Kelowna is a year-round destination with some of Canada’s most beautiful outdoor scenery. The city is best-known for its summer activities – swimming, biking, hiking, boating, and wine tasting. However, if you’re looking for something to do in the winter, check out our list of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Kelowna. Whether you want to stick close to home, or venture out to the Kootenays or to the coast, there is certainly something to meet your pow day needs!

The Most Stunning Places to Go Snowboarding and Skiing Near Kelowna

Big White Ski Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 56 km (~55 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

As the third largest resort in British Columbia, Big White Ski Resort is named after the mountain it calls home – Big White Mountain, which is the highest summit in the Okanagan Highland. There are 119 trails on the property, with the majority rated as intermediate and above. It’s also the largest night skiing resort in Western Canada. If you’re looking for long, uninterrupted runs, the longest on-site is the Around the World Route, which runs from the top of the resort to Gem Lake.

Visitors like the resort’s focus on skiing and snowboarding and the outdoor experience. It’s not very commercial by design. There’s also snow tubing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, and sleigh rides you can do during your down time from the slopes.

SilverStar Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 73 km (~1 hour, 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the biggest resorts in British Columbia, SilverStar Mountain Resort has over 3,000 skiable acres with 132 trails in the Monashee Mountains. The snow here is 100% natural, as the region typically gets 23 feet of snowfall each year. Visitors mention that the front side of the mountain has some easier, more beginner-friendly runs, while the back side has more advanced slopes.

There’s a diverse array of winter sports activities outside of skiing and snowboarding, including ice skating, snowshoeing, and fat biking, and they have an all inclusive pass to take advantage of several activities the resort has to offer. Additionally, the nearby ski town has lifts right outside of its many shops, perfect for a mid-day ski siesta.

Sun Peaks Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 222 km (~2 hours, 50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

Have you ever craved warm food after a long day on the slopes? At Sun Peaks, you can indulge in a fondue dinner at twilight at the top of the mountain. This resort has tons of accolades, including the award for #1 in Mountain Trail Design in North American. Recent additions to the park brought the total skiable acreage to 4,270, putting it in the top three largest ski areas in Canada. The mountain has over 125 runs, including 13 glades. Although it’s an all-inclusive resort with all of the amenities of a large resort, it’s way cheaper than some of the other large resorts in Canada, making this a great option for skiing near Kelowna.

Apex Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 96 km (~1 hour, 25 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

As one of the few mountains that face the north, Apex Mountain Resort is less affected by the sunlight and so it features beautiful powder snow. The resort is famous for its light champagne powder due to a mixture of perfect weather conditions and light. Don’t let the perfect snow fool you into thinking this is an easy place to ski, however. Local’s affectionately call the place “Scrapex” as the higher altitude runs are very exposed, resulting in speedy and bumpy runs. The resort run distribution leans heavily on intermediate runs. This location is an idea destination for those looking for more of “off-grid” and old-school skiing near Kelowna.

Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club

  • Distance from Kelowna: 50 km (~50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No, but stay at the nearby Idabel Lake Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

East of Kelowna you’ll find the Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club. With 75km of wooded trails, it’s perfect for cross-country skiing near Kelowna. There is also a toboggan hill for the littles! The property has 6 day-use cabins, all equipped with wood stoves and washrooms, and all club members can enjoy a free skate lesson. 

Telemark Nordic Club

  • Distance from Kelowna: 25 km (~30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: All levels

Another great spot for cross-country skiing near Kelowna, check out the Telemark Nordic Club. Just half an hour from the city you’ll find 60km of groomed trails. The most popular trails are groomed on the daily, while less-used trails are groomed every 2-3 days. If you are heading out after work, you can enjoy 3.5km of lit trails for some night skiing.

Manning Park Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 227 km (~2 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at Manning Park Resort
  • Ability Level: All levels

Manning Park Resort is situated in a unique location. It’s located in a transition zone between the wet and dry parks of BC. On one side is the coastal rainforest, on the other lies the semi-arid Okanagan. The resort’s location lies near an old meeting ground of the Stó:lō and Similkameen First Nations. The present-day Skyline Trail is actually an old travel route taken by the First Nations people!

The resort’s location further inland and its high elevation means it gets some of the best fresh powder in BC. The ski lift tickets are some of the cheapest in BC, making it one of the best family friendly options for skiing near Kelowna. In addition to the traditional downhill trails, Manning Park offers over 160 km of cross country skiing and backcountry hills.

