The Ultimate Guide to BC’s 13 Major Ski Resorts

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It’s almost that time of year…

The leaves have fallen, the air has that refreshing chill and kids are wearing adorable winter sweaters. Yes, ski season is just around the corner! Whether you’re a snowboarder, skier or just a fan of wool socks and fireplaces, British Columbia is definitely the place to be. The province’s 13 major ski resorts account for over 1,400 designated runs, making for a true winter wonderland of mountains, resorts and snowy activities all within driving distance. The mountains will start to open in a matter of days, so check out our guide to BC’s ski resorts and start planning that perfect winter road trip for you and the family.

Wherever you decide to visit this season, leave the wipeouts on the ski hill; outfit your family vehicle with winter tires from Honda to ensure you’re ready to take on all of BC’s beautiful, rugged terrain.

1. Whistler Blackcomb

Photo: Mitchell Winton - Coast Mountain Photography.
Photo: Mitchell Winton – Coast Mountain Photography.

How lucky are we that Whistler Blackcomb is less than a 2-hour drive from Vancouver? Their Peak 2 Peak gondola, alpine bowls, 200 runs and glaciers make for an incredible mountain experience while their village boasts a food and nightlife scene that’s more than worth the trek up the Sea to Sky. It’s consistently rated not just one of the best ski resorts in BC, but one of the best in the world. When it comes to a weekend getaway, you can’t go wrong with Whistler, BC.

Location:
Whistler, BC
Distance from YVR: 122km – 1 hour 40 minutes driving.
Annual snowfall: 1,168cm
Total runs: 200

2. Mount Washington

Mount Washington - Photo: Kyle Hansen.
Mount Washington – Photo: Kyle Hansen.

It’s just a stone’s throw to Vancouver Island, home of BC’s picturesque Mount Washington Alpine Resort, where you can enjoy views of the Pacific while barreling down one of their 81 designated runs. Mount Washington has modest beginnings; originally just two double chairlifts and bumpy road, it has since transformed into a breathtaking destination for great skiing and that easygoing West Coast attitude. The alpine village has great ski-in, ski-out accommodations and the mountain also has one of North America’s best Nordic Centres.

Location: Courtenay, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 211km – 4 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 1,158cm
Total runs: 81

3. Apex Mountain Resort

Apex Mountain Resort.
Photo: Apex Mountain Resort.

Located just 30 minutes west of Penticton, Apex Mountain Resort is a fantastic destination for anyone looking to hit some trails or just soak up some seasonal fun. Each year, Apex Mountain receives a generous downpour of champagne powder, perfect for the skiers and snowboarders in the family. If you’re looking for some activities that don’t involve going downhill really fast, take a tour around their 1km ice skating loop or one of 56 cross-country trails, or maybe just partake in their annual Brewski Craft Beer and Cider event. If you’re new to snowy terrain, Apex Mountain Resort also offers snow school and ski clubs suitable for all age groups and skill levels.

Location: Hedley, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 389km – 3 hours 30 minutes driving.
Annual snowfall: 600cm
Total runs: 67

4. Sun Peaks Resort

Photo: Sun Peaks Resort.
Photo: Sun Peaks Resort.

Time to meet Morrisey, Sundance and Tod, the mountains that surround Sun Peaks’ cozy, pedestrian-only village. After you get settled, take in their pristine Nordic trail network from the back of a dogsled pulled by a troop of beautiful Alaskan huskies. If you’re not canine-inclined, they also have a wide range of runs and are located only a few hours away from downtown Vancouver.

Location: Sun Peaks, BC
Distance from YVR: 412km – 4 hours 20 minutes driving.
Annual snowfall: 599cm
Total runs: 135

5. Big White Ski Resort

Photo: Big White Ski Resort.
Photo: Big White Ski Resort.

If you really want to embrace the mountain lifestyle, make sure to stay over at Canada’s largest ski-in, ski-out resort village. Big White’s offerings include dogsledding, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling and even ice climbing. Their 18+ restaurants and nightclubs and 1,119 hectares of skiable terrain make for an immersive wintertime experience that will transform pretty much anyone into a full-fledged ski bum. Opening day is scheduled for November 24th so start making your plans quick!

Location: Kelowna, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 451km – 5 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 749cm
Total runs: 118 designated trails

6. SilverStar Mountain Resort

Photo: SilverStar Mountain Resort.
Photo: SilverStar Mountain Resort.

With ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain’s 130+ runs, SilverStar has something for everyone. Their four unique mountain faces provide terrain fitting for all experience levels, making the resort a great place to learn, improve and jump to the next level all in one visit. SilverStar also offers Canada’s first all-inclusive lift ticket, providing you with access to a ton of different winter activities all for one price and putting it on the top of the list for those who like to capitalize on their family vacations.

