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British Columbia
Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide


British Columbia, Canada is hands down one of the best ski and snowboard destinations in the world. The mountains here are huge, with the Canadian Rockies and Coast Mountains each offering their own unique character. These mountains have been famous for years in ski and snowboard films, with the best riders in the world making their way to British Columbia every year to shred deep powder, and amazing terrain. The mountains offer a great balance of high alpine terrain along with amazing tree skiing filled with pillows, cliffs and other natural features. BC is famous for its helicopter and cat skiing and snowboarding, as well as its resorts.

There are huge ski and snowboard resorts in British Columbia, like Whistler Blackcomb, which is one of the most developed and upscale ski and snowboard resorts in the world, and small no-frills mountains renowned for their deep powder. Whistler sits close to Vancouver and British Columbia’s western seaboard in the Coast Mountains. It is not, however, BC’s westernmost ski and snowboard area, that label goes to Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington, a unique resort far from the crowds.

Interior British Columbia, meanwhile, has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in BC and the world as a whole. This is where the famous “Powder Highway” is located. This road (or really group of roads) connects Canadian ski and snowboard resorts like Revelstoke, Fernie, and Kicking Horse. These resorts see small crowds and huge snowstorms. They are all great destination resorts, but they beg for a roadtrip. Renting a car in Calgary or Spokane is the best way to experience British Columbia’s Powder Highway. Target a trip for anytime between the end of January through March, and get ready to ski and snowboard great powder for as long as your legs will carry you. This Canadian province has it all.
 

British Columbia Ski Resort Map

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb Ski and Snowboard Area
Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Whistler Blackcomb is one of the top ski and snowboard destinations in the world, and for good reason. The snow stacks up deep every winter on the mountain’s enormous 8,171 acres of skiable terrain, 462”, or 38.5’ deep on average. Combined with the amazing quality of terrain, everything from puckeringly steep and technical lines, to groomers and beginner terrain, Whistler truly does have it all. The Whistler Village is also in a class of its own. The village offers a great mix of extravagance, a la Aspen, and true ski and snowboard bums. It’s like having a combination of a wealthy big-city downtown, and a college town, there’s definitely something for everyone at Whistler. Although this does come at a steep price, Whistler is an incredibly fun destination that should be a bucket list resort for all skiers and snowboarders.

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Fernie Alpine Resort


Fernie is a great destination ski and snowboard resort for everyone from powder hounds to families. The mountain has a great selection of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. The mountain has over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, which includes groomed runs, bowls, and plenty of great glades. This terrain is spread across six peaks with great names like Currie Bowl and Lizzard Bowl. Fernie also receives some of the best snow in the Canadian Rockies. Not only is it light, but it’s deep, 30’ of snow fall on average every winter. To cap it off, the town of Fernie is cute and quaint, it’s the quintessential BC mountain town.

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Kicking Horse Mountain Resort


Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is another one of Interior British Columbia’s best ski and snowboard areas, located outside of the town of Golden. The mountain is spread over four peaks and the bowls that connect them. All of this terrain funnels down to Kicking Horse’s base area, where the majority of the beginner and intermediate terrain is located. 60% of the mountain is rated for advanced and expert skiers and snowboarders. Kicking Horse certainly has some of the gnarliest inbounds terrain in North America. The chutes are big, steep, and technical, which is great for visiting experts. The choices for beginners and intermediates are solid, too. Off the mountain, there is a small village for skiers and snowboarders that want to stay slopeside, while Golden is a nice little mountain town.

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Big White


Big White is a cool ski and snowboard resort located in interior British Columbia, with 2,655 acres of skiable terrain, just outside of Kelowna. The mountain is a great family ski and snowboard destination thanks to easy navigation, and abundance of ski-in-ski-out lodging, and great terrain for all ability levels. The terrain is not as steep or extreme as many other British Columbia resorts, however, the grooming, beginner terrain, and intermediate terrain is top notch. Beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders will love to explore all over the mountain, they’re definitely not confined to a small learning area near the base like some ski and snowboard areas. There are some glades and advanced terrain that powder hounds will enjoy, too.

