Some resorts make die-hard skier’s bucket lists, but there’s only one entire province that does—beautiful, snow bountiful British Columbia. Yeah, it’s that good. Every British Columbia ski resort is the stuff of legend: free powder refills for days on end, epic mountain views, some of the world’s longest lift-served vertical descents (like Revelstoke, Whistler Blackcomb, Kicking Horse and Panorama) and locals who embody the perfect combination of friendliness and love of the mountains. In British Columbia, skiing and snowboarding isn’t a weekend warrior’s pursuit, it’s a way of life. Many B.C. ski towns have served as home to families for multiple generations, like Red Mountain’s Rossland, which enjoys a 100-year skiing history.
If experiencing the biggest and best is high on your winter getaway “must haves” then a ski trip to British Columbia’s shining star should top your list. Boasting a staggering 8, 171 skiable acres, Whistler Blackcomb ski resort offers endless terrain options for all skiing and snowboarding abilities. Despite its size, Whistler ski resort is actually quite easy to navigate thanks to the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola which connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. Three incredible Tyrolean-style base villages provides guests with a range of dining, lodging, shopping and nightlife options to fit every ski vacation preference. Plus, it’s easy to get to with Vancouver International Airport a mere two-hour drive from the ski resort.
For the skier or snowboarder who craves accessibility and simplicity, there’s nothing better than flying into hassle-free Kelowna International Airport, which recently announced daily non-stop flights to and from Los Angeles (LAX) on United Airlines. The nearby ski resorts (Big White and Silver Star are 45 minutes from Kelowna and Sun Peaks is a 2.5-hour drive) exemplify the bygone, laid-back ski resort experience. At Big White, Silver Star and Sun Peaks, you won’t find the glitz and glamour of the Vail’s and Aspen’s of the ski world, which for many skiers or snowboarders is a welcomed respite, but you will find a variety of dining options from cafeteria-style eating to fine dining, plus great snow conditions, crisp, sunny days and friendly locals.
All three resorts are perfect for families, offering incredible ski in, ski out accommodations and great activities like cross-country skiing, dog sledding and snowshoeing. But if there's one stand-out for expert skiers and snowboarders, Silver Star ski resort is it. Once accessible only by helicopter, the Dark Side of Silver Star is now a haven for adrenaline-seekers. Black and double-black diamond runs make up more than 90 per cent of its 1,900 acres, where weak-kneed skiers and riders need not apply. Steep drop-offs and natural powder-filled bowls wind their way through the trees, alongside even longer, winch-groomed runs.
For the avid, powder-hungry skier or snowboarder nothing beats British Columbia’s Powder Highway. Located in the southeast corner of the province, the Powder Highway route, aka the “powder triangle,”connects one of the highest concentration of ski and snowboard resorts in the world. Sidecountry and backcountry pursuits, as well as endless face shots, are yours for the taking at these revered ski resorts. Spend all your time at one resort or hop around to experience the best of British Columbia's snow.
A rental car is recommended to properly experience this “bucket list” adventure. The route takes willing road warriors along Canada’s Highway 1 to the ultimate powder playground, Revelstoke—don’t miss a heli-skiing adventure with local ops company Selkirk Tangiers. The road then diverges to Golden, B.C. which is home to Kicking Horse ski resort, to experience a down-to-earth vibe and plenty of rowdy terrain. From there, follow Highway 95 to Panorama ski resort, which offers some impressive vertical skiing, and then to Kimberley ski resort. A quick detour via Cranbrook accesses Fernie ski resort, followed by Highway 3 to Highway 6, which leads to Whitewater ski resort. This tour de powder ends in at Red Mountain in Rossland, which is home to Big Red Cats—a cat skiing ops company that offers access to 19,300 acres of untouched terrain.
Call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists. They can help you book everything from your flight to Kelowna to your trusty rental car and lodging at each of these don’t-miss, powder-blessed resorts.