Due to its proximity to both the ocean and mountains, Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada, offers visitors access to almost every outdoor sport imaginable. It’s a special city that allows you to sneak off to the mountains during the middle of the workday, without traveling too far. Few cities offer that opportunity, but it’s commonplace in Vancouver.
While Vancouver isn’t considered the snowiest metropolis in the world, its nearby mountain ranges place the city within two hours of 6 ski resorts! Plus British Columbia has hot springs to enjoy for apres-ski!
For those aiming to stay near the metropolitan area, don’t worry, there are 3 locations only one hour away. Whether you’re new to the sport or are an expert looking to hit a few black diamonds, the slopes near Vancouver have great runs and even better views.
Here are the six closest ski area to Vancouver, BC, Canada, in order of proximity:
Grouse Mountain – North Vancouver: 8 miles | 20 min
The closest ski area to Vancouver is Grouse Mountain, a favorite for residents and visitors alike. Grouse Mountain isn’t very large in comparison to other resorts nearby, but it does offer 33 runs, 15 of which are open at night.
One notable run is called “The Cut”, which offers great views of the city while you ease down the slopes. It’s particularly stunning as a night run when Vancouver is lit up in front of you. Few runs in the world compare to this memorable experience.
As mentioned earlier, Vancouver isn’t a city known for its abundant snowfall. Being positioned above Vancouver Harbor, snow conditions can be fickle, so, at times, snow guns are required. Grouse Mountain boasts 51 guns to improve snow conditions and extend the season.
Other activities at Grouse Mountain include snowshoeing, a sliding zone, and a skating pond. Whether you are looking to spend some time alone, or bring the entire family, there is something fun for everyone!
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada (Map) | (604) 980-9311
Cypress Mountain – West Vancouver: 17 miles | 30 min
If you are looking for the most expansive skiing experience within the metro area, you’ll want to point your GPS toward Cypress Mountain. This popular ski area is northwest of the downtown area and can be reached in just 30 minutes without traffic.
Cypress Mountain offers 53 runs spread across 600 skiable acres in West Vancouver. Much like Grouse Mountain, snowmaking is utilized when needed, so you can have a good time even if the weather on Canada’s west coast has been a little less than cooperative.
The runs at Cypress Mountain range from beginner to advanced, making this the perfect place for groups and families. They even boast a few Double Black Diamonds for you adrenaline junkies out there! Additionally, there is a terrain park with multiple features for all levels.
Aside from the ski runs, you’ll also find a variety of other features such as snowshoeing trails, a snow tube park, and cross country skiing trails. When you stop to think about how quickly you can reach this facility from the middle of Vancouver, you’ll be amazed by how much room there is to play and explore.
6000 Cypress Bowl Rd, West Vancouver, BC V0N 1G0, Canada (Map) | (604) 926-5612
Mt. Seymour – North Vancouver: 17 miles | 45 min
Situated 17 miles northeast of Vancouver, you will find 200 acres of skiable terrain split between 40 runs at Mt. Seymour. Offering four terrain parks, 13-night runs, snow tubing, and tabogganing, Mt. Seymour is full of excitement and adventure.
As is true with both Cypress Mountain and Grouse Mountain, the views from Mt. Seymour have to be seen in person to be believed. From the top, you will feel like you are skiing right down into the city.
While there are a few challenging runs available, this location is great for beginners or those looking for a tame day on the slopes. Should you happen to be looking for a tougher run on your day at Mt. Seymour, head up to the top of the mountain and give ‘Cliff House’ a try. Although short, this run quickly picks up speed and will leave your heart racing by the end of the half-mile run.
1700 Mt Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC Canada, V7G 1L3 (Map) | (604) 986-2261
Whistler Blackcomb – Whistler: 75 miles | 1.5 hours
Whistler Blackcomb is considered among the best ski resorts in the world, and for good reason. Having played host to the alpine events in the 2010 Olympics, this site boasts some incredible features, including:
- More than 8,000 acres of terrain between the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains
- An average of over 38 feet of snowfall annually
- Lift access up to 7,494 feet above sea level
The sheer scale of Whistler Blackcomb makes it an experience unlike any other. It’s rare to have two separate mountains within one resort – and even rarer to have the two connected by a gondola. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is the longest unsupported span in the world, and it allows you to move freely between the two mountains in a matter of minutes.
As you might expect, with so much terrain available, Whistler Blackcomb has something for everyone. Even if you have spent most of your life on skis, you can still challenge yourself with runs like Couloir Extreme on Blackcomb or Cockalorum on Whistler. For those just getting started, there are peaceful trails lower on the mountain with forgiving slopes and room to learn.
While you’ll probably want to spend as much time on the snow as possible, there is plenty to do after the lifts close down for the night. The village is known for its active nightlife, outstanding restaurants, shopping, and more!
4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada (Map) | (800) 766-0449
Sasquatch Mountain Resort – Agassiz: 76 miles | 1.75 hours
The experience you have at Sasquatch Mountain Resort is going to be quite different than what you will find in Whistler, but that’s not a bad thing! Those seeking family fun with plenty of room to explore the slopes will enjoy their time here. Sasquatch Mountain Resort has different 35 runs, a terrain park, snowshoeing, and tubing.
One of the best features of this resort is the small lines you are likely to encounter. As a reward for driving away from Vancouver, you can expect to find a hill that allows you to hop on a chair and hit the snow with very little waiting at all.
Most of the other resorts on our list can collect serious crowds when the snow is good, so Sasquatch Mountain is an excellent alternative if you are looking for some solitude.
20955 Hemlock Valley Rd, Agassiz, BC V0M 1A1, Canada (Map) | (604) 797-4411
Mount Baker Ski Area –Deming, WA: 88 miles | 2 hours
Before we get into the details regarding Mount Baker Ski Area, we need to make one thing clear – this destination is not in Canada! You will need to cross the border into the U.S. to access Mount Baker. The drive from Vancouver is manageable but you should factor in crossing the border when planning your trip.
The Mount Baker Ski Area actually makes use of the slopes coming off of two mountains – Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. There are approximately 1,000 skiable acres as part of the facility, not to mention the many backcountry areas that are frequently accessed by experienced skiers.
Don’t head to Mount Baker looking for high-end resort amenities – that’s not what you’ll find here. Instead, this pure skiing experience provides you access to the snow without all of the bells and whistles of more developed ski resort destinations.
Speaking of snow, that is Mount Baker’s calling card. Simply put, it snows a ton here. In the ’98 – ’99 season, the ski area received an unbelievable 1,140 inches of snow. That’s not the norm, of course, but it still snows here more than 50 feet a year on average.
Mt Baker Hwy, Deming, WA 98244 (Map) | (360) 734-6771
With Vancouver as your starting point, great skiing is never far away. Whether you want to see the world-class destination of Whistler, stay close to the city, or head to quieter spots, you’ll have your pick. Have fun out there!
By Matt Ristine