Explore these Winter Destinations in Southeast BC

There are plenty of reasons to head north for winter adventures: deep powder, amazing ski and backcountry terrain, hot springs, friendly people, captivating communities, and killer food and craft beverages. The 30 percent currency exchange discount on everything we get with the U.S. dollar is also a huge bonus, and border crossing with a passport or enhanced ID is super easy. Add it all up and times have never been better to plan BC winter adventures!


Apex Mountain Resort

Location: Penticton, B.C.

Summit: 7,175 ft.

Lifts: 2 chairs, T-bar, & magic carpet

Runs: 79 marked; 40+ unmarked

Vertical: 2,000 + ft.

Annual Snowfall: Nearly 20 ft.

From Spokane: 5 hours

Why Go: Dry, light powder; over 12,000 acres of backcountry/slackcountry terrain; close to amazing Okanagan Valley wineries.

Baldy Mountain Ski Resort

Location: Oliver, B.C.

Summit: 9th highest ski resort in Canada (7,580 ft.)

Lifts: 2 + T-bar and magic carpet

Terrain: 35 alpine runs, 360 acres of trails, and 240 acres of glades

Annual Snowfall: 25 ft.

From Spokane: 4.5 hours

Why Go: Dry Okanagan powder; no crowds; 80% beginner and intermediate terrain.

Photo Courtesy Big White Ski Resort

Big White Ski Resort

Location: Kelowna, B.C.

Summit: 7,606 ft.

Lifts: 16

Patrolled area: 2,765 acres

Vertical: 2,550 ft.

From Spokane: 4.5 hours

Why Go: The second-largest ski resort lift system in Canada with real Champagne powder (and minimal lift lines); 100% ski-in ski-out accommodations; huge, vibrant village with over 20 restaurants and bars and plenty of off-the-slopes fun; super family friendly with new magic carpet and plenty to do for all ages and abilities (even for non-skiers).

Photo Courtesy Vince Mo / Tourism Fernie

Fernie Alpine Resort

Location: Fernie, B.C.

Summit: 7,000 ft.

Lifts: 10

Skiable acres: 2,500

Vertical: 3,550 ft.

Snowfall: 30 ft.

From Spokane: 5 hours

Why Go: Fernie is an action-packed, real-deal ski town with seemingly endless resort and backcountry skiing and snowboarding; the views of jagged Rocky Mountain peaks above town will blow your mind.

Kicking Horse

Location: Golden, B.C.

Summit: 8,218 ft.

Lifts: 4

Skiable acres: 3,486

Vertical: 4,314 ft.

Snowfall: 24 ft.

Inbounds chutes: 85+

From Spokane: 6.5 hours

Why Go: New terrain was added in 2018; 60% advanced & expert terrain including 85+ inbounds chutes; and the fifth-biggest vertical in North America!

Photo Courtesy Kimberley Alpine Resort

Kimberley Alpine Resort

Location: Kimberley, B.C.

Summit: 6,500 ft.

Lifts: 5

Resort acres: 1,800+

Vertical: 2,465 ft.

Snowfall: 13 ft.

From Spokane: 4.5 hours

Why Go: Some of the sunniest skiing and riding in the Kootenays; over 40% of the terrain is intermediate; friendly, laid-back atmosphere.

Panorama Mountain Resort

Location: Invermere, B.C.

Summit: 8,038 ft.

Lifts: 10

Resort terrain: 2,975 acres

Vertical: 4,265 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 16+ ft.

From Spokane: 5.5 hours

Why Go: Top 10 vertical in North America; 75% of the runs are suitable for beginners and intermediates.

Phoenix Ski Area

Location: Grand Forks, B.C.

Lifts: 2 (T-bar and rope tow)

Terrain: 15 runs

Vertical: 800 ft.

From Spokane: 3.25 hours

Why Go: Great place for families to ski together and beginners of any age to learn; super unique community ski hill vibe.

Photo Courtesy Red Mountain

RED Mountain Resort

Location: Rossland, B.C.

Summit: 6,807 ft.

Longest Run: 4.3 miles

Lifts: 8

Skiable Acres: 3,850

Vertical: 2,919 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 300 inches

From Spokane: 3 hours

Why Go: Huge, excellent terrain. $10/run in-bounds cat-skiing; epic tree-skiing and in-bounds steeps; nearly 82% of the terrain is intermediate to advanced; unique on-mountain lodging options including the Nowhere Special Hostel and on-mountain Constella Cabins on the backside of Granite Mountain.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Location: Revelstoke, B.C.

Lift-top Elevation: 7,300 ft.

Skiable Acres: 3,121

Longest Run: 9.5 miles

Vertical: 5,620 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 30-45 ft.

