Best Places to Ski Near Vancouver
Vancouver has a mild year-round climate, especially when compared to other areas of Canada with January temperatures averaging in the mid-40s Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) yet world-class skiing is never far away. Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities among Vancouverites, who tend to make frequent road trips for a ski-filled weekend or even head to a local hill after work during the week.
If you're looking for the best places to ski after moving into one of the Vancouver homes for sale, or while you're visiting, you've got some fantastic options, including these.
Less than eight miles (about 12.5km) from downtown Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is located in North Vancouver, making it an easy jaunt for skiing just about any time the urge hits. A ride on the gondola from the mountain's base will bring you up to four chairlifts, 33 runs, and six terrain parks. While most of the trails are a mix of intermediate and expert, there is a dedicated beginner's area too, ideal for those who want to get some practice in without having to drive a long distance. One of the reasons it's so popular is that it stays open for night skiing with 15 runs well-lit and open until 10 p.m. Skiing with the sparkling lights of the city below is magical, although during the day it's hard to beat too, with the view of Vancouver one of the best around.
Arguably the best-known ski resort in all of North America is Whistler Blackcomb, located in Whistler about an hour and 40 minutes east. Often named among the world's top ski resorts, it's visited by more skiers on the continent than any other. It includes two mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb, which are linked by the Peak 2 Peak gondola. You'll have access to nearly 8,200 acres of terrain, from beginner to expert, with 200 marked trails, glade zones, and bowls. Guests can also book a helicopter flight to reach more remote terrain, and at the top of the mountain there's a hut serving fondue, wine, and fruit pie right out of a wood-fired oven.
Whistler Village is like a city of its own, with many restaurants, bars, shops, a cinema, outdoor skating rink, tubing park, and more.
Just 30 minutes or so from downtown by driving a little farther you can cover even more terrain. Travel just past West Vancouver following a mountain road to reach the Cypress ski area which spans three mountains, Hollyburn Mountain, Black Mountain, and Mount Strachan. It includes more than 600 acres of terrain and 53 ski runs, accessed via a series of six chairlifts. On select runs you can enjoy night skiing until 10 p.m. too. It also offers snowshoeing trails, tubing, and cross-country skiing.
Vancouver isn't far from the U.S. border, which is why many Vancouverites take advantage of skiing at Mount Baker in Washington State, just a couple hours' drive south. It's known for its unpretentious atmosphere and seriously great, usually uncrowded skiing. It's a place where accommodation is often enjoyed in cabins nestled in the woods rather than five-star resorts, but the ski terrain, accessed via two handle tows and eight chairlifts, is outstanding. Those who are more experienced particularly enjoy it, with lots of blue and black runs.