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While it may not be natural to think of the Midwest as a hotspot for snow sports, there are actually several fantastic resorts in the region for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. In Wisconsin, you can find several of these ski resorts near Milwaukee and the surrounding areas. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned practitioner, you can definitely find a resort that caters to your ability level and skills. We created this guide to the best places for snowboarding and skiing near Milwaukee to help you plan your next wonderful winter escape!

Best Ski Resorts Near Milwaukee

The Rock Snowpark

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 15 miles (20 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: Beginner & intermediate

Located just 20 minutes from downtown, The Rock Snowpark is a great local option for skiing near Milwaukee. With just 8 runs, it’s a fairly tiny ski resort, but what it lacks in number, it makes up for in quality. Locals love skiing here often because of its convenience to the city, its night skiing opportunities (perfect for a post-work ski trip) and its low-key atmosphere. Trails tend to be well-groomed and area especially fantastic after a recent snowfall in the city. Additionally, the park offers tubing for extra fun on the slopes.

Little Switzerland

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 35 miles (35 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: Beginner & intermediate

If you’re on a time crunch but are looking for something with a bit more diversity than The Rock, Little Switzerland is a fantastic option for snowboarding and skiing near Milwaukee! This small mountain has two sides – a front side with a beginner area for first-timers, and a back side that has more trail variety ranging in ability level. There’s also a large portion of the resort dedicated to terrain parks. With on site dining and night skiing available, it’s a great spot to head on weekday evenings or to spend a day outside in the Wisconsin winter.

Sunburst

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 40 miles (40 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: All levels

Sunburst‘s 11 trails might seem limiting at first glance, but they range in difficulty from easy green slopes to double black diamond rated terrain. While skiing and snowboarding is great at Sunburst, the biggest draw is actually its tubing hill, which they boast as the largest in the world. It’s got 45 chutes with a 90 foot drop over 1200 feet of length, and if you’re seeing an adrenaline rush, you can reach speeds of over 30 miles per hour. Sunburst is a great spot to ski/ride and tube, all within one hour of Milwaukee.

Alpine Valley

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 40 miles (40 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Alpine Valley Resort
  • Experience levels: Beginner & intermediate

If you’re looking for an easy getaway, Alpine Valley is a quaint spot for snowboarding and skiing near Milwaukee. With around 20 trails largely suitable for beginner and intermediate practitioners, Alpine Valley caters to beginners who want to level up in an easy, friendly environment. They’ve got an on-site lodge where you can stay for the weekend, but since it’s only 40 minutes away from Milwaukee, half- and full-day trips here are easy too.

A quiet day at Wilmot Mountain. Photo Credit: Jhon H. Nova (Flickr CC)

Wilmot Mountain

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 50 miles (1 hour)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site, but you can stay nearby at The Abbey Resort
  • Experience levels: All levels

Wilmot Mountain is one of the most popular ski resorts near Milwaukee and Chicago. At around 1 hour away, it’s an easily accessible day trip for Milwaukee dwellers craving some slope time. There are 23 different ski trails to explore on the 120-acre campus, with options ranging from bunny hills to single black diamonds. New to skiing or snowboarding? No problem! There’s an entire beginner-friendly area of Wilmot Mountain with bunny hills for practice. Additionally, guests can rent gear, take lessons, and go tubing.

Grand Geneva

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 50 miles (1 hour)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Grand Geneva Resort
  • Experience levels: Beginner & intermediate

For beginners looking for friendly ski resorts near Milwaukee to learn, Grand Geneva is a fantastic option. Many visitors to the resort say that it’s a great, supportive environment for beginners to learn and grow in the sport, as the resort is located on a smaller hill. Guests boast friendly staff and a family-friendly atmosphere that’s perfect for groups or individuals who want to learn and progress. In addition to the snow sports area, Grand Geneva has an entire lodge and resort attached to it that’s open year round, so there’s plenty to do on and off the slopes.

Cascade Mountain

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 105 miles (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site; the closest hotel is Best Western Portage
  • Experience levels: All levels

So you want to spend a long weekend at a ski resort, shredding the slopes and sharpening your skills? Sounds like you need to get over to Cascade Mountain Resort! This large ski resort in Portage, Wisconsin has 47 trails for skiers of all levels, offering all of the main amenities like rentals, lessons, and season passes.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Cascade Mountain is that you’ll find skiers of all levels here, as well as a ski shop and tech shop to purchase gear. Additionally, there are tubing slopes for folks who would rather fly down the slopes without all that technical know-how.

Tyrol Basin

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 110 miles (1 hour, 40 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: All levels

Terrain lovers, Tyrol Basin is a great spot for you! With 17 trails and a huge section of the resort dedicated to terrain parks, adrenaline junkie riders and skiers will have a blast at this small Wisconsin resort. In addition to recreational skiing and riding, Tyrol Basin also offers racing programs for kids and adults. On weekdays, you can get an all day lift ticket for under $20, a steal among the other options on our list.

Photo Credit: winny lucas (Flickr CC)

Devil’s Head

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 110 miles (1 hour, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: All levels

Devil’s Head Resort is famous around Chicago for a lot of things, and skiing in certainly one of them. While the resort does offer slopes for all levels, including beginners, the real draws here are for more experienced skiers. The resort area’s 500-foot vertical drop boasts 30 runs of varying steepness, including some extra-challenging double black diamond slopes. Needless to say, Devil’s Head is one of the largest and most thrilling ski resorts on our list.

Where to Stay Near Devil’s Head: Best Western Portage

Nordic Mountain

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 120 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: All levels

If you’re looking for a small resort that also offers a challenge, Nordic Mountain is a great option for skiing near Milwaukee. There’s an entire dedicated learning area, with several other trails ranging from gentle green slopes to challenging double black diamond glades. Additionally, there’s a whole section of the resort specifically filled with terrain park areas for some thrilling adventures. For families, the park also offers several tubing runs for those wanting to enjoy the snow without skiing or snowboarding.

Christmas Mountain Village

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 125 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Christmas Mountain Village
  • Experience levels: All levels

One of Wisconsin’s most beloved ski resorts is Christmas Mountain Village, which is a small park home to 16 trails. They’re also open until 9 PM on weekdays and 10 PM on weekends, and night skiing here is one of the regulars’ favorite activities. However, because it’s such a small resort and it’s so popular, lines here can get long and the trails can be crowded. We’d recommend arriving as soon as it opens on weekends or going on weekdays when the crowds are considerably smaller.

Granite Peak

  • Distance from Milwaukee: 186 miles (2 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience levels: All levels

As one of the largest winter sports recreation areas in Wisconsin, Granite Peak is a MUST for skiers and riders in the Milwaukee area. Compared to other ski resorts near Milwaukee, the whopping 68 trails across over 200 acres at Granite Peak offer skiers the opportunity to try lots of new runs over a long weekend or a winter getaway. It’s also the highest vertical drop in Wisconsin, with over 700 feet of elevation.