From Spokane: 6 hours

Why Go: Biggest vertical in North America; incredible in-bounds expert terrain; 45% intermediate terrain; new lift and beginner terrain added in 2019/20.

Salmo Ski Hill

Location: Salmo, B.C.

Annual Snowfall: Plenty

From Spokane: 3 hours

Why Go: Fully-lit night skiing; great family-friendly terrain with a rowdy t-bar; old-school community ski hill on the way to Nelson.

SilverStar Mountain Resort

Location: Vernon, B.C.

Summit: 6,280 ft.

Lifts: 11

Runs: 132

Skiable Acres: 3,282

Vertical: 2,500 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 275 inches

From Spokane: 6 hours

Why Go: Colorful, ski-in, ski-out mid-mountain village; all-inclusive lift ticket includes access to alpine slopes, Nordic trails, tubing, ice skating, and fat bike and snowshoe trails; B.C.’s third-largest resort and Canada’s largest daily-groomed cross-country trail network.

Summit Lake Ski and Snowboard Area

Location: Nakusp, B.C.

T-bar: 1

Acres: 30

Vertical: 500 ft.

From Spokane: 4.5 hours

Why Go: Laid-back, old-school Kootenay ski experience.

Sun Peaks Resort

Location: Kamloops, B.C.

Summit: 7,060 ft.

Lifts: 13

Patrolled area: 4,270 acres

Vertical: 2,893 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 19+ ft.

From Spokane: 8 hours

Why Go: True to its name, Canada’s second-largest ski area soaks up over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year on average.

Photo Courtesy Whitewater

Whitewater Ski Resort

Location: Nelson, B.C.

Summit: 6,700 ft.

Lifts: 5

Skiable Acres: 3,247

Vertical: 2,014 ft.

Annual Snowfall: 40 ft.

From Spokane: 3 hours

Why Go: New Raven quad chairlift and terrain for 23/24 season. 40 feet of Kootenay pow annually (on average); 55% advanced in-bounds terrain and incredible lift-accessed backcountry; friendly vibe, no cell service, legendary food, and proximity to Nelson, B.C.’s mountain town amenities. 


Photo Courtesy Ainsworth Hot Springs

Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

A short drive north from Nelson, the natural hot springs were first visited by the Ktunaxa First Nations peoples for healing and rejuvenation. Today the resort is fittingly owned by Yaqan Nukiy, the Lower Kootenay Band of the Ktunaxa Nation of Creston, B.C. Ainsworth Hot Springs includes warm, mineral-rich waters in a pool and a natural cave without the sulfur odor associated with some hot springs. There’s also a cold plunge pool, stunning views of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains, and onsite hotel and excellent Ktunaxa Grill restaurant. 4 hours from Spokane.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

Canada’s largest natural mineral hot spring with views of the Canadian Rockies. Resort includes a hot pool; large, warm swimming pool; and dive pool. There are a variety of lodging and dining options at the resort and an on-site, family-friendly ski hill. 5 hours from Spokane.

Halcyon Hot Springs

This remote and beautiful resort along Upper Arrow Lake 20 miles north of Nakusp, B.C., is on the way to Revelstoke and an incredible destination all its own. Enjoy mineral-rich natural hot spring pools, a kid’s spray park, and majestic lake-side views of the Monashee Mountains. Multiple on-site lodging options and the highly praised Alcédo restaurant. 5.5 hours from Spokane.

Photo Courtesy Arrow Slocan

Nakusp Hot Springs

This community-owned hot springs in the Selkirk Mountains near the village of Nakusp and Upper Arrow Lake consists of two pools (one warm, one hot) fed by nearby natural springs. Rental chalets, camping and snowshoeing trails are nearby. 5.25 hours from Spokane.

Radium Hot Springs

Two large pools (one hot, one warm) provide soaking in natural mineral water within Kootenay National Park near the communities of Radium and Invermere. 5.5 hours from Spokane.


You can find fat biking trails, shared Nordic trails, and rentals at many of the ski resorts listed in this guide, but some of the best singletrack winter bike trails are being groomed in and around Rossland, Cranbrook, and Fernie, B.C.

Photo Courtesy Geoffrey Tomlin Hood

Rossland, B.C.

Ride over 12k of machine-groomed trails around Rossland, including loops pieced together from the Centennial Trailhead, RED Mountain Resort, or in town. Stop by Revolution Cycles for fat biking trail maps and local advice or for bike rental or gear needs. The Redstone Golf Course in Rossland also has groomed fat biking trails. There are typically ridable sections of trail (depending on conditions) on both sides of the highway at the Seven Summits Trail trailhead (check out the new Cedar Trail).

