Well, the ski season is well underway here in British Columbia and if you are like me, you want an adventure. There is something special about “Hidden Gems”. That’s right, small ski resorts that offer all the enjoyment of the big resorts, minus the crowds and cost.
Since moving to Canada in 2002, I have visited a lot of different ski hills throughout British Columbia, here are 5 worth checking out.
Mount Cain Resort
Where: Vancouver Island, British Columbia
This little resort is a personal favorite of mine, it was the first place I got to experience backcountry boarding (I’m a skier now, as I transferred over while the kids were learning to ski and I’m loving it). Mt Cain is a 2 t-bar mountain that gives you access to endless backcountry turns in the bowl. Mount Cain is situated at the Northern end of Vancouver Island about an hour and a half from Campbell River. The small rustic lodge offers great food and tasty beers and is the gathering place for a lot of cabin owners.
Harper Mountain Resort
Where: Kamloops, British Columbia
I got to experience Harper Mountain about 9 years ago, pre-kids. I must say, this mountain has family written all over it. I can remember pulling up into the parking lot with clear blue skies and crisp air. I could feel the buzz around me of parents and kids getting ready for the day, it was electrifying. Harper Mountain has over 400 acres of amazing terrain, weekend night skiing, and amazing lodge food. All I can say; is it didn’t disappoint and it's definitely on our road trip list as a family. This ski resort is located about 45mins from Kamloops close to Lake Paul National Park.
Purden Ski Village
Where: East of Prince George, British Columbia
Purden Ski Resort has come up in different conversations over the past 10 years, and people all seem to use words like “steep trees”, “dry powder” “over 1,100 of vertical”, and “amazing glades”. This small ski resort located 60 kilometers east of Prince George has me thinking, I want to go and check it out. And the best part about it, I heard there are no crowds 😊
Where: Douglas Rangers, British Columbia
Hemlock Valley Resort - now Sasquatch Mountain Resort is located 2 hours from Vancouver, tucked away in the Douglas Ranges. This little gem has half the hill as black diamond terrain, the rest is a mix of green and blue runs. So, what does this mean? Steep runs in the trees. The runs are short, but so are the lineups. There is nothing better than skiing lots of runs each day.
The lodge is small but has a big cafeteria where you are welcome to bring your brown bag lunch. At day's end, there is nothing better than hanging out at the lodge beside the fireplace enjoying the great kid-friendly atmosphere.
Where: Terrace, British Columbia
When I hear anyone talk about Shames Mountain, I get a warm fuzzy feeling in my belly. While living in Terrace for two and half years Shames Mountain was our place to go skiing, sledding, or just hang out with the kids.
This mountain has an interesting spin to it. It is run by Canada’s first nonprofit community co-operative. This brings a unique feeling of family and community to the forefront. It’s a mountain that receives some serious snow, sitting at nearly 490 vertical meters. A skier’s dream. You can find Shames Mountain approximately 35km west of Terrace.
There is something to be said about spending time at a small ski resort: from the conversations that occur around the chairs between the groups of dedicated locals who volunteer; to the welcoming feeling you receive when you walk into the lodge after a great day of skiing. If you’re looking to spend more time on the hills and less time in line, check out some of these hidden ski resorts in British Columbia.
It's never too late to do a winter road trip!
Tells us about your hidden gem?