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Revelstoke

Revelstoke Ski and Snowboard Area
Photo: Ian Houghton/Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke has some of the best chairlift accessed skiing and snowboarding in the world. This Interior BC ski and snowboard resort may be hard to get to, but the reward is huge, with epic terrain and deep powder. Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts the largest vertical drop in North America at 5,620’. The longest run is a whopping 9.5 miles, try and ride the whole thing top to bottom without stopping, we dare you. The terrain is amazing, with steep chutes, large alpine bowls, and great trees. There is a reason that the area has become a hotspot for visiting professional skiers and snowboarders and home to all of the hard charging locals. Off the mountain, the town of Revelstoke has developed from a sleeping mining town to a lively ski town.

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Red Mountain Resort


Red Mountain is a very friendly and laid back resort. Skiers and snowboarders will find friendly locals (who are also seriously good skiers and snowboarders), deep powder, and few lift lines at this Powder Highway ski and snowboard area. There are 4,200 acres of amazing tree skiing, with great long pitches and plenty of powder. The nearby town of Rossland may not be a huge destination like Whistler, but it’s friendly and the people are passionate about their community, which includes Red Mountain. For good vibes, and even better tree skiing and snowboarding Red Mountain is a great destination.

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Silver Star Mountain Resort


SIlver Star Mountain Resort is a great ski and snowboard area for families and powder hounds alike. The cute and colorful village sits in the middle of the mountain making for a unique atmosphere and easy accessibility to the 3,269 acres of skiable terrain. The mountain’s frontside has great beginner and intermediate terrain, while the backside Putnam Creek area is an advanced skier’s playground.

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Whitewater

Whitewater Ski and Snowboard Area
Photo: Doug LePage/Whitewater Ski Resort

Whitewater is a very laid-back ski and snowboard resort. It is located a three and a half hour drive from Spokane, making it one of the closest British Columbia ski resorts to the United States. Whitewater is a bit smaller than other BC ski and snowboard resorts, at only 1,184 lift-served acres, but there is a total of 2,367 skiable acres. There are three main parts of the mountain, the oldest Silver King Area, the Summit and Glory Ridge. Advanced skiers and snowboarders will find fun chutes, bowls, and trees at Summit and Glory Ridge. The mountain is largely community focused, with no on-mountain lodging, however, the town of Nelson is close by, this does keep the crowds away though.

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Sun Peaks Resort


Sun Peaks is a great family ski and snowboard destination in Interior British Columbia. The resort is a four hour drive from Vancouver, making it one of the most accessible Interior BC resorts to the province's biggest city. At 4,270 acres, Sun Peaks is one of the largest ski and snowboard areas in Canada. The terrain is awesome for intermediate skiers and snowboarders especially, however, advanced riders can still find fun bowls and trees around the mountain. The pedestrian only village may not be as big as Whistler, but that makes it perfect for fuss-free family vacations.

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Grouse Mountain


While the mountain is a tiny 212 skiable acres, Grouse Mountain offers a totally unique ski and snowboard experience. Located in the mountains overlooking Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is the closest ski and snowboard area to Vancouver, only a 20 minute drive from the city’s downtown. The Skyride tram climbs from 1,000’ of elevation to the base of the ski and snowboard area at 3,700’. The views from the top during the day and night, are amazing.

