peaks from Whistler and Blackcomb, making this resort the biggest ski area in North America. If vastness, great facility, and wonderful service are what you’re looking for, this is where you should be. A tip for those on their gap year or looking to work in Canada while traveling, Whistler ski resort is the perfect place to start looking for ski season jobs in Canada. The resort isn’t too remote and will let you acclimatize to a ski season before you start exploring the other snowy destinations. Whistler is also said to be a great choice if you are looking for the best snowboarding in Canada!
Sun Peaks Resort, BC
Cozy and welcoming, this ski resort has a friendly vibe that all ski enthusiasts will truly appreciate, especially the newbies as they have mild terrains that are easy for first-time learners.
Big White Ski Resort, BC
If you’re an intermediate skier, you can enjoy your runs here. Of course, there are challenging courses for experts as well. And, just below the skiing terrain, people can check out Happy Valley where other activities are offered as well such as ice skating, snowmobiling, tubing, ice climbing, and the like.
Marmot Basin, Jasper AB
For those who want to ski in a remote place, this area is a quiet place and has some of the best views of Canada. The terrains are a mix of easy to hard, so there’s variety here. If you want to sightsee and relax in a less crowded place, give this a try.
Though small compared to other resorts, this resort is a picture-perfect destination that contains 4 slopes. It offers terrains for all levels too, and what makes this area amazing is that it has that family-friendly and chill vibe that you’d surely love.
How to get ready for a ski season in Canada?
Having your ski passes obtained earlier than November is highly important. Many buy their passes as early as the last week of October, having all that sorted advance of even getting on a plane will save you half a day queuing and more than a little spare change. Ski gear rentals are also very busy once peak season gets underway, so it’s not a good idea to leave it until the last minute if you want to save money and have the best choice of gear.
Skiing is an expensive hobby and saving where and when you can is very advisable.
Gear and pass booking services like SKI SET offer the best ski gear and snowboard rentals with off-season discounts you should take advantage of.
Ski passes are also available at travel agencies and some adventure retail stores. Ski passes include your lift pass, entrance to the resort, and even security pass on the ski slopes. Costco even offers these ski passes at an incredibly affordable price. You can also take advantage of the Canadian Lift Pass Program to get ski passes, snowboards, and ski gears online.
Walmart, Costco, Target, and Amazon all offer ski outfits during the offseason and even put them on discount. This means you can easily get your ski suits that fit your taste for fashion at the same time keeping you protected from the ski slopes and piles of ice.
If you’re going for the whole season it’s even more important that you kit yourself out with decent durable gear. That includes warm, protective clothes and sunglasses that will protect your eyes from the light reflected in the snow. Something newbies don’t think about. Oh yeah, and take decent sun cream, something else newbies find out the hard way.
Which are the best bars and restaurants on the Canadian slopes?
Of course, as you spend your whole day skiing, burning lots of calories, you’ll eventually go hungry and in need of a good drink. If you want to know what restaurants and bars are on offer, the list below will surely satisfy your bellies and uplift your mood after a long day. A word to the wise, just don’t end up drunk on the slopes as it’s quite dangerous especially when you’re still going to continue skiing, you don’t want to be that person being airlifting off the slopes, being watched by the masses:
- Araxi, BC – For a formal dining experience, eat your fill at Araxi and enjoy their fresh oysters. If you want high-quality seafood, check this place out.
- The Brewhouse, BC – Lively, cozy, and spacious – this is what you’ll get in the Brewhouse in BC where beer on taps and scrumptious pizzas are offered to the customers. You can come with friends, your partner, or the whole family in here as this restaurant fits the bill to just about anyone.
- Eagle’s Nest Canadian Bistro, AB – Considered to be a fancy restaurant, you can also drop by Eagle’s Nest Canadian Bistro and have a taste of their famous seared foie gras, sturgeon caviar, buckwheat blinis, and toasted brioche.
- Kaytoo – Casual, fun, and reasonable, the younger generation will love this place. You can eat nachos and burgers here while listening to the beats dropped by their resident DJ.
- Ya’Oooo Pizza Bar, QC – Just conveniently located at the base of Mont Tremblant, this restaurant is also another casual restaurant and bar in QC. You can eat pizza and other comforting goodies at affordable prices.
What else can you in Canada in Winter?
Going on a ski vacation is also a great opportunity to explore the rest of the provinces in Canada. While Ontario and British Columbia have some of the best ski slopes and resorts, many have also considered traveling to Alberta, Victoria and Quebec to spend some of their winter breaks enjoying the beautiful views, you can only see in these provinces.
Equally, it’s worth getting out and exploring what Canada has to offer. Whether you just want to escape the white and chow down on some dough sticks in Toronto whilst checking out the giant CN tower or maybe even go on visit the awesome Niagara Falls, there is plenty to see and do that doesn’t involve skiing.
For those, who don’t want to slow down, there is still plenty of holiday adventure Canada has to offer. If you want to experience the none frozen kind of Canadian water activities, there are amazing places for kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding across British Columbia. And you want to escape the water, the Cariboo Mountains is a great option. Canadian cowboys frequent this area and it is the best place to go horse riding, experiencing nature differently from the fast and furious slopes.
There are a lot of ski resorts dotted around the country, you are spoilt for choice, whether your there for the whole ski season or traveling all around Canada, there will be some magnificent views along the way too. Enjoy!