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Skiing/Riding the Powder Highway in the Kootenay Rockies, British Columbia, Canada

Fernie Alpine Resort. Photo: Dave Heath
Fernie Alpine Resort. Photo: Dave Heath

The Powder Highway, in the southeastern area of the Kootenay Rockies, is the place to go for an abundant choice of some of the best skiing opportunities in British Columbia, and the experience of a lifetime.

Eight ski resorts are situated along the Powder Highway and set amid 3 million plus acres. The ski/snowboard mecca comprises 80 ski opportunities from alpine resorts, heli-ski operators, nordic centres, backcountry lodges, cat-ski operators as well as community ski clubs.

Fernie: Fernie Alpine Resort

This mountain playground, spread over 1,000 hectares, receives more than 10 metres of snow each year making for some stunning skiing. With over 140 runs there is something for every age and skill. Fernie Alpine Resort is located on the Crowsnest Hwy 3 in the Canadian Rockies. There is no on-mountain RV Parking however for winter camping opportunities go to Camping & RVing in BC and search on Fernie. The Griz Bar, Fernie Hotel & Pub, Kodiak Lounge in the Raging Elk Hostel and The Royal offer good food and drink, plus for something entirely different try the new vodka Ice Bar.

Kimberley: Kimberley Alpine Resort

An abundance of excellent powder and 80 ski runs offer great skiing opportunities for the entire family. When not on the ski slopes try dog sledding, a fat biking tour or ice skating. Kimberley Alpine Resort is located on Highway 95A in the Purcell Mountains. There is no on-mountain RV Parking. For food and drink options try The Stemwinder, Our Place, Pedal & Tap and The Shed.

Nelson: Whitewater Ski Resort

Whitewater Ski Resort. Photo: Kari Medig
Whitewater Ski Resort. Photo: Kari Medig

With 12 metres of light, dry powder falling annually, 78 runs, and a lift that provides access to the backcountry, this resort is popular with ski tourers and snowboarders. Snow cat skiing and heli-skiing are also available. Whitewater Ski Resort is just 20 minutes south of Nelson off Hwy 6 in the Selkirk Mountains. The Whitewater parking area has RV parking with a nightly rate and limited services. Try WH20 Fresh Tracks Cafe, Cantina Del Centro, Mike’s Place Pub and Thor’s Pizzeria for good eats.

Rossland: Red Mountain Resort

Red Mountain Resort. Photo: Kari Medig
Red Mountain Resort. Photo: Kari Medig

Pristine snow amid 4,200 acres and 110 runs provide stunning skiing for everyone. Snowboarding, heli-skiing, cross country skiing and backcountry touring, along with the world’s largest cat skiing operation, offer lots of mountain activities to choose from at Red Mountain Resort. Located in the Monashee Mountains the resort is just outside Rossland off Hwy 3B. The Red Mountain parking area provides RV parking. A nightly fee is charged however there are no services. Food options include: Rafter’s Lounge, Clansey’s Café, The Flying Steamshovel and The Garage.

Revelstoke: Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: Danny Leblanc
Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Photo: Ryan Creary

Surrounded by the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains with some 18 metres of snow falling annually, the area around Revelstoke Mountain Resort makes for some amazing powder skiing and activities for every age. Try paragliding, dogsledding, or a snowmobile tour and there’s a kid’s activity centre for the youngsters. Revelstoke is located on Hwy 1 (Trans Canada Hwy). RVers can stay one night only at the resort parking area at no cost and no services. Refer to the Camping & RVing in BC website and search under Revelstoke for winter camping opportunities. Food and drink are available at The McKenzie Outpost, Big Eddy Pub and Taco Club.

Golden: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Called the Champagne Powder Capital of Canada, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has over 2,800 acres and 120+ runs amid stunning terrain on which to ski. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tubing are also popular as are ice skating and snowmobiling. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is located just outside Golden in the Columbia Mountains close to Hwy 95 and the Trans Canada Hwy 1. There is free RV parking in the Kicking Horse Parking Area although no services are offered. For other winter camping choices refer to the Camping & RVing BC website and search under Golden. For places to eat try Golden Taps, The Riverhouse, The Rockwater Grill & Bar, The Wolf’s Den or Eagles Eye Restaurant.

Invermere:  Panorama Mountain Resort

Apres Ski at Panorama Resort
Apres Ski at Panorama Resort. Photo: Kari Medig

There are an abundance of winter fun activities in over 3,000 acres of mountain terrain at the Panorama Mountain Resort.  Once you have experienced the excellent skiing and snowboarding opportunities, try fat bike riding, ice skating or snowmobiling. How about a one-hour wagon ride or a dip in one of the hot pools – Canada’s largest slope-side natural hot springs. And there’s the Rockstar Terrain Park for the youngsters. The resort is located in the Purcell Mountains just south of Invermere off Hwy 93/95. There is no on-mountain RV Parking however for other winter camping choices refer to the Camping & RVing BC website and search under Invermere.  Food choices include: the Mountain Summit Hut, T-Bar & Grill, Thunderbird Pizza, Arrowhead Brewery, The Blue Dog Café, The Pynelogs Café and Station Pub.

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RV rentals are available in Calgary, AB. Check first to see which ones rent during the winter months: Fraserway RV;  CanadreamCruise Canada. Shuttle services are available to some ski resorts from airports in Kelowna, BC, Kalispell, MT or Spokane, WA.  Once in the region there is the option of the Kootenay Rideshare to connect you to each mountain community.

If the Kootenay Rockies interests you, check out our drive:
Mountains, Lakes & Rivers in the West Kootenays and Boundary Country

For places to RV and camp in BC go to the CampingMap

Share your BC camping and travel photos using #CampinBC

Published: February 1st, 2018

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