Kathmandu ambassadors Alesha and Jarryd are professional photographers, writers and founders of adventure travel blog NOMADasaurus. They’ve been exploring the world together since 2008, searching for culture and adventure in off-the-beaten-path destinations.
Skiing and snowboarding is the obvious attraction for those looking to head to the Great White North in the winter months, but there is so much more to this beautiful nation than just shredding the slopes.
Whether you want to ride deep powder, go ice-skating through historic cities, or be amazed at the awe-inspiring Aurora Borealis, you’ll never be bored in these 6 epic snow destinations in Canada.
1) Revelstoke, BC
If you like your mountain runs to be big, steep and deep, then Revelstoke is the number one snow destination for you.
Known as Revy to all that visit, this gorgeous town is home to North America’s highest vertical drop at the nearby Revelstoke Mountain Resort, as well as some of the country’s biggest snowfall (up to 15m a year).
Besides the chair lifts, Revelstoke Mountain Resort also has cat-skiing and heli-skiing operating right from the base, so once you’re done carving up the inbound runs, you can easily get out to the backcountry. Driving from downtown to the bottom of the gondola takes only 5 minutes, which means less time travelling between your hotel and the lifts.
The hype on Revy is justified — Many of the best ski and snowboard videos have been filmed here in recent years, and the immense terrain means finding fresh tracks is easy, even on the weekends and holidays.
Do yourself a favour, and make Revelstoke your number one snow destination in Canada.
2) Klondike Region, Yukon
If you’ve ever dreamed about seeing the Northern Lights dance across a crystal clear sky, you should consider travelling to Yukon, the rugged and wild province in the north of Canada.
The winters are long, snowy and dark up here, but that provides perfect conditions to witness the Aurora Borealis. Forget Iceland and Norway – you are more likely to see this hypnotic phenomenon in Canada than anywhere in Europe.
For added adventure, consider going ice fishing, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing amongst the towering peaks of Kluane National Park. The crowds are fewer in winter, meaning there’s a good chance you’ll have these famous, remarkable views all to yourself.
3) Whistler, BC
No trip to Canada’s west coast is complete without a few days spent in the winter wonderland that is Whistler.
Located only a few hours north of Vancouver, Whistler Blackcomb is a dual-mountain ski resort, and has been a favourite for families, pros, and everyone in between for decades.
The village is amongst the most developed and attractive of anywhere in the country, and the list of activities available is as long as your imagination. There’s something to do for everybody, even if you’d prefer to just kick back and get a spa treatment rather than huck huge cliffs and booters, and the après-ski options are world renowned.
4) Banff, Alberta
Ahh, Banff — this is the destination that fairy tales are made of.
Walking down the main street is like stepping into a real-life postcard, with the impressive Tunnel Mountain rising above the quaint village like a sleeping buffalo (also the appropriate nickname for the peak).
Bars, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops line the roads and are filled with travellers making the most of their winter vacation. But there’s more to this gorgeous town than just the atmosphere and vistas. Banff’s location at the edge of the Rockies makes it a Mecca for outdoor activities.
Three ski resorts are located close to town: Lake Louise, Sunshine Village and Norquay. They cover every kind of terrain to satisfy many a skier and snowboarder. If you’re after a real bucket list attraction, don’t miss ice skating on Lake Louise.
5) Winnipeg, Manitoba
Those that love getting off the beaten path will head to Manitoba’s funky capital city, Winnipeg, and there’s no better time to do this than winter!
The temperatures may be frigid, but that creates a snowy paradise in the city. Rather than rug up and hide away during the colder months, the people of the ‘Peg embrace this time of year and create some of the most spectacular scenes in the country.
Winnipeg is home to Western Canada’s largest winter festival, Festival du Voyageur, which comes alive for 10 days every February. Ice Castles are created around The Forks, the city’s most popular attraction.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo allows you to get up close and personal with polar bears in a safe environment (for both visitors and the bears). And of course you can hit the frozen rivers for ice skating throughout the winter.
There’s a reason the city’s nickname is ‘Winter-Peg’. Come and experience it for yourself!
6) Quebec City, Quebec
The French part of Canada is as unique as it is beautiful, and the capital city of Quebec is where you can experience the best of this cultural destination.
Because most travellers stick to the west coast in the winter, Quebec City remains blissfully quiet, and the huge snowfalls that cover the historic buildings produces a pristine, almost unreal scene.
You can join the locals at night to ice skate down the illuminated Rideau Canal through the city, head into the parks for some cross-country skiing and even stay in an igloo.
Everybody speaks French in the province, but you can get by with English in Quebec City. The different language just adds to the fascinating atmosphere.
Nowhere does winter quite like Canada. When the mercury drops the locals embrace the snow, and everybody heads outside for an abundance of incredible activities. Get ready to join them with travel gear made for winter.