There are numerous mountain towns in Canada that serve as destinations for enjoying outdoor activities. Aside from having some of the world’s most beautiful and scenic landscapes, there is much more to enjoy in these Canadian towns, such as skiing and snowboarding.
Skiers will also have much to see and do– whether it is up in the Canadian Rockies, the Laurentian Mountains, or down along the shores of Vancouver Island. If you are out to discover a new base camp for your next adrenaline-pumping adventure or looking to glance through a book while enjoying hot cocoa by the fire, there is a destination for you in Canada.
With crisp air, fresh snow, friendly locals and cobblestone streets lined with restaurants — Canada’s mountain towns are attractive destinations for anyone who enjoys winter. Canada has no shortage of villages for you to explore. If you are an outdoor person looking to have fun in Canada, here are some of the beautiful and most well-positioned mountain towns in the country.
Best Mountain Towns in Canada
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Set at over 4,600 ft. up in Alberta’s Rockies, Banff is renowned as one of the highest towns in Canada. The ski season in this town is usually long, most often from November through late May. However, you can still enjoy its natural beauty either with or without a pair of skis.
You will also find some beautiful gardens to stroll through in Banff, and the town’s Centre for Arts and Creativity is known to offer art exhibits and seasonal music festivals. Aside from the resort, you can enjoy over 1,600 km of hiking trails.
The popularity of this town has grown exponentially in recent times, especially since it has become a prime spot for kayaking, either along Bow River, the Vermillion Lakes, or beautiful Lake Louise.
Tofino, British Columbia
According to reviews, this town offers a different side to the great Canadian outdoors owing to its remote feel and natural beauty. This peninsular district in Clayoquot Sound is renowned as one of Canada’s most attractive surfing destinations. Some of the most interesting places in this town during summer are Hot Springs Cove, the Maquinna Provincial Park, and Sandy shores such as Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, and Cox Bay.
Also, note that this town offers exciting scenery that you can enjoy. Whale watching has also attracted more people to the coasts of Tofino. You can sometimes catch a grey whale breaching the surface during the winter months.
Whistler, British Columbia
This is a chalet-style town at the base of one of North America’s biggest ski resorts. In the whole of Canada, you will find it challenging to find a better area for winter sports in the world. People who don’t ski or snowboard can enjoy the great Canadian outdoors from Whistler.
You can stroll around, shop, and browse beautiful galleries across the town. You can even take a detour from the village’s many different sections that connect to parts of the 46-km-long Valley Trail, to find yourself moving through scenic forests and creeks.
From this town, you have over a dozen mountain trails that lead to amazing views; either alpine meadow landscapes, forested mountains or glacial lake vistas
Fernie, British Columbia
This is a city in Elk Valley popularly known as the perfect base for enjoying powder-skiing. According to a report, the ski resort has the highest annual snowfall of all the resorts in the Canadian Rockies. In addition, Fernie is renowned as a great go-to for summer getaways.
Note that summer makes Fernie one of the best places to visit owing to the wide array of hiking trails. One is Mount Fernie Provincial Park which is a short drive out of town. It is known for its thick forested areas with numerous hiking and biking trails. In the south of Fernie, you will find the ancient cottonwoods trail with its old-growth trees
This is genuinely one of the best mountain towns to consider in Canada owing to the assorted Alberta’s stunning wilderness waiting to be discovered. Jasper is a wonderful destination to reconnect with nature. You will find a wide array of activities even for non-skiers.
In this town, you will find the iconic Icefields Parkway– a scenic 3-hour alpine drive between Lake Louise and Jasper, well fitted with amazing outlook posts and access to various trails in between. Aside from that, you can take the 7-minute ride above the clouds on the Jasper Skytram, Canada’s highest and longest aerial tramway. From Jasper, you can also access some lakes such as Maligne, Medicine, Pyramid, and Patricia.
Kamloops, British Columbia
This city in British Columbia has proven that a ski resort can be fun for non-skiers. Sun Peaks Resort, less than an hour’s drive northeast of the city tends to offer a wide range of ski runs and hiking trails. In addition, you can explore the backcountry in style by snowmobile, cruising across frozen lakes and clear meadows.
British Columbia Wildlife Park, which is home to grizzlies and arctic wolves is a 15-minute drive east of Kamloops. The Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park is east of town, on the western bank of the South Thompson River. There you will find comprehensive information concerning the local culture and history.
This town is a winter wonderland with more than 600 acres of skiable terrain. Aside from skiing, you can also drive through the snow on a guided snowshoe tour– there are even night tours available. If that doesn’t interest you, you can go for adventures by dogsled, with a small troop of mighty, fluffy huskies to put you through miles of forest.
You can also visit the Chapelle Saint-Bernard for some ice skating fun, which lights up and offers a more memorable sight at night. During summer, you can slide down the slopes at Skyline Luge Mont Tremblant or hike up to the 2,871-ft summit for the views of the Laurentian Mountains.
This town is more or less the gateway to Blue Mountain Resort, Ontario’s popular year-round vacation spot. The ski resort is 15 minutes drive west of the port town. It is known to offer skiing and snowboarding in winter, while non-skiers can focus on sledding and ice skating. You can also pay attention to golfing, mountain biking, and even rock climbing and zip lining.
This town is on the southern shore of Georgian Bay and features a harbor area brimming with other things to see and do. The summer months are best for sailing and windsurfing, while trails around the lake and town guarantee that you can hike and bike to landmarks such as the Collingwood Museum and St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church.
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
According to reports, the Okanagan Valley is an all-season Canadian destination for outdoor enthusiasts, foodies, and families. You will enjoy adrenaline-pumping skiing in the winter in cities like Kelowna and Vernon. Aside from that, you can also partake in water-sports action during the summer months, especially on the namesake lake.
Okanagan Lake has more than 30 beaches and most of them include playgrounds on the shore, with stand-up paddle boarding, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing in the water. You will also find quaint towns and lush vineyards north of the lake, all of which are surrounded by the region’s rolling, pine-forested hills.
The Laurentians, Quebec
The Laurentians are renowned as a top alpine region and well-renowned winter getaway in southern Quebec. This is where you can find Canadian natural beauty with snow-topped peaks, forests, and beautiful lakes such as Louisa, Sauvage, and Lac des Sables with clear waters where you can take a dip in the summer.
Have it in mind that almost every dozen ski resorts refer to the Laurentians as home. St-Sauveur, Morin Heights, and Val-David are among some of the well-known villages to pick from to serve as your base. Aside from just skiing, the range is delightful year-round. You can partake in golfing, white-water rafting, canoeing, and fishing in the spring and summer months.