Vancouver ski hills include Grouse, Mt. Seymour and Cypress. Also, just two hours away in opposite directions, there’s Whistler and Sasquatch.
Vancouver Ski Resorts
This article features information about all five of the Lower Mainland’s ski hills, plus a sixth mountain located just a three-hour drive away. Details provided include resort locations as well as descriptions of each venue’s facilities, terrain and typical snow
Information in this article includes the following topics:
The Lower Mainland Has 5 Ski Hills!
There aren’t many major cities in the world where there are great ski hills just thirty minutes away. Vancouver has not one, but three local ski mountains to choose from: Grouse, Cypress, and Seymour.
Right at the edge of the city, rising out from the ocean, are these three winter playgrounds set in the stunning North Shore Mountains.
Further afield (and much larger and even more famous) is Whistler-Blackcomb, arguably one of the finest ski resorts on the planet. People come from all around the world to ski Whistler’s slopes.
In the opposite direction, up at the edge of the Fraser Valley, is Sasquatch Mountain Resort (which until 2017 was called Hemlock)
And finally, even further away is Manning Park. Manning is a three-hour drive from Vancouver, so definitely not a Vancouverite’s first choice for skiing, but convenient for people living (or visiting) in the farther reaches of the Fraser Valley (like past Chilliwack).
Manning Park Resort is also a good place to ski for people wanting an overnight trip, or something different from the local hills that’s closer than the Okanagan.
How is Each Ski Hill Different?
The Lower Mainland’s various ski hills are all great in their own special ways. Some are larger and others smaller. Some are also more modern, less modern, either more or less crowded, cheaper, more expensive, better for beginners, better for expert skiers and with differing average quantities and qualities of snow.
See below for details about each location.
Snow Conditions Comparison Overview
Wondering how the snow conditions compare this time of year at the different ski hills? Below is a snapshot of the various snow report amounts as of January 14, 2019.
- Cypress: As of mid-January, 2019, the resort has had 396 cm of snow so far to date and a base of 218 cm. First day of the 2018/19 season, at least for a tiny bit of the hill, was December 3rd. Total snowfall was 1168 cm for the 2017/18 season which ended on April 15, 2018.
- Grouse: As of the middle of January 2019, the resort reports a base of 150 cm at the plateau and 202 cm at the peak, with 260 cm of snowfall so far this season. The first day of the 2018/19 season was December 5, 2018 (which was later than usual). Total snowfall last year was 1072 cm (as of the hill’s last day of the season on May 6 last spring).
- Seymour: As of January 14, 2019, 239 cm has already fallen this winter to date and there is now 137 cm at the base and 239 at the summit. First day of the season was Friday, December 14. 1023 cm of snow fell over the course of the season last year, with 520 cm still on the summit and 325 cm at the base on April 15 (which was the resort’s final day of the 2017/18 ski season.)
- Whistler: The first day of the 2018/19 season was November 22, 2018, and as of mid-January there is a base of 255 cm and 684 cm of total snowfall to date. Total snowfall last year was 1229 cm and the resort finished the season with 148 cm at the base on April 22nd. Blackcolm, meanwhile, finally closed on May 21st.
- Sasquatch: The resort opened for the season on December 21, 2018, and as of the third week of January 2019 there has been 416 cm of snowfall to date with 71 cm remaining at the base. Total snow accumulation in 2017/18 was 1309 cm and the hill closed for the season with 414 cm still remaining at the alpine base on April 2nd.
Cypress Bowl Ski Resort
Cypress Mountain has the most lifts, most terrain and most vertical drop of the three closest ski hills to Vancouver, plus tickets start at only about $50 per adult if you have a Gold Medal Card. Cypress has 53 runs, 6 chairs, 600 acres (240 hectares) of terrain and 610 metres in vertical drop.
Cypress isn’t a huge ski hill, but it’s still pretty big and the largest and most advanced of Vancouver’s three most central hills. In addition to downhill skiing, Cypress also has great cross-country (Nordic) skiing and a tubing park.
Over the past 6 years Cypress has averaged about 35 feet of snow per year, with amounts ranging from just over 27 feet at mid-mountain in 2006/07 up to over 45 feet in 2010/11.
Click Cypress Mountain for more information on this ski hill.
Grouse Mountain Ski Resort
Grouse Mountain is the most accessible of Vancouver’s three local hills (so you don’t normally require winter tires and you can take public transit). Grouse also offers the best deal for season’s tickets (the famous Y2Play Pass) if you buy in the spring before, and the best year-round activities.
