The Most Affordable Ski Resorts in Canada

Newsroom Canada The Most Affordable Ski Resorts in Canada

Canada is home to huge, world-famous ski resorts, from British Columbia to Alberta to Quebec. However, many of Canada’s best and biggest ski resorts come with a big price for daily lift tickets. Yet Canada boasts a number of affordable ski resorts across the country that deliver big on snowfall and great skiing. Continue reading for our list of the most affordable ski resorts in Canada. After your trip, make sure to rate and review the ski resorts you visited here.

The Most Affordable Ski Resorts In Canada

Eastern Canada 

Mont Orford

Mont Orford, rated by OnTheSnow users as one of the top small ski areas in Quebec, is spread out over the three peaks of Orford, Alfred-Desrochers, and Giroux. Its 18 glades and 62 trails provide access to a wide range of terrain on the fourth-highest ski summit in Quebec. It also has a thriving uphill ski program. Tickets cost $79 midweek, and $88 on weekends and holidays, when purchased at the resort. Discounts are available when you purchase your lift tickets ahead of time online. Mont Orford is located less than 90 minutes from Montreal, making it an easy day trip.

» View Mont Orfort Lodging Options

Calabogie Peaks Resort

Calabogie Peaks Resort, overlooking the picturesque Calabogie Lake, is a humble four-season Ontario resort with 70 acres of terrain served by 4 lifts. While it’s a smaller ski area, Calabogie Peaks attracts winter enthusiasts of all types, with 26 trails for skiing and snowboarding, plus trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Coming soon is a tubing park. Calabogie Peaks has a grand base hotel, plus mountainside ski-in, ski-out condos, making it a fun destination for a weekend trip. However, Ottawa is just over an hour away for day trippers. Adult ticket prices start at $51 during the week and $56 on weekends and holidays. 

» View Calabogie Peaks Lodging Options

Calabogie Peaks Resort outside ski lodge, Ottowa, Canada.
©Calabogie Peaks Resort

Loch Lomond

Located 19 minutes from Ontario’s Thunder Bay, Loch Lomond is a fun hill for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Adult lift tickets are reasonably priced at $63, with student and senior discounts available. It has a fun terrain park with features that include jumps, rails, tubs, and more. Loch Lomond even offers freestyle lessons for those who want to level up their park skills. The ski area has a few snowshoe trails and offers a snowshoe pass for just $5 and snowshoe rentals for $15. Loch Lomond is also on the Indy Pass, making it a convenient and affordable option for those wishing to support independent ski mountains and avoid the crowds.

» View Loch Lomond Lodging Options

Owl’s Head

Located practically waterfront on the western shore of Lake Memphremagog, Owl’s Head has 50 trails spread across 163 acres of terrain. It has an almost even split of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails. Owl’s Head prides itself on being a family-friendly resort with perfectly groomed terrain and a great snow sports school. Self-proclaimed as the “get-away-from-it-all spot closest to home,” Owl’s Head got its name from the native Abenaki people whose Chief Owl was commemorated with the name of the mountain after passing away. Enjoy perfect lake views with adult ticket prices starting at $64 during the week and $89 on weekends and holidays. 

» View Owl’s Head Lodging Options

Owl's Head, Quebec Canada, view of the water.
Mount Owl’s Head ©Shutterstock


Marmot Basin

While many people think of the SkiBig3 ski resorts when they think of Alberta, Marmot Basin, located in Jasper National Park, is not to be missed. It boasts the highest base elevation in the Canadian Rockies and has 1,720 acres of skiable terrain across 5 mountain faces. Marmot Basin has something for every skier in your party, from bowls to trees to bumps. Adult lift tickets are around $140, while youth and student passes are around $115. However, the best way to save money on lift tickets is the Marmot Escape Card. For $99, skiers and riders can score half-priced lift tickets every day, all season long with no blackout dates. Note that Marmot Basin is also a member of The Mountain Collective.

» View Marmot Basin Lodging Options

Marmot Basin, Alberta, Canada.
©Marmot Basin Ski Area

Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain, the second-largest resort by acreage in Alberta (3,592 acres), is skier-owned and operated by 200 primarily local shareholders. Celebrating 59 years of service, this Alberta resort prides itself on a love for dry powder and challenging terrain. Castle Mountain has a great cat skiing operation, the Powder Stagecoach, which is one of the only resort-based cat skiing operations of its kind.

Lift tickets are 20% off when you buy online ahead of time, with adult passes usually around $100 and junior and senior tickets around $75. The majority of Castle Mountain’s terrain is for intermediate and advanced skiers and riders, making it a great value for what the resort offers. Castle Mountain is just under three hours from Calgary. Make a weekend of it by staying at the Castle Mountain Ski Lodge and Hotel.

