Ski Northern BC this Winter
For a dusting of powder and charm.
Is there anything better than a room with a view? The lure of staying lakeside is strong, not just for the lovely views but for easy access to sandy shores and surrounding woods or vineyards. It also helps if your accommodation is top-notch. In BC, you can have it all.
For a weekend in wine country, head to Quails’ Gate, a family-run operation in BC’s Okanagan Valley that boasts not one but two lakeside retreats. The Lake House, a luxury four-bedroom property fit for 10, has a sprawling kitchen, multiple patios, and a private dock. The Nest offers cosier comfort for seven, plus access to a private beach. Wine fridge empty? Swirl and sip at a 30-minute Passion for Pinot Noir tasting or 60-minute Best of Boucherie Tour, and choose your favourites to bring back to your lakeside home away from home.
The lure of Okanagan Lake—a vast and deep pool of blue—can be traced to BC’s Gold Rush. It was in 1908, during days of boom and bust, that a stretch of sand on the eastern lakeshore near Penticton proved an ideal spot for newspaper magnate John Moore Robinson to build his dream home. The Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa served as a cultural centre, girls’ private school, and a family residence. Today, the inn boasts 12 finely appointed rooms, a restaurant, and a spa—all within reach of stellar wineries and cycling along the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
Barefoot Beach Resort, a new Penticton offering on Skaha Lake’s warm, sandy shoreline, promises a stay that’s far from conventional. Here, 12 yurts, complete with private patios and barbecues, draw sun-seekers to BC’s Okanagan. Lazy days will be spent on the water, while evening respite will draw you back to your cool, circular shelter. Bonus: outfitted with skylights, the resort’s yurts offer plenty of opportunity to stargaze while you drift into dreamland.
Set on the shores of its namesake lake, Emerald Lake Lodge is ideal for outdoorsy types, thanks to hand-hewn timber cabins surrounded by serious Rocky Mountain peaks. A haven for hikers, canoeists, and paddleboarders, Yoho National Park-situated Emerald Lake provides the ultimate home base for adventure. Following a day’s pursuits, it’s back to the main lodge, bedecked with century-old fireplaces and an oak bar salvaged from an 1890s Yukon saloon. We’ll drink to that.
Kootenay Lake. Selkirk Mountains. For Selwyn G. Blaylock, this slice of heaven near Nelson was the ideal spot for a summer home. Built in the early 1930s, the historic Blaylock’s Mansion welcomes all with seven rooms adorned with period furniture and antiques, a billiards room, and a massage and steam-room facility. The property also boasts 5.1 hectares (13 acres) of manicured gardens—including one of the largest arboretums in the Kootenay Rockies—an outdoor swimming pool, private tennis courts, and a gardener’s cabin that has been renovated for summer sleepovers.
The cottages and chalets at Halcyon Hot Springs provide excellent accommodation for those who love everything to do with water. Hop on an inflatable air mattress for a splash in Upper Arrow Lake, or opt for a soak in the resort’s healing, mineral-rich pools. The restorative springs at this year-round retreat draw enthusiasts in need of a reprieve; warm, hot, and even cold plunges revive the senses. Out of the water, the resort boasts a full-service spa, and the Kingfisher Restaurant pairs local ingredients with views of the Monashee Mountains and the pretty lake in the distance.
Featured image: Two couples canoeing on Emerald Lake with views of the mountains in Yoho National Park near Field. Photo: Dave Heath
Skiing & Snowboarding
10 days / 1300 km (808 mi)
Visit eight ski resorts on this road trip through the Kootenay Rockies.
10 days / 3000 km (1864 mi)
A new rider's journey on iconic BC highways.