This winter, outdoor enthusiasts can once again look forward to the world-renowned Powder Highway, a circular route through the Kooteney Rockies packed with ski resorts, vibrant towns and some of the most coveted heli-skiing and cat-skiing in the world. Travellers can also visit ski resorts on Vancouver Island, snug on the Alberta border, or take a quick drive from Vancouver to the international gem Whistler Blackcomb.
Whistler Blackcomb is located 125 kilometres from Vancouver, British Columbia. The area offers more than 200 marked ski runs, 16 alpine bowls and three glaciers. On average, it receives about 12 metres of snow per year and boast one of the longest ski seasons in North America.
This season, Whistler Blackcomb will feature new chairlifts to enhance the guest experience in Creekside, improving uphill capacity by more than 30%. Guests can enjoy Steep Skiing Clinics to improve their off-piste and backcountry technique with guides including film stars, ex-national team members and free-ski heroes.
Whistler is also home to a new fine dining restaurant cocktail bar and lounge called Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar. Located at the Aava Hotel, it focuses on elevated Pacific Northwest cuisine, sustainable seafood and local ingredients.
With sustainability in mind, the Fitzsimmons Renewable Energy Project allows Whistler Blackcomb to return an estimated 32 gigawatt hours of electricity back to the grid. This is equivalent to energizing 3,000 to 4,000 homes and is equal to Whistler Blackcomb’s annual energy consumption.
Sun Peaks is a resort community located in the interior of British Columbia, 45 minutes north of Kamloops, and is the second largest ski area in Canada. It boasts a European-style, ski-in/ski-out pedestrian village that features locally-owned and operated shops, restaurants and lodging.
There are many activities to enjoy this winter with Tube Time, the Snow Limo and Family Fun Nights all on offer for guests of all ages. Plus, the new Cleavage Axe Co. is now open for axe throwing, while Sun Peaks Yoga is being offered by yogi Kayla Alfred.
Located in the Interior of British Columbia, less than one hour from Kelowna, Big White Ski Resort is a favourite family-friendly destination that boasts Canada’s largest ski-in/ski-out resort village. With an annual average snowfall of 7.5 metres, this mountain is covered in dry, Okanagan champagne powder every year. And after a two-season hiatus, the night skiing program will be returning this year.
Big White welcomes a new Director of Food and Beverage Operations, as well as a new Executive Chef to run all of the resort-affiliated restaurants, day lodges and cafes. These include: The Woods, Clocktower Coffee Co., Blackforest Day Lodge, Moonlight Bistro, and Happy Valley Day Lodge.
Silver Star is located 22 kilometres from Vernon and less than an hour from Kelowna’s airport. It has become a local favourite in the sunny Okanagan, offering heaps of champagne powder, a lively mid-mountain ski village with ski-in/ski-out access and Canada’s first all-inclusive lift ticket.
Silver Star will host over 200 of the 1,800 athletes coming to the B.C. Winter Games and will see the return of Seismic Fest, both at the end of March. Plus, the 2nd annual Sovereign to Silver Star race will take place April 1-2, 2023 with all ability levels encouraged to compete.
Despite its snow, varied terrain and proximity to Penticton only 30 minutes away, Apex Mountain Resort remains one of British Columbia’s hidden gems. Located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, it offers 450 skiable hectares, four lifts, 79 trails, and a variety of bowls, glades, and terrain parks to explore. Along with a cozy village setting, it has ski-in/ski-out access and ample opportunities for après ski fun.
Other activities include the popular Tube Park, snowshoeing, ice skating and cross-country skiing along the 56 kilometres of trails at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre. Plus, guests can visit the resort’s one-kilometre ice-skating loop or NHL-sized outdoor hockey rink for a pick-up hockey game.
Located between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges, Revelstoke is a great destination for backcountry and heli-skiing adventures. Revelstoke mountain features the most vertical in North America at 1,712 metres, as well as 1,263 hectares offering two alpine bowls, 75 named runs and unforgettable views.
Guests can enjoy ski-in, ski-out accommodations at the Sutton Place Hotel, plus a variety of dining options at the base of the hill and at each gondola stop. Construction of the new Slopeside Hotel is underway and will have 154 rooms, conference space, a bar and restaurant, along with fitness and spa facilities upon completion. The hotel will become the new home for Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing featuring three helipads adjacent to the property. The hotel is tentatively scheduled to open for the 2024/25 season.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is one of the only resorts to offer tandem paragliding flights on skis right from the mountain. Guests can take flight with the crew from Revelstoke Paragliding for some spectacular views.
