British Columbia is a fantastic adventure destination with soaring mountains, rugged beaches and cosmopolitan cities on the edge of the wilderness. Renowned as one of the greatest places to ski in Canada, and North America too, resorts have guaranteed snowfall, sharp runs and balmy weather, all against a backdrop of immense natural beauty.
Challenge yourself to a white-knuckle ride down Revelstoke’s longest vertical or weave in and out of the trees in the champagne-powdered backcountry. There is kayaking, hiking and rock climbing, as well as wildlife that’s rarely spotted anywhere else. The snow ghosts — trees draped in snow and ice — in Okanagan Valley’s Big White are an unmissable photo opportunity. So, where to start?
If you’re going for the slopes, British Columbia’s peaks offer some incredible high-octane experiences, including skiing down breathtaking verticals, snowmobiling and cat skiing. Try the latter out in Fernie, an Alpine resort with a vintage American charm. Avoiding lift queues, you can explore slopes that are otherwise out of reach with untouched, dry Rockies powder and hilly glades for off-piste running.
Heli-skiing lets you roam even further. Take a flight deep into Revelstoke’s backcountry — Canada’s deep powder capital — which is blanketed with up to 60ft of snowfall every year. This ski resort is a must for adventurous skiers as everything is on an enormous scale. Around 48% of the terrain is advanced, with steep groomers and North America’s longest vertical, which is 1,713m. Make a special trip unforgettable at the luxurious Chalet Bighorn, which has its own private helipad for accessing the untamed wilderness, a world-class spa and personal chef.
A huge advantage of a ski holiday in Canada’s British Columbia is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one destination. A single circular route connects eight of British Columbia’s resorts in an area known as the Powder Highway, so you can mix and match where you ski.
Kicking Horse makes a great day trip from Panorama, at the northeast tip of the region. While deep-ridged Panorama is a welcoming spot for families with its uncrowded slopes and accessible layout, Kicking Horse has the legendary double black diamond chutes and bowls for adrenaline chasers and more seasoned skiers.
British Columbia’s mountain ranges offer fine dining with a difference. Famous for its hot smoked salmon, Okanagan peaches, salty lamb and Russian-inspired borscht, the unrivalled local produce and fresh catches provide sublime dining experiences.
Whisk the group up to dizzying heights in Kicking Horse, the Eagle’s Eye at 2,300m has incredible views of the surrounding mountains while you dine on Canadian cuisine. In postcard-perfect SilverStar, take the family for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh along the trails to the Wild Horseman’s Cabin for a buffet in cosy surroundings.
There’s so much to see when you’re ski touring around British Columbia. Put together a city and ski tour to suit you, with a stop in Vancouver as an add-on to Whistler or Sun Peaks. Vancouver is a city perched in the wilds, surrounded by magnificent views on all sides.
Indulge in what we consider to be one of Canada’s best dining scenes, encompassing everything from farm-to-table meals to Asian fusion. Catch an edgy theatre performance at the city’s newest venues or venture beyond the city limits for mountain biking, trail running and rainforest hikes.
Just an hour and a half’s drive north, Whistler is one of the world’s most iconic ski resorts with over 8,000 acres of pistes. The town has a distinctly European atmosphere and a lively après-ski scene. The main street is pedestrianised with a laid-back cafe culture and boutique shops. For a quieter experience, head to Sun Peaks, further afield it is at the heart of the province. This lesser-known resort offers gently rolling terrain, a ski-in ski-out village and dedicated ski schools, so it’s ideal for families learning the ropes on the slopes.
Read our recommendations for a family ski holiday in Canada here.