Skiers and riders of all levels will enjoy the variety of trails at Granite peak, ranging from beginner-friendly green runs and hills to double black diamond thrillers. Regulars to Granite Peak love it for being the most comprehensive and well-run ski resort in Wisconsin; some even say you might forget you’re skiing in the Midwest here!

Additional Resources for Snowboarding & Skiing Near Milwaukee

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

Related Articles

If you’re feeling stuck at home in Cincinnati this winter, don’t fret – there are actually a ton of places to enjoy the outdoors and go snowboarding and skiing near Cincinnati. From family friendly hills to adrenaline-inducing runs for more experienced skiers, there are so many opportunities to enjoy the slopes within a short drive of the city. Wondering where we recommend visiting? Here are 7 incredible ski resorts near Cincinnati that you can visit today!

Perfect North Slopes, IN

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 30 miles (35 mins)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

At around half an hour from Cincinnati, Perfect North Slopes is a small, family-owned resort for skiing near Cleveland. It is by far the most convenient and accessible area for skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing on a time crunch. While it’s not the tallest elevation (at just 400 feet) , this small resort boasts 23 trails, with a mixture of beginner and intermediate ratings. For beginners and first-timers, there’s a ski school and rental shop available so you can learn here. There’s a fantastic beginner area that’s super family-friendly.

Visitors love how well-run Perfect North is, from its wonderful snowmaking capabilities to friendly staff and instructors. There’s also a heated drink tent at the bottom of the tubing hill so you can warm up from the winter air. People love this family-friendly spot for learning to ski or sneaking in some slope time without straying too far from Cincinnati.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-75 S towards Lexington, then I-275 W to IN–1/Ohio Scenic highway to Perfect Place Ln to resort.

Mad River Mountain

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 112 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site, but there are nearby hotels at affordable prices
  • Ability Level: All levels

Opened in 1962, Mad River Mountain is one of Ohio’s largest ski resorts, and it’s just 2 hours from Cincinnati. With 20 trails across 144 acres, this resort has runs ranging from bunny hills to expert-level slopes. Mad River is also home to the Avalanche Snow Tubing Park, which has 10 lanes and is the biggest in Ohio. Their slogan is “every day is a snow day,” and they truly aim to make snow sports accessible to the Midwest region.

Many people state that Mad River Mountain is the best place to ski in Ohio, with its affordable prices and well-run resort areas. There are several terrain parks, and one of them, Capital Park, was voted one of the best in Ohio. Additionally, they have special discounts for Ohio college students, as well as live music and events.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mad River Mountain is by car. If you are planning on driving, start on I-75 N then OH-4 E towards Columbus, then OH-245 E to county road 29 to resort.

Paoli Peaks, IN

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 147 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: Beginner and intermediate

Open 7 days a week, Paoli Peaks is one of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Cincinnati. Perfect for a day trip, its 15 trails and 2 terrain parks cover mostly beginner and intermediate difficulty, but there are a few gems for more experienced skiers and riders too. They’ve got fantastic discounts for college students, and if you’re not a skier or rider, you can still enjoy the Arctic Blast Tubing Park. Paoli Peaks is considered one of the best spots to go skiing in Southern Indiana.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 S to IN-265 to US-150 W to Paoli, then Historic Pathways to county road 25 to resort.

Raccoon Run Winter Sports Center

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 164 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in Hancock County in the Riverbend Recreational Area, Raccoon Run is more of a community winter sports area than a true “resort.” This public park area offers trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through a beautiful forested area. This ski area is open to the public on weekends and holidays for free. For beginners, there are workshops from 9 AM to 10:30 AM on most weekends. There’s also night skiing available and a hot drink stop inside the center’s building. If you need to rent equipment, you can rent it in Cincinnati or nearby.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-75 N to OH-10 towards Columbus, then OH-568 E to Trail 241 to the resort.

Snow Trails Winter Resort

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 172 miles (~2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Located in Mansfield, OH, Snow Trails Winter Resort is a family owned and operated ski and snowboard area that’s just 2.5 hours from Cincinnati. On-site, they offer skiing, snowboarding, and tubing in Possum Run Valley, which is one of the coldest valleys in Ohio for maintaining snow.

The resort’s 17 trails and 3 terrain parks are mostly intermediate and advanced, but there are a few trails suitable for beginners as well. The West Woods side of the hill is said to be good for beginner/intermediate skiers and riders, while the side of the hill near tubing is more aggressive terrain for experienced skiers. The elevation on the mountain is the highest in Ohio, at 1,475 feet, and visitors love the remote, backcountry feeling of the resort. Another interesting feature of the resort include glow tubing – a night-time tubing experience that’s totally unique.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N to OH-13 N towards Mansfield to Possum Run Road to resort.

Boston Mills & Brandywine

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 240 miles (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site, but there are plenty of hotels in nearby Brandywine
  • Ability Level: All levels

Boston Mills & Brandywine are two sister resorts, located just 1 mile from each other. This resort system offers skiing, snowboarding, and tubing at its Polar Blast Tubing Park. The resort boasts snowmaking capabilities and shorter slopes, meaning you can ride through them pretty quickly. 18 trails and 3 terrain parks ranging from beginner to advanced span the two resort areas, including Ohio’s steepest slope, Tiger. Of the two resorts, Brandywine is said to be more suitable for snowboarders and more advanced practitioners, while Boston Mills has more beginner-friendly terrain.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N towards Cleveland, then I-271 N to OH-303 E to Riverview Rd to resort.

Alpine Valley

  • Distance from Cincinnati: 264 miles (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in Ohio’s snow belt, Alpine Valley gets the most natural snow out of all the resorts in Ohio. Here, snowboarders and skiers can enjoy the slopes, and there’s a snow tubing area for non-riders, too. As a smaller resort, there are 11 runs here that are evenly split between beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Unlike many of the resorts on our list, most of the trails here are wooded trails that are ungroomed. There’s a huge focus at Alpine Valley on family-friendly activities, and people generally like the accessibility of the ski area. On Saturday nights, the resort offers a special discount for beginners.

How to Get There: If driving, start on I-71 N towards Cleveland, then I-271 N, to US-322 E to Mayfield Rd. to resort.

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

Additional Links


The Southwest is home to many gems for ski and snowboard enthusiasts, and even the heat of Phoenix doesn’t have to prevent you from enjoying the snow this winter. While Arizona isn’t a typical hotbed for winter sports, there are a surprising number of ski resorts near Phoenix that are accessible within a day’s drive. We’ve compiled the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Phoenix so you can plan a perfect winter getaway and hit the slopes!