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Cypress Mountain


Cypress Mountain is the biggest, and arguably the best, of Vancouver’s three ski and snowboard resorts in the North Shore Mountains. Cypress offers 600 acres of skiable terrain and 2,000’ of vertical across its two mountains, Mt. Strachan and Black Mountain. The mountains are only a 30 minute drive from downtown Vancouver. The terrain parks are a big local draw to Cypress Mountain, which played host to the freestyle ski and snowboard events for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Mount Seymour

Mount Seymour Ski and Snowboard Area

Mount Seymour is the third of Vancouver’s North Shore ski and snowboard resorts. Seymour offers 200 acres of skiable terrain, served by four chairlifts. Of the ski and snowboard areas close to Vancouver, Seymour sees the most snow, with nearly 400” of average annual snowfall. The resort has a terrain park, and some really good backcountry access, especially given its location. The glades near the top of the mountain are some of the most fun terrain on the Vancouver North Shore.

Kimberley Alpine Resort

Silverton Ski and Snowboard Area

Located in the Purcell Mountains, a sub-range of the Canadian Rockies, Kimberley Alpine Resort is known as a great family ski and snowboard destination. While Kimberley is a bit smaller than average for BC, at 1,800 acres, its has some fun terrain, especially for intermediates. The mountain prides itself on these great groomed runs, as well as the glades that can be found all over Kimberley Alpine Resort. All of the terrain is below tree level, so there is no high alpine skiing and snowboarding. There is some ski-in-ski-out lodging available in the base area village, as well as the nearby town of Kimberley. The resort is three hours from Kalispell and four and half hours from Calgary.

Panorama Mountain Resort


Panorama Mountain Resort has 2,847 acres of skiable terrain located on the eastern edge of British Columbia, a short drive from Banff, Alberta. 75% of the mountain is rated for beginners and intermediates, making the mountain a very family friendly destination. Advance and expert skiers, however, will also find some amazing terrain at Panorama. The Taynton Bowl area used to be served only by helicopters, but is now part of the resort. This bowl has lots of steep lines and glades that are a blast on powder days. A small base area village has lodging close to the slopes. Panorama’s proximity to Banff and other BC ski resorts like Fernie make it a perfect stop on Canada ski and snowboard road trip.

Apex Mountain Resort

Apex Ski and Snowboard Area

Although it is a bit smaller than the average British Columbia ski and snowboard resort, Apex is a lot of fun. The 1,112 skiable acres in the Okanagan Valley have a good mixture of terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including some steep chutes. The somewhat remote location tends to keep the crowds away, too, this means more fresh tracks on a powder day. The resort is known for its cozy and friendly atmosphere. Apex has been awarded “Canada’s Best Small Destination Resort,” and is a nice alternative to the region's bigger and more crowded resorts.

Mount Washington

Mount Washington Ski and Snowboard Area

Mount Washington is a unique ski and snowboard resort due to its location on Vancouver Island. The ocean can be seen from most of the runs at Mount Washington, which is definitely a cool perk, although it occasionally means heavy and wet snow. While an island in the Pacific Ocean might not appear a likely place for a diehard ski and snowboard community, Mount Washington and Vancouver Island prove the opposite: the locals are a loyal and friendly bunch. The mountain itself is a ton of fun during the huge snowstorms that hit the resort every winter. There is terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, including experts. The trees near the mountain's summit, the Gold Rush Glades, and the Outback have some awesome riding and serious steeps.

Hemlock Resort


Hemlock Resort is just over a two hour drive from Vancouver on the eastern edge of the Coast Mountains. The ski and snowboard area has 300 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical drop of 1,299’. Hemlock is a very easy going ski and snowboard area that is a far cry from the large ski and snowboard areas in the region like Whistler. The lift tickets are affordable, and the staff are friendly.

Powder King

Powder King Ski and Snowboard Area

Powder King is likely the most remote ski and snowboard area in British Columbia. It is an 11 hour drive north of both Vancouver and Calgary in central BC. Looking at Powder King on a map gives a good sense of how big BC really is. Those who make the trek and locals alike are rewarded with an amazing amount of snow every winter, nearly 500” of powder fall each year at Powder King. The mountain is smaller than average, at 1,475 acres, but the snow is deep.
 
 
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