Cheap Heli Skiing Canada

Cheap Heli Skiing Canada

Affordable Heli Skiing

Cheap Heli Skiing Alaska

Cheap heli skiing, as you might guess, is relative.  It depends on what cheap heli skiing means to you.  Is cheap heli skiing the lowest price, aka affordable heli skiing, or the best value.

To find the cheapest heli skiing for your group, email TJ or call 866-HELISKI (435-4754)

Cheap Heli Skiing Canada – Lowest Price

The lowest price heli skiing is going to be a resort – based operator.  These heli skiing operators cater to first-timers.  The number of runs and the vertical feet are very low, compared with destination heli skiing operators.   These bucket-lister offerings require safety briefings every day.  The first run is usually very mellow, to make sure everyone can hang.  This is often combined with a long lunch, and quitting early.  Here are some of the cheapest heli skiing options in 2023 (as in lowest price).

OperatorPrice ($US)Runs$/RunExtra Runs
RK Heliski$7203$240$69
Whistler Heliskiing$1,1124$278$100
Eagle Pass DAY Program$1,4007$200$92
Silverton Mtn. Colorado, US$2831$283 
Phantom Heli (Whistler)$1,473Unlimited (8-12)$147$0

Cheap Heli Skiing Canada – Best Value

Calculating the cheapest heli skiing based on the amount of skiing, or value, is more challenging.

There are two pricing models in Canada:  Unlimited Vertical and Base Price Plus Extra Vertical.  So the more vertical you get, the less expensive the former and the more expensive the latter becomes.  And the price of extra vertical, and the vertical feet included also vary. 

Further, the relative value requires considering all of the other important factors in choosing a heli skiing operator and trip.   Those include location, terrain, snow quality and quantity, number of groups per helicopter, the size of the groups, lodging, food and amenities, travel, guides and safety.  Read our blog for more.

Here is an example of the analysis I did for a client who was trying to determine which pricing model fit them best: 

 BaseFeet IncludedExtra Vert / K080,00090,000100,000110,000120,000130,000
CMH Monashees$6,76271,438$47$6,762$7,164$7,634$8,104$8,574$9,044$9,514
Crescent Spur$6,18480,000$38$6,184$6,184$6,564$6,944$7,324$7,704$8,084
Northern Escape$7,50072,000$35$7,500$7,780$8,130$8,480$8,830$9,180$9,530
Northern Esc. Unlimited$8,819Unlimited$-  $8,819$8,819$8,819$8,819$8,819$8,819$8,819

I hope it’s obvious that the calculations can get complex.  But, I love doing it.  Let me know if I can help you choose your next heli skiing adventure.



Shots of some of the operators mentioned:

Phantom Heli Skiing

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Whistler Heli Skiing

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Eagle Pass Heli Skiing

cheap heli skiing, RK HELISKIING

Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing Revelstoke

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Heli Skiing Cost – So How Much Does Heli Skiing Cost? Heliski Cost Explained

How Much Does it Cost to Go Heli Skiing?
Heli Skiing Prices Explained

mica heli skiing, mica heliskiing revelstoke chopper and skier
Heli Skiing Prices may seem high…… but it’s worth it!

What does heli skiing cost?

A good rule of thumb is heliski cost is $1,500/day/person US  ($2,000 Can.).  Heli skiing prices vary A LOT!  The cost of heli skiing in Canada for a week, 6-7 days, ranges from $12K-$20K USD ($15K – $25K Can.) per person.   A Private week of heli skiing costs 2 to 3 times that number!  Read heliskiing price details below.  Is it worth it?  Watch this video and tell me!

Free Expert Canada Helicopter Skiing Advice & Recommendations

Also see our blog post:  Heliskiing vs. Resort Skiing, We Do the Math

What determines heliskiing cost?

How much does it cost to go heli skiing?