Best Places to Snowboard and Ski Near Phoenix

Arizona Nordic Village

Originally known as the Flagstaff Nordic Center, the Arizona Nordic Village operates under a philosophy of increasing outdoor education. It also just so happens to be the closest area to go skiing near Phoenix. The Arizona Nordic Village offers skiing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing for people of all levels. On the property, there are 19 trails with a mixture of difficulty ratings, and there are group and private lessons available for first timers.

Visitors to Arizona Nordic Village love the atmosphere here, citing it as a “hidden gem” in the Flagstaff area. There are also yurts and cabins for rent on-site, which is perfect for turning your ski trip into a fun weekend getaway.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-17 N, then take Historic Route 66, then US-180 W to the resort. If you are not driving, there is a public bus that goes right into the Nordic Village, routes 2 and 3.

Arizona Snowbowl

  • Distance from Phoenix: 158 miles (~3 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Ski Lift Lodge (FREE lodging on certain dates!)
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located 7 miles north of Flagstaff on the western slope of Mount Humphreys, the Arizona Snowbowl sits atop an ancient volcano within the San Francisco Peaks. The resort’s slogan is “where Arizona goes to ski,” and its 55 trails across all levels make this idea truly come to life. It’s true – the resort boasts the largest area of beginner terrain in Arizona, as well as the longest ski season. From the top of the slopes, you can even see out to the Grand Canyon!

On-site, the Ski Lift Lodge is the perfect spot to book a weekend getaway. Many visitors recommend the Aspen Loop run for skiers, and the Sunset Terrain Park as a fun option for advanced skiers. The whole area has a very “ski town” feel, making it an accessible change of scene from the heat of the Arizona desert.

How to Get There: If you are driving, Take the I-17 N for 144 miles to Flagstaff. Drive on S. Milton Rd. for 1.7 miles, and make a left turn onto N. Humphreys Street. Drive for another 0.7 miles and turn left onto Fort Valley Road. Drive for another 6.7 miles, and then make a right onto N. Snowbowl Road. Drive 6.6 miles until you reach the resort entrance. If not driving, there is a bus from Phoenix to Flagstaff (3 hr, $21), then a short drive to the actual mountain (7 miles).

Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley

  • Distance from Phoenix: 152 miles (~3 hours 15 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels (majority intermediate)

Located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, north of Tucson, Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley is one of the ski resorts near Phoenix that’s better for intermediate and advanced skiers. This resort has a fascinating history, as it was founded during WWI by a diverse group of ski enthusiasts. With 22 trails that are largely rated as intermediate or advanced, there’s plenty of adrenaline-inducing slopes for more experienced skiers. There’s also a ski school with lessons for beginners and first-timers. You can expect picturesque views here, as the resort is part of the Coronado National Forest.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mt. Lemmon from Phoenix is to drive. If you are driving, start on I-10 E to E Catalina Hwy, then Mt Lemmon Hwy to Ski Run Road.

Elk Ridge Ski Area – Currently Closed

Located just minutes away from Williams, AZ, Elk Ridge Ski Area is a neighbor to the southern part of the Grand Canyon. This resort is fairly small, with just 11 trails across 37 skiable acres, and has mostly beginner-friendly and intermediate runs. There are also many options for skiers and snowboarders with disabilities. According to visitors, the conditions here are admittedly not great except in the coldest part of winter because the weather is generally warm.

The resort is part of the Kaibab National Forest, and it’s a really pretty part of the state. While Elk Ridge is probably not a ski resort you’ll stick around at for days on end, it’s a great stop to pair with a trip to the Grand Canyon or a drive on Route 66 if you’re craving some snow.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Elk Ridge from Phoenix is to drive. If you are driving, start on I-17 N, then I-40 W towards Williams, the Historic Route 66 to Ski Run Rd.

Sunrise Park Resort

  • Distance from Phoenix: 220 miles (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Sunrise Park Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

Owned and operated by the White Mountain Apache Tribe, Sunrise Park Resort is a fantastic ski resort that spans 3 peaks: Sunrise Peak, Apache Peak, and Cyclone Circle. Located in the heart of the White Mountains, there’s a lot to do here for winter sports enthusiasts across the resort’s 40 acres. Trails span all levels of experience, from beginner to expert. Coined the “Aspen of Arizona,” this picturesque ski area is surrounded by forests and mountain terrain. The resort stays true to its origins with the Sunrise Mountain Pow Wow, a perfect way to get involved/observe Apache traditions and dance during your stay.

Holders of the Indy Pass can enjoy access to this resort as well as 40+ resorts around the USA and Canada. Additionally, the resort grounds are home to tons of species of wildlife, including elk, horses, and wild turkey. Don’t miss the annual Yeti Fest event, which is a local favorite featuring dog sledding!

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Sunrise from Phoenix is to drive. If you are driving, start on I-10 E to AZ- 87 Towards the White Mountains, off of 200 Hwy 273 (Greer AZ).

Lee Canyon, NV

  • Distance from Phoenix: 349 miles (~5 hours 40 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: Mostly intermediate and advanced

Lee Canyon Ski Resort is a ski area near Las Vegas that caters mostly to intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. While it’s not the closest of the ski resorts near Phoenix, we’ve included it because it’s still drive-able from the city center (and is just an hour north from The Strip). The resort boasts 445 acres of skiable terrain, with 26 trails. Ponderosa Glade comes highly recommended by visitors and locals as the most beautiful glade to ski on the mountain. While there’s no lodge on-site, there’s currently one under construction and there are plenty of hotels nearby.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get there from Phoenix is by car, or by flying into Las Vegas (LAS) and then driving.

Big Bear Mountain Ski Resort, CA

Big Bear Mountain Resort is a small but mighty ski area that packs a punch among the places to go snowboarding and skiing near Los Angeles and Southern California. At 5 hours from Phoenix by car, Big Bear is best done as a weekend getaway or paired with a road trip through California.

At Big Bear, the majority of the 26 runs are rated as blue, or intermediate level. However, there are a handful of trails in the beginner, advanced, and expert categories. For more experienced skiers and snowboarders, Bear Peak features the highest, steepest, and most challenging peak in Southern California. If you’ve got a winter birthday, you’re in luck: you can get a free lift ticket on your birthday! For apres-ski, there’s plenty to do in nearby Big Bear Village, including tons of boutiques and shops.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Big Bear from Phoenix is to drive. If driving, start on I-10 W, to CA-210 towards Pasadena, then CA-330 N to Big Bear Boulevard.

Angel Fire Resort, NM

  • Distance from Phoenix: 447 miles (~7 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Angel Fire Resort Lodge
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the Southern Rockies, Angel Fire Resort is a scenic ski area that often gets overshadowed by its big and famous neighbor, Taos. However, don’t knock this little gem before you learn more – it’s actually one of the most beloved ski resorts for beginners in the Southwest region. Because it’s lesser known than some of its nearby counterparts, you’ll escape huge crowds and find easy, leisurely slopes for learning. There are a whopping 80+ trails at the resort, ranging across experience levels from easy to expert.

