The best heli-skiing and wild snowboarding locations are almost always the ones you can’t find with an online search. They’re the kind of mountains only the best freeskiers and avid snowboarders know about; the hidden gems that you want to keep hidden for fear that the world will turn them into a popular resort. So, if you really want to know the wildest places to ski or snowboard down, you’ll have to ask around. We simply can’t give up all of our secrets! However, we will give up a few of them. Here are some of the not-so-hidden, wild hidden gems to ride this winter season.
8 Best Hidden Gems to Ski or Board in Canada
Bella Coola in British Columbia
One of the best hidden gems that is still considering to be quite a secret is Bella Coola. It’s located in a First Nation Community in the Coast Range of British Columbia and is definitely one of the best, most isolated places for heli-boarders and skiers.
The snow is nice and fluffy – you’ll need some good snow goggles, the scenery is absolutely mesmerizing, the lack of crowds is epic and of course, the 2.64 million acres of light powder isn’t too bad either.
Revelstoke in British Columbia
Yet another great destination for freestyle skiing and boarding is at Revelstoke Mountain Resort… And as you likely guessed from the name, it isn’t really a “hidden gem” anymore. However, the free space to ride down will make you think otherwise. In fact, the resort only hosts up to 16 people. So, you’ll get that authentic, isolated, wild experience you’re looking for.
It’s so wild that you’ll need a helicopter to get there, which the resorts offer three different operators for you to choose from. Once you arrive, you can swoop through old forests, drop into open bowls of white powder and explore the deep backcountry of B.C.
Bell 2 Lodge in British Columbia
By now, you’re likely seeing a trend – British Columbia. It’s the place to be for wild, isolated heaps of snow to ride and Bell 2 Lodge is definitely one of the best. This little resort sits on top of Skeena Mountains and a ski or boarding trip here will provide you with plenty of trees to carve in between, huge dumps to dive into (not literally, of course) and wild terrain to explore. But don’t be mistaken, you’ll pay a hefty price for a trip to this destination.
Castle Mountain in Alberta
Although British Columbia still has many more wild places to go skiing and snowboarding, let’s head over to Albert, solely for the sake of changing things up. If you’re looking for a wild, isolated destination to ski or board in Alberta, you’ll want to avoid the popular resorts located in Banff and Jasper. Instead, take a trip to Pincher Creek’s Castle Mountain located in southwest Alberta. The 3,592 acres of wild terrain to ride is bound to give you an unforgettable ski and snowboarding experience. You simply can’t go wrong.
Searchmont Resort in Ontario
Anytime “resort” is attached to the name of your secret skiing destination, it’s easy to mistake it for being an overcrowded tourist destination. However, Searchmonth Resort is anything but. Located in the mountains of the epic Great Canadian Shield, it’s a must-do for skiers and boarders located in Ontario – a much better alternative to those over-priced and incredibly crowded slopes located in the more southern parts of the province. Plus, this isolated destination also comes with the small-town feel, 750 vertical feet of riding and some of the largest amounts of snowfall.
Miller Mountain in Quebec
Quebec is the place to be, no matter what type of skiing or boarding you’d like to get up to. However, if you’re looking for a wild, isolated slope to ride, check out Miller Mountain located in the eastern Québec, in Gaspé Peninsula.
This resort gets more snow than any other resort in the province, allowing you to enjoy an authentic skiing or boarding session. Oh, and did we forget to mention that there’s a 280-meter vertical drop?
Mont Sutton in Quebec
While in Québec, take a trip to the southeast side of Montreal and ride down Mont Sutton. Although this mountain does come with a resort, the 230 acres of snow runs are surprisingly not overcrowded. This is even more surprising considering Mont Sutton is often winning all kinds of votes in ski magazines.
More importantly, it has that authentic, wild and isolated feel. This is likely due to almost half of the area being lined with trees which truly makes you feel like you’re carving through powder in the backcountry of Nunavut.
Marble Mountain in Newfoundland
Despite eastern Canada not being known for its skiing and boarding opportunities, you should definitely take a trip over to the East coast of Canada and ride down Marble Mountain. With a name like that, how can you not?
This ski resort located on the west coast of the east coast has plenty to offer – including a wild and isolated skiing or boarding experience. The 225 acres of slopes get a sufficient amount of snow each year and has one of the biggest vertical drops in Atlantic Canada. And if you’ve never been out east, rest be assured that everything feels isolated and wild out there! Plus, you can also explore the Gros Morne National Park while you’re out there – a fabulous destination for secluded, cross-country skiing.
The best hidden skiing and snowboarding locations are the ones you find yourself. Take a trip out to the backcountry of Canada or explore the Canadian Rocky Mountains – with a tour guide, of course – and see what kind of slopes you can discover. But, don’t forget to bring a pair of premium, photochromic snow goggles. With the high altitude comes plenty of snow, reflection, cold and changes in light. So, you’ll want to be prepared and Julbo has you covered.