Heli Skiing Prices vary by:

helicopter skiing, CMH adamants helicopter skiing
Heli Skiing Prices may seem high…… but it’s worth it!
The time of year (early and late season the cost to go heli skiing is significantly less) The scale of the operation (large helicopters are less expensive, and boutique operations are more expensive) The number of days (some weeks are 6 days of skiing, some 7). Longer heliskiing trips cost less per day The number of groups per helicopter (fewer is better – less waiting, but more expensive). Some operators ski four groups per helicopter, some two. Private is one group per helicopter. The amenities and the travel options (some fly you in by helicopter; some heli skiing prices include a hotel in Vancouver or Calgary). Most require an additional flight from Vancouver into British Columbia which can add $300 to $500 Can. to the heliski trip cost. Some fly from Calgary. Some airlines fly to Kelowna BC from the US, which can reduce the travel cost) Location: Alaska Heli Skiing prices are often lower, but there are reasons, which we can explain. Resort heliskiing prices are higher, relative the to amount of skiing.  

Heli skiing pries are largely a function of the helicopter cost.

  • Helicopter cost is a function of  the flight time of the helicopter.  Longer trips cost more (including fuel runs, first/last runs, changing ranges, etc)
  • The amount of heliskiing is primarily measured in vertical feet or meters.  Operators guarantee a minimum, below which one gets a credit or refund.

3 Heliskiing Price Models

  • One pricing model includes a set amount of vertical feet, typically 100K vertical feet per week; 70K for 5 days; 60K for 4, 45K for 3 days (roughly, but it’s important component of the cost).  Over that, one pays $37 to $56 per thousand feet Canadian Dollars. ( $28 to $42 USD).  Again, the difference in the additional vertical price can have a big impact on the cost of a heli skiing trip.  Here are the average base price costs for 4, 5 and 7 day trips, organized by season – early, high, late.  Note that extra vertical increases the final cost.
Heli Skiing Prices are Canadian Dollars

  • Other operators charge a higher base price but include unlimited vertical – Heliski as much as you want!   This is great if you ski fast and works better when the days are longer – think March.  Below is a graph of the average price of 4, 5 and 7 day unlimited vertical trips by season.
  • So Where is the Breakeven for Unlimited Vertical vs. Base Price Plus?

  • That’s the 100,000 foot question….   Here is a comparison of the average heliskiing price for unlimited vertical for 7-day trips in Peak Season (in black), compared to the price of base plus offerings:  lowest (green), average (yellow) and highest (red).
  • From the chart below you can see that the breakeven varies.  For the lowest base + price operator, the breakeven is not reached until over 200K vertical!  Below 200K, the low base price + is less expensive!   Which operator is that?  Email us!
  • However, for the highest base + price operator, the base price + is more expensive beyond 120K vertical is reached!  And it can be a lot more!  At 200K, the extra vertical charge is $5K, dwarfing even my bar tab!  Which operator is that?  We can tell you.
  • For the average base price + offering, the breakeven occurs at 140K vertical.  Beyond that unlimited is the less expensive option with most operators.
  • Conclusion?  Not all pricing models are equal.  It pays to do the numbers.  We are happy to do it for you.  Email us!
  • Heliskiing Costs by the Hour:   Heli Skiing in Alaska and Private heliskiing options are often priced by the hour of helicopter flight time, or Hobbs (common in Privates and in heli skiing Alaska).   Again, a certain number of helicopter hours are included, and above that gets price – $2500 Can/hour.  But an hour is A LOT of flying and skiing.

Trips come in all sizes, typically 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 days.  The heli skiing price per day typically goes down as the trip gets longer.  So the cost to go heli skiing is higher per day for shorter trips.  Food, lodging and helicopter skis are included in all of these helicopter ski trips.  What are the best heliskis?

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Single day heli skiing prices can be lower, but the value is also lower.

For example, a 3-Run helicopter ski package can be $700-$800 US or less.  There are 1-day operators, usually found near a resort. It’s a taste of the real thing, and expensive for what you get.  One has to be prepared to go over the safety briefing every day, and they cater to newbies and bucket-list heliskiers, so be ready for the challenges and delays that can bring.