In the winter, Angel Fire has an extensive snow-making capacity, which offers fresh powdered snow every day. Much of the resort consists of very accommodating and easy beginner to intermediate runs, and is family-friendly.

With its ski school for beginners and three levels of all-in-one beginner packages, Angel Fire is a great beginner-friendly ski resort that’s a great alternative to the more intimidating Taos. (Yes, we love it so much we included it in our list of the top beginner-friendly ski resorts!)

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Angel Fire is to drive from Phoenix or fly into Santa Fe/Albuquerque then rent a car. If you are driving from Phoenix, start on I-40 N towards Santa Fe, then NM-68 towards Sandia, to NM-585 onto Mountain View Blvd to Angle Fire resort.

Taos Ski Valley, NM

  • Distance from Phoenix: 568 miles (~9 hr 20 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, The Blake Hotel is the resort’s on-site lodge
  • Ability Level: All levels

One of the big names in skiing in the United States, Taos Ski Valley is one of the most beautiful and coveted ski areas in the country. Most recently, it won the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Award for Best Ski Hotel. Home to the indigenous people of the Taos Pueblo, the site is the longest continuously inhabited Native American community in the US, and it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With a whopping 110 trails ranging from beginner to expert level, there’s no shortage of adventure here. There’s a lot of snowmaking capability, keeping trails nice and crisp during the peak season. Experienced skiers especially love the variety of challenging trails throughout the resort, and beginners can find ski lessons, rentals, and more available. As a family-friendly resort, there’s tons to do on-site at the resort as well as in the surrounding areas.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Taos is to drive from Phoenix or fly into New Mexico then take the shuttle. If you are driving from Phoenix, start on I-10 E to I-40 E to Nm-240 E to NM-150 N to resort.

Deer Valley, UT

Deer Valley Ski Resort is one of the most popular and well-known ski resorts in the Park City area, and while it’s not one of the closest ski resorts near Phoenix, it’s definitely worth the day-long trek. Home to the 2002 Winter Olympics, we know this resort will give you plenty of adventure opportunities. With over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, this large resort spans 6 mountains in Utah’s Wasatch Range. The resort focuses on providing skiers with a very luxurious, upscale experience, from well-groomed trails spanning all levels to car service to the lodge and more.

Visitors to Deer Valley love the variety of terrain and the on-site amenities, including a unique “ski with a champion” program that enables guests to book ski sessions with Olympic athletes. There are also snowmobiling tours, on-site fine dining options, and more for those who are not planning on skiing.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-15 N then I-40 E towards Albuquerque, then US-189 to Deer Valley Dr. You can also fly into the Salt Lake City airport and take a direct shuttle to the resort.

Alta Ski Area, UT

Located in the Wasatch Mountains, Alta is one of the larger resorts in Utah, clocking in at 116 trails across 2,614 acres. It’s a local favorite for skiing due to its variety in terrain and incredibly well-groomed trails with fantastic snow.

Alta is a ski-only resort with some of the best snow in the country that caters largely to more experienced skiers, with over 80% of trails rated as intermediate or advanced. There are other cool options at Alta for the adrenaline junkie, like helicopter skiing and back-country adventures. For beginners, they do offer various ski lessons as well.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-15 N to US-89 N, to UT- 71 N to UT- 210 to resort. You can also fly into Salt Lake City (SLC) and take a shuttle directly to the resort.

Park City in the summertime (Photo Credit: Kay Rodriguez)

Park City Mountain Resort, UT

  • Distance from Phoenix: 669 miles (~11 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, plenty of options for families and small groups at the Park City Mountain Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

We’ve, of course, saved a whopper for last: Park City Mountain Resort, one of the most massive ski resorts in the country with over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain. There are over 330 trails across 17 peaks in this expansive resort, 115 which are open for night skiing. Park City Mountain Resort is especially catered toward intermediate to expert-level skiers, with 90%+ of the trails ranked as intermediate or harder.

Originally a silver mining town, Park City Mountain Resort offer year-round outdoor activities. In the winter, you’ll find a seemingly endless amount of trail options, 8 terrain parks, and a variety of resources for beginner skiers. The upscale on-site resort is a great spot for a family vacation activities, with plenty of non-ski activities like winter zip lining, snowmobiling, and mountain tours.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-15 N, then US-89 to UT-248 W to resort. You can also fly into Salt Lake City (SLC) and take a shuttle from Salt Lake City airport directly to the resort.

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

Additional Links


While Toronto is commonly seen as a big city full of concrete and buildings, it’s a surprisingly incredible city for outdoor adventures. Wintertime is no exception – there are several amazing places to get outside and go snowboarding or skiing near Toronto. To help you plan an incredible winter getaway, we’ve compiled this list of the best ski resorts near Toronto!

The Best Places to Go Snowboarding & Skiing Near Toronto

Glen Eden

  • Distance from Toronto: 61 kilometers (50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly beginner and intermediate

Located under one hour from Toronto, Glen Eden Resort is a fantastic family-friendly choice for beginner skiers. This small resort consists of just 12 trails across 10 acres, ranging from beginner to advanced. Beginner snowboarders and skiers can opt to participate in the CORE program, which caters to first-time riders.

Because of its proximity to Toronto, Glen Eden is perfect for a day trip or an afternoon on the slopes. The prices here are reasonable compared to the larger resort, making skiing here especially attractive for Toronto dwellers and beginners. In addition to downhill skiing, you can also try snowshoeing and cross-country skiing there as well.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on ON-401 W, then onto Regional Road 4 to Regional Road 22, onto Kelso Road to the resort. If you want to go without a car, there is a train from Union Station (1 hr, $6) to Milton, the town where the resort is located. From there, it’s a short taxi ride to the mountain.

Lakeridge

  • Distance from Toronto: 65.6 kilometers (< 1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Lakeridge is one of the closest ski resorts near Toronto, perfect for a day trip or even a quick afternoon on the slopes. With 23 trails over 70 acres of skiable terrain, it’s a pretty small resort that has beginner to advanced slopes. Here, you can go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing – there are designated areas for each sport within the park. Some even say that Lakeridge had the first ski tow in the Toronto area!

Not only is Lakeridge easily accessible from Toronto, but it’s also one of the most affordable places to ski. Toronto locals can purchase special coupon booklets with vouchers, or take advantage of lots of Groupon deals for the resort. Visitors love that the resort is friendly for beginners and first-timers, but has smooth progressions to challenge yourself and build your skills. Also note that it can get icy during the coldest days, so be sure to check the daily snow conditions on their website before planning a trip.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-407 E, onto lake ridge rd, if not driving, GO Transit operates a bus from Toronto to Uxbridge 4 times a day. Tickets cost $10 – $13 and the journey takes 1h 6m. Alternatively, GO Transit operates a train from Toronto to Uxbridge every 4 hours. Tickets cost $8 – $12 and the journey takes 1h 13m.

