When planning a holiday to Canada in the winter, there are few better places to go than British Columbia. A province best known for its mountains and being home of the 2010 Winter Olympics just eight years ago, it has plenty of activities to keep you and your travel party occupied.
Of all the regions in this large province, though, the Kootenays often get overlooked. Situated on the other side of the Canadian Rockies, this part of this iconic mountain range doesn’t get the exposure that Banff or Lake Louise (Alberta) do, but that doesn’t make this place any less awesome.
Below, we’ll mention several things you can do in this amazing corner of BC.
Ski the Powder Highway
The Kootenays are best known in Canada for being home to a series of ski resorts which get copious amounts of snowfall each winter. Accordingly, the roads that link them have come to be known as the Powder Highway.
Start in Golden at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, where some of the steepest lines in the entire country await expert skiers and boarders. Afterward, move on to spots like Kimberley, Fairmont Hot Springs, or Panorama, all hills which are more forgiving to novice skiers/riders and those with families.
Fernie Alpine Resort is famous for its bowls, Whitewater for its apres ski scene, and Revelstoke for its backcountry and near constant snow dumps throughout the season.
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Despite what you might think, there are legit gaming sites out there, so get out there and compete – when your buds get back from the hill, the apres ski drinks might be on you!
Soak in the Radium Hot Springs
Trust us – there’s nothing better than hot water on a cold winter day. In the Kootenays, there are numerous naturally occurring hot springs, but none are as visually stunning as Radium Hot Springs.
Surrounded by rock formations, you’ll have access to a warm pool which averages 37 degrees Celsius throughout the year, a cooler swimming pool which is usually around 27 degrees Celsius, and a surprise pool, which is filled with hot (42 degrees Celsius) or cold (12 degrees Celsius) water.
After a long day of driving, there is nothing quite as restorative than spending an hour or so in these pools – don’t miss it.
Go snowmobiling in the Elk Valley
Fond of riding the horseless sleigh back home? Never gone snowmobiling in your life, but want to try? The Elk Valley (which stretches from Fernie to Elkford) is the perfect place to fire up a Ski-Doo and have at it.
With plenty of open meadows with outstanding mountain views, novices can play without fear of triggering avalanches. On days when higher risk terrain is safer, expert riders can chase the ultimate adrenaline high on a variety of steeper grades that will make them salivate.
Ride dogsleds near Golden
Want a tranquil experience suitable for kids while traveling in the Kootenays during the winter months? From Golden to Fernie to Revelstoke, there are plenty of trails that a team of sled dogs to pull you down on the experience of a lifetime. The canines are often friendly, making it an activity that is a virtual must if you are traveling in this part of BC as a family.