Some operators combine catskiing and/or resort skiing with heliskiing. This can be a good way to warm up, and it keeps the cost down. Catskiing is about 50 to 65% of the cost of heliskiing.

Heliskiing cost is one of many factors to consider….

How does one decide?  Call 866-HELISKI or email me (TJ)  and I will put together the best helicopter ski options for you.  Answer 4 quick questions, or


Check out our Heliskiing Canada Guide  and

Top 10 Things to Consider when Booking the Best Heli Skiing

Heliskiing Canada, Best Heliskiing Canada

Top 10 Things to Consider in a Heliskiing Trip

Top 10 Things to Consider in a Heliskiing Trip

Heliskiing Canada, Best Heliskiing Canada

The Top 10 Heliskiing Trip Factors

1.  Location

British Columbia Canada is the center of the heliskiing world.  It has the perfect combination of terrain, climate and precipitation.  It is home to the majority of heliskiing and heliboarding operations on earth.   Within British Columbia there are different regions with different advantages and disadvantages.

Snow quantity is directly affected by proximity to the Pacific. In general, more snow falls in the Coast Ranges.  Snow quality if based on a combination of factors, but most notably is the distance North (cooler temps) and the elevation (the higher the dryer).   A minimum amount of snow is required for both ground coverage and general stability and for this reason the vast majority of Heliskiing occurs in the Interior ranges and the Coast Ranges. The Rockies generally have less snowfall, but what falls is dry!  See a map of British Columbia Heliskiing and Heliboarding Locations.

Alaska is home of the steep and deep.  The season is later and there is not much tree skiing compared to BC.  Most operators are out of Valdez, but there are a couple of others.  Alaska can be more difficult to access.  For example, Anchorage to Valdez flights are cancelled over one third of the time in the season.  Alaska can have more down days than many BC operators.  There are some options better than others. The US offers heliskiing and heliboarding in the Lower 48 as well.  Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Washington, California and Idaho all have heliskiing.  Many of these are located at or near resort skiing and cater to one-day trips, although longer trips are also available.  Europe heliskiing is somewhat restricted, starting late and ending early.  France outlawed it.  South America and New Zealand also offer heli skiing trips.   India, Russia, Greenland and Iceland are also available for exotic adventures.

2.  Dates – When to go, not whether or not to take one…..

BC operates January to early April. Whistler may offer December days.  The Christmas to New Years week is also available from some operators.

Primetime is February, but January and March are usually very good.  January can offer better deals, including unlimited vertical.  Be aware that late season can include ‘corn snow’ in addition to or instead of powder.

See related posting on January vs. March Which is best?

Alaska has a much later season.  Some operators open in February.  Prime time is March and April.  Some will accommodate early May.  It may be corn snow, however.  There is twice as much sunlight at the end of the season than at the beginning.

3.  Groups

The size of the group and the number of groups per helicopter, or machine, is very important.  Some of the big operators like Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) and Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing use primarily big helicopters with 11 guests per lift.   Almost all of the boutique, smaller operators use A-stars, Bell407’s or the new Koalas.   These hold 4 to 6 guests.  It is a more intimate group.  In addition, smaller helicopters are more maneuverable.  Small groups can access tighter areas that could not handle 13 sets of tracks.  Smaller is better.   However, the bigger machines such as the Bell212 are less expensive.

Groups per helicopter is another important criterion.  A helicopter can easily service two or three groups without much waiting.   Operators will attempt to group guests of similar ability and speed.  But all groups can only go as fast as the slowest group, unless or until a group can be passed.  The amount of waiting depends on the ‘weakest link’ and on the willingness of the guides to ‘leap frog’ the slow group.  This is frequently a cause of tension and discontent.  This is especially true if the groups contain skiers with different ability and or speed.  Another issue can arise if some guests are interested in ‘extra vertical’ (for extra money) and some are not.  Unless the lodge is close or there are logical groups, some guests may be disappointed. One group per machine, aka Private, is best but expensive.  Two groups per machine, a Semi-Private, is very good and usually comes at a premium.  Three groups per machine, Classic or Regular, is the industry norm for smaller, more boutique operations.  Be aware that many of the newer companies are calling there packages Private or Semi-Private but do not offer the same service as the more reputable companies.