Hockley Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 81 kilometers (1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, the Hockley Valley Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the closest ski resorts to Toronto, Hockley Valley is an easy day trip or weekend getaway for frolicking in the snow. While it’s a smaller resort with just 16 trails, Toronto dwellers love it because it’s just 1 hour outside of the city and has extended night skiing hours perfect for an after-work ski or snowboard session. There are trails ranging from bunny hills to double black diamonds, so you know a day of skiing here will have something for everyone.

We love promoting businesses that care about sustainability, and Hockley Valley embodies these values to a T. Their goal is to become the greenest ski resort in Ontario and has many ongoing initiatives to back that up. While the resort is often seen as “no frills,” it’s a great, close option for snowboarding or skiing near Toronto.

How to Get There: If you’re driving, take Horseshoe Hill Road, to ON-9 W, onto Mono 3rd Line until you reach resort. If not driving, there is a bus from Union Station to Brampton (50 minutes, $5) then a taxi ride from Brampton to the resort (30 minutes).

Chicopee

  • Distance from Toronto: 102 kilometers (~1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: None on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels

Chicopee is a small area to go skiing and snowboarding near Toronto. Clocking in at about an hour away from the city, the resort’s 14 trails are a day and night attraction for winter sports lovers. The resort was a pioneer for club skiing; it started in the 1930’s by a group called “Dutch Companee,” making a name for itself in the area across generations. For beginners, there’s a snow school where you can opt to take lessons.

Locals love Chicopee because it’s close to Toronto and considered to be an “inner city gem.” It’s also considered to be an important part of Kitchener’s history, and is owned by a local non-profit organization. You can even see views of the city from the top of the hill!

How to Get There: If you are planning on driving, start on ON-401 W, to regional road 8 towards Kitchener then King St. E to the mountain. If you are not driving, there are buses that leave hourly from Toronto to Kitchener (2 hr, $11).

Mansfield

  • Distance from Toronto: 106 kilometers (~1 hr 20 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate and advanced

Mansfield is one of the most beloved, small ski resorts near Toronto, with plenty of skiing and snowboarding trails for all levels. Started in the 60’s, the resort was known originally as “Mansfield Skiways.” Ever since, it has been a ski club focused in its members. At less than 1.5 hours from the city, Mansfield Ski Club is an easy day trip or weekend getaway for those wanting to hit the slopes. On site, there are 17 trails, the majority of which cater to intermediate and advanced level skiers and snowboarders.

Visitors and locals love Mansfield Ski Club for its impeccably groomed trails, private, exclusive vibe, and social atmosphere. You can also try snowshoeing and snow biking here if you’re looking for a change of scenery.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mansfield is to rent a car. If you are driving, head south on Bay St toward Albert St, continue to ON-427 to Regional Road 7 to Country Road 17 to the resort.

Horseshoe Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 127 kilometers (1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Horseshoe Valley Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels, mostly difficult

Horseshoe Valley is a winter lover’s paradise – this resort offers the best of skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and tubing to intrepid city dwellers. At just 1 hour and 20 minutes from the city, Horseshoe Valley is a beloved spot for snowboarding and skiing near Toronto. As one of the larger ski resorts in Ontario, there are a mix of trails across 57 acres ranging from easy to expert-level.

With a ski school and several non-skiing/snowboarding resort amenities, there’s a ton to do here on and off the slopes. To get the most for your money, you can get great deals on lift tickets with their Double Play discount. Most people who visit Horseshoe Valley like it because it’s easy to get to and affordable, and has something for everyone, even first-timers and non-skiers.

How to Get There: If you are planning on driving, take Hwy 400 North to Horseshoe Valley Road. Then, take exit 117 and follow Horseshoe Valley Road to the resort. If you are not driving, Ontario Northland operates a bus from Toronto to Horseshoe Valley. Alternatively, GO Transit operates a train from Toronto to Horseshoe Valley. Both the bus and train take between 1.5 and 2 hours.

Blue Mountain

  • Distance from Toronto: 159 kilometers (2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Blue Mountain Resort
  • Experience Level: All levels

Located in one of the most picturesque areas of Ontario, Blue Mountain has 43 trails (30 for night use) across 364 skiable acres. Described by many as the “perfect Canadian getaway,” Blue Mountain Resort is a truly gorgeous winter escape for snowboarding and skiing near Toronto.

For when you’re not shredding the slopes, the resort boast an indoor tennis court and is close to several cute, small mountain towns with local shops and restaurants. During the holidays, the resort gets totally decked out in adorable lights and decorations. (Did we mention it’s an amazing place for a winter getaway?!)

How to Get There: If you are driving, start driving on Hurontario Street, then ON-427 toward the resort. If you are not planning on driving, AUC Tours provides a daily, affordable shuttle service to Blue Mountain Resort from Toronto/GTA. 

Snow Valley

  • Distance from Toronto: 118 kilometers (1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site, but you can find several hotels nearby
  • Ability Level: All levels, family-oriented and beginner-friendly

Snow Valley is a tiny ski resort – just 40 skiable acres – located less than 1.5 hours from Toronto. This recreational area is more of a ski hill and less of a full-scale resort, but it’s beloved by locals and visitors nonetheless.

Named as Ontario’s best ski hill for kids by Ski Canada Magazine, Snow Valley’s emphasis is on beginners and family skiing. In fact, there’s a special 2-hour discount pass, the Family Value Pack, designed specifically for families with young kids. The resort boasts one of the largest ski schools in Ontario. There’s also snow tubing, snowshoeing, and other winter sports available on site.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-400 N towards to Barrie, turn onto Vespra Valley Road. If not driving, there is an Ontario Northland bus that operates 5 times a day to Barrie, just a short taxi ride to the mountain from there ($19)

Mount St. Louis Moonstone

  • Distance from Toronto: 142 kilometers (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the largest family owned resorts in Ontario, Mount St. Louis Moonstone is one of the most adored ski resorts near Toronto. On site, they’ve got 36 trails across 2 mountains that are a mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult. And snowboarders, you’re in luck here, as the resort has special coaching programs just for you (sorry skiers, but you get a lot of love elsewhere).

Visitors like Mount St. Louis for its progressive trails that make learning easy. With 8 parks across various experience levels, it’s a fantastic place to learn new skills or practice. There’s also night skiing so you can extend the amount of time you’re on the slopes well into the evening hours. Note that while the resort makes every effort to maintain and groom trails, the weather here can often be windy and rainy, causing slopes to be icy sometimes.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Mount St. Louis Moonstone is by car. If you are driving, take Hwy. 400 north, towards Barrie and Parry Sound/ Sudbury (26 km) until you reach exit 131 (Mount St. Louis Road). If you are not driving, there is a bus that runs twice a day from Toronto to Coldwater (2 hours, $21), where you can take a taxi to the resort.