Sasquatch Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 310 km (~3 hours, 35 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No, but many options in nearby Harrison Hot Springs
  • Ability Level: All levels

Sasquatch Mountain is located within the Douglas Ranges near Chehalis, BC. The resort is located between Mission and Agassiz. It has been around since the 1970’s, but back then it was called Hemlock Valley Resort. In 2017 the resort changed names to Sasquatch Mountain Resort. There are 36 runs, made up of 30% beginner trails; however, the resort is currently in negotiations with nearby First Nations for a potential expansion.

If you’re coming with a family, this is the resort to be at! All runs lead back to the lodge so you don’t have to worry about getting separated from your family. Additionally, on Tuesdays the resort offers a 2 for 1 lift ticket special. If you’re a complete newbie, you get a special deal: on Never Ever Days, ski lessons, rentals, and lift tickets are only $25 for those who have never skied before. This is truly one of the best deals for skiing Kelowna, BC!

Whistler Blackcomb

  • Distance from Kelowna: 417 km (~5 hours, 25 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, many options in Whistler
  • Ability Level: All levels

If you thought some of the other places to go skiing near Kelowna were big, wait until you hear about Whistler Blackcomb. Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Blackcomb offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding on the entire continent. As the biggest ski area in North America, the resort area spans two mountains (Whistler and Blackcomb) and has over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain. There are so many runs at Whistler (over 200!) that you could ski for several days without having to repeat any trails. For all these amenities, you do pay a premium; however, during the spring ski season, tickets can be up to 30% discounted.

For people who get bored easily, Whistler is a playground. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, there’s a town and an extensive luxury resort area to explore. With its huge variety and well-staffed centre, Whistler is great for both beginners and expert-level skiers and riders. For non-skiers, the resort offers a tubing park, winter zip lining, and snowmobile tours.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 197 km (~2 hours, 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Sutton Place Hotel
  • Ability Level: All levels

Home to North America’s greatest vertical (1,713 meters/5,620 feet), Revelstoke Mountain Resort is one of the more adrenaline-inducing ski resorts near Kelowna. The longest run on-site, The Last Spike, is a whopping 15km long, and there are tons of opportunities for slackcountry skiing/snowboarding as well.

While there are not very many runs for beginners, intermediate and advanced snowboarders and skiers will thrive here with the resort’s steep runs and powder snow. It’s a perfect place for experienced folks to learn more about navigating backcountry trails with lots of trees and challenging terrain. There’s also heli-skiing available for those looking for the experience of a lifetime!

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 356 km (~4 hours, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, at the Palliser Lodge
  • Ability Level: All levels, but mostly advanced

While Kicking Horse Mountain Resort sits a few hours away from Kelowna, the drive is worth it if you are an advanced skier. While there are several trails accessible to beginner and intermediate-level skiers and riders, the resort prides itself on having the most accessible steep and challenging terrain in BC/Alberta. This is one of the few places in North America where both beginner skiers and advanced skiers can ski above the trees and clouds. Needless to say, this resort is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Kicking Horse has 120 runs over 3,400 skiable acres, 60% of which are rated as advanced. The Golden Eagle Express lift can take you straight from the resort entrance all the way up to the summit. Although it leans heavily on expert level trails, there is a single long beginner trail that extends from the summit of the mountain all the way to the front entrance of the park. For advanced skiers and snowboarders looking for adrenaline, Kicking Horse offers slackcountry and Purcell Heli-Skiing. Visitors love the stunning views of 6 surrounding national parks from the summit, as well as the secluded location of the resort.

Whitewater Ski Resort

Located on the famed Powder Highway, Whitewater is a ski resort famous for its easy backcountry access. This park caters mostly to intermediate and advanced level skiers. The western ridge has incredible front and backside skiing and is made up of just blue and black runs. The resort boasts having 100% all natural snow.

Nearby lies the city of Nelson, BC, which is known for its counter-culture fame. There are over 40 restaurants in the town, with an abundance of art exhibits and a hopping culture scene! In the wintertime, be sure to check out the hot springs close to the city.

Panorama Mountain Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 483 km (~5 hours, 50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

Panorama Mountain Resortis a bit of a haul from the city, but it’s one of the best spots for skiing and snowboarding near Kelowna if you make the trip! This resort has 129 runs that are mostly intermediate and advanced. There are also plenty of areas for beginners and first-timers.