4.  Length of Trip

Packages are available for 1, 3, 4, 7 or more days.  Most ‘week’ trips are 7 nights with 6 full days of skiing.  Some will offer skiing on the morning of departure.  Some can get up on the afternoon of the arrival day.  Several companies now offer a full seven days as they are located with easier access and can have their guests ski a full day on the last day instead of using it as a change over time and lengthy transfer to an airport. But those are the exception.

Resort-based operators cater to shorter trips, especially one-day trips.  More remote operators justify longer trips.  A travel day on each end may be required, but as mentioned access is the key if you want to ski more and travel less. So, longer trips make the best use of time and money. Down days, unfortunately, do happen.  If the helicopter cannot fly, due to weather or mechanical issues, the bummer is magnified if it is shorter trip.  A handful of operators now offer catskiing backup.  It can save the day and is worth considering.

5.  Travel

Total travel time is an important criteria that is often overlooked.  Some of the oldest heliski operators require bus rides of eight hours on both ends of the trip.  This is an ironic contrast to the fast, convenient service offered during the heliskiing.  It may not sit well with clients who can afford heliskiing.

It is a good idea to get the travel itineraries for everyone in the group before you book.  Getting to and from a heliskiing destination can range from straight forward or very challenging.  Some places are easy to get to with frequent ‘commuter’ flights.  Book these ASAP.  The good flights often sell out, and the cheap seats sell out first.  Others’ charter flights, require lengthy bus rides and are susceptible to weather delays.  Most have vans or buses for the last leg of the journey. The primary airports for heliskiing access are Vancouver, Calgary, and Anchorage, in that order.  Many itineraries require a night stay before or after the trip, some both.  Some operators include this in the price, others do not.  Some operators that are easy to access allow West Coast heliskiers to fly up in the morning and ski that afternoon.  It may also be possible to ski the morning of the last day, and fly home that afternoon. This allows three days of heliskiing in a total of four days.

Several offer easy access with all the same feelings of remoteness without the additional travel time. Another benefit to easy access is that it may also increase the skiing time you have available during your package. This may actually add up to a full day more given the same package duration.

6.  Cost

Heliskiing is expensive.  The good news is that it is worth it.  Most packages run $800 to $1100 per day, Canadian.  This includes food, lodging, helicopter lifts and some après ski hors d’oeuvres.  Alcohol is always an additional cost.

Most packages include a guaranteed minimum vertical.  Additional vertical is typically $35-45 per thousand feet.  Resort-based operators are around $100/extra run.  Everyone in your helicopter group or ‘lift’ must agree to the extra vertical, or the day is over.  It is common to re-configure the groups late in the day to allow one or two groups to go for the extra vertical.

If weather or mechanical downtime prevents reaching the guaranteed minimum, most operators will issue a credit toward a future trip.  It is unusual to get a refund.  Operators vary widely on their willingness to accommodate clients for missed vertical.  In fact, some operators have been known to start late and quit early to minimize helicopter expenses.  Fortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.  Refunds and vertical achieved are often the cause of friction on the last day, as type-A guests butt heads with cash-strapped operators.  There is ample room for disagreement about the cause of slow groups and missed vertical.  Negotiation can be successful, but it is best done in private and with a cool head and respect.

Some packages include unlimited vertical.  In fact, a couple of operators offer unlimited vertical on every package!   Others offer it during the early and late season.  It may be built into a higher price.  It is worth shopping around.  See this blog post about the pros and cons of unlimited vertical heliskiing.

