Four Must-Do Ski Trips in BC

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Skiing through powder at Whitewater Ski Resort | Kari Medig

Skiing and snowboarding in British Columbia should be among every mountain lover’s life goals. The consistent snowfall, wide-open terrain, and variety of mountain ranges provide venues to excel and appreciate nature to its fullest. Add in a ski-town culture that emphasizes connection with both friends and visitors well after the lifts close down, and you have a recipe for an unforgettable ski holiday. Here are four trips to help you maximize your time enjoying these areas, both on and off the slopes.

Skiing through the snow ghosts at Big White | Andrew Strain

The Okanagan: Four Welcoming Resorts in the Heart of BC

In BC’s interior are the ski-in, ski-out resorts of the Okanagan. The purpose-built resorts give you slopeside access, meaning more time to enjoy the remarkable, sunny powder days and featherlight snow this region is known for. 

Apex is first up, situated just under a two hour drive from Kelowna Airport, and only an hour away from the US border off Highway 97. The resort offers easy-access lifts and plenty of steeps in a cozy atmosphere, while off-slope activities include sliding down the tube park or lacing up at the ice-skating loop that winds through the forest. 

A little farther north is Big White, famous for being Canada’s largest ski-in, ski out village. This resort is home to snow-laden trees (a.k.a. snow ghosts) on the upper slopes that look like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. But this is no fantasy—it’s light, dry powder without the crowds. The resort also hosts a full slate of off-mountain activities from snowmobiling to ice skating, and even a horse-drawn sleigh ride to a cabin in the woods for a dinner to remember.

Next up is Silver Star, a resort that warmly welcomes all ages and abilities. Here, wide-open runs are perfect for those looking to cruise with plenty of elbow room. With a well-planned mid-mountain village, one can easily ski up to shops like the Bugaboos Bakery for a delicious homemade soup, or to Elevate Spa for a rejuvenating massage.

The furthest north is Sun Peaks, a slopeside, pedestrian-only village, encircled by the mountain trio of Tod, Sundance, and Morrisey. As Canada’s second-largest ski area, you’re spoiled for choice with 138 runs, deep steeps, and long cruisers. Trade in the downhills for a cross-country adventure on the groomed Nordic trail network, or head out with a team of Alaskan huskies on a dog sledding tour.

The slopes of Kicking Horse and the Purcell Mountains | Reuben Krabbe

Revelstoke, Golden and the iconic Rogers Pass

Under a three hour drive from Kelowna (and accessible via shuttle from Kelowna Airport) is Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Boasting North America’s highest vertical drop at more than 1,700 metres (5,600 feet), and an average yearly snowfall of over nine metres (30 feet), you’re guaranteed endless thigh-burning runs, from top to bottom. Rest your legs and reward your efforts with a pint at the Mackenzie Common Tavern, or “The Mac”. The bar is part of the 4-star Sutton Place Hotel, mere steps from the gondola.

If you’re looking for more action, continue along the Trans Canada Highway from Revelstoke to Golden for a drive that’s nothing short of iconic . The journey through Rogers Pass intersects both the Selkirk and Purcell ranges and Glacier National Park to provide a lifetime’s worth of accessible backcountry ski touring. A passionate group of ski guides are available in either Revelstoke or Golden to show all experience levels the power and beauty of this area. (Note that in Glacier National Park, you must have a Winter Permit.)


In Golden, skiing has been part of the town’s fabric for more than a century, thanks to Swiss guides who introduced a mountaineering culture that still thrives today. Just a few minutes out of town is Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, home to the only North American stop on the Freeride World Tour. The mountain itself showcases a wide variety of terrain—from open groomers lower on the mountain to hiking-accessible steeps and bowls that push even the most seasoned athletes. For a next-level dining experience try Eagle’s Eye restaurant, Canada’s highest restaurant with priceless views in every direction. Across the valley are the Rocky Mountains and Yoho National Park, offering further opportunities to be amazed at every turn.

