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Get Ready to Ski & Ride Canada’s Top Ski Destinations
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Get Ready to Ski & Ride Canada’s Top Ski Destinations

Western Canada’s Top Ski Destinations Worth the Trip This Winter

Ski season in North America has officially begun! We are ready to hit the slopes—are you? Don’t let another ski season pass by where you settle for less than optimal ski conditions and long driving stretches to and from the hill. This winter, plan the ultimate skiing or snowboarding getaway to some of Western Canada’s top ski destinations worth the trip. Stay and play minutes from where mountains make for unforgettable powder days with pristine skiing and snowboarding conditions. Your friends and family will thank you for making this year’s ski trip easy to plan with our best tips for getting ready to ski and ride in Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Whistler.

Ready to book your getaway to Western Canada? Embrace the Season and save up to 25% off your stay at luxury Mountain Resorts.

Pick The Best Time to Go Skiing & Snowboarding

Winter downhill ski near Jasper.

When is the best time of year to go skiing or snowboarding in Canada? This might seem like a trick question. But quite simply, it’s when everyone is able to travel. Winter ski season in Western Canada is longer compared to most other ski destinations in North America. Ski season begins in November and ends as late as May in places like Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, and Whistler. An extra-long season means you’ll have more dates to choose from and better chances of finding a time when everyone can travel.

For some, the best time to go is during Christmas and winter break before the kids go back to School in January. Or Spring Break (March Break) for Spring Skiing. For others, anytime from end of November to the last week of April or first week of May is ideal. We recommend arriving a day or two before you plan to hit the slopes to acclimatize to the mountains. Planning your ski schedule around weekdays will help make you to feel like you have the entire mountain to yourselves. Keep reading to discover some of Western Canada’s top ski destinations.

Choose a PLACE TO Ski

Winter couples ski at Lake Louise, one of Canada's top ski destinations

Without a doubt, Western Canada has plenty of renowned ski areas to explore. But if you’re considering other factors, like varied terrain for all levels and abilities, generous snowfall, ease of getting to/from the mountain, and nearby accommodations, choosing the perfect ski area can seem daunting. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down the list to these sought-after Mountains in Western Canada that are worth the trip for these reasons, and more! Discover some of Canada’s top ski destinations.

BEST SKI AREAS IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Banff National Park is home to some of the world’s most epic mountain terrain and scenery. Aside from the novelty of skiing and snowboarding in a UNESCO world heritage site, you will love every aspect of skiing and snowboarding in Banff at three unique destinations in the Canadian Rockies.

A group of friends on the chairlift at Banff Sunshine Villlage, photo by Kyle Mulde & Banff Sunshine Village, one of Canada's top ski destinations
Photo Credit: Kyle Mulde & Banff Sunshine Village

Banff Sunshine Village

When people think “skiing in Banff”, Sunshine Village first comes to mind. Bustling with pistes, restaurants, and attractions, this ski area boasts 3,358 skiable acres of varied terrain, and everything from beginner to double-black diamonds, plus a terrain park. Sunshine Village is a short, 25-minute drive from the Town of Banff. It is located on the Continental Divide. So you can shred Alberta and BC in one day! Though bluebird days are synonymous with a name like Sunshine Village, you can also expect generous snow with an average of 232 inches (5.89 meters) of annual snowfall.

Photo Credit: Reuben Krabbe/SkiBig3

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most photographed destinations in the countrybut looks certainly aren’t everything. Each year, thousands of ski and snowboard enthusiasts are drawn to ski in Lake Louise from all corners of the globe each winter. Known for its legendary slopes, Lake Louise is one of the largest ski areas in North America. Explore all 4,200 acres of backcountry or downhill varied terrain across four mountain faces. This alpine paradise offers variety of runs for all skill levels, from complete beginners to World Cup Ski athletes and every level in between.

Photo Credit: Dan Evans & Mt. Norquay

Mt. Norquay

Known as the local’s ski area in Banff since 1926, Mt. Norquay is the place to find familiar faces. Located minutes from the Town of Banff, this family-friendly ski area offers plenty of beginner, intermediate and advanced runs for all ages, plus an 8 lane tube park for a full day of family fun. Looking to extend your days out on the slopes? When the sun sets, Mt. Norquay transforms into the only night skiing destination in the Canadian Rockies. Night skiing is available Friday and Saturday nights (5pm-9pm) starting January 7, so you can keep shredding as the days get shorter.