» View more Castle Mountain Lodging Options

British Columbia 

Baldy Mountain 

Rated by OnTheSnow users as one of the top small ski areas in British Columbia, Baldy Mountain Resort is known for its plentiful powder, exceptional glades, and steep, challenging terrain. Baldy Mountain, the third-highest ski resort in Canada, has 600 acres of skiable terrain, comprising of 360 acres of managed trails and 240 acres of gladed tree skiing. It’s also a great affordable option for families with its bustling ski school, snowshoe program, and single-family condos for rent. An adult lift ticket runs around $60, teen (ages 13-18) and student tickets are around $50, and senior tickets are around $40. Mt. Baldy is also on the Indy Pass

» View Baldy Mountain Lodging Options

Mt. Baldy Canada magic carpet.
©Josee Bergeron / Courtesy of Baldy Mountain Resort

Big White 

OnTheSnow users rate Big White Ski Resort no. 1 for intermediate terrain in all of Canada. The light dry powder that it’s known for makes it the perfect place to shred without breaking the bank. Big White has an incredible amount of terrain, with 1,525 acres of alpine and gladed skiing, while it’s Western Canada’s largest ski resort for night skiing, with 38 acres of skiable terrain under the lights. Guests can expect shorter lift lines complemented by ski-in, ski-out lodging, horse-drawn sleigh tours, and lots of dining at the resort and in the nearby town of Kelowna. Big White also offers snowshoeing, tubing, skating, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and cross-country skiing. Weekday lift tickets start at $109 when you buy ahead of time online, while weekend and holiday prices start at $130.

Big White Resort night scene hotel.
Big White Resort ©Shutterstock

Hudson Bay Mountain

Hudson Bay Mountain, self-described as “North America’s Last Authentic Ski Resort,” is home to 44 runs and 700 acres of skiable terrain. Though smaller than some of British Columbia’s major ski resorts, it has an impressive 1,750 feet of vertical. Much of the terrain is for intermediate skiers, but this small ski area does have something for everybody. The consistent snow and short lift lines keep guests coming back. Not to mention, an adult day ticket is only about $80. Youth and seniors over 65 will only pay $57 for a day on the hill. Group rates and half-day sales are also available. Hudson Bay is located in the town of Smithers, which provides an excellent backdrop full of lodging and dining opportunities. Hudson Bay is also on the Indy Pass. 

Grouse Mountain

For $84 during the week and $94 on weekends and holidays, skiers and riders can experience one of the closest ski areas to a major city in Canada. Grouse Mountain, less than 30 minutes from Vancouver, has 34 trails spread across 212 acres and is serviced by 6 lifts. Locals particularly love it for its night skiing. Other highlights include a 8,000-square-foot outdoor mountaintop ice skating pond and picturesque aerial tram rides that give wonderful views of Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean. After your ride enjoy a delicious dinner at Altitudes Bistro.

» View Grouse Mountain Lodging Options

Mt. Seymour

This family-owned and operated ski area is rated by OnTheSnow users as one of the top small ski areas in British Columbia. Mt. Seymour, like Grouse Mountain, is conveniently located just 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver. Its 200 skiable acres and nearly 400” of average annual snowfall make it fun for everyone from beginners to powder chasers. The lower half of the mountain is full of progressive blues and chill greens, while the terrain off the Brockton Chair at the summit is perfect for those looking for more of a challenge. 

Adult tickets range from $39-$89 depending on the day of the week and time of year. Additionally, ticket purchases on Tuesdays benefit Backpack Buddies. With this program, $20 of every lift ticket purchased is donated to the organization to provide a weekend’s worth of food and snacks for children facing hunger in British Columbia. This is a great way to make your ski day count a little extra. 

» View Mt. Seymour Lodging Options

Mt. Seymour Canada, view of mountain and lift.
Mt. Seymour Ski Area @Shutterstock


Where is the most affordable Canadian ski resort?

Ski resorts in Eastern Canada tend to be more affordable than ski resorts in Alberta and British Columbia. However, just note that you won’t have the vertical and terrain in Eastern Canada as Alberta and British Columbia. Beyond our list, Quebec ski areas like Mont Sutton and Bromont are other options that are ideal for budget-friendly travelers. For better snow head West to British Columbia and Alberta, though avoid the big-name ski resorts if you’re skiing and riding on a budget. Our list of budget ski resorts in Canada offer a similar snow quality at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, Indy Pass has several partner resorts, like Apex Mountain and Manning Park Resort, that provide a quality skiing and riding experience without breaking the bank.

How do you ski in Canada on a budget?

Buying discount lift tickets online is typically the best way to save if you don’t have a season pass. Lift tickets are usually cheaper mid-week, plus that is the best time to avoid the crowds. In the spring, many resorts offer end-of-season deals on lift tickets, so keep an eye on resort websites to watch for price drops. Skiing and staying on the mountain can sometimes be more affordable than looking for lodging elsewhere. Many of the best budget ski resorts offer ski and stay bundles to help keep costs down. It’s worth noting, too, that the exchange rate for Americans traveling to Canada is particularly good right now.

If you plan on skiing even just a few days during the season, then look into a season pass when they go on sale during the spring. Note that the most affordable skiing is often early in the season and during the last few weeks of the season.

Finally, rather than purchasing ski gear from a major retailer, consider renting ski gear for your trip. Often, ski rentals are cheaper at an independent ski shop nearby than at the ski resort itself. Alternatively, if you do plan to purchase gear, then consider purchasing your gear before the season starts, or at the end of the season, when gear is often discounted heavily.

How do you find lodging deals in Canada?

Check online websites of hotels and lodges with ski vacation packages. Sign up for ski resorts’ newsletters and follow them on social media, since that’s where they’ll often post special offers. Head to OnTheSnow’s Canada page to see the latest lodging deals.

Canada has tons to offer travelers on a budget, but these are just some of our favorite spots. You’ll have to get after it and see for yourself to experience all the winter adventures this place has to offer. After your stay in the Canadian winter wonderland, leave a resort review and help other travelers plan their ski vacation.

Header image: © Mt. Baldy Resort

Share This:
Copyright © 1995-2024  Mountain News LLC.  All rights reserved.