Things To Do
BC’s Coolest Ski Towns
The case for skiing north of the border, written by an American
BC is home to some of the most beautiful, untouched mountains in North America. In addition to many ski resorts and cat-skiing and heli-skiing operations, the province is home to roughly thirty commercial backcountry lodges. Surrounded by endless powder and some of the best skiing on the planet, these lodges are what BC winter dreams are made of. Here are five backcountry lodges close to Golden, BC.
Golden Alpine Holidays (GAH) has four lodges located in BC’s northern Selkirk Mountains, between Golden and Revelstoke. GAH is considered an icon of backcountry ski touring, and their locations are often used in ski films, such as Sweetgrass Productions’ Valhalla. With over 20,234 hectares (50,000 acres) to ski, and nordic skiing, alpine ski touring, and custom trip options, you might never want to leave.
Sentry (the lodge featured above) is as beautiful as it is comfortable. With its modern design, it’s easy to see that this is not your traditional log cabin. It was built with sustainability in mind; the tall ceilings and amazing views make you feel like the leader of your very own luxury mountain kingdom. The lodge has free WiFi, so you can upload your epic riding footage at the end of each day. Guests can also relax in the warmth of a sauna, or enjoy a stretch in the lodge’s yoga room.
Elevation: 2,195 metres (7,200 feet)
Capacity: Sleeps up to 15 people
Positioned on the western slopes of the Rockies near Golden, the Campbell Icefield Chalet is surrounded by cathedral like jagged mountains. With about 5,000 hectares (12,355 acres) of skiable terrain and a variety of styles from Open Bowls to Tree Skiing, the chalet has options for all abilities. Guests can head out on a self-guided exploration, or bring along a highly experienced guide to show you and your group around. At Campbell Icefield Chalet, your stay is completely customizable.
This family friendly lodge has all the basic conveniences of home, as well as a sauna to help you warm up on those cold winter days. Fill the cabin with the delicious smells of your own culinary creations, or enjoy the chalet’s catering so you can relax after a long day of riding. The chalet is an internet-free zone – the perfect opportunity to unplug and relax.
Elevation: 2,118 metres (6,950 feet)
Capacity: Sleeps up to 8 people
Purcell Mountain Lodge is perched amidst the alpine slopes of the northern Purcell Mountains. It’s home to maintained trails, fresh powder, and breathtaking scenery, all accessible by a fifteen-minute helicopter ride from Golden.
After a day on the slopes, you can cozy up by the wood burning fire and settle into this backcountry luxury lodge which has been in operation for 25+ years. The staff at the lodge offer a unique and memorable experience; their winter chef, Stephane, can be found singing the menu before dinner and their friendly, professional guides are the perfect company for your winter adventures.
Please note: As a rule, children must be 14+; however, exceptions can be made in most cases, so make sure to ask.
Elevation: 2,195 metres (7, 200 feet)
Capacity: Up to 20 Guests
Icefall Lodge sits high in the sky at 1,900 metres (6,300 feet) and is accessed by helicopter from Golden. At Icefall, you must be an advanced skier, as the terrain and conditions are demanding. For those up to the challenge, there’s so much to see in Icefall’s vast area, which boasts the longest ski runs in Canada and some of the longest runs in the world. There are over 30 separate glaciers offering some outstanding alpine skiing, although you can also ski amazing lines from just a few kilometres outside your door. Their experienced and knowledgeable guides take you up close to the Icefall’s incredible features, so be sure to bring your camera!
The lodge itself comes surrounded with trees and spectacular views of the Rockies. With log posts and much of the lumber milled on-site, you get a true log cabin feel here. After a day in the mountains, you can enjoy a hot shower, sauna, or stretch session on the lodge’s complimentary yoga mats. Satellite internet is available for those so inclined.
Please note: Previous backcountry experience is helpful, as is experience skiing black diamond runs.
Elevation: 1,920 metres (6,300 feet)
Capacity: Up to 18 Guests
Wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee whilst nestled high in the Canadian Rockies. Close to the Yoho National Park, Wapta Icefields, and Banff National Park, and just 18 minutes from Golden via helicopter sits Mistaya Lodge. This magnificent area that the lodge calls home is named the Wildcat Creek Basin, a remote region of the Rockies sitting along the Continental Divide. Mistaya serves up terrain for all levels of skiers, along with an exceptionally cozy place to rest.
This family-run lodge can accommodate up to fourteen guests at a time, and unlike other operators, they include an educational component to your adventures. Map reviews are part of the daily routine to ensure that you know where you are, where you have been, and what peaks surround you while you’re on top of the world.
As far as the lodge itself goes, you’ll find guests socializing with one another, enjoying warm, home cooked meals, and taking advantage of the sauna and hot showers before drifting off to sleep only to wake up early for more fresh tracks the next day.
Elevation: 2,042 metres (6,700 feet)
Capacity: Up to 14 Guests
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