Where to Go on a Ski Trip to British Columbia, Canada

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Wondering which resort (or resorts) is right for you? This handy guide will help you choose.

North America's Largest Resort, and Skiing on an Island

Whistler Blackcomb and Mount Washington

Skiing the mountains off of British Columbia’s coast offers skiers a chance to cruise down runs at one of North America’s top resorts, combine skiing with surfing, and ski at resorts that receive some of the biggest snowfalls in Canada thanks to their proximity to the Pacific Ocean. We’re talking lots of snow. Mount Washington Alpine Resort and Whistler Blackcomb receive an average annual snowfall of 38 feet (11.5 metres).

Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Whistler Blackcomb PEAK 2 PEAK

The drive from Vancouver to Whistler along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway takes approximately 1.5 hours. In Whistler, choose from more than 200 marked runs spread out over 8,171 acres of terrain, with 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers of powder bliss on offer. Time off the slopes can be just as fun: hop in a bobsled and race down an Olympic sliding track, glide through a snow-covered forest on cross-country skis in Whistler Olympic Park, or check out Whistler’s art galleries and museums on a cultural walking tour through the Village. If island life is more your thing, head to Mount Washington for a few days of skiing before your surf lesson in Tofino and make your ski-to-surf holiday dreams a reality.

A Winter Wonderland in BC's Interior

Big White, Sun Peaks, SilverStar, and Apex

Big White Ski Resort

BC’s Interior has all the perfect ingredients for a ski holiday, with champagne powder, a huge range of winter activities, plenty of bluebird days, and tons of ski-in/ski-out accommodation. Kelowna is the biggest city in the region, and Big White Ski Resort is located just southeast of town. More than half of the runs here are for intermediate skiers, and non-skiers have a ton of options, too. Dogsledding adventures, a tube park. snowmobiling, and an 18-metre (60-foot) ice climbing tower. Travel northeast to Vernon and SilverStar Mountain Resort to take advantage of their all-inclusive lift ticket, the first one of its kind offered in Canada. In addition to 132 runs over four distinct mountain faces, skiers and boarders also get unlimited access to 55 kilometres (34 miles) of Nordic trails, snowshoe trails, the resort’s tube park, ice skating, and fat bike trails.

Still have energy for more? Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops is also a mecca for winter lovers. From a cosy pedestrian village base, the resort offers everything from horse-drawn carriage rides to dogsledding excursions. Sun Peaks is known for its light, dry powder and its amazing tree skiing, and it boasts an enormous top-to-bottom terrain park. The quaint ski-in/ski-out village at Apex Mountain Resort, 30 minutes from Penticton, is another great base for family adventure in the Interior. This hidden gem gets six metres (19 feet) of perfect powder each year, and activities include a tube park, terrain parks, snowshoe trails, and 56 cross-country skiing trails.

Ski Massive Terrain on BC’s Powder Highway

Revelstoke, Fernie, Kicking Horse, Panorama, Whitewater, RED Mountain, Kimberley 

The Powder Highway is the road of skiers’ dreams. Eight resorts, three ski areas, more than 30 heli- and cat-ski operators, almost two dozen backcountry lodges, and quaint mountain towns populate this loop in eastern BC. The route may seem daunting, but you can explore in sections, a few resorts at a time, which gives you an excellent reason to come back.

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort has North America’s greatest vertical at 1,713 m (5,620 ft), and advanced skiers are drawn to the resort’s long, steep runs and deep powder. For anyone looking for an even deeper experience, the resort has teamed up with Great Northern Snowcat Skiing to offer small group, single-day cat-ski experiences. Want to get even higher? Hop in a helicopter with Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing for a single-day heli-ski experience. As you head east, the mountain town of Golden is a powder seeker’s paradise. Home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort with 2,800 acres, four bowls, countless chutes, and ridgelines for days, this resort attracts adventurous skiers.

Just south is Panorama Mountain Resort with its recently opened terrain—an additional 128 acres and four new runs—in the resort’s Taynton Bowl. Surrounded by 3,000-m (10,000-ft) peaks, this resort offers spectacular views, and all Panorama Lodging guests can access the slopeslide hot pools for après-ski relaxation. Also tucked along this southern route are Kimberley Alpine Resort and Fernie Alpine Resort. These mountain towns have it all—great skiing, friendly locals, and views of peaks in all directions. You may want to park your skis and stay awhile. Otherwise, head west and tackle more of the Powder Highway. You’ll eventually hit Whitewater Ski Resort, a place with a very local feel that sits just outside the eclectic town of Nelson.

RED Mountain Resort
Whitewater Ski Resort

Last stop? Head for the tiny town of Rossland and RED Mountain Resort. This is the kind of ski resort you fall in love with right away, and the kind of mountain town you never want to leave. Perched above town, the resort is surprisingly big with 2,877 lift-serviced acres, almost 900 m (2,919 ft) of vertical, 110 runs, seven lifts, and 360-degree descents. The kicker? You can try in-bounds cat-skiing for just $10.

Alpine resorts are bordered by uncontrolled wilderness areas. Respect the boundary lines and don’t ski out of bounds. Make sure you know the Alpine Responsibility Code and learn about the danger of tree wells. AdventureSmart and Leave No Trace are great resources to help you get informed before heading outdoors.

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