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The drive from Calgary to Castle Mountain Resort is about two and a half hours. You’ll feel at home at this lesser-known resort where locals know how to rip and the powder is plentiful. Enjoy the chilled-out vibes here, where development hasn’t taken over and skiing is about the basics – great terrain, big smiles and keeping things simple.
RV sites without power are available in the parking lot with a $15 charge for the use of the washhouse. Lost Lemon Campground and RV Park is open year round and is a short drive west on Highway 3 towards Blairmore. Alternatively, you may like to move on to Fernie after your day's skiing today so as to have a full day on the slopes there tomorrow.
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Continue west on Highway 3 to the town of Fernie, British Columbia where the alpine bowls of the resort call out to skiers and boarders below. This resort is considered a must-ski by powder enthusiasts and is known for their big dumps of snow. There are a total of 142 named ski runs, five alpine bowls with long runs, trees and options for on and off-piste skiing.
For some added interest, the Resort offers all kinds of extra activities. You can go dogsledding or join a hayride that also includes a "cowboy dinner". There are also opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing with 15 kilometres of groomed and track-set cross-country trails leading off from the Resort.
You will be driving into the Kootenay mountain range of central British Columbia. This part of the province has heaps of snow each season and an impressive amount of untracked powder to ski. You’re in avalanche country, so make sure to check local reports and have proper equipment and training if you’re going out of bounds.
Over the next couple of days you’ll be able to explore what Whitewater and Red Mountain have to offer. Your first stop is Whitewater, where overnight camping is available with a limited number of electrical hook-ups. Advance reservations are required. Please check in with Guest Services after arrival for directions.
And, if you’re desiring to relax after a day on the slopes, visit the Ainsworth Hot Springs a few kilometres north of Balfour.
Take some time to explore the terrain at Whitewater Ski Resort and enjoy a day on the slopes. Whitewater Ski Resort is renowned for receiving over 12 metres/40 feet of light, dry powder snow every season. The best thing about the big snowfall is you don't have to make room for big crowds common to other BC ski resorts. Whitewater offers open bowls, as well as glades and chutes, to challenge the more advanced skiers.
Today you’ll continue to Rossland where you’ll find the mountain town that has provided Canada with two gold medal winners in Olympic ski racing. Both Nancy Greene and Kerrin Lee-Gartner come from this area.
Red Mountain is the name for the ski resort in Rossland. Powder, challenging terrain and non-crowded runs make for a skier's paradise. If you want to ski out of bounds on the higher elevations, it is recommended that you hire a guide to go with you.
On top of the amazing downhill skiing, RED boasts world-class cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat-biking and other activities. RV Parking is available all year round with no hook-ups, maximum stay 4 days/nights.
Today you’ll enjoy the varied scenery in this area, as your travels take you through mountain valleys, ending up near Nakusp at Upper Arrow Lake.
Travel northwest from Rossland to where Highway 3B meets Highway 3. At the junction, turn right and travel northeast, heading toward Castlegar. At Castlegar, veer north and follow the signs for Nakusp. You will enjoy the varied scenery in this area, as the road winds through mountain valleys and ends up beside Upper Arrow Lake.
Nakusp has abundant cross-country ski tracks set in valleys along with mineral springs. Stop at Halcyon Mineral Springs situated in a spectacular waterfront location on beautiful Upper Arrow Lake. With views of the soaring Monashee Mountains unfolding before them, these pools are the centrepiece of Halcyon Hot Springs BC. Soak up the beneficial minerals of our waters; float peacefully through the warm pool’s jetted swim channel; massage your back in front of the pool jets, or simply relax under the clear mountain skies. Halcyon is home to some of the most restorative hot spring waters you will find in North America.
Today you’re on your way to Revelstoke Mountain Resort – an epic, up and coming hill where mountain enthusiasts won’t be disappointed. It is a more advanced hill, so if your legs are tired or need a break, you can always take in this beautiful little mountain town, enjoy local craft beer or treat yourself on the hill at the spa.