Known for long runs, big bowls, and beautiful views of the Canadian Rockies, Panorama really lives up to its name. Located near Kicking Horse, many people opt to pair the two resorts together in one trip. It’s one of the sunniest resorts in Canada, boasting 60 days of sun on average during the season. Plus, the on-site resort and lodge here is absolutely stunning, with opportunities for ski-in, ski-out rooms.

Kimberley Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 557 km (~6 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

Located in the Purcell Mountains, Kimberley Alpine Resort is a fantastic mid-sized resort that offers a variety of terrain across all levels. With 80 runs across beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels, visitors love the resort for family or group trips, as there’s something for everyone here. The resort also boasts the longest night skiing runs in North America!

Beginners will enjoy the ski school and gentler slopes on the front side of the mountain, while advanced riders can fly down the tree glades in powder snow. With ample ski-in, ski-out accommodations, Kimberley is beloved by locals and visitors alike as a fantastic winter getaway destination.

Fernie Alpine Resort

  • Distance from Kelowna: 625 km (~7 hours, 25 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, several options
  • Ability Level: All levels

Make sure to stop by Fernie Alpine Resort for fantastic snowboarding and skiing near Kelowna. If you’re willing to make the trek you’ll be rewarded with some of BC and the Rockies’ most epic skiing. With 2500 acres of skiable terrain and 3550 feet of vertical to play with, there’s something for everyone at Fernie. There are 142 named runs, as well as 5 alpine bowls, and countless glades and chutes. 

The historic town of Fernie is the perfect ski town to check out after a long day at the hill, with tons of fun restaurants and boutiques to explore. The resort sees up to 37 feet of snow per year, so for epic skiing and legendary lines, Fernie may be the perfect winter getaway spot for you.

Grouse Mountain

  • Distance from Kelowna: 400 km (~4 hours, 10 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No, but many options in Vancouver
  • Ability Level: All levels

Known as the “peak of Vancouver,” Grouse Mountain is a great spot to take in some incredible views while enjoying snowboarding or skiing near Kelowna. Its most famous run, The Cut, was ranked as a top 100 run in the world by CNN Travel. Boasting spectacular views of Vancouver from its 33 runs and 6 terrain parks, it’s not only a fun resort, but also a scenic one. People especially love the night skiing, as it provides stunning views of the city’s twinkling lights.

For non-skiers, there’s ice skating, sleigh rides, a mountaintop cinema, and strolls through the Light Walk, a lit trail area on the property. People love how many different activities there are at the resort, making it a perfect family-friendly getaway spot!

Cypress Mountain

  • Distance from Kelowna: 415 km (~4 hours, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No, but many options in Vancouver
  • Ability Levels: All levels

Cypress Mountain is located in the southern section of Cypress Provincial Park, which means you can sightsee on your trip up to the mountain. It’s a short drive from Vancouver, making it a very accessible destination for those looking to go skiing while on a trip to the coast. The trails tend to be more beginner friendly, with a good mix of intermediate trails.

This resort has a lot of history, including being the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions. The mountain also holds one of the oldest surviving commercial lodges in the North Shore Mountains. You can snowshoe through an LED-lit trail to the historic Hollyburn Lodge while walking between ancient cedar, fir, and hemlock trees.

Mt. Seymour

  • Distance from Kelowna: 404 km (~4 hours, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No, but many options in Vancouver
  • Ability Level: All levels

There are about 40 runs at Mt. Seymour, spread across all difficulties – 40% beginner, 40% intermediate, and 20% advanced, offering experiences for every type of skier and snowboarder. Mt. Seymour is a favourite place to go snowboarding and skiing near Kelowna, BC for adrenaline seekers due to it curated terrain park. In fact, the terrain park won an award in 2013 by SBC Resort Guide as the #2 terrain park in Western Canada.

Other highlights of the mountain include snowshoeing and toboggan experiences. If you own your own snowshoes, you have free access to some treks on the mountain. The mountain is also famed for its all-natural powder snow. Its groomers, Jay and Matt, were supposedly head hunted by the company at Seymour and are known to be some of the best in BC.

Snowboarding and Skiing Near Kelowna: Additional Information

What to Pack:

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, read our guide on What to Wear Skiing & Snowboarding and our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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