For ski lovers, winter always flies by too quickly. You never have enough weekends to escape to snow-covered mountains and conquer challenging runs. Don’t let a ski getaway slip you by this winter. Before the warmer days settle in, plan an excursion to the perfect spot for skiing: Canada. Here are four outstanding ski regions in the Great White North to check out before the snow fades away until next season.
Banff and Lake Louise
Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park, you’ll discover three world-class ski destinations – Banff Sunshine, Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Mt. Norquay Ski Resort.
Perched high atop the Continental Divide, Banff Sunshine boasts three rugged mountains that feature unparalleled panoramic views, as well as the potential for up to 30 feet of snow during the ultra-long season. Running from early November through late May, you’ll have plenty of time to visit this season.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie, then you’re in for a real treat. Steep turns, chutes, and wide-open bowls await on the renowned Delirium Dive, rated as one of the most thrilling ski runs in the entire world. This off-piste zone – meaning unsupervised and away from marked ski trails – features unbelievable snow, eye-opening slopes, and extreme runs. These runs are so intense that you’re required to possess avalanche knowledge and wear an avalanche beacon, as well as other protective gear. Are you ready to face the challenge?
Meanwhile, Lake Louise Ski Resort offers a wide variety of terrain and runs, so there’s something to suit everyone and all abilities, from beginners to experts, families and ski groups. Glide down gentle chutes, freestyle in wide-open bowls, and explore magnificent glades.
Embraced by both locals and visitors alike, Mt. Norquay Ski Resort is known as a local gem and considered by those who love it to be the “best kept secret of the Canadian Rockies.” It’s easy to see why with its assortment of exciting runs, beautiful views, and navigable terrain for everyone from beginners to experts. And if you want to experience the subtle beauty of night skiing, Mt. Norquay is the only ski resort in the Banff/Lake Louise area to offer this unique adventure.
Typical ski season for Banff Sunshine: Early November through late May
Typical ski season for Lake Louise Ski Resort: Early November until the first week of May
Typical ski season for Mt. Norquay Ski Resort: November through April
Where to Stay:
Delta Hotels by Marriott Banff Royal Canadian Lodge
Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Autograph Collection
As ski resorts go, Whistler Blackcomb is hard to beat. A perennial top-ten ski destination in the world, this legendary British Columbia locale has it all – epic terrain, two immense mountains with huge snow, a quintessential mountain village, and a lengthy season lasting from November to May.
But that doesn’t even begin to cover it. Hop aboard the Peak 2 Peak gondola, which connects the peaks of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. Holding the Guinness Book of World Records for longest and highest lift, you’ll experience breathtaking 360-degree views of British Columbia’s rugged topography, including ancient glaciers, volcanic peaks, and much more. Once atop the mountains, click into your skis and feel the rush as you glide down Blackcomb Mountain, host of the 2010 Winter Olympic ski and bobsled events.
Or grab your skis and hop aboard a helicopter as it whisks you away and drops you off to explore over 400,000 acres of rugged and enchanting backcountry landscapes. This heli-skiing experience is a must for every avid skier.
After an exhilarating day on the mountains, kick back, relax, and warm up around a blazing fire in the village below during après-ski. Here you can sip refreshing beverages and nibble on lite bites while sharing stories of the day’s adventures with friends and fellow skiers.
Typical ski season for Whistler Blackcomb: November to May
Where to Stay:
The Westin Resort & Spa, Whistler
Delta Hotels Whistler Village Suites
Mont Tremblant in Quebec
Located about 80 miles northwest of Montreal in Quebec, Mont Tremblant is a year-round resort with more of a laidback vibe than other resorts. It offers an Old-World, European-style atmosphere, with cobblestone streets lining the town and vibrant-colored houses dotting the landscape. Located in the Laurentian Mountain range, this thriving resort is recognized as a world-class ski destination, with over 100 trails to explore.
But Mont Tremblant boasts so much more than just skiing, and those with a penchant for adventure can enjoy everything from dogsledding adventures to ice skating and snowshoe tours. And there’s perhaps no better way to recuperate after a long day on the slopes than with a hot, rejuvenating soak in one of the outdoor Scandinavian spa baths. You’ll definitely want to save time for that.
Typical ski season for Mont Tremblant: Mid-November to mid-April
Where to Stay:
Le Westin Resort & Spa, Tremblant, Quebec
Residence Inn Mont Tremblant Manoir Labelle
Blue Mountain in Ontario
Located near the southern shores of beautiful Georgian Bay in Ontario, Blue Mountain Ski Resort is the ideal destination for that final, last hurrah before spring takes hold.
Blue Mountain features 364 acres with 43 runs (including 30 lit runs for night skiing) of varying difficulty, including beginner trails, glade runs, long cruisers, and steep descents. Its longest run, Gord’s Groove, is a well-groomed trail with plenty of adrenaline-pumping steepness about halfway down. There are also snowshoe trails to explore, and if you’re new to the sport or looking to expand your skills, they offer a well-respected snow school with friendly, expert instructors to help guide you.
Typical ski season for Blue Mountain Ski Resort: Mid-November to mid-April
Where to Stay:
The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain
We may be well into the ski season, but there is still plenty of time to pack up your skis, pick a destination, and hit the mountains before spring arrives. Ready to hit the slopes? Save big on your upcoming trip to Canada when you take advantage of exclusive savings through Vacations by Marriott.