Every winter skiers of all ages flock to the mountains to hit the slopes. From coast to coast, Owner Direct Vacation Rentals has complied a list of our overall top 10 family ski resorts in the U.S. and Canada. These are the best resorts for mountain terrain, family activities and the best average yearly snowfalls.
Big White, British Columbia
Located in the Monashee Mountains, Big White Ski Resort is a premier skiing destination touted as one of Canada’s largest totally ski in/ski out resorts. The skiing/boarding terrain is easily the favorite of everyone who visits, but aside from that, there’s also snowshoeing, snowmobiling, tubing, ice skating, sleigh rides, dog sledding and hanging out in the village at the many restaurants and shops..
Mountain Stats: 16 lifts offer 119 designated trails (18% beginner, 54% intermediate, 22% expert and 6% extreme). Average annual snowfall: 750 cm (24.5 ft).
Whistler, British Columbia
Boasting the largest ski area in North America, this picturesque alpine resort is packed with fun for all ages. Whistler/Blackcomb offers a vast and exciting network of trails to explore. Gentle forested terrain suitable for recreational riders, steep technical descents and competition caliber downhills – there really is something for everyone. Enjoy spectacular skiing and riding but if you feel inclined to do something different, try snowshoeing, snowmobiling, take a snow-cat tour, or perhaps try some alpine tubing. A stroll through the Village is always fun too.
Mountain Stats: 37 lifts offer 200 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 1,181 cm (38.75 ft). Total terrain: 8,171 acres
Silver Star, BC
A favorite destination for skiers and families from all over the world, Silver Star Mountain Resort boasts one of the most unique ski villages. Aside from skiing, Silver Star also has a world-class network of cross-country trails. The resort has a picturesque natural ice-skating rink and there is also tubing, night-skiing, mini-snowmobiles, and pinheads bowling. Let’s not forget sleigh rides, snowshoe tours, and if you’re willing to splurge, try heli-skiing. For something more relaxing, there’s the spa, fitness center, a gallery, and a handful of retail stores.
Mountain Stats: 12 lifts offer 132 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 700 cm (23 ft). Total terrain: 3,269 acres.
Breckenridge Ski Resort is an established winter resort destination with something for everyone. It offers a large variety of ski terrain from well-groomed beginner slopes to 5 peaks of alpine terrain. There are also 4 terrain parks including an 18′ halfpipe to enjoy. During the snowy months visitors can also explore the Country Boy Mine or take a tour of the mountain trails on a dogsled.
Mountain Stats: 34 lifts offer 187 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 850 cm (28 ft). Total terrain: 2,908 acres.
Sun Peaks, BC
Located 31 miles northeast of Kamloops, Sun Peaks is one of British Columbia’s best winter and summer sports resorts. The resort resembles a classic Alpine village where residents and visitors alike enjoy top-notch amenities and facilities. Skiers at Sun Peaks have access to 137 runs including 9 gladed areas. The longest run is 5 miles and there the acres of marked trails offer just over half intermediate runs and the rest almost evenly split between novice and expert. Snowboarders are welcome at Sun Peaks where there is a large snowboard park covering 30 acres, with a wild half-pipe and a terrain park loaded with excitement.
Mountain Stats: 13 lifts offer 137 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 600 cm (19.5 ft). Total terrain: 4,270 acres.
Park City, UT
This fabulous ski resort has snowboarding, skiing and a wide variety of terrain. Enjoy the dependable snow and friendly staff. This is a family friendly hill ready to pamper you during your next winter holiday escape. The hill provides just enough excitement for those learning the sport to gain confidence and have fun. Cuddle up to the warmth of the fire in the lodge or wander through the village. This mountain resort has a wonderful ski school, fantastic babysitting, outdoor play programs and a wide variety of non skiing activities such as dog sledding and snowshoeing.
Mountain Stats: 41 lifts offer 330+ designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 900 cm (29.5 ft). Total terrain: 7,300 acres.
The Vail Ski Resort lives in the beautiful Colorado Rockies and is recognized all over the world as a leading ski vacation destination. It offers a Bavarian-style village and attracts skiers and boarders from around the world with it’s 5,000+ acres of skiable terrain. Of all the trails, 18% are rated green/beginner, 29% are blue/intermediate and 53% are rated black/advanced/expert. Enjoy the multitude of family activities available or take in some of the big annual events that happen often here.
Mountain Stats: 31 lifts offer 195 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 899 cm (29.5 ft). Total terrain: 5,317 acres.
With an advantageous location nestled in the pristine Elk Valley in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, Canada, Fernie is the epitome of an outdoor playground. It has a charming downtown core and winter is when the ski town really comes alive. Hitting the slopes at Fernie Alpine Resort is easily the most popular pastime, thanks to its 2,500-plus acres of skiable terrain. Other fun activities include fat biking and snowmobiling, or cross-country skiing along the trails near the golf course which offer great views.
Mountain Stats: 10 lifts offer 142 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 914 cm (30 ft). Total terrain: 2,500+ acres.
A magical place where the winter and the wild meets warmth and welcome. Panorama has captured the hearts of those who belong in the mountains. Enjoy Panorama Mountain Resorts’ 4,019ft of vertical and expansive downhill skiing and snowboarding terrain – night skiing is available too starting in late December. Cross-country ski at Panorama Nordic Centre, or take the kids on a guided snowshoe tour alongside Toby Creek, which has abundant local wildlife. Take the free shuttle bus to the nearby town of Invermere to access additional restaurants, shops, funky cafes, and galleries.
Mountain Stats: 10 lifts offer 129 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 520 cm (17 ft). Total terrain: 2,975 acres.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs is home to world-class skiing, year-round recreational opportunities, and a vibrant western culture – all surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in the world. It’s known for getting some of the deepest, driest and lightest snow, referred to as “Champagne Powder”, in all of Colorado. A wonderful family resort!
Mountain Stats: 18 lifts offer 169 designated trails. Average annual snowfall: 797 cm (26 ft). Total terrain: 2,965 acres.
With so many family ski resorts around, it’s hard to pick just one! Plan to try out a new one for you next ski trip.