With castle-high, snow-capped mountains surrounding you as you and the kids carve and shred your way down the mountain, it’s obvious the gorgeous views are half of the experience of skiing in Canada. From giant Canada ski resorts in Lake Louise and Banff to hidden gems like Apex Mountain, families can enjoy great skiing and snowboarding conditions, and fantastic activities off the mountain, too — the fairy tale-like resorts, alone, are worthy of a visit.
Lake Louise Ski Area
Stretching across four mountains, Lake Louise Ski Area features more than 4,000 acres of skiable terrain; there are a total of 139 trails with green, blue, black diamond and double black diamond trails. The resort’s terrain park features an assortment of rails, jumps and jibs for all skiing and snowboarding levels. Entry-level jumps and rails are located in the progression park, as well as in the “warm up” area.
For those who are just starting out, or if you’re looking to fine tune your skills on the slopes, Lake Louise Ski Area offers a ski and snowboarding school. Offering child, youth and adult programs, explore the mountain and enjoy a fun learning experience. KinderSki offers one- and two-hour ski and play programs for kids ages 3 and 4, while the Lake Louise Daycare offers supervised activities for kids 6 and under.
Recommended Hotel: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
This hidden Canadian gem provides families with great weather, lots of snow-covered trails and extraordinary terrain. From smooth cruisers to steep trails, all skill levels are accommodated. Gently rolling hills offer beginners and intermediates the perfect slopes for those that are just starting out. More experienced riders can carve down the black and double black diamond trails, or try their skills on the resort’s terrain park. The resort also offers a second terrain park for all skill levels with low to the ground jumps, boxes and rails. Families can enjoy more than 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, kids’ programs, childcare facilities, and a variety of other winter activities, including tubing, ice-skating and snowshoeing.
Recommended Hotel: Apex Mountain Inn
Mont Sainte Anne Mountain Resort
Located minutes from Quebec City, many skiers and snowboarders flock to this leading ski resort for some of the best trails and riding in North America. With more than 40 miles of skiable terrain, 66 trails and a variety of activities for the whole family, it’s no wonder why visitors keep coming back year after year.
Mont Sainte Anne offers a wide range of terrain for all skill levels. The resort also offers great night skiing, with more than 9 miles of lit trails. Don’t worry if you’re not into the whole skiing and snowboarding thing either; there are a variety of other activities, including dog sledding, ice-skating, snowshoeing, visiting a local ski museum.
Recommended Hotel: Chateau Mont Saint-Anne
Located just minutes from the town of Banff, this family-friendly mountain offers excellent trails and terrain for beginner, intermediate and experienced riders. As one of the best-kept secrets in the Canadian Rockies, this resort offers more than 10 miles of skiable terrain, with 28 trails and five lifts. Green and blue trails offer easier rides for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. More experienced riders can shred down one of the black or double black diamond trails, or take on the terrain park filled with jumps and rails.
With great services for families, Mt. Norquay offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for children and adults, as well as daycare services for children 6 and under. Kids will enjoy a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, with morning, afternoon and full-day programs available. Norquay also offers the only night skiing in the Banff-Lake Louise area, so you can enjoy some extra runs under the lights.
Recommended Hotel: Bow View Lodge
Located within Banff National Park, Canada’s highest elevated resort receives over 30 feet of annual snowfall each year. As you carve down the mountain, the stunning Canadian Rockies environment is just the beginning. With 3,358 acres of skiable terrain and more than 100 beginner, intermediate and expert trails, this resort is a skiing and snowboarding paradise for all. Sunshine Village’s trails are stretched over three different mountains offering great terrain for all skill levels. The resort features the area’s largest terrain park, with more than 12 acres of features, including rails, jumps and boxes.
The Tiny Tiger Daycare is located in the village area, offering a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for kids 6 and under. Sunshine Village also offers a skiing and snowboarding school for adults and children of all skill levels.
Recommended Hotel: Banff Aspen Lodge
Kicking Horse Mountain is a one-stop shop for winter fun, with everything skiing (or even non-skiing) families could want. The resort offers amazing opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, with lessons and terrain dedicated to first-time skiiers (both adults and kids) at the TELUS Winter Sports School. Daycare services are also provided for little ones who aren’t quite ready for the mountain. Other services include lodging, dining, a spa and package deals.
Recommended Hotel: BEST WESTERN Mountainview Inn
Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most popular, prestigious ski resorts in Canada… but don’t let that deter you from visiting with young children. The expansive resort caters to beginners with lessons divided by age groups: 3 to 12, 13 to 18 and 19 and up. The resort also offers other outdoor activities when it’s time for a break from the slopes — there’s snow tubing, zip-lining, ice-skating, horse-drawn sleigh riding and snowshoeing. Teens will love the game lounges and little ones will go crazy for the Magic Castle and Tree Fort; together, the whole family will enjoy dining, shopping and even fire and ice shows!
Recommended Hotel: Four Seasons Resort Whistler
This ever-so-quaint village and mountain is perfect for outdoorsy families of all kinds. Here, you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe, hike, bike, tube — the list goes on and on! Skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels are welcome on the mountain, which is home to plenty of beginner and intermediate trails, as well as the TAM TAM Trail for Kids. Kick off your boots at the end of the day and explore around the village, where there are plenty of restaurants and bars to unwind in, in addition to stores and hotels to rest your head.
Recommended Hotel: Fairmont Tremblant