Vancouver is perfectly situated for skiers and snowboarders: There are five amazing ski and snowboard resorts, including some of the top venues in North America, just a short distance away from the city. The sixth one in this list, Sun Peaks Resort, is several hours away by car, but it is one of the top ski resorts in Canada and worth the extra effort. Use this list to find the best places to ski and snowboard near Vancouver for some spectacular winter fun.
One of the major venues for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort is the premier location for skiing and snowboarding near Vancouver. Located about two hours north of Vancouver in Whistler, B.C., it's easy to get away to Whistler for a day trip or weekend. Whistler Blackcomb has more than 200 ski trails served by 38 lifts. It offers glacier skiing, the most above-the-tree line skiing, and the largest bowls in North America, and it has some of the best pipes in North America.
Another venue of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, Cypress Mountain is just 30 minutes from Vancouver. Cypress has 52 ski trails served by nine lifts and has the highest vertical rise of the North Shore Mountains. Cypress also has one of the most diverse cross-country ski areas near Vancouver, as well as night skiing and riding.
Grouse Mountain, the closest ski resort to downtown Vancouver, is just 15 minutes north of the city. It has 26 ski and snowboard runs, four lifts, and four snowshoeing trails, as well as an array of outdoor Alpine activities, including outdoor ice skating in the winter.
About a half an hour's drive from downtown Vancouver, Mount Seymour has 24 trails and five lifts, scenic snowshoeing, and fun tubing and tobogganing. Mount Seymour also hosts Family First Night, an all-ages New Year's Eve event with an early countdown for kids, on Dec. 31.
Mount Washington Ski Resort is the finest resort on Vancouver Island. It's located in the Comox Valley west of Courtenay, it has 60 trails and eight lifts and is the second-busiest resort in British Columbia after Whistler Blackcomb. Mount Washington's many features include a Snowboard Park, rugged terrain for cross-country skiing, and trails for Nordic skiers.
Voted the second best ski resort in Canada in a 2010 Conde Nast Traveler Poll, Sun Peaks Resort has 3,678 acres of skiable terrain, the second largest ski area in British Columbia and the third largest in Canada. Sun Peaks has 122 trails served by six lifts, and there are no lift wait times, even in the height of winter. Sun Peaks' three mountains offer great diversity, too. They include gladed areas, bumps, steeps, long cruisers, and alpine bowls. Sun Peaks Resort is 45 minutes north of Kamloops in the British Columbia interior. That's about five hours by car from Vancouver or a 40-minute plane ride from Vancouver International Airport to Kamloops Airport.