7.  Accommodations

Most BC Operators offer very nice lodges in remote locations.  A few offer less expensive options, especially those that cater to day-trippers.  Most will offer excellent amenities including bar, hot tub, wireless internet, ski shop, massage, pool, TV/movies, etc.  Check them out online.  Most are great.

Some are fishing lodges in the summer months.  Lodging is in hotels in a handful of locations.

Alaska is considerably more rugged, with a couple of exceptions.   The center of gravity is Valdez.  Most operators shuttle clients back and forth from their motel in Valdez.  A few have their own accommodations. Another interesting option in Alaska is a motor home.  The operators make it easy to hook up and hang out when you are skiing, and go exploring when you are not.  You have the option of cooking for yourself, too.   In general, Alaska is a far less luxurious, so say the least.

Down days do happen.  Good down day (contradiction in terms) activities include ski touring, cat skiing, resort skiing, fishing, snowmobiling, sea kayaking and more.

The food is awesome! Destination heliski operators almost all offer great food and lots of it.  Hotel based operations may be a little less gourmet. Some of the bigger operators do buffet style, but the food is great.

8.  Helicopters

There are several helicopters common in the heliskiing industry.  Most popular with the boutique operators is the A-Star.  It typically carries four guests across a bench-like seat in the back; the pilot and guide sit in front.  It is also known as the A-Star B, for models B2 and the more powerful B3.

The Bell 407 typically seats five in the rear; the pilot and one more sit up front (usually the guide with the exception of the last ride home.) Bell 205, 206 and 212 carries up to eleven guests, a guide and a pilot.  Operators may run two to four groups of this size.   There are trade-offs.  Bigger helicopters have longer load and unload time and clients ski in lager groups.  Some terrain does not lend itself to 12-48 tracks……   Operators with smaller helicopters and groups have more flexibility in arranging groups, reaching terrain, etc.  However, most will run three small groups per helicopter.   The exception is Private or Semi Private packages that run one or two groups respectively.  The price is higher, but the experience is the best.  With 7 or more in a group, a private may be the best deal.

Requirements for skiing ability vary somewhat.  The resort-based and one-day oriented operators suggest ‘intermediate’ ability is required and/or ‘some powder experience.’  The more remote operators suggest ‘strong intermediate’ or ‘able to ski any run at a resort in control.  These are definitely minimum requirements.  Most clients will be expert with good powder ability.  Do not invite a buddy with marginal ability if you want to ski fast and make friends in the lodge.

The other requirement is ‘good physical condition.’  It is very important to be in good shape.  You do not want to be straining to keep up.  Worse, you do not want to be slowing down your friends (and former friends.)  Get yourself in very good shape!

9.  Safety and Guides

The first and most important factor in choosing a company to ski with is to ensure it is a member of the HeliCat Canada Association. This association set strict standards for its members and ensures that they meet them through standard audits of their operating procedures. Most companies are members, however a handful of companies did not meet the operational standards of the association and therefore are not members. This is critical as there are currently no government regulations for guides in Canada. To date they have been very successful at self-regulation and have a very good safety record.

One of the critical points to consider is Guides Qualifications. HeliCat Canada recognizes only ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) and the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guide’s Associations) of which the ACMG is the Canadian member. There are many other training schools in Canada, but none, other than the ACMG are internationally recognized.

HeliCat Canada has a set of standard operating procedures and all members follow them so you’ll find that most companies operate, with regard to safety, in a standard manner.  Be sure to check the operator credentials and safety record. You may be surprised to find out that the company you are considering is not a member, regardless of its longstanding reputation, and is therefore not regulated in any way.

Trip insurance is a good idea.  It covers change of plans or travel problems.  We do strongly recommend trip cancellation/disruption insurance.  It is an add-on to the package price when guests make their final payment.  This ranges from $200-$300, depending on the date of the tour, and the age of the participant.

Evacuation insurance is usually a daily fee of $8-10 and it is a must.