Surrounded by the soaring peaks of the Purcell and Rocky Mountains in southeastern British Columbia, Kimberley Alpine Resort is a popular destination for the views. This quaint resort is known as much for its family-friendly amenities as it is for its great skiing, not to mention the quiet atmosphere and minimal lift lines. Kimberley offers a variety of ski-in/ski-out accommodation, 33 kilometers of cross-country trails and one of North America’s longest illuminated night skiing runs.
A new and improved Up-tracking Zone opened recently. Up-tracking (skinning, up-hill skiing, ski-touring, etc.) is a great way for guests to get some fresh air and enjoy the mountains. They can go from the Village/Base area to the top of the North Star chairlift where the Kootenay Haus is located for a great workout.
In town, there are several new openings including Kickturn Coffee Roaster, Grist & Mash brewery and Bootleg Spirits, which is a new distillery focused on combining fresh, local ingredients for their handcrafted small-batch spirits.
Known for its steep and powdery conditions, Fernie’s 142 marked runs will ensure days are spent cruising non-stop fresh fall lines. With a ride up The Polar Peak chairlift, skiers can launch off the summit of one of the highest peaks in the Lizard Range at 1,082 meters. The little town of Fernie itself is a hotspot for theatre, art galleries, dining, shopping and sightseeing.
Fernie is celebrating the return of many events missed over the past few seasons including the Pride event, Fernival, the Powder, Pedal, Paddle relay and more. The weekly adventure series returns including programs such as guided Fat Biking tour and Snowshoe tour.
Fernie’s famous Ice Bar, located in Lizard Creek Lodge, reopens this year. New dining options available in Fernie include the new Chilango Mexican restaurant, Bramasole Restaurant and Funky Goat Pizza.
The new pod accommodations at the Raging Elk International Hostel offers comfortable, secure and completely private “pod-rooms” at half the price of a hotel room. They are the only pod-style accommodation in the Canadian Rockies.
Panorama is a family favourite ski destination situated 308 kilometres west of Calgary. It offers incredible skiing thanks to a vast 1,214 hectares of terrain that includes over 130 named runs, 10 lifts and over five metres of annual snowfall. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, adventurers can experience private heliskiing and snowmobiling tours right from the village, glide on 20 kilometres of groomed Nordic trails, soak in the slopeside hot pools or try fat-tire biking along the snowy banks of Toby Creek.
The Approach is a newly refurbished four-season accommodation located in the heart of Panorama’s Village. With a fresh mountain modern design, the 104 rooms range from singles to slope-side suites and are steps away from the mountain with a warm and welcoming vibe.
Located in Rossland, BC, and the first stop on Canada’s famous Powder Highway, Red Mountain delivers 1,558 hectares of ski area, putting it in the Top 10, size-wise, in North America. A new chairlift on Topping Creek has been added, along with seven more runs over 121 additional hectares.
With $10/run cat-skiing, a boutique hotel and a modern hostel at the base, plus new mid-mountain cabins, guests have lots to choose from at Red Mountain. The Constella, a cabin collective that comprises six overnight cabins and a central clubhouse, was recently completely overhauled.
Whitewater mountain features 81 runs and four lifts, as well as five kilometres of groomed multi-use tracks for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing or fat biking. Located along Canada’s famous Powder Highway, Whitewater is just a short drive from the city of Nelson, known for its artists, artisans and beautiful heritage buildings.
The new Hummingbird Lodge and Campground are scheduled to open in March of 2023 and will be the main point of contact for all camping, backcountry and Nordic needs. It will have 10 RV camping spots and 25 summer camping tent spots, plus shower, water and washroom facilities.
With no cell service, Wi-Fi, or snowmaking, Whitewater encourages people to get off their phones and enjoy everything the mountain and community has to offer.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort has it all: rugged West Coast beauty, easy proximity to a dynamic urban community and great snow. It’s located high above the Vancouver Island city of Courtenay and just a 40-minute drive from Comox Valley International Airport and the city of Campbell River.
Mount Washington features a laidback, family-oriented alpine village with ski-in/ski-out accommodation. The resort is also home to one of North America’s top-rated Nordic Centres, with miles of groomed trails to explore. Perched on the edge of vast Strathcona Provincial Park, it offers 55 kilometres of machine groomed cross-country trails and 25 kilometres of snowshoeing trails that meander through the parkland.