There’s been a long-standing debate over whether Canada or the US is the better spot for avid skiers and snowboarders. But we say, why can’t it be both?
Rather than pitting the two against each other, we want to celebrate the fact that these prime locations happen to be home to some of the gnarliest slopes in the world, and both have a list of perks other countries couldn’t even begin to top!
With their unbeatable mountain landscapes and the type of powder you wish could follow you wherever you go on your outdoor adventures, they really are second to none. Because nothing this good should be kept a secret, we’re sharing our top spots.
Summer Skiing in Canada
With a name like Banff Sunshine Village, it’s no surprise that this not-so-little gem is a total hotspot for skiers and snowboarders over the summer season. Yes, it is very much alive and thriving in winter, but what you might not know is that this location is quite the bustling metropolis once those temperatures start to heat up. Described as the premier alpine family resort in the Canadian Rockies, it’s definitely a must-visit. With green and blue runs, and a double diamond trail, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to testing out your abilities and gliding through its vast landscape.
Although there are too many places to count, Angel Express is the perfect starter for beginners, while intermediates can step it up on Lookout Mountain or the Boomerang, and experienced athletes can show off their stuff on the black diamond trails of Mount Whitehorn’s Diamond Mine. Want to see what Banff looks like lit up? Head back to Norquay in the evening for some unparalleled night skiing!
A bit nervous to get stuck in this summer ski season? Trying something new or putting your skills on display can be a bit of the nerve wracking side for some, which is why Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park is such an ideal ski and snowboarding spot for the more reserved type. Not only is it absolutely full of unreal snow, but it’s also renowned for the atmosphere it offers. There’s a real down to earth laid back vibe when you visit Jasper, which is what makes it one of the most popular mountains to spend those warmer months on.
It’s a welcoming place for everyone and consists of runs suitable for beginners, intermediates and more experienced riders of all ages and abilities. With a generous 200 km of pistes and 86 runs made up of long and winding groomed trails, expansive alpine bowls, challenging steep chutes, and scenic glade runs, it’s everything you could want from a trip and more.
Blackcomb Mountain's Horstman Glacier is the ultimate destination for summer skiing and snowboarding in Canada. With stunning landscapes, blue skies, glaring sun and good old fresh pow, there are so many ways to explore what this snow paradise has to offer. Unfortunately, the public won't be able to access this site for the 2023 season. But the good news is, there’s a massive lineup of Summer Glacier Camps that will still be available this year! Whether you’re a pro athlete or have dabbled in the sport and want to start working on building your skills, these camps offer programs for all levels of ability so everyone can enjoy a bit of shredding in the summer sun.
Summer Skiing in the US
Beartooth Basin, Montana
A real one of a kind sort of place to rip it up on the slopes, Beartooth Basin is unique in the sense that it only opens for summer from Memorial Day Weekend onwards. Formally known as The Red Lodge International Ski and Snowboard Camp, it’s significant history has dubbed it as one of North America’s first alpine ski training areas – established in the 1960’s by a group of critically acclaimed and internationally recognised Austrian skiers. With nothing but a lift and the mountain itself, it’s a little simpler than other US summer ski locations, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive. With nine lanes and a Big Air Park, the site is operated under a special permit with Shoshone National Forest and is designed for intermediate to expert level riders.
Timberline Lodge, Oregon
Chasing the sun but can’t get enough of the snow? Look no further – Timberline Lodge has one of the longest ski seasons in North America so you can make the most of every inch of dry pow there is available. From Government Camp to the top of Palmer, a staggering 4,540 vertical feet of terrain makes up the site, located at the top of Oregon’s tallest mountain, Mount Hood.
The Palmer Express high-speed quad is only in operation during the Spring and Summer seasons making it an extra special site to visit. To get to the top of Palmer, you’ll want to take the Magic Mile Chair Lift up to the Palmer Snowcat point of entry before gliding your way down to Alpine Trail or West Leg Road, which ends at the bottom of Summit Pass.
Palisades Tahoe, California
If you’ve found yourself thinking this one might ring a bell, you’re not wrong. Home of the 1960 Winter Games, Palisades Tahoe is one of the most charming places to drop in for skiers and snowboarders wanting a mesmerizing view of the famous Lake Tahoe, all while hitting the world-class trails.
One of the best parts about this site, other than the fact it stays open longer than any of the other mountains in the area, is that it also boasts one of the region’s only mountain-top beginner spots for those who are new to the sport. Plus, there are plenty of intermediate runs – including Shirley Lake and Pacific Crest Bowls for slightly more experienced riders who want to set themselves a bit of a challenge. Surrounded by a European-esque village filled with restaurants of every kind, bars, shops and more, you’ll never run out of things to do.
From the hustle and bustle of Banff Sunshine Village to the beautifully simplistic torrain of Beartooth Basin, summer skiing is undeniably special in North America. Whether you’re heading to Canada or the US, or even both, the list of ski and snowboarding locations to travel to are endless. One thing is for sure, they definitely won’t disappoint.