IKON passholders can ski and ride at all three destinations in Banff National Park. See full stats to compare Sunshine Village, Lake Louise, and Mt. Norquay.

TRAVEL TIP

Enjoy the scenic route to Banff National Park with the convenience of Airport shuttles available via Banff Airporter and Brewster Express from Calgary International Airport (YYC). You can also rent a car and charter your own journey. Regardless of the mode of travel, all visitors to Banff National Park must have a valid National Park Pass which can be purchased in advance.

SKI & RIDE IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Skiing Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park, one of Canada's top ski destinations
Snowboarding Marmot Basin, photo by Mike Seehagel, Canada's top ski destinations
Photo Credit: Mike Seehagel
Skiing at Marmot Basin in Winter, Canada's top ski destinations

With over 4,335 square miles (11,228 square kilometers) of rugged Canadian wilderness to explore, Jasper National Park is the largest of all Canadian Rocky Mountain Parksa UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jasper is home to spectacular glaciers, abundant wildlife, frozen waterfalls, deep canyons, and excellent skiing & snowboarding terrain. Ski in Jasper this winter at one of Canada’s best kept secret ski areas, Marmot Basin.

Marmot Basin

Ski the highest base elevation of any major Canadian Ski Resort at Marmot Basin. Perched at a base elevation of 5570 ft. overlooking the scenic town of Jasper, you will find heaps of powdery snow and incredible panoramic views of surrounding mountain ranges. Marmot Basin offers a refreshing escape from the crowds. Spend less time in the lift line and more time carving down the slopes. New this 22/23 season, Mountain Collective Passholders can ski for two days for free at Marmot Basin. Explore all 1720 acres of skiable terrain and 90+ trails at Marmot Basin this winter.

TRAVEL TIP

The journey to Jasper National Park along the Columbia Icefields Parkway is a bucket list experience in itself! It sets the tone for skiing in the rugged Canadian Rockies. Rent and car for plenty of photo stops along the way. Or enjoy the scenic route with convenience of bus transfers via SunDog Transportation from Jasper to Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Edmonton International Airport (YEG). All visitors to Jasper National Park are required to have a valid National Park Pass which can be pre-purchased.

SKI & RIDE WHISTLER BLACKCOMB

If you venture further West to Canada’s West Coast Mountains, you will find not one, but two big mountain experiences at one remarkable destination: Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. Shredding Whistler Blackcomb is on almost every skier’s bucket list. This combined ski area offers more than 200 marked runs, 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, 16 alpine bowls and 3 glaciers. Whistler Blackcomb receives 465 inches of snow on average annually so there is plenty of opportunity to manifest the pow.

See full mountain stats for skiing in Whistler.

TRAVEL TIP

Enjoy spectacular views along the Sea to Sky Highway en route to Whistler with the convenience of Airport shuttles from Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Or rent a car for ample time for photo stops along the way.
A Couple experiencing ski-in, ski-out at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, part of Canada's top ski destinations
Skiing Whistler Blackcomb, Canada's top ski destinations
Photo Credit: Roni ONeill
Whistler in Winter_Family Skiing Whistler Blackcomb_High-five at mountain summit-CR Mike-CraneTourism-Whistler
Photo Credit: Mike Crane – Go Whistler Tourism

Luxury ski resorts & accommodations

A couple cozied up on the couch with a blanket and candles in Ridgeline Cabin, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, part of Canada's top ski destinations

Wherever you choose to ski, ride, and play, elevate your trip with a stay at some of the most iconic and luxurious mountain resorts in Western Canada.

BANFF

If you have your sights set on Banff, a stay at Canada’s Castle in The Rockies is a must. The legendary Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is less than 30-minute drive to Sunshine Village ski area, Mt. Norquay, and 45-minute drive to Lake Louise. Enjoy access to convenient shuttle transportation to and from all three nearby ski areas to make for a stress-free start and end to your days out on the slopes. Delectable dining options, outdoor whirlpools, and an inviting spa are just some of the many reasons why skiers and riders love to stay and play at the Fairmont Banff Springs.

Fairmont Banff Springs Winter

Stay & Ski Package: Book the Canadian Rockies Ski Package, which includes luxurious accommodations, daily breakfast, two tri-area ski passes per room, per night, valid at Mt. Norquay, The Lake Louise Ski Resort, and Sunshine Village, Shuttle service between the ski resort and Fairmont Banff Springs, parking, and gratuities.

