Winter is officially here and I couldn’t be more excited to hit the slopes! Perhaps you’re thinking about taking the kids skiing for the first time, or you’re ready to do a weekend getaway on the slopes. Either way, we’ve put together a Best Family Ski Resorts in BC to help you choose which destination is right for you!

When looking to choose a ski destination for your family, here’s a few questions to consider:

  1. At what level of skiing / riding is your family? Some mountains are perfect for beginners while others are great for those looking to play in the powder. Be sure to choose a mountain that suits your family’s ability level!
  2. What type of accommodations do you require? Do you want to be able to ski- in and ski-out, or do you mind a 20 minute ride to the hill?
  3. How important are other activities to you? Do you want to ski for a few days and take a few days off for skating, tubing, and other mountain type activities?
  4. What is your timeline for your skiing adventure? What type of travel are you willing and able to do?

Here’s our roundup of family-friendly mountains for you to explore in BC:

Big White

young girl skiing at Big White Resort

Photo Credit: Big White Ski Resort

Big White has been voted the most family-friendly ski resort and consistently is rated one of the top ski resorts in the world! With an average of 24 feet of snow every year, 118 runs to play on, 5 powder bowls, and plenty of sunshine, this hill is perfect for all members of the family. If you’re looking to get your little ones out on the hill for the first time, their learn to ski school is truly unique. Centrally located in the village, the school looks and feels like a real school, except with the only subject on the schedule being skiing! Children can enjoy half-day or full-day lessons and adults can enjoy their time on the hill and easily swing by lessons to check on their little rippers!

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: A variety of restaurants available or you can bring your own.
Other Activities: Tube park, ice skating, dog sleds, snowmobile, horse drawn tours, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing
How many runs: 118
Closest City: Kelowna

Sun Peaks Resort

Stock Photo

Stock Photo

 

Known for being Canada’s second largest ski area, Sun Peaks is a great place to explore with the family… that is of course, if you’re looking to drown yourself in powder. Home to deep steeps, long cruisers, an enormous terrain park and incredible tree skiing, this resort offers runs to suit everyone in the family. With a variety of accommodation options, restaurants and other wintertime activities, you’ll want to add this resort to your list of places to go with the whole family.

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Large variety of restaurants, cafes and bistros (mostly within the hotels and lodges)
Other Activities: Snowshoeing, Cat Trax groomer rides, dog sled tours, guided ice fishing, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, snow-biking, snowmobiling, tube park, and winter Segway tours
How many runs: 137 (4,270 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Kamloops

Silverstar Mountain Resort

Silverstar - Photo Credit Silverstar

Photo Credit: Silverstar

Silverstar is home to British Columbia’s 3rd largest ski area. It’s easy to see why this mountain was voted the Best Ski Resort in the Okanagan for 4 years in a row. With green novice runs for beginners all the way to double black diamond runs to test even the advanced of skiers, Silverstar really is a mountain for all abilities. With a mid-mountain village, it truly offers ski-in and ski-out accommodation. Add in all their other winter activities, this resort is a wonderful family adventure location.

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Lots of restaurant options, as well as a full service grocery store if you want to pack your own food.
Other Activities: Snowshoeing, tube park, ice skating, heli-skiing, sleigh rides, snowmobiling, and fat biking
How many runs: 132 (3,282 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Vernon

Sasquatch Mountain Resort at Hemlock Valley

Hemlock Mountain Resort

Photo Credit: Erin Lenko

Sasquatch Mountain Resort (formally Hemlock Resort) is one of the best-kept secrets of the local Greater Vancouver area. It’s just over a 2 hour drive from Downtown Vancouver, making it an easy day trip. Or book yourself into one of their Chalets to extend your stay. Their newly expanded tube park, complete with carpet lift, makes for a fun filled addition to your family adventure day. Lessons start at age 2, making it an excellent family ski hill. Whatever your experience level, Sasquatch Mountain Resort has something for everyone in the family.

Recommended Trip: Day Trip
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Cafeteria and Pub
Other Activities: Tubing and snowshoeing
How many runs: 36
Closest City: Mission

Whistler Blackcomb

Photo credit: Whistler Blackcomb

Photo Credit: Whistler Blackcomb

Everyone either knows about Whistler or has been there, but with it being in our backyard we often take it for granted and don’t book a trip up there! This world-renowned resort is worth exploring as it is truly the ultimate family adventure destination.  With tons of accommodation options, a wide variety of restaurants, a vast array of winter time activities, and world class skiing/snowboarding, families are guaranteed a good time! The mountain offers runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, as well as lessons for kids or adults just starting out. Have some extra adventurous family members? Why not try some zip-lining through snow-covered trees and rivers, a quick slide down a bobsled track or even a fast snowmobile ride! In Whistler, there really is something for everyone!

