By Jane Marshall

Want to get excited about winter? Watch this Hostelling International Canada video:

I already have several hostel trips booked. Hostels in Canada make a fantastic base camp for all kinds of skiing and snowboarding, whether you are resort skiing, backcountry skiing, or cross-country skiing.

Due to my undying love for skiing of all kinds, I’d like to share a roundup of resorts easily accessible to both Calgary and Edmonton, as well as info on nordic and backcountry skiing. Let’s get primed for ski season together.

Marmot Basin

Opening Date: November 16

Marmot Basin is a favourite for Edmontonians. Located in Jasper National Park, Marmot is a fantastic family resort, with runs for beginners and experts alike. Some mountains stats:

  • 1,720 acres of terrain
  • Averaging over 450cm of cold Alberta powder annually
  • Longest Run: 5.6km
  • Canada's Highest Base Elevation: 1,698m (5,570ft)
  • 7 lifts, including 3 high speed quads
  • 91 runs, 30% Novice, 30% Intermediate, 20% Advanced, 20% Expert
  • Terrain parks

Click here for early season discount cards.


Snowboarding during an Alberta Winter

Sunshine Village

Opening Date: November 11

Sunshine Village has diverse in-bounds terrain. I’ve been skiing at this Banff National Park ski resort since I was five years old, and it’s a family favourite. First, you get to ride up the gondola, which takes you either partway up to Goat’s Eye Mountain, or all the way up to the Sunshine Village base. Here’s why Sunshine Village shines bright:

  • 3 mountains to ride (Goat’s Eye, Lookout, and Mount Standish)
  • 3,300 acres of terrain
  • 12 high speed lifts
  • Great restaurants like Chimney Corner
  • On-mountain accommodation at Sunshine Mountain Lodge.

Read about the opening of Sunshine Village here.

“The snow is AMAZING! Light, fluffy and fun to ride!”

—Kendra Scurfield, Brand & Communications Manager for Sunshine Village.

Insider Tip: Sunshine Village has excellent backcountry access for people versed in avalanche safety. For more information on backcountry routes, check out Backcountry Skiing Canada’s online guide:

Sunshine Village Ski Resort


Cross Country Skiing

Canmore Nordic Centre Provincial Park

Cross country skiing in Alberta is a provincial past time. Here’s a link to the Canmore Nordic Centre trail report:

Canmore Nordic Centre Trail Report

Edmonton folk can head to Cooking Lake - Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area after December 1 to find track-set trails.


Local Hills

Don’t have time for a mountain trip? Check out the following local hills in Calgary and Edmonton:


Happy riding, everyone. Hope to see you out there!