Canada’s westernmost province is around four times the size of Great Britain and covers ten mountain ranges. Renowned for its fantastic skiing and copious snowfalls, the skiing in British Columbia is some of the world’s best. If you can’t choose where to ski in British Columbia, why not combine a couple of the regions’ major ski resorts on a road trip along the Powder Highway? The famed circular route includes Fernie, Panorama, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke. For skiers that would rather maximise their slope time in one ski resort, discover our pick of the top 10 ski resorts in BC here.
An area of outstanding natural beauty that stretches 360 degrees, Panorama has lovely undulating and winding pistes. Linked by a gondola, the two villages are great for families with fantastic childcare and ski school options. The upper village has an ice rink, swimming pool and Canada’s largest slope-side hot pools. With 2,975 acres of skiable terrain, there are a variety of slopes for all levels. Starting with the Discovery Zone for beginners. The renowned Taynton Bowl, Extreme Dream Zone and incredible heli-skiing are great options for advanced skiers.
With live music and outdoor barbecues, the Crazy Horse perfectly wraps up your day on the mountain. In Panorama, Elkhorn Cabin takes a more traditional approach to its après ski. It serves Swiss-style fondue or raclette alongside British Columbian wines and craft beers.
If you’re wondering where to ski in British Columbia, then North America’s number one ski resort Whistler Blackcomb is a good place to start. Covering an extensive 8,171 acres of terrain, it’s also the largest ski area in North America. Over 200 marked runs cater for all abilities and include 16 Alpine bowls and three glaciers. Those with a head for heights will enjoy incredible views from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola that links Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
Additionally, there are great off-piste activities that include ziplining, ice cave tours and a lively après scene. Merlin’s Bar & Grill is a popular spot for a pitcher of Kokanee and poutine – the Canadian national dish – after a day on the mountain. Foodies should try Whistler’s tasting tour; a multi-course dinner made up of plates provided by Whistler’s fine-dining restaurants. For both epic skiing and off-piste activities, Whistler has to be one of the best ski resorts in British Columbia.
Kicking Horse is one of our top 10 ski resorts in BC. Once dubbed ‘The Champagne Powder Capital of Canada’ solely for its impressive heli-skiing, Kicking Horse is developing as an all-level resort. After a heavy snowfall, the incredible 85 chutes and four bowls make for fantastic skiing. There are more challenging blue runs back into resort for adventurous intermediates. Kicking Horse offers some of the best terrain and countless tree runs for skiing powder in British Columbia.
Gentler terrain towards the base of the mountain is well suited to beginners and intermediates, as is the ‘It’s a Ten’ 10km run from top to bottom. The Eagles Eye Restaurant is a must-do here. Perched at an altitude of 4,000 feet, this is Canada’s highest restaurant, and overlooks the surrounding National Parks. Finish off your meal with a rich Bear Paw coffee, made from peppermint schnapps, Baileys, whipped cream and hot chocolate milk.
As its name suggests, Big White’s peaks are frequently resupplied with fresh flurries of snow. The resort is ski-in ski-out with even the main street being a designated ski run. Keep your eyes peeled for the amazing natural phenomenon of snow ghosts that are created by snow and ice hardening around exposed coniferous trees. This has to be one of the highlights of skiing in British Columbia.
The modern, purpose-built resort is great for families, intermediates and those learning to ski powder in the shelter of the trees. There are ski schools for all abilities, including joint parent-child lessons and also teen clubs. Skiers over 50 may like to take part in ‘Masters’ Weeks’ that include ski guiding and coaching as well as fun off-piste activities.
Big White has fantastic restaurants and lively bars, namely Snowshoe Sam for its live music and selection of beers on tap. Also known for its pub grub, the fish and chips – with locally caught BC ling cod – is the perfect fill after a day on the mountains. Other restaurants include the Bullwheel Gastro, Underground Pizza and Kettle Valley Steakhouse.
The newest resort of them all, Revelstoke has transformed from a one-lift wonder into a powder hounds’ playground. Revelstoke has 3,121 acres of slopes, around 12m of fresh powder a year and the biggest vertical in North America of 1,713m. Uncover untouched powder chutes and bowls with a local guide either by heli-ski or snowcat. Our favourite bowl after a snowfall is Greely Bowl, which is accessible from the top of The Stoke chairlift. Revelstoke’s terrain is great for intermediate, advanced and powder skiers. Only a small percentage of the slopes being beginner friendly.
Resembling a 19th-century mining village, SilverStar is set around a small square with brightly painted houses. The colourful village has access to four distinct mountain faces that offer a variety of slopes for all standards. There are easy greens and cruisy blues as well as double-black diamond runs through the trees and mogul fields. With a vast 3,269 acres and 128 marked slopes, there’s plenty to keep you busy before you ski back to your ski-in ski-out accommodation.
Take the incredibly scenic snow train from Vancouver to Sun Peaks, the second largest ski area in Canada. For the most part ski-in ski-out, this ski resort in British Columbia is at the base of Mount Morrisey, Sundance and Mount Tod. With 137 runs across 4,270 acres, it has a great network of friendly nursery runs and cruisy blue slopes.
With short lift queues, perfectly located accommodation and a village centre you can ski through, a ski holiday in Sun Peaks is hassle-free. Head to Sundance if you’re a beginner, Morrisey if you like moguls or up Mount Todd for more challenging, steep black runs. Particularly good for families, Sun Peaks is a small and perfectly formed ski resort. The sheer size of the resort also means that slopes are typically uncrowded.
A hit with local skiers thanks to its generous dumping of up to 11m of light, dry powder each year. The deep terrain off five bowls – Currie Bowl and Polar Peak in particular – and the tree lines make for challenging and enjoyable runs. The relaxed old mining town of Fernie has off-slope activities like dogsledding, snowshoeing and curling. A fantastic resort to ski light, fluffy powder, it offers some of the best skiing in British Columbia.
The resort has a healthy mix of green, blue, black and cross-country runs, so it caters well for families and groups. For young children, there are great day-care facilities where ‘ski and play’ sessions are a gentle introduction to the mountains.
If you’re embarking on a road trip along Canada’s famous powder highway, Red Mountain will be your first stop. The resort has variety and exciting terrain, with runs to suit all skiers. Notably, Red Mountain is home to some incredible natural skiing, with fantastic forest runs, deep in untouched, fresh powder.
The expansive ski area covers three mountain summits: Red Mountain, Granite Mountain and Grey Mountain, with 120km of pistes. This is a hidden gem and so the runs are usually empty. In fact, it has been voted Canada’s most underrated resort.
While Vancouver might not be a ski resort in itself, it’s not to be missed when you head to Canada. If you’re planning a bucket list trip to visit one of the top 10 ski resorts in BC, consider spending a night or two in the city either side of your ski holiday. This vibrant city is the gateway to skiing in British Columbia, with the popular resort of Whistler just two hours’ drive away.
Vancouver is set between the ocean and mountains. Take a walk in Stanley Park and later, wander through Gastown to peruse independent galleries and quirky clothes stores. Head up the Vancouver Lookout for epic city views. In the evening, squeeze in a hockey game and indulge in Vancouver’s famous foodie scene.
For more information on the top 10 ski resorts in BC, speak to our ski experts on 0207 471 7700. Alternatively see our ski holidays to the British Columbia ski resorts here.