A woman looking at the ski slope with her glasses on her head

Top 10 most surprising ski resorts in canada

Unusual settings, thrilling challenges, and surprisingly affordable season passes—these top spots will inspire you to try downhill skiing for the first time, or fall in love with the sport all over again.

Four friends coming out of the chairlift.

For adventure-seekers

1. Ski by the ocean
Ski Cape Smokey, Nova Scotia

Skiers don't generally get tired of gorgeous mountain views, but this tiny resort has something else to offer - ocean views! There’s something surreal about skiing down the slopes and into the infinite horizon. Intermediate skiers will be happiest here, with a few trails for beginners.

2. Experience the best powder in the Rockies
Fernie Alpine, British Columbia

You’ll find everything from “easy greens” to double black diamond trails at this resort. Learn to get comfortable on your skis in the designated beginner section, and race to your heart’s content on the intermediate and advanced trails. With over 140 ski runs, varied terrains, and a ski school, Fernie has something for everyone.

3. Try the biggest vertical drop in North America
Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia

Hold on to your hat on the 1713 m vertical descent, or cheer your friends  on while zip down! Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a true paradise for thrill-seekers and a popular destination for catskiing (a type of guided backcountry expedition originating from British Columbia—no purring animals involved, sorry!). Only 12% of the resort area is suited for beginners, but lessons are available for both kids and adults.

Children taking to the ski slopes

For the whole family

4. A snowpark for kids and beginners
Mont Orford, Quebec

Mont Orford has some of the highest peaks among Quebec’s ski resorts and is located just an hour away from Montreal. With three peaks, 44 trails and 2 snowparks (including one designed specially for kids), you’ll be impressed with the quality and quantity of amenities available. Make the most of the on-site restaurants, daycare centre, and ski school for a perfect day on the slopes. 

5. Lessons for all ages
Glen Eden Ski and Snowboard Centre, Ontario

Kids as young as four years-old can start learning the fundamentals of skiing or snowboarding. Awesome beginner slopes make this the perfect place to learn to ski, or to get back into the sport after a long break.

6. Every activity “under the sun”
Kimberly, British Columbia

Ski vacations don’t have to be 100% about skiing. Kimberly is a great place to visit with kids because they have a bowling alley, a movie theatre and a skating rink, on top of 68 skiing trails. Plus, you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D because Kimberly is the sunniest resort in British Columbia.

A family on a chairlift going up to the summit

For the budget-conscious

Lift passes can be very expensive, but there are ways to make downhill skiing and snowboarding affordable! Check out the most amazing deals on adult season passes at popular Canadian resorts.

7. Mount Norquay, Alberta

Mount Norquay’s night skiing pass is a steal at $89 for the whole season. This impressive resort has 60 trails for all levels and offers classes for beginners.

8. Ski Saint-Bruno, Québec

Ski Saint-Bruno has a customizable season pass starting at $79. This one is great for students because it lets you ski all day (until 4pm) on the weekday of your choice.

9. Martock, Nova Scotia

Martock is a small resort with just seven trails, but it has a terrain park and a half-pipe. Season passes are just $189 if you purchase before October 30th.

A woman on cross-country skis

For those who don’t like heights

10. Go for cross-country skiing

You can still be a part of your crew’s ski trip, while also respecting your own boundaries. Many resorts, including Horseshoe Resort in Ontario, have amazing cross-country skiing areas. Have your own winter adventure and meet the group later for a little après-ski fun!