Snorkel required at Whitewater Ski Resort | Kari Medig

The Kootenays: Cold Smoke and Classic Ski Culture

Tucked in the southeast corner of BC, lies an area residents affectionately call the “Koots,” short for Kootenays. The Ktunaxa Nation‘s traditional territory spans from here into the US states of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The area has several small towns serving as hubs for all kinds of outdoor recreation, but especially winter sports; the network of roads connecting these locales is known as “The Powder Highway.” Coming here is a voyage to a world of deep powder, uncrowded lifts, and communities that prioritize powder over a day at the desk.

Just 15 minutes from the US border is the town of Rossland, home to RED Mountain Resort. Skiing is the talk of the town, with homegrown shops such as Butch Boutry Ski Shop offering space to share tall tales while also outfitting the latest gear. On RED, you’ll find well-spaced tree skiing with sustained vertical topping 914 metres (3,000 feet). A great time to visit is during the annual Winter Carnival in late January, when residents come out to celebrate all things winter, as they have since 1898.

An hour east of Rossland is the eclectic town of Nelson, only a 20-minute drive from Whitewater Ski Resort, known for its thriving arts and music scene. A quick jaunt up the summit chair gains access to some ahhh-inspiring tree skiing that won’t get immediately tracked-out. And you can make tracks all day thanks to amazing on-mountain food that has garnered a fervent following, even spawning its own cookbook series.

After Nelson, head over the Kootenay Pass into the Purcell Range to Kimberley, a resort that’s been in operation since 1948. Nowadays, guests can stay in a wide variety of slopeside accommodations that provide incredible value, especially when factoring in the extended-hours night skiing from Thursday to Sunday most of the winter.

Further east is Fernie Alpine Resort, known for its “legendary” five bowls and status as one of the snowiest ski destinations in Canada. A must? Ride the chairlift to the top of Polar Peak, and feel the thrill of a 1,052 metre (7,000 feet) vertical drop.

Northward into the heart of the Purcell Range is Panorama Mountain Resort with immaculate slopes away from any hustle and bustle. After a full day on the mountain, resort guests are welcome to unwind at the Panorama Springs Pools. Choose from a variety of pool sizes and temperatures to get the body primed and ready for another day with impressive views and 1,280 metres (4,200 feet) of vertical descent.

Whistler Mountain and Black Tusk, as seen from Blackcomb Mountain | Reuben Krabbe

The Pacific Coast: Where Mountains Meet the Sea

While BC’s two Pacific Coast resorts have distinctly different vibes, they share one commonality: Proximity to the ocean, translating to copious amounts of snow.

People new to visiting Vancouver Island are often surprised by how massive it truly is. It’s three-quarters the size of Switzerland with peaks that tower over 2,100 metres (7,000 feet) from sea level. In the middle of “The Island” is Mt. Washington Alpine Resort, just a 40-minute drive from the Comox Valley. This resort is a welcome surprise to newcomers when they first experience the lack of crowds and the abundance of fresh snow when the storms hit. It’s also one of the few places in the world where one can start their morning on the slopes and finish their day surfing on the west coast in Tofino. Here the consistent winter swells can cap a multi-sport day of epic proportions. 

Over on the mainland, 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver is world-renowned  Whistler; home of Whistler Blackcomb. The two mountains boast North America’s largest in-bounds terrain at over 8,000 acres and consistently rank among the top resorts on the continent.  After the lifts close, the fun heats up in the village with restaurants and a nightlife that welcome ski boots well into the early hours. Or if you’d like a more refined activity, visit the Audain Art Museum only a few minutes walking distance from the lifts.

Experience these road trips audibly by listening to a summary of this story:

Utilize Your Ikon or Epic Pass

If you have either an Ikon or Epic Pass, then it makes even more sense to visit BC. Both passes offer multiple resorts to enjoy, including deals on lodging. Consider this your invitation to join us for another great year of skiing and snowboarding here in BC.


Each resort offers something slightly different, so it’s definitely worth a few days at each one. Epic Pass holders get unlimited access to Whistler Blackcomb, and seven days at the following:


The Ikon Pass offers passholders five different resorts to choose from in BC, each offering 7 days of access:

Find out more about skiing in British Columbia by visiting

Be sure to check DriveBC before heading out on any road trip and be aware of the winter tire and chain regulations across the province from October 1 to March 31. 

Revelstoke Mountain Resort | Andrew Strain


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This story was last updated in March 2024.

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