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The Powder Highway has been the talk of the ski world for some time now, but pulling off the perfect multi-destination trip isn’t as easy as it seems. Lucky for you, we have a team of British Columbia Vacation Specialists who can customize your complete itinerary, whether you're chasing storms from Revelstoke to Kicking Horse or enjoying Fernie with your family
Located in the southeast corner of British Columbia, the Powder Highway, also known as Route 95A, connects seven incredible ski resorts. Some skiers spend their whole vacations at one resort, and others pack up a car to tick three or four off their bucket lists. The ultimate powder playground, Revelstoke, is located in the northeast corner of the Powder Highway, and Kicking Horse is just east. From there, road warriors head south on Route 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. The famed tour de powder ends in at Red Mountain in Rossland, which is home to Big Red Cats—a cat skiing company that provides access to 18,900 acres of untouched terrain.
Scroll down to learn more about each Powder Highway ski resort.
Powder-seekers find their Graceland at Fernie Alpine Resort, which averages 37 feet of snowfall each winter. With 2,500-plus skiable acres, skiers and snowboarders have a (nearly) private powder playground across five spectacular bowls, endless ridges and sheltered glades. In 2011, the resort installed the Polar Peak lift, expanding the terrain and clinching the title of the largest ski resort in the Canadian Rockies with the most vertical. Off the mountain, Fernie has two vibrant village centers. The base of the ski area offers a range of restaurants and après-ski bars, and downtown Fernie, a short shuttle ride away, overflows with historic charm. Don’t miss favorite local watering holes like The Brickhouse, a filming location for Hot Tub Time Machine. If you have any doubts about visiting, Fernie was voted the "friendliest place on earth" by GreatOutdoors.com.
Home to one of the continent's longest vertical drops, a staggering 4,133 feet, Kicking Horse—like its namesake—packs a punch. Trademarked as the "Champagne Powder Capital of Canada," Kicking Horse is blessed with an annual average of 24 feet of some of the lightest and driest powder on the planet. Combine that with 106 runs that span across 2,800-plus acres of lift-served, diverse terrain (including 70 inbound chutes) and you have an ideal destination for a variety of skiers and riders. Like Red Mountain, Kicking Horse is easily accessible and is located in Golden, British Columbia, just 2.5 hours from Calgary.
One of the most accessible resorts on the Powder Highway, Kimberley ski resort is located just 30 minutes from Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC). The ski mountain boasts 80 runs and 1,800 acres of skiable terrain, including the expert skier paradise, Black Forest. But there's plenty of terrain for beginners and intermediates, especially on North Star Mountain including the resort's longest trail, Ridgeway at four miles. Night skiing is also available Thursday through Saturday nights on Kimberley's main thoroughfare, and it’s a worthwhile activity for the incredible views alone. For the non-skier Kimberley offers a multitude of activities including dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and helicopter tours—all great ways to see the natural beauty of the surrounding Purcell Range area. Also, be sure to check out the ice skating, movies and bowling.
Panorama ski resort flies under the radar as a "smaller resort" but offers world-class services, amenities, 15 feet of snow annually and 2,800 acres of skiable terrain. This British Columbia ski destination attracts visitors not only because of its double-black diamond trees, access to heli-skiing and wide-open, groomed boulevards, but also for the new, beginner’s Discovery Zone, which opened last season. Non-skiers have their pick of other winter activities, including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and heli-skiing. First-time Panorama visitors will be pleasantly surprised with the many slopeside lodging options and excellent—and varied—dining options.
Though most of this resort's slopeside accommodations and amenities are only a few years old, there is nothing new about the ski scene at Red Mountain. In fact, the mining-era town of Rossland is famous for being one of first real ski towns in Western Canada. Few resorts are blessed with a topographical layout like Red Mountain's. Skiers and riders will enjoy a 2,912 foot vertical drop full of long, consistent and untouched fall-line skiing and riding. Thanks to Red's 2,600-plus lift-serviced acres and an additional 1,600 acres of hike-to terrain there's room to spread out and enjoy fresh tracks run after run. And you certainly won't wait in any lift lines. Though the terrain is renowned for being steep, Red Mountain also offers great cruiser runs and some of the finest gladed skiing in the world. Getting to this one-of-a-kind resort is easier than you might think, too. Fly direct to Spokane, Wash. from most major cities, and Red Mountain is just a quick 2.5-hour drive.
Snow is the name of the game in Revelstoke, where an impressive 480 to 720 inches falls annually. Offering the longest lift-served terrain in North America, an incredible 5,620 vertical feet, Revelstoke ski resort is massive. Its longest run, Last Spike, winds down the mountain for an amazing 9.5 miles! Though the resort is only five years old, its 3,121 skiable acres includes two high alpine bowls, unforgettable gladed terrain and a wide variety of cruisers serviced by an eight-person, high-speed gondola and high-speed quad chairs. For Revelstoke's ultimate adventure experience, explore one of the most famous heli-skiing territories in Canada with world-class heli operator, Selkirk Tangiers Heli-Skiing.
There's a reason this salt-of-the-earth ski resort has been lauded by Powder Magazine as "one of best powder mountains on the continent." Located just outside of Nelson, Whitewater Ski Resort boasts an average of 40 feet of light, dry snow annually. Its abundance of natural terrain featuring more than 2,000-plus feet of steeps, deeps, chutes, bowls and glades across its 1,184 skiable acres is accessed by just three chairlifts. This lift-serviced backcountry scene has given the mountain legendary status amongst avid skiers and off-piste snowboarders. Best of all, big crowds and lift lines are virtually non-existent at Whitewater.