Hit the Slopes: Where to Ski in Canada

Just what makes a ski and snowboarding destination popular? Towering mountains, fresh powder, and a vibrant apres-ski scene, to name a few. Canada, which has already earned a reputation for its diehard hockey fans, breathtaking coast-to-coast scenery, and delicious maple syrup, delivers on all three points -- and offers much more. Ahead, we rounded up six north-of-the-border destinations that are prime for hitting the slopes come November.

1. Whistler, British Columbia

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Tim Gillin

Whistler, a town located north of Vancouver, is recognized as one of the world's best destinations to hit the slopes. From November through late April, folks click into their skis for an adrenaline-pumping ride. Whistler consists of two distinct peaks (Whistler and Blackcomb) and a gondola that connects the two. With 8,171 acres of terrain plus more than 200 runs, the two mountains form the largest ski area in North America. Beyond the slopes, the village also provides the perfect apres-ski ambience. Those in-the-know post up at the base of the mountain at Longhorn Saloon & Grill or Garibaldi Lift Co. Bar & Grill for hot chocolate and hot toddies. Tired skiers can also relax their muscles at the outdoor Scandinavian spa nearby or indulge in tasty fare at Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar.

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2. Revelstoke Mountain Resort, British Columbia

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Bill Rand

Revelstoke, or Revy as it's known to those who frequent the slopes, is located on the banks of the Columbia River, near Glacier National Park. The resort also happens to be home to some of the best skiing in British Columbia. Seasoned skiers and snowboarders will appreciate the 3,121 acres of terrain and 65 runs (about 45 percent are made for intermediate skiers and 47 percent are for advanced pros). Revelstoke also boasts the longest vertical drop -- 5,620 feet -- of any ski resort in North America. Plus, whether you fly into Vancouver or Calgary, the drive to get there is stunning.

3. Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Simon Pattern

Known for its turquoise glacier-fed lake and surrounding snowcapped mountains, Lake Louise is one of the most photographed destinations in Canada. Located in Banff National Park, the area is also great for alpine skiing. The area's resort, which boasts a long ski season from early November through mid-May, features 145 runs and 4,200 skiable acres for all skill levels. And although Lake Louise is a skier's dream come true, families will also enjoying tubing at Sunny Tube Park or snowshoeing through the gorgeous terrain.  

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4. Sunshine Village, Alberta

Photo courtesy of Flickr/zemistor

Located nine miles from the picturesque town of Banff, Sunshine Village lures plenty of younger skiers thanks to the great nightlife nearby and fun winter festivals. Its strategic location on the Continental Divide of the Canadian Rockies also means that it receives more snow than the other resorts in the area. To access the runs, visitors must take a high-speed, eight-person gondola from the parking lot. The ski season, which kicks off in early November and lasts into May, culminates with Slush Cup, a competition where skiers and snowboarders try their luck at gliding across an icy pool of water at the bottom of the hill.

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5. Blue Mountain, Ontario

Photo courtesy of Flickr/sookie

Named after the blue clay that can be found around the mountain, Blue Mountain is the largest ski resort in Ontario and a popular destination for the Toronto crowd as well. The mountain rises about 1,000 feet above the beautiful Georgian Bay and on a clear day, visitors can view the bay from the top. With 42 runs and 364 skiable acres, the resort offers something for skiers of all skill levels. Off-the-hill activities include skating across Mill Pond. Families will also find fun on Hike N' Tube, which sends folks down a hill on inner tubes.

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6. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Boris Kasimov

Located in the magnificent Laurentian Mountains, about 80 miles northwest of Montreal, Mont-Tremblant is a popular pick for skiers. Much of the skiing takes place in the area surrounding Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, which features 665 skiable acres and 96 ski trails on four distinct slopes. The resort's powerful snowmaking system, which boasts over 1,000 guns, make for impeccable ski conditions. Snowshoeing, ice climbing, dog-sledding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing are also popular activities here. 

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