The ski hill at Grouse Mountain has 212 acres of skiable terrain, 33 daytime ski and snowboard runs, 15 night skiing runs, 5 terrain parks, 4 chairs, a vertical drop of 365 metres and 9 kilometres of snowshoeing trails. The resort also gets an average of 9.7 metres (or just under 32 feet) of snow per year.
The resort has been operating since 1926, has large-scale snow-making capabilities and it’s particularly popular with families, youth and international visitors.
What makes Grouse different from all the other ski hills is the fact that you have to take a tram up to its base. The parking lot is at the bottom of the mountain and instead of driving to the top you take a ride on the Skyride tram for about 8 or so minutes. The scenery from the Skyride is stunning and the trip means you rarely need winter tires to access the slopes, which makes Grouse the region’s most accessible mountain.
Click Grouse Mountain for more information.
Mt. Seymour Ski Resort
Mount Seymour is arguably Vancouver’s best hill for beginners and young families, plus often it’s the local ski resort with the most snowfall.
Seymour has 40 runs, 3 chairs, 200 acres of terrain and 330 m in vertical drop. It’s the only one of the three local mountains that doesn’t have its own artificial snow-making capabilities, which means it struggles in warm dry winters, but is great most years.
Mt. Seymour features free snowshoeing trails (in the provincial park section) and a great (but not free) tubing park. The resort has 4 tubing lanes and 8 sledding runs.
Other features of Mt. Seymour include its four terrain parks, all of which have lighting at night, and lots of free parking. The resort has 5 lifts including a high speed quad and 2 double chairs, and 40% of its runs are marked as Green for novices, 40% Blue for intermediate skiers, and 20% Black for advanced and expert skiers.
The longest run at Mt. Seymour is 1.6 km, the summit elevation is 1265 metres (or close to 4200 feet), and the average annual snowfall is close to 10 metres (or over 33 feet).
Click Mount Seymour for more information.
Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Resort
Whistler-Blackcomb is the world-class ski resort that co-hosted the Olympic Games with Vancouver in 2010. It’s about a 2-hour drive from Vancouver (plus or minus depending on where you are coming from and the traffic), so more of a trek than other skill hills, but worth the drive as it is in a class of its own.
Whistler-Blackcomb is actually made up of two ski hills, although the same ski ticket gives you access to both. Whistler is slightly larger, with over 4750 acres of skiable terrain compared to slightly more than 3,400 on Blackcomb, although Blackcomb beats Whistler by about 250 metres in elevation. Whistler and Blackcomb have similar vertical drops and comparable base elevations.
Between the two mountains the resort has over 200 runs, 8171 acres of terrain, 24 chairs and gondolas, and 1609 metres in vertical drop. It’s also a full little mega-resort village with hundreds of restaurants, types of accommodation and shops.
Click Whistler-Blackcomb for more information.
Sasquatch Mountain Ski Resort
Known as Hemlock Valley Resort until 2016, Sasquatch Mountain is a ski hill located in the Fraser Valley not far from Harrison Hot Springs. It’s not the region’s most modern ski hill, but not the smallest either, and if expansion plans proceed it could one day be one of if not the biggest!
Sasquatch Mountain Resort is a ski hill with wide open terrain, 3 chair lifts and about three dozen runs of which some 45% are classified as Black Diamond. Complementing its skiing and snowboarding facilities, the resort has 13 km of snowshoeing trails and a brand new 8-lane tubing park. The Fraser Valley’s only ski hill, it’s also one of the most affordable snow-sport resorts in the Lower Mainland.
In total, Sasquatch Mountain has 335 metres in vertical drop, which is similar to other ski hills, and around 300 acres of skiable terrain.
Click Sasquatch Mountain Resort to learn more.
Manning Park Ski Resort
Manning Park is a smaller ski resort that isn’t actually in the Lower Mainland, although it does serve eastern parts of the region. The ski hill is a 3-hour drive from Vancouver, when traffic is good from the city through the Fraser Valley.
Manning Park Resort has over 30 km (18 miles) of groomed cross-country ski trails, a great little alpine hill with a couple of chairs, and a tubing park. Because it’s further into the interior and away from the ocean, the temperatures are colder at Manning Park than at ski hills closer to Vancouver and the coast, which means the snow is usually better.