Location: Silver Star Mountain, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 487km – 5 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 701cm
Total runs: 132

7. Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Photo: Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Photo: Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Welcome to one of the newest ski resorts in the country! Revelstoke Mountain Resort is the only resort in the world to offer lift-accessed skiing, heli-skiing, cat-skiing and backcountry skiing all from the same village base. The majority of their runs range from intermediate to advanced skills levels; this is definitely an opportunity for the strong skiers and snowboarders in the family to strut their stuff.

Location: Revelstoke, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 571km – 6 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 1,400cm
Total runs: 65

8. Red Mountain Resort

Photo: Red Mountain Resort.
Photo: Red Mountain Resort.

Red Mountain ski culture has some serious roots, dating all the way back to the 1890s when BC’s gold rush welcomed a great number of Scandinavians and their love of skiing. Over the past 112+ years the mountain has evolved into a one-of-a-kind destination, offering a selection of runs that consistently attracts skiers and snowboarders on the lookout for something special. Whether you’re accessing terrain by snowcat, dropping-in from one of their vertical, 360-degree descents or bombing down one of their majestic tree runs, it’s likely to be unforgettable experience all the way through.

Location: Rossland, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 615km – 7 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 762cm
Total runs: 110

9. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Photo: Dave Best.
Photo: Dave Best.

If you want big mountains, you’ve got to go to the Rockies, which is exactly where you’ll find Kicking Horse, the champagne powder capital of Canada. Here you’ll find great ski runs for the whole family, as well as some more extreme options like heli-skiing and the fourth highest vertical in the continent. After taking a few tumbles down the mountain, wander through the village for some après delights.

Location: Golden, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 723km – 7 hours 30 minutes driving.
Annual snowfall: 749cm
Total runs: 129

10. Whitewater Ski Resort

Photo by Doug LePage.
Photo by Doug LePage.

Situated along BC’s “Powder Highway”, this Kootenay gem is known for having some of the best powder in the province. The pleasant mountain feel doesn’t mean they’re lacking in serious runs; with excellent backcountry and tree skiing options and over 1200cm of annual snowfall, this is an ideal place to spend a few days going up and down the mountain.

Location: Nelson, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 679km – 8 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 1,219cm
Total runs: 81

11. Panorama Mountain Resort

Photo: Panorama Mountain Resort.
Photo: Panorama Mountain Resort.

No need to rough it while visiting Panorama. With sunny weather and dry snow, it’s a remarkable place to enjoy the slopes without freezing your face off. Their charming village is a great place to soak up the local culture while the mountain’s workshops, competitions and events make for a great environment to take your skiing and snowboarding skills to the next level. Whether you’re breathing in the spectacular views or watching the pros do their thing, it’s truly a place to get inspired.

Location: Panorama, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 850km – 9 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 500cm
Total runs: 122

12. Kimberley Alpine Resort

Photo: Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Photo: Kimberley Alpine Resort.

This is the second farthest ski destination from Vancouver, but still very much worth the trip. Kimberley is a wintery playground that you and the kids can enjoy. The mountain offers a remarkable array of runs and activities for all proficiency levels and their sunny weather, ski-in, ski-out accommodations and general laid-back vibe make it a great place to enjoy time with your loved ones in the snow. If you’re a sucker for stargazing, make sure to take advantage of their night skiing runs too.

Location: Kimberley, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 948km – 10 hours driving.
Annual snowfall: 399cm
Total runs: 80

13. Fernie Alpine Resort

Photo: Fernie Alpine Resort.
Photo: Fernie Alpine Resort.

The town of Fernie is just so lovely that the ski runs and chairlifts are almost an added bonus. That doesn’t mean it’s not a serious ski town. With almost 11 metres of annual snowfall and one of the highest peaks in the Lizard Range, you can definitely get up to some extreme carving. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, maybe hit up some trails on a winter bike or snowmobile. If you’re skiing on a budget, Fernie also offers free Nordic ski trails at the base of the mountain. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to ask a local about the Griz Legend!

Location: Fernie, BC
Distance from Vancouver: 934km – 10 hours 35 minutes driving.
Annual snowfall: 1,100cm
Total runs: 142

One of the best things about winter in BC is that each one of these ski resorts is just a road trip away! Whether you’re driving 2 hours to Whistler or doing the epic family excursion to Fernie, make sure you arrive safely, happily and on-time. This means lots of snacks, plenty of good music, an emergency road kit and most importantly, some new winter tires.

New winter tires ensure proper safety, stopping and traction. So once the temperature drops to 7*C or below, make sure to visit a Honda dealer to get your new winter tires, even before the snow starts to fall. Honda’s Lowest Price Tires Guarantee means you can keep you and your family safe, while saving enough money to hit the slopes and enjoy some après fun all season long.