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23 August, 2011

Top 10 Ski Resorts in Canada - Part I

Canada is the largest country in North America and is famous for its beautiful landscapes and culture. Canada is sometimes called as “Switzerland of North America.” Switzerland, what is the first thing you remember when you hear this name? It is of course, snow covered mountains. As the name says “Switzerland of North America,” Canada too offers a lot of adventure travel and is famous for skiing and best skiing resorts.

Skiing is definitely for those who love to race through the beautiful white snow. Are you planning for a Canadian ski vacation? If yes, do not miss to see these top 10 exotic Canadian skiing resorts. This is travel encyclopedia’s best skiing resorts of Canada. Some of the best ski resorts of Canada are in Alberta and British Columbia. This list is based on the skiable area.

10. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, skiable area - 2,750 acres

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Canada and is located in British Columbia; it is just 14 km above Golden, British Columbia. This Canadian ski vacation resort got its name after the nearby Kicking Horse River and Pass. This resort is just 1.5 hours west off Banff and 2.5 hours west off Calgary in the Trans-Canada highway. 

Kicking Horse Resort

Image source
Base and top elevation: 3,900 ft and 8,033 ft
Runs: 106; beginners and intermediate - 20%, advanced - 45% and experts - 15%
Longest run: 10 km long
Terrain parks: 1
Snowfall: 7m a year

The annual snowfall ranges between 250 and 700 cm and is best for winter activities like skiing, snowboarding and telemark skiing or free heel skiing. If you visit this resort during summer, you have loads of opportunities for bungee jumping, grizzly bear refuge, mountain biking, etc.

9. Big White Ski Resort, skiable area - 2,765 acres

It is easy to get to Big White Ski Resort once you reach Kelowna, the largest city in the Okanagan Valley; from Kelowna, it is just 56 km. Once you get to Big White Ski Resort, you can even take a day trip shuttle to Silver Star Mountain Resort. If you are looking for some serious snow, without a second thought go for Big White Ski Resort.

Big White Ski Resort, British Columbia, Canada

Image source wikipedia
Base and top elevation: 5,757 ft and 7,606 ft
Runs: 118 designated trails; beginners - 18%, intermediate - 54%, expert - 22% and extreme - 6%
Longest run: 7.2 km
Snowfall: average of 750 cm

If you are an adventure traveler, you have a bunch of adventures in store for you in Big White Ski Resort. These would include snowshoeing, sleigh rides, snow biking, tubing, etc.

8. Panorama Mountain Village, skiable area - 2,847 acres

Panorama Mountain Village is located in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia; it is located 308 km west of Calgary, Alberta and is 18 km west of Invermere. This is the best place for rolling cliffs and you are sure to get a brilliant and stunning view of the Rocky Mountains from here. This has the largest vertical drops in North America.

Panorama Mountain Village

Image source wikipedia
Base and top elevation: 3,806 ft and 7,808 ft
Runs: 120+; beginners and intermediates - 75%
Longest run: 5.5 km
Snowfall: 479 cm a year

One can visit Panorama Mountain Village both in winter and in summer. If you are most interested in skiing, the best time is winter and there are many winter activities that one can participate; these include Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, dog sledding, etc. In summer, you can either chill out in the pool or take an adventurous trip if you love adventure travel. It is also an ideal place for kids as they offer so much of kid-friendly programs such as pony rides, cooking adventure, etc. Have fun by riding on a horseback or revitalize yourself with mountain yoga. Canoeing and kayaking are also equally a good way to relax during summer in Panorama Mountain Village.

7. Revelstoke Mountain Resort, skiable area - 3,031 acres

Revelstokr Mountain Resort is one among the popular Canadian ski resorts and is on Mount Mackenzie in British Columbia. This ski resort can be reached by car, bus, or air; one can even use the regular shuttle service that the resort offers. This resort is the only mountain resort in the world that offers centralized hub, which includes cat skiing, gondola and heli-skiing.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Image source wikipedia
Base and top elevation: 1,680 ft and 7,300 ft
Runs: 40 designated trails; beginner - 10%, intermediate - 42.5% and expert - 47.5%
Longest run: 15.2 km
Snowfall: An average of 12 to 18 m a year

You can experience the out of this world sight of the mountains when cat skiing and immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery of the resort. During summer, enjoy a thrilling whitewater rafting or go for a helicopter tour or paraglide or do mountain biking.

6. Silver Star Mountain Resort, skiable area - 3,065 acres

Silver Star Mountain Resort is located on the Monashee Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. Some of the reasons for taking a trip to Silver Star Mountain Resort would include 100% natural snow, variety of terrains, award winning Nordic trails, etc. The highlight of this ski resort is the champagne powder over the mid-mountain range.

Silver Star Mountain Village Ski Resort

Image source wikipedia
Base and top elevation: 3,780 ft and 6,280 ft
Runs: 115 designated trails; beginner and expert - 20%, intermediate - 50% and extreme - 10%
Longest run: 8 km
Snowfall: 700 cm a year

Like any other Canadian ski resorts that we saw above, this mountain resort also, have hosts of activities for both summer and winter. Some of the activities that you can enjoy in this ski resort of Canada are skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, tube town, snowshoeing, sleigh rides, heli skiing, etc. One of the best events during summer is the Okanagan Summer Wine Festival apart from the nature walk, mountain bike trails, etc. Don’t ever miss to watch the following spectacular events of Silver Start Mountain Resort:

  1. Christmas Eve fireworks and torchlight parade
  2. New Year Eve fireworks and torchlight parade

Watch out for the second part of best Canadian ski resorts.


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