Blue Mountain Ski Resort in Ontario is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Blue Mountain Ski Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes. --Blake Guthrie
The BasicsBlue Mountain Ski Resort sits on the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario overlooking Lake Huron's Georgian Bay. This all-season mountain resort is Ontario's largest and is two hours from Toronto Pearson International Airport. The resort is large enough to offer plenty of terrain for all skiers and snowboarders of any skill level, as well as an abundance of shopping, dining, lodging and nightlife opportunities in its base village area.
The MountainThe mountain is on the Niagara Escarpment, a unique geologic feature that stretches for hundreds of miles and is responsible for such natural wonders as Niagara Falls. The summit elevation of the resort is 1,482 feet, with a vertical drop of 720 feet. Because the resort is next to a large lake, snow conditions vary wildly. Blue Mountain prides itself on its snowmaking ability. The average annual snowfall is 110 inches. The resort has different base areas that are connected by a complimentary shuttle bus service.
Trails And LiftsBeginner, intermediate and advanced skiers all find suitable terrain on Blue Mountain's trails, many of which are open for night skiing. Most of the runs are for beginners or experts -- more than 40 percent each. The rest, about 17 percent, are for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. Snowboarders can explore three freestyle areas that include the Badlands Terrain Park, which features rails and half-pipes. Blue Mountain has 15 lifts, including two surface lifts for the beginner slopes, three double chairs, one triple chair, six high-speed quads and three high-speed sixes.
In The NewsHockey is a big deal in the land of the maple leaf, and Blue Mountain hosts some notable guests. In October 2011, the National Hockey League team, Montreal Canadiens, ended its preseason training by taking a retreat at Blue Mountain. One of the attractions the team enjoyed was the new Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, a single-car ride down the mountainside where riders control their own speed by using a manual hand brake.
CostAdult lift tickets are $69 for all-day and all-night passes. Night-only rates are $40. For the spring late season, passes are $39 and there is no night skiing. Full equipment rental packages, including valet service, run between $34 and $40 for adult skiers and snowboarders. Daily lessons, given by the Blue Mountain Snow School, are for all age groups, with prices ranging from $59 to $144.
Apres-SkiThe Blue Mountain Village at the base of the resort has an array of restaurants and bars. For some slope-side relaxation in a pub atmosphere, folks head to Cooper Blues Bar & Grill or Windy O'Neill's. Nighthawks in search of a more club-like atmosphere with dancing and live disc jockeys frequent Avalanche @ Blue. There's also the longtime favorite at the Blue Mountain Inn, Jozo's Original Apres, with plenty of live music on tap.
WATCH: Blue Mountain Ski Resort
Blue Mountain Ski Resort night skiing and snowboarding, as seen from a snowboarder's perspective.