Fernie, B.C.

Beginner, intermediate and expert riders will find a variety of groomed and user-packed trails for fat biking right out of downtown Fernie and another 12k of groomed multi-use trails at Fernie Alpine Resort. Book a “learn to fatbike” session at Fernie Alpine Resort and spend a few hours with an experienced guide. Visit Tourismfernie.com for updated trail and grooming info and a winter recreation map or stop by one of the local bike shops for recommendations.

Cranbrook, B.C.

Cranbrook has valley terrain that is similar to Spokane and North Idaho, with plenty of flats and rolling hills that make for a great groomed fat bike trails system. Grooming typically happens in the South Star Cross Country Ski Area and the Cranbrook Community Forest, with up to 60-70k of trails groomed each winter that include options for all levels of riders. Check out Trailforks, the Wildhorse Cycling Club, or Cranbrook Community Forest Society Facebook pages, or Gerick Sports for trail beta and updates.


British Columbia has over 50 Nordic skiing areas across the province, with many of them located within an hour or two from the U.S. border. Most alpine ski and snowboard resorts have groomed cross-country trails, and many communities have additional cross-country trail systems that are regularly groomed with excellent facilities and nearby amenities.

Photo Courtesy Arrow Slocan

SilverStar Resort/Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre

Canada’s largest network of daily-groomed cross-country ski trails begins at the SilverStar Mountain Resort near Vernon, B.C. Connected to SilverStar’s 55k of world-class trails is another 50k of groomed Nordic trails at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre (dual mountain passes available).

Nelson Nordic Trails

Located 10 minutes south of Nelson on Highway 6 at the Whitewater Ski Area turnoff, the Nelson Nordic Ski Club maintains 30k of groomed trails (classic and skating tracks) for all levels. The trail system includes a day lodge, two warming huts, and 1.5k of lit trails for night skiing. 

Black Jack Ski Club Trails

Five minutes north of Rossland, the 40k Black Jack cross-country trail system is one of the premier Nordic areas in western Canada and the closest B.C. trail system to Spokane. In addition to the groomed classic and skate skiing trails, there is a 2.5k lit night-skiing loop.

Kimberley Nordic Club Trails

The Kimberley Nordic Club hosts a 33k, first-class groomed trail network including double track, single track, and a center skating lane. The trail system on the edge of Kimberley includes a 3.3k lit loop for night skiing, a lodge with bathrooms, and a warming hut.

Fernie Nordic Trails

There are over 50k of groomed cross-country trails around Fernie, from beginner circuits to advanced trails. You can explore one of these different trail systems in the spectacular wilds of the Canadian Rockies each day of your trip: Fernie Alpine Resort, Fernie Golf Club, Island Lake Lodge, Montane, and the Elk Valley Nordic Centre.

Paulson Cross-Country Ski Trails
There is an excellent Nordic trail system close to the town of Castlegar. The Castlegar Nordic Ski Club grooms 52-kilometres worth of trails at the Paulson Cross Country Ski Trail system20 miles from downtown.

Photo Courtesy Nick Nault


Scoring untracked backcountry powder on skis or a splitboard in the Kootenay-Rockies region of B.C. can take on many forms, from earning your turns on day tours, fully-catered hut trips, and vertical-maximizing cat ski or heli ski adventures (avalanche/backcountry gear, training, and awareness are essential). These popular ski-touring meccas offer endless opportunities to start exploring on your own; however, avalanche risks abound so go prepared.

Kootenay Pass: Just north of the border near Salmo and Creston, this popular backcountry area can get crowded on weekends. Excellent terrain on both sides of the highway.

Whitewater Ski Resort: Whitewater’s spectacular in-bounds riding is just the beginning of what this gateway to backcountry terrain has to offer those equipped to access the powder fields and steeps you can’t see from the lodge.

Rossland/RED Mountain Resort: There are plenty of backcountry ski tours in the Rossland Range as well as lift-accessed touring possibilities from the resort and cat skiing. Check RED’s backcountry page for any updates to their touring policy and visit Backcountry Skiing Canada’s Rossland page for more info.

Fernie: The long season and jagged Rocky Mountain peaks around Fernie make for dramatic ski touring and splitboarding out of the resort and other nearby alpine areas. Two local cat skiing operations make for a great guided option to explore the backcountry.

Rogers Pass: This legendary backcountry destination between Revelstoke and Golden demands respect and a keen awareness of avalanche dangers. The big mountain terrain has gained a reputation that attracts skiers from around the world.

Backcountryskiingcanada.com: This treasure trove of backcountry ski and splitboarding route recommendations, forums, and other valuable information and resources will help you explore B.C.’s wide range of backcountry options wisely.

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