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Variety of restaurants, pubs and cafes, both in the village and on the mountain
Other Activities: Heli-skiing, tube park, zip lining, sightseeing gondola, fire and ice show, snowmobiling, bobsledding and skeleton, dog sledding, snowcat tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides and helicopter sightseeing tours
How many runs: 200+ (8,171 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Whistler (121 km from Downtown Vancouver)

Mount Washington Alpine Resort

Photo Credit - Mount Washington

Photo Credit: Mount Washington

Mount Washington is a 3 hour drive north of Victoria on Vancouver Island. This family-friendly destination offers lessons (starting at age 2), runs suitable for all experience levels, a tube park and slopeside accommodations. They also have childcare options for when parents want to get some runs in sans kids. If you are visiting the island this holiday season, make sure you check out their Winter Wonderland special activities (tree lighting, visits with Santa, live entertainment and fireworks).

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Cafes, bistro, cafeteria and a Bar and Grill
Other Activities: tubing and snowshoeing
How many runs: 81 (1,700 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Courtenay

Mt. Baker

Photo Credit - Jeff Catron

Photo Credit: Jeff Catron

Although not in BC, Mount Baker is easily accessible for Canadians looking to hit the hills. Mount Baker is only 1.5 hours from the Fraser Valley. I believe that Mount Baker is a bit of an undiscovered secret among most Lower Mainlanders. Baker often has some of the best snow in North America, where in one record year they received 29 meters! Top three things I love about Baker? It’s got a huge ski area to play in so it’s never busy, there’s multiple lifts that take you to a variety of terrain, and it’s very affordable.

Looking for a place to stay near Mount Baker? The Glen at Maple Falls is only a 40 minute drive away!

Recommended Trip: Day / Multi Day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Yes
Other Activities: No
How many runs: 31
Closest City: Bellingham, WA

Manning Park Resort

Manning Park - Photo Credit - James Boon

Photo Credit: James Boon Photography

If you’ve ever taken the Hope/Princeton (Highway #3) to the Okanagan, then you’ve passed through Manning Park. A 3 hour drive from Vancouver, Manning Park Resort has a variety of lessons, ski/snowboard runs and other activities suitable for the whole family! Want to get a few runs in without the kids? Manning Park has a childcare facility as well as a Kinderski program for kids aged 2-6. Extend your stay by booking one of their stay-and-play packages and have a true rustic mountain experience.

Recommended Trip: Multi Day / Day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Restaurant, cafeteria, pub and a basic grocery store.
Other Activities: tube park, tobogganing, ice skating and snowshoeing
How many runs: 34 (140 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Hope

Red Mountain Resort

Ryan Flett - Red Mountain

Photo Credit: Ryan Flett – Red Mountain

Red Mountain is the first stop on the famous “Powder Highway” where skiers can enjoy 4,200 acres of pristine skiing! Red is a great destination for families looking to take their riding to the next level, with over 2,919 feet of vertical, a wide variety of runs, in-bounds cat-skiing (for only $10 per ride), wide-open groomers, and some of the best tree runs in North America! Red has a small town village where families can enjoy ski in / ski out accessibility, as well as take part in some of the other on mountain experiences. If you’re not interested in staying on the hill, Rossland is only 5 minutes away and offers very affordable hotels, a great small town to cruise around, and lots of local restaurants to fuel you up for the next day.

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Cafeteria and Restaurants
Other Activities: Cat & Heli skiing, snowshoeing, fatbike tours, and horseback riding
How many runs: 110 (4,200 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Rossland

Kicking Horse Mountain

Kicking Horse - Trent Bona

Photo Credit: Trent Bona – Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse Mountain offers families an incredible skiing vacation in the Selkirk mountains. This hill has terrain for skiers at all ability levels, but really caters to intermediate and advanced riders looking for a challenge. “At its most extreme, the terrain is steep and complex – requiring a more technical response to the force of gravity.” – Kicking Horse Mountain. Kicking Horse offers guests incredible views over the mountains, and from the top you get a 360 degree view where you can see two different mountain ranges on either side of you! Skiers can stay on the hill in one of the condos or townhouses, or can head into town and bunk in at one of the local hotels. There’s one thing for sure, a trip to Kicking Horse is one you’ll never forget!

Recommended Trip: Multi Day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: On hill restaurants
Other Activities: Tube Park, Skating Rink
How many runs: 120+
Closest City: Golden

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke - Ian Houghton

Photo Credit: Ian Houghton – Revelstoke

This year has been a big year for Mount Revelstoke, winning this years “Best Canadian Ski Resort” at the World Ski Awards. It’s no wonder that they were given this prestigious award, with over 3,121 acres of fall line skiing, the most vertical in North America, and 30 – 45 feet of powder annually, this resort is truly a skiers paradise! Families looking to head to Revelstoke should know that while this mountain has beginner runs, it truly is a better fit for families who are really comfortable on the hill. If you’re looking to take your skiing or riding to the next level you can access their cat or heli skiing from the village base!  

