Although Canada’s ski fields are a magnet for the world’s top skiers and snowboarders, there are plenty of good options for those who lack confidence on the slopes. The good thing about skiing in Canada is also surprisingly affordable, especially in spring, when the snow is amazing and there are plenty of bargains. Here are our top 10 ski resorts in Canada beginners will love.
1-Mont Tremblant, Quebec
More than a dash of French flair fills the air at Mont Tremblant, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year. One of the benefits of choosing this ski resort is it’s near enough to Montreal to visit as a day trip. In winter, the colourful village looks like a page out of a storybook. There are plenty of green runs and easy slopes to learn one.
2-Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec
30 minutes from Quebec City, Mont St Anne has 69 trails and a large beginner’s zone. Other activities include snowshoeing, dogsledding and tubing. There’s also a ski museum and the ski resort is close to Quebec City, so there are plenty of city diversions. A fun time to visit is during the Quebec Winter Carnival, when the place is abuzz with festivities.
3-Silver Star, British Columbia
Silver Star ski resort near Vernon in British Columbia is a star when it comes to a family holiday. Silver Star’s village centre has a cheerful 19th-century mining town theme that looks like a page from a children’s picture book. A high snowfall makes it easy for the resort’s management to organise a host of winter activities and there is plenty on the programme for families including family snow sports clinics, races and relays.
4-Sun Peaks Resort, British Columbia
Located near Kamloops, Sun Peaks Resort has three mountains with a diversity of terrain suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers. The village has a European charm and there are plenty of ski-in ski-out accommodation options.
The 1,500-hectare ski area is the second largest in British Columbia and the third-largest in Canada. It offers both alpine and Nordic skiing. There’s range of activities, including the Snow Limo (it looks like a seat attached to a tilting frame that is also attached to skis), which was invented in British Columbia and designed to help people experience skiing, regardless of age or ability.
5-Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta
Lake Louise Ski Resort has stunning scenery and it’s great for beginners because there is plenty to do around the area. Banff National Park has 6,641 square kilometres of mountainous landscape and was the first national park established in Canada.
Things to do include the Banff Gondola, for spectacular panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies and Banff, which is a buzzy town with plenty of hotels, restaurants and shops. Another fun activity is dog sledding through the winter wonderland landscape.
6-Sunshine Village, Banff
The great thing about Sunshine Village is the blue runs easier than most other ski areas. Ski the blue runs on Mount Standish and Lookout Mountain as well as Goat’s Eye Mountain, where you can stop to gaze at the Wild West area and its classic steep slope for hard-core skiers. It also has on-mountain accommodation at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Fortunately, you don’t need to be able to ski to soak up the scenery. Exploring the region on snowshoes will get you to remote parts of the mountains.
7-Marmot Basin, Jasper
Marmot Basin has 677 hectares of terrain, seven lifts, three high-speed quads and Canada’s highest base elevation at 1697m. Trails are split between novice, intermediate, advanced and expert. An iconic place to stay is the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, which is a winter wonderland with scenes out of a Christmas card. The resort’s shuttle departs and returns twice a day.
8-Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains which form the biggest area of slopes in North America. The ski slopes of Whistler-Blackcomb attract some of the world’s best skiers but you don’t have to be an expert skier or snowboarder to enjoy this Winter Olympics venue. Stay at the Four Seasons and take advantage of the hotel’s ski concierge at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. The service allows you to go skiing without having to carry your gear to the slopes, as all your equipment is transferred to the ski concierge for you.
9-Le Massif, Quebec
The highest point east of the Canadian Rockies, the best way to get there is a one-hour train ride from Quebec City, which is worth the journey in itself. Le Massif has alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding and ice-climbing. Non skiers might like to try rodelling, a form of sledding on the 7.5km Mont à Liguori trail, or a gourmet tour of the Charlevoix area.
10-Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario
With both day time and night time skiing, Blue Mountain Resort is located in Ontario. It has 36 runs and it’s easy access makes it the third most popular ski resort in Canada. Non skiing activities include sliding down the escarpment in the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster at more than 40-km-per-hour, or skating at the Mill Pond Rink or toboggan tours.
Christina Pfeiffer was a guest of Canadian Tourism Commission
For more ideas on things to do in Canada see Best of Canada.