Since you will have spent half of the day driving, you may want to explore the town of Revelstoke - it has over 60 heritage buildings being restored in the town centre and a wonderful railway museum that describes the final stages of building the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Ask for one night of complimentary camping at Sutton Hotel Front Desk.
For those who are keen to ski powder, Revelstoke promises a tremendous adventure. Cat and heli-skiing operations in the area offers next-level adventure for those seeking a little more. If you’re looking to do something new, consider snow-mobiling or cross-country skiing.
If you prefer to spend the day off the mountain, there are a lot of interesting places to visit around the Revelstoke area. At the end of the day, drive to Crazy Creek Resort, just 30 minutes away, offering large hot pools to ease your tired body after a long day of skiing.
Today you’ll drive east to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, 8 km west of the town of Golden.
Ski Magazine rates Kicking Horse Mountain Resort as #1 for powder in all of North America. Beginner skiers can cruise the runs lower on the mountain while more advanced skiers can explore the various inbound hikes and chutes this handsome mountain has to offer. The Eagle's Eye Restaurant, built at the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, is well worth the price of the gondola ride even if you’re not skiing. The gondola itself offers a spectacular view in such a short ride and the view from the restaurant at the top is also awe-inspiring.
Lake Louise Ski Resort is a venue favored for international ski racing events, a favourite hill among Calgarians and home to many ski and snowboard teams.
Lake Louise itself is well lit for nighttime skating and, as the rink is in a mountain setting, surrounded by snow-covered trees and plenty of stars visible to the naked eye, it has wonderful ambience. As well, Lake Louise hosts a winter carnival in February. In a matter of a few hours, ice carvers come out and complete their magic - numerous artistic, life-size sculptures dot the property of the Chateau Lake Louise.
There are a variety of pubs and restaurants in the town of Lake Louise. Or perhaps you would enjoy a typical Canadian winter evening. You can relax in your RV, read a good book, play a card game and listen to the hockey game (and snow reports!) on the radio.
The National Park campground close to the Lake Louise township has a limited number of powered sites available during the winter on a first come first served basis.
Sunshine Mountain is just a short drive east along the TransCanada Highway from Lake Louise. There is a gondola ride up to the base of the resort from the main parking lot.
In just 13 minutes, you are standing on the edge of 3,300 acres of ski runs. Sunshine is right on the Continental Divide making for very interesting and varied terrain. This resort is very high up with a base elevation of over 5,400 feet and the longest vertical drop is over 3,000 feet.
Of course, if you are more interested in cross-country skiing and would like to visit Kananaskis Country or Canmore, you can continue on past Banff and stop at the Nordic Centre in Canmore. This centre was built for the 1988 Winter Olympics and was designed to meet international and Olympic standards. There are also a lots of things to see in the town of Canmore - art galleries, unique boutiques and one-of-a-kind restaurants and coffee shops.
Drive the short distance to Banff and ski the town's historic Mount Norquay, the original resort of the Canadian Rockies. Ski families, locals, mountain adventurers and snow seekers young and old – experts to novices – have gathered here for almost a century.
Or drive a bit further to the Nakiska Ski Area which is an ideal mountain for families and those learning to ski. Located in the heart of the spectacular Kananaskis Valley, Nakiska is just 50 mins from Calgary. Nakiska was specifically designed to host the alpine events at the 1988 Calgary Olympics and now meets the needs for visitors from all over the world. Nakiska Ski Area is well known for a few things, including its super-long ski season - often being the earliest resort in Canada to open - as well as it’s immaculately groomed, wide, Olympic-sized runs and also its snowmaking abilities.
Your trip to Calgary is only an hour an a half away. Take the Trans-Canada Highway or opt for a different route and check out the town of Cochrane before returning to the city.
A slower drive, it’s the perfect way to slow down the end of your journey and enjoy the sites from a different angle. Stop in at Ghost Lake or have ice cream in Cochrane before hitting the road again.