Nothing feels quite like cutting loose from gravity as you zoom down a mountain atop a downy blanket of snow. A short drive east of Kelowna in the Monashee Mountains, you can ski or snowboard to your heart’s content. Big White Ski Resort receives over 700 centimetres (22 feet!) of light Okanagan powder each season. The feathery flakes settle seductively in open bowls and between perfectly spaced trees in shaded glades, to entice riders of all abilities to come out and play.
Closest to town, Big White Ski Resort is known as the locals’ mountain. Experience 2,765 acres of in-bounds skiing on terrain that ranges from easy beginner runs close to the village, to steep drops into high-up alpine bowls for experts. Off-slope, you’ll be charmed by a resort village with all the amenities, including ski-in ski-out accommodations, a variety of restaurants and bars, and live music for après-ski entertainment. There’s also plenty to do besides ski at the resort’s Happy Valley Adventure Centre. Try ice climbing on a 60-foot ice tower, ride on a horse-drawn sleigh, book a dog sledding trip, or scream down the hill at the tube park.
Need shuttle service to Big White Ski Resort? Cheers! Okanagan will pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation.
Gliding through a quiet forest under your own power while snowflakes float down from the sky is simply enchanting. Nordic skiers know it’s not all about downhill turns in the Okanagan—Kelowna is close to two cross-country ski clubs, and Big White Ski Resort offers Nordic trails. In all, there are over 250 kilometres of groomed trails to explore.
Across the bridge in West Kelowna you’ll find Telemark Nordic Club. Over 50 km of maintained trails greet cross-country skiers, from short, easy loops near the lodge, to long, challenging routes that gain and lose elevation. There are even a couple of “doggy” trails where a skier’s best friend can tag along. If you’re new to the sport there are rentals available on site, and lessons for children and adults.
Bring your own equipment to the Kelowna Nordic club, located in the foothills east of town on Hwy. 33. Non-members can access the 75 km of groomed and track-set trails for a day rate, and they can even e-mail ahead to request a tour with a club member. There are rustic warming cabins equipped with toilets at the main trailhead and along several of the trails.
Big White offers 25 km of combined trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. The groomed trails are accessible from the Happy Valley day lodge or the Black Forest parking lot. Nordic ski and snowshoe rentals are available at the Happy Valley day lodge, which also houses a cafeteria and restaurant.
Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre is nearby a ski resort with trails connecting the two Nordic meccas. Together, you can glide along 105 km of groomed and track-set trails—the largest network of cross-country skiing in Canada. Sovereign Lake has a day lodge and restrooms, and offers equipment rentals and lessons.