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Skiing in Canada

Find out where and when to go skiing in Canada.

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Millions of people each year come to ski in Canada. Canada's ski resorts are picturesque, not to mention state-of-the-art, well maintained, and easy to get to. Many of the more popular resorts, such as Whistler, Banff and Mont-Tremblant, offer not just outstanding skiing but year-round reasons to visit, like hiking trails, spas, fine restaurants, hotels and shopping.

1. Where to Ski in Canada - Canada's Ski Regions

Skier in powder and sunshine
Anna Henly/Photodisc/Getty Images
Skiing in Canada breaks down to skiing in western Canada and skiing in eastern Canada. Skiing out west - for the most part - means British Columbia and Alberta; out east, Quebec is the most popular ski destination though Ontario and the maritime provinces have some ski resorts. The caliber of skiing in Canada is comparable to the best around the world.

In addition to Canada's primary ski destinations,  BC, Alberta, and Quebec, every province has at least a few ski resorts; however, the hills are smaller and less challenging. Check each province's website for ski listings in specific areas or GoSki Canada for a complete rundown of ski resorts across the country.

2. When to Ski in Canada - Canada's Ski Season

Brian Stevenson / Getty Images
The ski season in Canada is pretty much November to April, with variances depending on where you are. BC and Alberta have a more moderate climate and generally a longer ski season. Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, for example, is open at the top through mid-June.

3. Skiing in British Columbia

Photograph of Skier at Whistler Blackcomb: Kevin Arnold / Getty Images
British Columbia has the most ski resorts of any province in Canada.

All in all, there are at least 55 BC ski resorts that offer downhill skiing.

BC is blessed with tons of snow, light, airy powder, high mountain ranges, and a moderate climate.

Each of the province's six tourist regions has ski resorts, the most famous being Whistler Blackcomb two hours outside of Vancouver. Ski enthusiasts who don't want to stray far from Vancouver can find downhill skiing 15 minutes from downtown at Grouse Mountain.

For those looking for even more adventure, BC reigns supreme as one of the world's best heli-skiing, cat-skiing, and backcountry ski destinations.

4. Skiing in Alberta

Photograph of Lake Louise by Harald Sund / Getty Images
Alberta is blessed with the Rocky Mountains, which boasts the three biggest ski draws in the province: Lake Louise Mountain Resort, Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay. The "Big 3" are all in Banff National Park, a region famous for the amount of light, dry powder that accumulates in winter and delights skiers.

Like BC, Alberta is popular for heli-skiing and can offer skiers deep powder in an astonishing setting. Canadian Mountain Holidays is one of the area's most experienced heli-ski trip providers.

Alberta also features regional ski clubs and resorts outside of Banff and more accessible to cities like Edmonton, Medicine Hat and Red Deer that offer ski and snowboard packages at family-friendly prices. See a full listing of Alberta ski resorts.

5. Skiing in Quebec

Ski Quebec Poster, c. 1938, Canadian School / Getty Images

Quebec does not have mountain ranges as towering or expansive as BC's and Alberta's, but is a popular ski destination.

Quebec's main ski regions are the Laurentians, Quebec City and its region, Eastern Townships and Charlevoix.

A big advantage to skiing in Quebec is that resorts are close to two unique and exciting cities: Montreal (see skiing in Montreal) and Quebec City. These cities are a big tourist draws and nicely round out a ski trip. Even from Toronto, with Porter Airlines out of the Toronto Island Airport, skiers can be on Mont-Tremblant, the province's most popular ski hill, before noon the same day.

Take note: Especially when compared to Whistler or Banff, Quebec gets darn chilly and icy. Bundle up and be prepared.

6. Canada's Best Ski Resorts

Britt Erlanson / Getty Images
Here is our compilation of the 10 best ski resorts in Canada.

Don't agree with the list? Feel free to drop a line to the Canada Travel Guide and give your own recommendation.

7. Finding a Ski Bargain

The About Guide to Budget Travel has sussed out some good ski deals for not only Canada, but also the U.S. and Europe.

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