Hidden Valley Highlands

  • Distance from Toronto: 242 kilometers (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Hidden Valley Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

Hidden Valley Highlands is a small, family-friendly, charming ski resort located 2.5 hours from Toronto. Here, you can find 15 trails, most of which are rated as intermediate level. There’s also a ski school for kids and adults, including a fantastic beginner deal called Discover Skiing/Snowboarding, which provides discounts on rentals, lessons, and lift tickets.

The resort is close to the mountain, making it ideal for those wanting to spend a lot of time on the slopes. Night skiing is available on all of the trails as well. Visitors love the well-groomed trails and snowmaking, which means fresh powder more often than not.

How to Get There: If you plan on driving, located just off Highway 60, 6 km east of downtown Huntsville, close to Deerhurst Resort and the Hidden Valley Resort. If you do not want to drive, there is a bus from Toronto to Huntsville 3 times a day (4 hr, $30), then a short taxi ride to the resort/mountain.

Holiday Valley, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 2 hr 45 min (242 km)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Inn at Holiday Valley
  • Ability Level: All levels

One of the larger ski resorts near Toronto, Holiday Valley, is actually located in New York state. Crossing the border from Canada to the US is well worth it to ski at the best resort in western New York! This 290-acre resort offers 60 trails, 39 which are open for night skiing. There are a few terrain park areas as well for some more adventurous riding, a few which are friendly for beginners to try. The Mardi Gras Rail Park is a beginner to intermediate level terrain area for those just getting in to park riding.

If you’re planning to visit Holiday Valley Resort, the best time to take advantage of discounts is during the week. It’s a family friendly resort with lodging on-site, perfect for a winter getaway or a weekday vacation. Visitors adore the ski resort as well as the charming town nearby.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on Queen Elizabeth Way towards Ontario, then on the Peace Bridge to US-219 S onto Holiday Valley Road. If you are not driving, there are buses hourly from Toronto to Buffalo, NY, then bus from Buffalo to Ellicottville. (4 hr, $30)

Bristol Mountain, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 317 kilometers (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site, but many ski/stay packages are available with hotels in Finger Lakes
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the picturesque Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Bristol Mountain is a beautiful place to go skiing near Toronto. There are 138 skiable acres of terrain, with the vast majority of Bristol’s 38 trails rated beginner or intermediate-friendly. Another major plus of Bristol Mountain is that most of the trails are lit for night skiing, perfect for extending your slope adventures into the evening. Because 100% of the snow here is man made, the conditions at Bristol Mountain tend to be pristine on most days of the year.

The resort is perfect for beginners and more intermediate skiers and snowboarders alike, with special programs and packages for first-timers. Visitors love Bristol Mountain because it’s one of the most beloved ski hills in upstate New York, with beginner-friendly programs, well-groomed trails, and kind staff. However, some note that the trail splits can be confusing, as many beginner trails connect with more advanced ones. Also, don’t forget to reward yourself with a delicious waffle from the Waffle Hut!

How to Get There: If driving, take I-90 E towards Albany, take exit 44 for NY-332 toward Canandaigua, then US-20A W until resort. If not driving, there is a bus from Toronto to Rochester, NY (4hr 30 min, $20), then a taxi ride is needed for the additional 30 miles to Bristol Mountain

Green Peak Mountain Resort, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 460 kilometers (~4.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Green Peak Mountain Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

With 56 trails across 220 skiable terrain, Green Peak Mountain Resort is one of New York’s most beloved winter sports hubs and is a fantastic place to go skiing and snowboarding new Toronto. Suitable for all levels, the trails have a fairly even spread across easy, intermediate, and difficult, including 4 terrain parks for some extra fun. Many of the trails are lit up for night access.

For non-skiers and snowboarders, the park offers snow tubing, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing as well. Visitors enjoy the resort because it’s reasonably priced, has a cozy on-site lodge, and includes plenty of family-friendly amenities like an indoor water park. The nearby Finger Lakes region is also a stunning place to explore, with several parks and waterfalls in the area.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on I-90 E towards Albany, I-690 E to I-81 S, to US-11 S until resort. If you are not driving, there is a bus directly from Toronto to Cortland, NY (7 hr, $22).

Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride

  • Distance from Toronto: 227.5 kilometers (~3 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

If you’re looking for a small resort suitable for all levels, Sir Sam’s Ski & Ride is a perfect option. This family-owned ski area has been operating for over 50 years, making it one of the oldest family owned resorts in Ontario. With just 14 trails rated beginner through advanced, there’s a a little something for everyone at Sir Sam’s, which is a perfect spot for avoiding big crowds and commercial resorts. The resort also offers a terrain park, a ski school, and several races throughout the year that are open to the public.

For non-skiers, there are also opportunities to snowshoe on nearby trails, which boast panoramic views of Eagle Lake and Moose Lake. Additionally, the summit of the ski hill has lovely views over Eagle River. Visitors love the friendliness of the owners and staff, and the intimate, family-friendly vibe of the resort.

How to get There: If you are driving, start on ON-11 towards North Bay, continue to Haliburton, ON-118 E, signs for Eagle River to resort. If you are not driving, there is a bus from Toronto to Sharbot Lake Junction (5 hr, $25), then a 20 min taxi ride to Sir Sam’s.

Peek’N Peak, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 309 kilometers (~3.5 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the The Peek’N Peak Inn
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Peek’N Peak Resort is one of the most beloved ski resorts near Toronto, located approximately 3.5 hours outside of the city in neighboring New York state. This small, well-run park offers 25 trails and 3 terrain parks, with areas suitable for beginners all the way to more advanced riders. While the majority of trails are intermediate-level, there’s a good mix for everyone to enjoy.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Peek’N Peak offers 7 lanes of snow tubing, a fun activity for riders and non-riders alive. Their program for beginners consists of 5 steps to help reinforce skills learned and build strength. Skiers and snowboarders love the resort for its charming, cozy vibe, and especially enjoy the various amenities – a beautiful restaurant, a sauna, and a hot tub, to name a few.

How to Get There: The easiest way to get to Peek’N Peak is by car. If you are planning on driving, start on I-90 W towards Fort Erie, then NY-394 to NY76 S to resort.

Swain Resort, NY

  • Distance from Toronto: 275 kilometers (~3 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on site
  • Ability Level: All levels

For a fun, well-rounded winter sports experience, Swain Resort is a smaller but quite comprehensive ski resort near the Finger Lakes area that boasts 35 trails and 2 terrain parks across 120 skiable acres. There’s a good mix of trails ranging from beginner to advanced, with lessons available for first-timers and beginners looking for a refresher. The trails here tend to be slightly shorter than on other mountains, but people enjoy the variety of the terrain.