LAKE LOUISE

Deeper into the heart of Banff National Park, the majestic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise offers a true Rocky Mountain experience. Nestled between towering mountains overlooking frozen Lake Louise and Victoria Glacier, this timeless mountain resort is only a few minutes’ drive to the Lake Louise ski area. Skiers and snowboarders alike can cross off a couple extra bucket-list experiences during their stay at the Chateau. Skate across one of Mother Nature’s largest outdoor skating rinks. Enjoy a heartwarming cocktail at the Ice Bar, open mid-December until mid-April, weather permitting.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Winter

Stay & Play with a Complimentary Night: Looking to do more than just ski during your week-long getaway? Book the Stay & Play Complimentary Night Offer and receive your 5th night accommodations free at the Chateau, plus a $200 activity credit per stay, and complimentary self-parking.

JASPER

Known for its quintessentially Canadian Cabins, rugged outdoor experiences, and relaxed comfort in the core of Jasper National Park, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a mountain resort unlike any other. Their collection of Signature Cabins are perfect for group ski & snowboard getaways, with space to sleep two to 16 guests in plush comfort and retro mountain panache. Enjoy the full Rocky Mountain skiing experience, complete with s’mores by the fire pit and a chance to watch the Northern Lights dance across the night sky. Greet wild park residents in the morning, like elk, deer, and bighorn sheep on your way to ski and ride at Marmot Basin.

Group skiing at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Ski for Free: Take advantage of the Ski for Free Offer when you stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This offer includes two nights’ accommodation in a Fairmont room, daily breakfast for two, and two adult Marmot Basin ski lift tickets.

WHISTLER

When in Whistler, the place to stay for a luxurious ski-in, ski-out experience is the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. No need to rush to make fresh tracks in the morning when staying steps from the ski lift. End an eventful day out on the slopes in at the Chateau’s heated outdoor pools, hot tubs, and cedar barrel saunas. For those looking for authentically local, off-the-beaten-track experiences, Whistler Experience Guides offer tailored excursions to explore our natural mountainside, including unforgettable mountain introductions to the best skiing and riding at Whistler Blackcomb.

Snowboarding Whistler Blackcomb at Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Ultimate Ski Package: Experience the pinnacle of classic winter ski vacations with the Ultimate Ski Package at Fairmont Chateau Whistler. This package includes 10% off on ski-in, ski-out luxury accommodation and 2 Whistler Blackcomb lift tickets per night, based on double occupancy. Accor Live Limitless members also save an extra 5% off! Not a member yet? Enroll Today.

ski trip packing checklist 

Butler Packing Service - Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge - packing for Canada's top ski destinations

Nobody likes to freeze out on the hill. Remember to pack properly in order to enjoy your ski & ride experience at Canada’s top ski destinations. Pack like a pro with our handy Ski & Snowboard Trip Gear Checklist:

  • Base Layers to wick away moisture & sweat and stay dry
  • Mid Layers like fleece or Merino wool Sweaters, to add insulation
  • Waterproof Ski Jacket that is insulated with multiple pockets
  • Waterproof Snow Pants with pockets
  • Skiing/Snowboarding Socks made for performance, or with at least 40% wool blend
  • Snow boots that are insulated/waterproof for when you’re not skiing or riding
  • Goggles for eye protection from sun, wind, pow, and cold temperatures
  • Neck Warmer to protect your skin from windburn & the cold
  • Helmet for peace of mind to protect your mind
  • Gloves or Mittens that are insulated and waterproof

Additional gear to pack (or rent)

  • Additional Gear to pack (or rent):
  • Ski/Snowboard
  • Ski Poles
  • Ski/Snowboard boots

Embrace the Season

Whether it’s skiing the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Jasper, and Lake Louise, or venturing further west to Whistler Blackcomb, get there with great deals on stay & ski packages. Already have a season pass? Embrace the Season and save up to 25% off of stays at Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, and Fairmont Chateau Whistler this winter. The longer you stay, the more you save. Canada’s top ski destinations await!

A group of friends on the chairlift at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Winter, Photo by Lake Louise Ski Resort & Chris Moseley
Photo Credit: Lake Louise Ski Resort / Chris Moseley

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