10.  How to Choose? offers free, objective advice and recommendations that is base on experience.  It’s free to the client.   Call 866-HELISKI (866-435-4754) Intl:  925-683-7676 or Email

How Much Does Heli Skiing Cost?

How Much Does Heli-Skiing Cost?

How Much Does Heli Skiing Cost?  It’s not a simple answer, but a good rule of thumb is heli-skiing cost is $1,500/day/person US.  A week of Canada heli skiing cost ranges from $8,000 – $20,000 US, per person. Heliski cost varies depending on many factors.

Give us a call or email and we can help you find the best heli ski cost for the trip that suits your group.  866-HELISKI.  or EMAIL

Here is an example of options we put together for a group of 8 looking for 4-5 days next January:

OperatorJanuary Dates# DaysGroup SizeGroups Per HeliSki TogetherVertical FeetHeliski Cost Per PersonHeliski Cost Per DayTravel
Silvertip21-25482YesUnlimited$6,902$1,726Van-Williams Lake, Heli to Lodge (all included)
 29- Feb 2482YesUnlimited$7,672$1,918 
 Ski in one group, cool lodge on lake, travel from Vancouver included.  
Stellar11-14442 or 3NoUnlimited$8,210$2,053Fly to Spokane, WA; rent Cars, drive 4.5 hrs
Crescent Spur1-64102YesUnlimited$5,572$1,393Fly Van-Prince George, 2 hrs in Shuttle, incl.
 6-125102 80K$8,412$1,682 
 6-136102 100K$9,095$1,516 
      extra @ $37/K  
Great Canadian8-12443NoUnlimited$7,913$1,978Fly to Calgary, Van 4 hrs., $2300 US total
 14-17483  $9,221$2,305 
Mike Wiegele13-205103 or 4YesUnlimited$8,640$1,728Fly to Kamloops, 2.5 hrs by rental car or shuttle
 20-275104 or 4     
 27-Feb 35105 or 4     
Here is a link to a map showing your options in red. In case the labels don’t show, they are top to bottom: Crescent Spur, Silvertip, Mike Wiegele, Great Canadian, Stellar

heli skiing cost, how much does heli skiing cost example

Heliski Cost varies by:

The time of year (early and late season heli-skiing costs less)

The scale of the operation (large helicopters are less expensive, and boutique operations are more expensive)  Even within CMH heli skiing costs vary widely.

The number of days (some weeks are 6 days of skiing, some 7).   It’s best to look at what heli skiing costs per day and per vertical foot / meter to compare the cost of heli skiing.

The number of groups per helicopter (fewer is better – less waiting).  Some operators ski four groups per helicopter, some two.  Heli skiing costs less with more groups.  Private is one group, and expensive.

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The travel options (some fly you in by helicopter; some include hotel in Vancouver or Calgary).  Some operators include the flight in the heli-skiing cost.

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The amount of skiing, measured in vertical feet or meters. Most guarantee a minimum, typically 100K feet per week.  Over that, one pays $40 to $60 US per thousand feet. Some operators charge a higher base rate, but include unlimited vertical. Ski as much as you want. Some charge by the hour of helicopter flight time aka Hobbs.   This is more common in Privates and in Alaska.

Trips come in all sizes, typically 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 days.

The amenities and other add ons, including massage and alcohol (in most cases).  Some packages include EVERYTHING in the heliski cost!


There are 1-day operators, usually found near a resort. It’s a taste of the real thing, and expensive for what you get. You have to be prepared to go over the safety briefing every day, and they cater to newbies, so be ready for the challenges and delays that can bring.  The cost of heli skiing for one day is usually very high compared to longer trips, especially considering the vertical you ski.

Some operators combine catskiing and/or resort skiing with heliskiing. This can be a good way to warm up, and it keeps the heliski cost down. Catskiing is 40-50% of the cost of heliskiing on average.

How does one decide? Call or email me or one of the team.

heli skiing cost, how much does heliskiing cost?