As one of the less expensive places to ski in New York, visitors love how accessible the resort is for all kinds of skiers and snowboarders. It’s pretty easy to get to, has tons of parking, and boasts a huge rental shop with any kind of equipment you may need.

How to Get There: Driving is the easiest and most convenient way to get to Swain’s Resort from Toronto. If you are driving, start on Queen Elizabeth Way and head towards Erie, across Peace Bridge to NY-70 S to resort.

Calabogie Peaks

  • Distance from Toronto: 375 kilometers (~4 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Calabogie Peaks Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

As the tallest mountain resort in Eastern Ontario, Calabogie Peaks offers 24 trails across 80 acres, spread across all levels. Overlooking Sand Bay on Calabogie Lake, there’s no shortage of picturesque views at this resort. With the longest beginner trail in the province, Calabogie Peaks offers tons of opportunities for beginners and those looking to sharpen their skills. With a resort lodge on-site, Calabogie Peaks makes for a perfect winter weekend getaway from Toronto. For non-skiers, there’s an idyllic ski town nearby that is perfect for a mid-winter stroll.

How to Get There: If driving, start on ON-401 E, then to ON-37 N to Calabogie Rd. If not driving, the VIA Rail has a train from Toronto to Fallowfield (4 hr, $65), then an additional 1 hr 15 min drive to Calabogie by car

Mont Cascades

  • Distance from Toronto: 476 kilometers (~4 hours, 45 min)
  • Accommodations Available: Not on-site
  • Ability Level: All levels, mostly intermediate

Located just 20 minutes from Ottawa, Mont Cascades is a popular day trip for city dwellers. While it’s not super close to Toronto, it is accessible when paired with a trip to Ottawa or for a long weekend adventure. The resort has 20 trails, the majority of which are intermediate level, across 60 acres of terrain. Gratton is the longest run, which spans two whole miles, and the resort offers one of the only double black diamond trails in the area.

The mountain here is comprised of 2 sides – the North Side and the World Cup Side. These two distinct areas offer a variety of terrain and scenery to explore. Beginners and first-timers can take classes at the ski school and make rental reservations online. For a discount, head to Mont Cascades of Wednesdays, when lift tickets are half off. There are also 25 km of snowshoe trails available via the resort.

How to Get There: If you are driving, start on ON-401 E towards Ottawa, then autoroute 50 E to QC_307 N to resort. If not driving, there is a train from Toronto to Ottawa via VIA Rail (4 hr 30 min, $65), then 30 min taxi ride to the mountain.

Photo Credit: Artur Staszewski (Flickr CC)

Mont Tremblant

  • Distance from Toronto: 600 kilometers (~6 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Mont Tremblant Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels, but most trails are intermediate to difficult 

As one of the largest and most renowned ski resorts in Canada, Mont Tremblant has an expansive 755 skiable acres, with 102 distinct trails. Mont Tremblant means “the mountain that trembled” in Algonquin, and it’s easy to see why when you arrive at this breathtakingly beautiful spot in the Laurentian Mountains. Some visitors even call out Mont Tremblant as one of the best places to go skiing in the East, and we’re definitely not surprised.

There’s natural snow and snowmaking on the slopes, making for well-maintained conditions for skiers. While there are plenty of resources for beginner skiers, the resort is beloved by more experienced folks looking for a challenge. Mont Tremblant definitely isn’t the cheapest spot on our list, but if you’re looking for a true adventure at one of the most iconic ski resorts in Canada, Mont Tremblant is one of the best ski resorts near Toronto and is definitely worth the trek!

How to Get There: Driving or flying via Montreal are the best ways to get to Mont Tremblant.

Additional Resources for Toronto Skiing & Snowboarding

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

Related Links


When you’ve got someone close to you who’s constantly longing to strap on skis and hit the slopes, it might be difficult to think of an appropriate gift. A LOT of snowboarding and skiing gear is a) expensive, b) size-dependent, and c) not intuitive for people who don’t do those sports, so buying a present for these folks can be tricky. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back – this massive guide has 30 incredible gifts for skiers and snowboarders that they’ll use on the slopes and remember for years to come.

Most Practical Gifts for Skiers & Snowboarders

Smith Ski Goggles

Goggles are a snowboarder or skier’s best friend: they keep snow, water, and wind out of your eyes, plus they make you look pretty freaking awesome. Smith ski goggles are very durable and come in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes.

Wildhorn Ski Helmet

A helmet is one of the best gifts for skiers and snowboarders because it will come in handy every time they’re on the slopes. While prices for these range substantially, we’ve found that Wildhorn helmets are well-respected as their ski helmets are comfortable, practical, and come with a built-in goggle strap.

Smartwool Base Layers

All snowboarders and skiers need warm baselayers, and they make for one of the most practical snowboarding and skiing gifts. Smartwool’s Merino 250 baselayer line offers extra-warm, cozy layers that wick sweat and moisture seamlessly on the slopes.

Burton Ski & Snowboard Jacket

A warm, waterproof ski jacket is essential to a fun day on the slopes. While there are tons of brands that make outerwear, Burton ski jackets are designed especially for winter sports, making them perfect gifts for snowboarders and skiers.

Rossignol Ski Pants

Like a good, durable coat, waterproof ski pants are essential because, as everyone knows, skiers and snowboarders spent plenty of time sitting in the snow. Rossignol makes some of the warmest and most durable ski pants that are perfect for a full day of shredding the slopes.

The North Face Montana Gore-Tex Gloves

Insulated gloves are a skier or snowboarder’s best friends, and these Montana Gore-Tex Gloves by The North Face are excellent additions to any skier’s or snowboarder’s gear set. They come with cuffs so you won’t lose them, and they have e-tip functionality so you can use your touch screens while wearing them!

Epic Pass

While neither cheap nor durable, an Epic Pass is the ultimate gift for the travel-loving skier. Usable at over 60 ski resorts all around the United States, the Epic Pass is one of the best gifts for skiers and snowboarders that money can buy.

Cheap Snowboarding & Skiing Gifts ($25 or Less)

Smartwool Hiking Socks

Yes, yes, we know this isn’t a gift guide about hiking, but Smartwool’s hiking socks actually make great companions out on the slopes! They’re warm, quick drying, and are super cushioned and comfortable. Give one pair or a few for an extra special skiing or snowboarding gift!

Darn Tough Yeti Mountain-Themed Socks

What’s better than regular wool socks? Wool socks with mountains on them, duh. Skiers and snowboarders love to show off their love for the mountains, and these Darn Tough Yeti wool socks will surely come in handy on the slopes and for apres-ski.

