The 8 Best Ski Resorts Near Ottawa

The 8 Best Ski Resorts Near Ottawa
Karl Sander
Written by Karl Sander / Photos by Jack Lee
Last updated September 28, 2020
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Eastern Canada may not seem like a hotbed of skiing – not with the likes of Banff and Whistler out west. But with a favorable combination of topography and lake effect snow, the region around Canada’s national capital has plenty to keep skiers and riders busy! Here are our 8 favorite places to ski near Ottawa!

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Known for

Excellent place for beginners!

Highlights

  • Extensive beginner and intermediate terrain
  • One of the best terrain parks in the area
  • A short drive from Ottawa
  • A limited number of trails

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 28 mi (45 minute drive)
Small but mighty! Edelweiss has some awesome slopes (Photo credit: Sommet Edelweiss)

Just over 30 minutes from the heart of Ottawa, it’s tough to beat the convenience of Edelweiss. With only 20 runs and four lifts, it may seem small, but it boasts more than a 650 ft vertical drop along with a well-regarded terrain park. Nearly half the runs are rated for beginners, making it a great place to learn, and the mountain’s amphitheatre shape funnels all the slopes to a central spot to meet in front of the lodge. Many of the trails are lit for night skiing, making Edelweiss a natural choice for hitting the slopes after work!

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Known for

Ontario’s highest vertical drop and conveniently close to Ottawa

Highlights

  • Easy to get to from Ottawa
  • Relatively long runs
  • Slopeside dining and lodging, including ski-in/ski-out
  • Can get crowded

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 70 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Ride the chairlift to the highest vertical drop in the area! (Photo credit: Calabogie Peaks)

Located less than an hour from Canada’s capital city, Calabogie Peaks serves up 24 diverse runs and 780 ft of vertical drop, the most anywhere in Ontario! Its convenient location makes it an easy day trip, but it also offers the kind of dining, après, lodging options and off-slope activities that make for a lovely weekend getaway on the slopes. The destination-style amenities, variety of terrain, and convenient location make Calabogie Peaks a consistently popular choice for Ottawa-area skiers and riders, but the resort’s quad lifts help keep the crowds moving.

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Known for

Two distinct skiing and riding experiences packed into a charming resort

Highlights

  • Great view from the top, especially at night
  • Excellent terrain park
  • Good range of terrain
  • Smaller resort and short runs

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 25 mi (40 minute drive)
Powder day! (Photo credit: Mont Cascades)

About thirty minutes from downtown, Mont Cascades is another convenient choice for skiers in and around Ottawa. Even by local standards it’s on the small side, but its 20 runs offer a good selection of terrain (15 of them are lit for night skiing) and snowmaking covers almost the entire mountain. The mountain features two sides, each with a distinct character and its own lodge. The east side features most of the mountain’s advanced terrain, including a double black diamond run, while the north face includes a dedicated and separate beginner's area where novices can learn in safety and comfort.

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Known for

Feels like you’re in a European ski town without the transatlantic airfare price tag

Highlights

  • Family-friendly resort just 90 minutes from Montreal
  • Excellent nightlife right next to the slopes
  • Diverse terrain suitable for all levels
  • Weekend crowds can be overwhelming

Closest airports

Montreal-Mirabel Intl. Airport - 64 mi (1 hour drive)
Montréal-Trudeau Intl. Airport - 86 mi (1.5 hour drive)
Mont Tremblant's charming village

Just under two hours from Ottawa and 90 minutes from Montreal, Tremblant offers the unique blend of European and North American atmospheres (and flavors!) that is Quebecois culture! Along with more than 2,000 ft of vertical, over 100 runs, and plenty of options for skiers and riders of all ability levels, Mont Tremblant won’t disappoint! Off the slopes, the village might make you think you’re in the Alps, offering a diverse selection of dining, drinking, and shopping. It’s not hard to see why Ski Magazine rates it as one of the best resorts in eastern North America, and even though it’s not as close to Ottawa as some of the others on our list, we think it’s worth the trip!

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Known for

A compact resort focused on families, nestled next to a charming village

Highlights

  • Great place for children and beginners
  • Lively après scene and plenty of dining choices
  • Family-friendly
  • Limited lifts

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 31 mi (40 minute drive)
Great terrain for new skiers (Photo credit: Ski Vorlage)

Ski Vorlage advertises itself as the place for families, featuring excellent terrain for young skiers (and older beginners). Although the size and number of runs are limited, there are options for intermediate and expert skiers and riders as well. There may be only 18 short runs, but 13 of them are lit for night skiing six days per week, and the mountain manages to pack in 466 ft of vertical as well as a terrain park. Its location next to the beautiful riverside village of Wakefield, a half-hour from Ottawa, means that dining, shopping, lodging, and a fun après scene are a short walk away from the slopes.

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Known for

Closest skiing to the heart of Ottawa!

Highlights

  • Very close to the city
  • Relatively uncrowded
  • Great value
  • Difficult to navigate between different parts of the mountain

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 21 mi (40 minute drive)
The closest slopes to Ottawa! (Photo credit: Camp Fortune)

Only 20 minutes away from Parliament (and next to a popular Nordic skiing park if you’ve got friends who have a different definition of skiing), Camp Fortune is hands-down the closest ski and snowboard area to Canada’s capital. Despite its convenience, it doesn’t tend to be very crowded. The resort has 627 ft of vertical, and its 23 trails are divided across three distinct areas so that runs of similar difficulty are generally grouped together. The only downside is that navigating between the areas involves some flat stretches, meaning skiers will have to pole or “skate,” and snowboarders may have to walk a bit.

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Known for

Relatively long runs and amazing views

Highlights

  • One of the largest vertical drops in the area
  • The region’s first skier-cross course
  • Slope side dining and lodging
  • Limited terrain

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 63 mi (1.5 hour drive)
One of the highest verticals in the area! (Photo credit: Mont Ste-Marie)

At just over an hour north of Ottawa, Mont Ste-Marie may not be quite as convenient as some of the other resorts on our list but with 1,250 ft of vertical, the highest in the area aside from Mont Tremblant, it’s worth the trip to check out! The trails are spread over two peaks, with beginner and intermediate terrain clustered together on Vanier Mountain and more ambitious intermediate and expert trails on Cheval Blanc. The resort is also the first in the area to offer a skier/snowboard cross course, so you have a chance to try your hand at this relatively new twist on the sport with big rollers and big banked turns.

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Known for

The quintessential country neighborhood hill

Highlights

  • Family-friendly
  • Excellent place for beginners
  • Good instructional programs
  • Small vertical and limited advanced terrain

Closest airports

Ottawa Intl. Airport - 41 mi (50 minute drive)
Family-friendly slopes (Photo credit: Mount Pakenham) 

Mount Pakenham may not have many trails or much vertical, but it’s a low key and family-friendly place for relaxed skiing and for newbies to get their start. A 45-minute drive from the capital through eastern Ontario farm country, Mount Pakenham is more a place for families to have some fun on the snow than it is a place to shred. Still, it’s an excellent place for beginners to carve their first turns without having to spend too much, complete with a good ski school. There’s not much in the way of advanced terrain, but there is a terrain park and, for those non-skiers in the family or anyone who could use a break, tubing runs and snowshoeing.

The 8 Best Ski Resorts Near Ottawa
Edelweiss Valley
Calabogie Peaks Resort
Mont Cascades
Mont Tremblant
Ski Vorlage
Camp Fortune
Mont Ste Marie
Mount Pakenham
Edelweiss Valley