British Columbia is a powder hound’s dream destination. There is even a dedicated ‘powder highway’ in the Kootenay region of BC. Here are the best ski towns in British Columbia.
This historic East Kootenay mining town has been transformed in recent and is now regarded as a four season resort town. Yet it still retains the coal mining, working-class roots.
Fernie is best known for its legendary powder, receiving on average 29 feet of snow each year. With five powder-filled bowls and 142 named runs, there is a reason why Fernie is known not only as a ski town but a powder town too.
From the East Kootenays, we travel next to the West Kootenays. Nelson is another town which wears a lot of hats, and being an awesome ski town is just one of them. With a population of over 10,000, Nelson has all the amenities of a big city, but with one amazing addition. Nelson is situated in the heart of the Selkirk Mountains. With Whitewater Resort just a short 20-minute drive away from downtown Nelson and boundless backcountry to explore, Nelson is the definition of a proper ski town.
Kimberley is situated between the Purcell and the Rocky Mountains in the East Kootenay’s of British Columbia. Downtown Kimberley has a Bavarian feel to it, and there are numerous restaurants serving alpine fare. The ski hill, known as Kimberley Alpine Resort, is one of BC’s most family friendly resorts, with 80 runs. The
Golden has that distinct old working class town vibe to it, even to this day. The railroad dissects the town, and much of the town relies on the Canadian Pacific Railway and the local logging industry to survive. The rise of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, however, has allowed Golden to diversify and add tourism to their bow. Located on the edge of Yoho National Park, Golden is the perfect ski town for those who want to explore the backcountry as well as shred the powder at Kicking Horse.
While the ski resort of Shames is some 35km to the west, Terrace still qualifies as a ski town. Shames Mountain Ski Area is unique in that it is run local co-operative consisting of businesses, societies and local people coming together to run a ski hill.
Revelstoke is found on the banks of the mighty Columbia River and to the east of the town, you’ll find Glacier National Park (not to be confused with its namesake in Montana). With Rogers Pass so close to Revelstoke, the town has become a mecca for backcountry enthusiasts. Like Golden, the town’s economy has traditionally been tied to the railroad, but thanks to the upsurge in popularity of winter sports, Revelstoke has been able to market itself as a ski town, and with an average snowfall of 150 inches each year, it’s easy to see why.