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Driving Ski Vacation in British Columbia

Written by Dugald Morrow   
Friday, 07 August 2009

For many skiers (and snowboarders), the thought of having to get in the car and drive the the ski field each day is not their idea of a vacation. That's fair enough, it's nice to be able to roll out of bed onto your skis and ski down to the lift for your first run. For this type of vacation, I suggest you make sure there is a large enough terrain to guarantee you won't be bored by the end of your stay. Whistler/Blackcomb in British Columbia is one such resort.

Alternatively, you may like to mix it up a little - have a few days in one resort, then go on to explore another.

British Columbia, Canada is the perfect place for this type of ski vacation. There are numerous ski areas spread not too far over the southern interior of B.C. They range from small areas serviced by a single t-bar to world class resorts such as Big White and Sun Peaks.

Below is an itinerary aimed at the international traveller. It starts and ends in Vancouver, although if you want to reduce the driving a little then a good alternative is to start and end in Kamloops - there are fairly frequent flights between Vancouver and Kamloops.

Tip: Drag and double click on the map to explore it.

View BC Ski Tour in a larger map
  1. Fly into Vancouver and pick up your hire car. Stay for a couple of days to get over your flight if you like. Vancouver is also a good place to hire your ski gear. If you've got time, have week at Whister/Blackcomb at the start or end of this itinerary.
  2. When you're ready to start driving, head east on Highway 1. Hope is the destination for your first night.
  3. Take the 3B south east to spend the day at Manning Park. Manning Park is about half way between Hope and Princeton which is about a 90 minute drive all up. After your day at manning Park head further east to spend the night at Princeton.
  4. Apex Mountain is your next ski area to explore. It's off the main road about 45 minutes out of Princeton. It's a bit of a drive from Apex Mountain to Kelowna, but it's a good size town with lots of choices when it comes to accommodation and dining.
  5. Big White is only a short drive south east of Kelowna. I recommend staying a few days here - enjoy the ski-in ski-out while you have the opportunity.
  6. Ready for more driving - head south to Phoenix. There are a few small towns in the area to choose to stay in - Grand Forks is about the largest.
  7. Red Mountain is about an hour further east near Rossland. You may like a couple of days here.
  8. Whitewater and Salmo are two more ski options in this area, but you may like to head straight on to the larger ski area of Kimberley.
  9. After skiing Kimberley, head further north to Panorama near Invermere.
  10. Next is Kicking Horse - close to Golden and worth skiing more than one day.
  11. Now head west to Revelstoke. It is about a two hour drive from Kicking Horse.
  12. Another two hours to the west is Sun Peaks. Sun Peaks. This is the last ski area on the tour and a decent enough resort to justify a few days before you drive back to Vancouver.
  13. Maybe you're keen to ski after your 5 hour drive from Sun Peaks to Vancouver? If so, there are three small ski areas in North Vancouver to try;- Cypress, Grouse and Seymour.
  14. That's it - enjoy!
Last Updated ( Saturday, 08 August 2009 )


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