HotHands Hand/Foot Warmers

When you’re out on the slopes on especially cold days, it’s so easy to get cold in your extremities. That’s why we recommend HotHands hand and foot warmers as one of the best gifts for skiers and snowboarders. They’re inexpensive and are perfect to tuck into gloves or boots for a blast of warmth in otherwise arctic conditions.

Packable Clothesline

You know what happens if ski/snowboard gear doesn’t dry properly? It starts to STINK. Luckily, for ski trips and winter getaways, a packable clothesline is a great tool to hang damp clothes after long days on the slopes. It is a cheap and practical gift for snowboarders and skiers that they’ll use every time they’re at a ski resort.

Snacks for the Slopes

Snacks are a gift that keeps on giving, especially out on the slopes where you’re expending energy and burning calories left and right.

From our own experience, some snacks that skiers and snowboarders like include:

  • Clif bars
  • Kind bars
  • Gu gels (caffeinated and uncaffeinated)
  • Trail mix
  • Jerky (vegan and meat varieties)

Hertel Super Hot Sauce Ski/Snowboard Wax

Once you’re a more advanced skier or snowboarder, you’ll most likely want to wax your gear to optimize your speed on the slopes. Hertel Super Hot Sauce Ski & Snowboard Wax is an all-temperature wax that lasts for three days and doesn’t require an iron (though you can use it that way if you’d like). It’s one of the most useful and budget friendly gifts for skiers and snowboarders that they can use every time they hit the slopes.

The Art of Fear by Kristen Ulmer

There’s nothing better than retreating back to your cabin after a day on the slopes and spending the evening reading a good book…about hitting the slopes! The Art of Fear was written by professional skier Kristen Ulmer about embracing fear and how that applies to snow sports and life in general. This easy, inspiring read is fantastic for those who love snow sports as well as people wanting to understand how to handle fear better.

Fifty Places to Ski and Snowboard Before You Die by Chris Santella

If your loved one is a person who prefers books with photos and gorgeous visuals, Fifty Places to Ski and Snowboard Before You Die by Chris Santella is a fantastic book to leaf through and get inspired. You’ll learn about the most incredible, jaw-dropping, and challenging trails in the entire world, with some stunning photos to boot.

Under an Arctic Sky by Chris Burkard

Chris Burkard’s Under an Arctic Sky is an epic film about surfing under the northern lights. It isn’t exactly about skiing or snowboarding, but it’s a really spectacular story about chasing waves and winter sports in some of Iceland’s most gorgeous landscapes. It’s a great gift to give your winter-loving friends and family…then watch it with them.

Powder Magazine Subscription

What’s more inspiring or entertaining than leafing through an award-winning magazine on your favorite topic? (Answer: nothing.) Powder Magazine is all about skiing and snowboarding, and a subscription is one of the most unique skiing and snowboarding gifts you can give to your favorite winter sports lover.

Useful & Clever Skiing & Snowboarding Gifts

Thermal Buff

For outdoor lovers, there are few things as versatile as a Buff. They advertise that it can be worn in 12+ different ways, and it’s touted as 4 times warmer than microfiber. A thermal Buff is great for skiers and snowboarders to wear under a thick coat, to use as a scarf, or to hold their hair back under their helmets.

PHOOZY Thermal Phone Case

If you’ve ever been out in the cold for an extended amount of time with your phone, you’ll know that the batteries tend to die much more quickly. A PHOOZY Thermal Phone Case can keep your phone warm when you’re not using it, maintaining the battery for longer and ensuring it doesn’t get soaked in the snow.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Hydration is a very important part of staying healthy while participating in winter sports, as the action can definitely still dehydrate you. Whether your skier/snowboarder likes their water hot or cold, a Hydro Flask water bottle can keep it that way. Hydro Flask boasts that its bottles keep water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours…definitely enough for a full day out skiing or snowboarding.

Foam Roller

Spending a day (or several) out on the slopes can be fun, but can also cause all kinds of muscle aches and pains. A foam roller is a great tool for stretching and relieving tension after hours of active winter sports, and is one of the best gifts for snowboarders and skiers.

Ski or Snowboard Boots

One of the things that’s most uncomfortable about rental gear is the footwear. You can partially solve this problem for your favorite winter sports lover by purchasing them a pair of their own ski or snowboard boots. Rossignol is a good, durable brand for ski gear, and boots are no exception.

Note: ski boots and snowboard boots are different, so make sure you buy the correct kind for your loved one’s preferences!

Athletico Boot Backpack

Once your beloved skier or snowboarder is more seasoned, they’re going to need a place to put all their awesome gear (like the stuff in this list!). The Athletico Boot Backpack is the perfect all-in-one bag for skiers and snowboarders. There’s space for a helmet, boots, goggles, and extra gear, all in a lightweight and breathable fabric.

Black Diamond Ski Poles

While lots of ski resorts do offer pole rentals, if you’d prefer some that are more lightweight and better customized to your size, these Black Diamond Razor Carbon ski poles are a fantastic companion for skiers anywhere. Unfortunately, these aren’t relevant for snowboarders, but they work well as a gift for mid-level to advanced skiers looking for a gear upgrade!

Technology Gifts for Skiers & Snowboarders

Rechargeable Hand Warmer

While we mentioned some disposable hand warmers earlier in this guide, we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer a zero-waste solution as well. Like we said earlier, keeping extremities warm while out on the slopes is a real challenges for skiers and snowboarders, and a rechargeable hand warmer can be the perfect solution for long days out in the snow.

Waterproof Battery Pack

It gets harder to keep your phone charged the longer you’re out in the cold, so you can probably imagine this being a big challenge for skiers and snowboarders. If you give the gift of a waterproof solar battery pack, however, your skier or snowboarder can recharge while they’re in the sun/snow, and plug in while they’re on the lifts. Pretty nifty, eh?

DryGuy DX Forced Air Boot Dryer

Full disclosure: this is a totally unnecessary item, but a really cool and useful one for skiers and snowboarders, especially if they’re planning to hit the slopes several days in a row or throughout the course of a season. The more someone skis or boards, the more damp their boots end up – this DryGuy DX Boot Dryer ensures that they’re fully dry before the next use.

Garmin Tundra Watch

Like many other athletes, skiers and snowboarders are often obsessed with tracking stats and logging their trails. The Garmin Tundra watch does exactly that and was designed specifically for winter sports, and is one of the more useful gifts for skiers and snowboarders out there.

GoPro Hero Black

A GoPro Hero Black is an excellent gift for the avid skier/snowboarder who wants to document their adventures. Portable, weatherproof, and high-quality, a GoPro will help your favorite winter sports lover capture and relive their favorite moments on the slopes again and again.

Psst…If you decide to get a GoPro as a skiing/snowboarding gift, don’t forget a helmet mount so they can use it hands-free!

Additional Resources


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