A person skiing down a challenging ski hill at an Ontario ski resort.

Blue Mountain Resort | Taylor Nullmeyer

Most challenging ski hills in Ontario

A person skiing down a challenging ski hill at an Ontario ski resort.

Blue Mountain Resort | Taylor Nullmeyer

If you’re looking to push the limit this winter, grab your goggles, wax your skis and test your skills on expert-level runs at one of these snow resorts.

Highest vertical drop at Calabogie Peaks Resort  

Calabogie Peaks Resort is Ottawa region’s favourite alpine ski destination.

During the summer, paddlers are drawn to the area for its pristine whitewater and backcountry camping opportunities. However, when November quickly turns to a beautiful snowy winter, locals begin migrating to the small town of Calabogie to ski and ride. 

With two major chairlifts, 24 groomed trails and a full-service lodge, there’s no shortage of fun at this resort. But the true selling point is the mountain’s impressive maximum vertical drop. At 281 metres or 751 feet, planning a trip to Calabogie will ensure you get to ski the highest vertical drop of any public ski hill in Ontario. 

The resort typically opens in mid to late December and operates until the snow subsides in April. 

While you’re here:

  • Visit the resort’s restaurant, Canthooks, for a beer and taste of Swiss cooking after skiing the resort’s range of expert runs.
  • For drinks and warm lodge atmosphere, head to Black Donald’s, the resort’s on-site pub.
  • Grab a quick bite to eat at lunch and a hot chocolate to warm up at Mountain Cat Cafeteria.
  • Stay at one of the resort’s lodging options: the hotel, the condos or the cottages.
  • Take a break from the slopes and snowshoe the Manitou Mountain Trail, a nine-kilometre passage through snow-laden pine trees leading to three separate mountaintops.

Steepest run at Beaver Valley Ski Club

Beaver Valley Ski Club's groomed ski hills are located near the charming village of Kimberley. With 20 runs, multiple terrain parks and five lifts, Beaver Valley offers plenty of action for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

However, the club’s crowning achievement is their signature run, Avalanche. 

Avalanche is Ontario’s steepest ski run, and choosing to ski or ride it will lift your stomach for the duration of the descent. Though the club is a members-only facility, members can purchase day passes for guests. The club has also recently developed a trial membership allowing skiers and snowboarders to pay a largely reduced fee to access the club for a year. 

Nearby, Ontario’s largest public ski area is another great option. Blue Mountain Resort, is only two hours away and is home to Elevator Shaft: a wonderfully steep double black diamond run. Beaver Valley Ski Club is open from December to March, while Blue Mountain is open from December to April. 

While you’re here:

  • Stay at the Jasper Stuart House, a renovated bed and breakfast with cozy amenities and access to all the area’s attractions.
  • Visit Heart’s Tavern and Bar, a local butchery, bar and tavern serving fresh farm-to-table ingredients prepared by formerly Toronto-based chefs.
  • Stop by the Ravenna Country Market for the best sandwich and homemade pickle money can buy.

Best terrain park at Mount St. Louis Moonstone

If you’re looking to polish your terrain tricks, like becoming inverted, balancing on thin metal beams or hitting 40-foot gaps in the snow, head to Mount St. Louis Moonstone.

Located just west of Orillia, Mount St. Louis has been operating as one of Southern Ontario’s premier ski resorts since 1964. Beyond the groomers, the mountain is home to four terrain parks featuring staircases with handrails, multiple half-pipes, 50- to 60-foot kickers and North America’s longest rail at 140 feet. Visit the SkooL Yard, the Junkyard or both sections of the Outback to test your skills on over 60 features. 

Additionally, sign up for one of the Freestyle Day Camps for terrain park lessons in a small group setting.

The resort is open from December to April each year and you can reserve your passes online.

While you’re here:

Longest run at Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain in Mattawa offers beautiful, long runs to ensure you’ll spend more time on the slopes than on the lifts. 

The mountain features a series of beginner to advanced level ski runs, unbelievable views of the Northeastern Ontario landscape and Ontario’s longest ski run. At almost three kilometres long, this run allows skiers and riders to cruise groomed sections of the mountain for an average of six to 10 minutes. 

The mountain is open from December to early April each year.

While you’re here:

Best backcountry skiing near Sault Ste. Marie 

Did you know Northern Ontario is a prime backcountry ski destination? Long, snowy winter and hilly terrain are perfect for fun-filled days of skinning up and skiing down through the trees.

Several chalets and lodges near Sault Ste. Marie provide access to backcountry skiing opportunities. Skin up the 200 metres of vertical and through 1,000 acres (over 400 hectares) of maintained forest property at Bellevue Valley Lodge in Algoma. The lodge offers guided backcountry tours or self-guided entry to the snow-covered trails.

While you’re here:

  • Comfortable accommodations are available at Bellevue Valley Lodge’s The Chalet. Guests staying on the property get free trail access. 
  • Stay at the Stokely Creek Lodge for an all-inclusive winter vacation in the heart of Goulais River.
  • Follow the marked Nordic ski trails to access King Mountain, a local hot spot with incredible powder and 600 metres of vertical area to hike and ski through naturally occurring glades. 
  • After a long day of skiing in one of Ontario’s best-kept backcountry secrets, enjoy a pint of Guinness and some Patchos aka Irish nachos at Mulligans Irish Pub in Sault Ste. Marie.

Best glades at Blue Mountain Resort

Requiring a perfect mixture of speed, agility and expert-level bravery, glade runs present the ultimate challenge for those looking to up the ante.

Blue Mountain Resort is on the tip of every skier and snowboarder’s tongue whenever an Ontario ski getaway comes up in conversation. As the largest Ontario ski resort, Blue Mountain has seven lifts, 43 runs, night skiing, a terrain park and 720 feet (219 metres) of vertical skiing. 

Among the resort amenities and the natural beauty of the area are some of the most challenging glade runs in Ontario. Double black diamond runs, like Old South Glades and Village Glades, offer expert riders and skiers the opportunity to rip through the trees, making steep turns, hitting tall drops and keeping their wits about them as they tackle endurance runs. 

The mountain is open from December to April and offers a variety of Ski and Stay Packages, so you can stay within the Blue Mountain Village for the duration of your trip.

While you’re here:

  • Pop into Northwinds Brewery in the heart of the village to enjoy a meal and a beer at one of their 20+ rotating taps.
  • Visit MJ Byrne’s for an après ski experience with live music in a familiar Irish pub setting. 
  • Alpine Sports, right next to the mountain, will meet your tune-ups or rental needs.
  • Slow down after a day or two of skiing and riding at Scandinave Spa, a full-service Scandinavian-style spa not far from Blue Mountain Resort.

Last updated: January 21, 2024

Looking for Ontario travel advice?

Our experts are here to help you plan your perfect trip. Call or book today.