The Best Ski Resorts on The Powder Highway

Robin Azer |
The Powder Highway – credit:

The Powder Highway is nothing less than a powder junkie’s utopia. This 680-mile road meanders through the interior of British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies, offering up a wealth of diverse terrain covered in legendary, ultra deep powder. The eight Alpine ski resorts along this famed highway are accessible, yet still remote enough, to keep the lift lines short, fresh tracks a plenty, and a small town charm sans jet-setter attitude.

The Powder Highway is nothing short of the road to good times, unrivaled anywhere. It provides easy access to backcountry, cat, and heli skiing, along with standout ski resorts. Among a crop of awesome options, here are the Best Ski Resorts on The Powder Highway.

Kicking Horse Resort:

Kicking Horse, B.C.  image:  kicking horse

The aptly tagged “Champagne Powder Capital of Canada,” Kicking Horse accumulates the deep, dry, goods in copious amounts. This stop on The Powder Highway offers Freeride World Tour worthy terrain, spread out over 2,800 acres. Four steep and gnarly bowls, Crystal Bowl, Bowl Over, Fuez Bowl, and Super Bowl provide one of the largest collections of in-bound chutes – 83! – in all of North America. Looking for vertical? Kicking Horse delivers on that front as well, boasting the 4th longest on the continent at 4,133 feet. Just shy of Jackson Hole’s vert of 4,139 feet.

Kicking Horse truly is a skier’s paradise, and when it snows like it did when we were there, let’s just say it’s “ALLLL time!”

Lysey Dyer, Professional Skier

With its nearly limitless wide-open bowls, well gladed trees, and extensive hard-core double black chutes, the terrain here resembles what was once only available to those heli-skiing. Little wonder the Freeride World Tour will make a stop here in February 2018. Kicking Horse is a must-stop along The Powder Highway. Located in the Canadian Rockies near the mountain town of Golden, British Columbia, Kicking Horse is about 2.5 hours outside of Calgary.

Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 288 in.
  • Acres: 2,800+
  • Vertical: 4,133 ft.
  • Elevation: 8,033 ft.
  • Percent advanced/expert: 60%

Fernie Alpine Resort:

Fernie Alpine Resort – Credit: FB

Like its cohorts along the Powder Highway, Fernie has an excellent record of deep, dry powder. Boasting the most runs, 142, in the Canadian Rockies, Fernie is an all- around mountain resort catering to skiers and riders of all abilities. The terrain is spread across 2,504 acres, with a vertical drop of 3,550 feet, offering everything from fast chutes to numerous glades to wide-open groomers. The five huge bowls at Fernie: Siberia, Timber, Currie, Lizard, and Cedar, provide plenty of territory to get creative. On a big powder day, Currie and Lizard Bowls are an expert’s playground. Due to the width of the resort and the current lift infrastructure, accessing some of the terrain here requires a fair bit of traversing,

After a day on the slopes, hit up The Griz Bar for some rowdy après. Fernie is located in the Lizard Range of the Canadian Rockies about 3.5 hours from Calgary.

Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 371 in.
  • Acres: 2,504
  • Vertical: 3,550 ft.
  • Elevation: 7.050 ft.
  • Percent advanced/expert: 30%

RED Mountain Resort:

RED Mountain Resort


Spread across three mountains – Red, Granite, and Grey – RED Mountain’s 2,877 acres of terrain offers everything from steeps to groomers to “amazing fall line tree skiing.” From the summit of Grey Mountain you can even catch a CAT ride ($10/per ride) to the top of Mount Kirkup and ski back down to the lifts. No avy gear required. Granite Mountain is another good bet, skiable around the entire 360 degrees, with it’s north side offering a treasure trove of expert terrain choke full of steeps, chutes, and tight trees.

 Of note, this rebel-with-a-cause resort has famously run a campaign to “Fight the Man. Own the Mountain,” where shares of the mountain are available to purchase to own a piece of the mountain for yourself. Located just north of Rossland, British Columbia, RED Mountain is about 2.5 hours from Spokane, Washington.

Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 274 in.
  • Acres: 2,877
  • Vertical: 2,919 ft.
  • Elevation: 6,800 ft.
  • Percent advance/expert: 45%

 Whitewater Ski Resort:

Whitewater – Pure, Simple, & Real … DEEP. Credit: FB


Break out the snorkel, the snow here is deep. Whitewater is a laid-back, low profile mountain area and home to an abundance of blower-light powder. The terrain here spans out from three distinct mountain sections – Glory Ridge, Summit, and Silver King – across it’s 1,184 acres. Predominately a local’s mountain, on a deep powder day there are plenty of options to explore with nary a lift line.

“The Whitewater ski area is an off-piste paradise with steeps, bowls, fabulous tree skiing, glades, and chutes.”


Whitewater lives by the motto, “Pure, Simple & Real … Deep.” Located in the Selkirk Mountains, beneath Ymir Mountain, Whitewater Ski Resort sits just on the outskirts of the hippie-esque town of Nelson, British Columbia. It is roughly 3 hours due north of Spokane, Washington.

Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 390 in.
  • Acres: 1,184
  • Vertical: 2.044 ft.
  • Elevation: 6,567 ft.
  • Percent advanced/expert: 50%

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Revy – most vertical descent in North America with 5,620 feet. Credit: FB

King of the vertical descent in all of North America – 5,620 feet – Revelstoke favors the fit. The terrain offers 3,121 acres of consistent fall line skiing that packs in a variety of bowls, chutes, bumps, and steep glades. The options keep coming as Revelstoke is the only resort, worldwide, to offer lift, cat, heli, and backcountry, all from it’s base. The longest run, Last Spike, winds down the mountain for a leg-burning 9.5 miles. Experts will find steep chutes, cliffs, and other features in the huge North Bowl or traverse out to Greely Bowl and check out Gracias Ridge.

Revelstoke is located near the city of Revelstoke on Mt. Mackenzie, a part of the Selkirk Mountain Range in British Columbia. The drive time is 6 hours from Spokane, Washington or 4.75 hours from Calgary. Additionally, Revelstoke Air offers the only direct service to Revelstoke, with flights out of Vancouver.

 Mountain Stats:

  • Snow: 357 in.
  • Acres: 3,121
  • Vertical: 5,620 ft.
  • Elevation: 7,300 ft.
  • Percent advanced/expert: 47.5%


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4 thoughts on “The Best Ski Resorts on The Powder Highway

  1. Hey Phillip,
    Thanks! Valemount sounds like it’s aiming for beast mode, with a proposed nearly 7K of vertical. Things are gonna get mighty interesting …

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