Recommended Trip: Multi Day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food:
Other Activities: Cat skiing, heli skiing, snowmobile tours, dog sledding, paragliding, tube park, snowshoeing, and more.
How many runs: 75 (3,121 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Revelstoke

Apex Mountain Resort

2

Image Note: Stock Photo

Located about 30 minutes from Penticton, BC, Apex is a full-service resort known for amazing snow, incredible terrain, and friendly people. The winding and bumpy mountain road requires a car that is happy in the snow.  Apex is a family friendly mountain that has a wide variety of terrain for everyone. In addition to the amazing natural terrain, Apex has 4 Terrain Parks, a World Cup mogul course, an Aerial Site and a world class training venue for Slalom and GS racing. When you’re not skiing, the small quaint village has some great little restaurants and pubs as well as ski-in/ski-out accommodations. For a little extra family fun, there is a tube park and great snowshoeing available!

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Ski in and out coffee shop, cafeteria and pub.
Other Activities: tube park, ice skating, and snowshoeing
How many runs: 79 (1,112 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Penticton

Whitewater Ski Resort

Whitewater Mountain, Nelson, BC

Photo Credit: Benson Family

Whitewater Ski Resort is located a short 20 minute drive outside beautiful Nelson, BC. It is known for it’s amazing small town atmosphere, where everyone on the hill is out to enjoy snow and chase after fresh tracks. When asking locals what they thought about the hill they said, “It’s horrible!” and that’s because they don’t want to share their little slice of heaven… Whitewater is truly a special place! The mountain is never busy so there’s no waiting in line, always more then enough fresh snow, and lots of fun trails to be riding on. Whitewater is more of an intermediate to advanced hill, so better suited for families who are ready to take their riding to the next level.

Recommended Trip: Multi-day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Cafe and Pub
Other Activities: Cat and Heli Skiing, snowshoeing, snow biking, and skate skiing
How many runs: 82 (2,367 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Nelson

Greater Vancouver Mountains

Grouse Mountain

woman snowboarding on Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is perfect for families who want to hit the snow but don’t want to invest in snow tires. Grouse’s famous Sky Tram allows guests to park in the parking lot and take their gear up the hill without driving to the top. Some people love the tram, others hate being packed in like sardines. Personally, we love the tram and being able to rise up over the city is always one of the best parts of our journey to the top.

We love taking lessons at Grouse. Their ski school offers children their own facilities, complete with child friendly hooks for gear, and washrooms for breaks. During their lessons children are spoiled with passionate instructors who have a variety of fun equipment and gear for the kids to learn and play with (including big foam blocks to knock over). The terrain is long and provides a variety of slopes, making the bunny hill the perfect spot for beginners.

Recommended Trip: Day
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: A variety of restaurants available or you can bring your own.
Other Activities: ice skating, snowshoeing, theatre in the sky, ziplining, eye of the wind, shopping, sledding and wildlife refuge.
How many runs: 26
Closest City: Vancouver

Mount Seymour

Photo Credit - Mount Seymour

Photo Credit: Mount Seymour

Mount Seymour is another great option for the family; although you do need snow tires to get to the parking lot at the top. The ski school has its own little magic carpet for the kiddos and lots of props to play with. As they progress, the instructors quickly get them on to the longer magic carpet where they can gain the confidence they need on the longer runs. Seymour is the smallest and least expensive of the local mountains and a great spot to get the kids started without breaking the bank. In September, their seasons pass is on special; a family of four can ski for $800! It pays for itself in four trips… great value.

Recommended Trip: Day Trip
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Cafes, Family Restaurant, Cafeteria and a seating area to enjoy food you bring from home.
Other Activities: snowshoeing, tubing and tobogganing
How many runs: 40 (200 acres of terrain)
Closest City: Vancouver

Cypress Mountain Resort

snowboarder on Cypress Mountain

Photo Credit: Cypress Mountain

Cypress is the largest of Vancouver’s local mountains and hosted many alpine events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. With its upgraded infrastructure, it boasts four quad chairs and the most terrain and run variety of the North Shore mountains. A post work/school evening shred is a super viable option thanks to their very well lit night operations. They have an established ski school for kids starting as early as the age of three with well designed programs and equipment. A wide variety of beginner runs; with varying distances and different chairlift experiences, Cypress allows your kids to improve their stamina and confidence. Lift ticket deals can be found on their website which lower than the cost of kiosk prices.

Recommended Trip: Day Trip
Lessons: Yes
Rentals: Yes
Food: Variety of cafes (in both downhill and nordic areas) and a bar and grill.
Other Activities: snowshoeing, tube park and tobogganing
How many runs: 53
Closest City: Vancouver

Wherever you choose for your family vacation (or local day trip), be sure to enjoy the journey as much as the destination. You’re in the serious business of making memories with your family, so have fun!

Still stuck on gift ideas this holiday season? Perhaps consider ski lessons or lift tickets, or if you need some more ideas, read our Experience Gift Guide.