Things To Do
BC’s Coolest Ski Towns
The case for skiing north of the border, written by an American
Whether they are tucked away in the rainforest or perched over the open ocean, cabins have an undeniable appeal. Each self-contained structure allows you to take a break from your regular life while still enjoying the comforts of a cozy home-away-from home. Bring family and friends with you or hide out with your favourite person (or the dog). Here’s where to hunker down in BC.
Set along the Cheakamus River near Squamish, Sunwolf feels a world away from the city lights. Unwind among the trees and listen to the flowing waters over a board game in the comfy, multi-family Fisherman’s Cottage, a modern stunner with views of the Coast Mountains. Or snuggle up in the Logger’s Shack that accommodates four with a loft and a wood-burning fireplace. If your clan is bigger, opt for two or more of the three-person Riverside Cabins. Bonus: four-legged family members are welcome.
When the skies darken and the waves lash the shoreline along Vancouver Island’s west coast, pull on a sweater, sit by the fire, and take it all in at Wild Renfrew Cottages. Here, private retreats offer plush amenities and panoramic vistas; you’ll step right onto the pier from the wharfside studios while the two-bedroom beachfront units offer floor-to-ceiling views of the Port of San Juan and surrounding bluffs (one beachfront cottage offers a private fire pit). The crown jewel—a.k.a. the Viewpoint Penthouse—sleeps six with 180-degree views of Mother Nature’s best show.
Also along the Island’s west coast, Ucluth Lodges at Wya Point Resort showcase spectacular views of the ocean. Each one- and two-bedroom lodge offers easy, private access to the beach and surrounding rainforest. Ucluth translates to “safe landing spot” in the local Nuu-chah-nulth language, and each lodge is made of sturdy post-and-beam cedar. They also have floor-to-ceiling windows that bring the rainforest into your living room—a welcome dose of greenery all winter long.
North of Golden, fans of the great outdoors can retreat to the mountains for overnights in real log cabins. Quaint and compact, Moberly Lodge’s two hand-crafted cabins, Columbia and Kicking Horse, offer snug home bases for adventurers; they may be just 450 square feet, but they can sleep six comfortably. And while you’ll have 12 acres of private property to explore, you can lace up and trek farther in one (or more) of the nearby national parks: Banff, Glacier, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke, and Yoho.
When the snow flies, the lumbering creatures that make their home in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest seek shelter. Visitors to Bella Coola can find their own cozy den at Bella Coola Grizzly Tours and Adventure Resort, where chalet-style log cabins provide all the creature comforts, including a full kitchen, queen-size sleigh beds, and woodstoves to ward off the evening chill. While snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are options (bring your own gear), there’s little else to distract, making this an ideal setting to catch some zzzzz’s.
For a crowd-free experience, go north—waaay north—to Atlin. The tiny town, just south of the Alaska border in northwestern BC, is so remote that cellphone service is a no-go. And that’s a good thing, especially when you check into the Atlin Mountain Cottages for a few days of respite. Here, welcoming, two-bedroom cabins overlooking glacial-fed Atlin Lake are fully self-contained (and internet-free). If you’re looking for Wi-Fi or a chance to mingle, you can connect at the main lodge and the Discovery Saloon.
While downtown Kelowna is a mere 20-minute drive away, Myra Canyon Ranch maintains a far-flung feel. Perhaps it’s the horses roaming in the pasture or the location’s easy access to the bridges, trestles, and tunnels of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail. Or maybe it’s the roomy, self-contained suites, many with wrap-around decks that invite you to drink in the surrounding wine country. In all, there are four suites—Bear, Bird, Deer, and Eagle—that can sleep between two to eight guests; the biggest (Bear) has a private hot tub. You won’t find TVs in these rooms, just views of the lake and the valley below.
Feature image: A beach front timber lodge at Wya Point Resort in Ucluelet. Photo: Stay & Wander
Things To Do
From powder to steeps to trees, from on-piste to off-piste to backcountry, the big mountains of BC naturally build better skiers and boarders.
3 - 7 days / 694.88 km (432 mi)
The Coast Mountain Circle Route combines the best of outdoor attractions and adventure to create an unforgettable visit.
Things To Do
Discover the best places to take in this weeks-long fall spectacle in the mountains of BC.