Skiing In British Columbia: A MapQuest Guide
Skiing in British Columbia is all but dominated by the imposing reputation of Whistler Blackcomb, owed in part to the large role that the massive resort played in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Naturally, in order to host the world's most famous winter games, the skiing has to be great. But believe it or not, Whistler isn't the only place to ski in British Columbia. From metro-area favorites near Vancouver to far-flung destinations in the province's eastern regions, British Columbia has ski and snowboard resorts to satisfy a wide range of budgets and skill levels.
Whistler BlackcombWhistler Blackcomb is arguably the reigning king of North American ski resorts. Located only two hours from Vancouver and five hours from Seattle by car, the Whistler offers Olympic-class skiing over the largest combined skiable area in North America. Forged by the merger of adjacent Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in 1997, its 8,171 acres and more than 200 trails dwarf any competition, although enthusiasts might argue that nowhere else comes close. The peaks are connected by the world's longest continuous unsupported gondola, whose panoramic views make it a point of interest all its own.
In addition to its maintained trails, Whistler Blackcomb holds "exclusive rights to 432,000 acres of big mountain terrain" in its backcountry, which are accessible via snowcat or helicopter. The resort's legendary runs, parks and off-piste areas form an epic history that's still writing itself. It was here that American Shaun White clinched the gold on his first run, then used his second run as to cement his victory with a crowd-pleasing, jaw-dropping Double McTwist 1260. Naturally, perfection comes at a price. With lift tickets north of $90 a day, Whistler Blackcomb isn't cheap. But according to The Huffington Post, group-pricing discounts help leverage the privilege of skiing at the majestic resort.
British Columbia Ski & Snowboard Resorts Map
Click pinpoints for driving directions.
RevelstokeLocated in eastern British Columbia near the Alberta border, Revelstoke Mountain is a newer resort whose notoriety is growing with each passing season. Although it is as yet unfinished, Revelstoke already rivals Vail in size, and is more than one-third as large as Whistler Blackcomb in terms of acreage. Its master plan clearly has the latter resort pegged as a competitor, as Revelstoke's primary efforts thus far have targeted skiers and snowboarders in search of adventure.
Revelstoke averages between 30 to 45 feet of snow per year, but only 7 percent of the mountain's terrain is suitable for beginners. The rest split more or less evenly between intermediate and expert runs. Snowcat and helicopter-assisted skiing operations are in full swing, and the resort already boasts a 9.4-mile trail called The Last Spike, as well as 13 gladed areas. The mountain has a 5,620-foot lift-assisted vertical. Adventurers looking for something different can book a guided dogsledding expedition, operated in conjunction with a local touring company.
WATCH: Justin Cahill Rides Deep Powder Glades At Revelstoke
Phoenix MountainIf Whistler's massive proportions (and corresponding price tag) has a chilling effect on your jones for great skiing in British Columbia, you might warm up to Phoenix Mountain. Although it's no towering inferno of glitz and extravagance, Phoenix gets serious snow -- about 350 inches per year -- and provides some cushy incentives to boot. Located just a hop across the border from the U.S., Phoenix wins over serious skiers and snowboarders on a budget.
The resort offers free night skiing on select evenings throughout the season, sells relatively inexpensive lift tickets, and best of all, gives graded discounts on season passes for families. Savings start at 10 percent for two people, and tack on an additional five percent saving per person (up to 35 percent). Local lodging also offers discounts to Phoenix Mountain skiers and boarders, as reported by The Huffington Post.
Crystal MountainLocated in Kelowna, Crystal Mountain is another great option for budget-conscious travelers craving Canadian powder. Although with a yearly average accumulation of only 122 inches, the fluffy stuff is a bit harder to come by, compared with other mountains in British Columbia. Still, with 470 skiable acres and lots of terrain suitable to beginners, Crystal Mountain is a great destination for family ski outings.
Did we miss your favorite ski and snowboard resort in British Columbia? Tell us about it in the comments section below.
Plan your next winter getaway with MapQuest's ski resort guides for winter travel destinations in the U.S. and Canada.