From the Vancouver & the Fraser Valley, Rossland is one of the first stops along the Powder Highway (just follow highway 3 to Rossland and RED Mountain Resort). RED Mountain Resort is known for light, dry snow, world-class tree skiing; incredible steeps, laid back vibe and friendly locals. RED is also home of ski racing in Canada and offer a Legacy Alpine Training Centre. Check DriveBC.ca to get the current road conditions before you hit the road.
- Start your morning at Caffe Gabriella, in the heart of Rossland’s historic downtown. Serving up hearty portions of omelets, eggs benedict and hash bowls, you may be hard-pressed to get moving afterwards!
- With four peaks, 360-degree descents, 890-m (2,919-feet) of elevation and 119 runs, RED Mountain (trail report) has more than enough terrain to leave you wondering, where do you even start? To solve your problem, join a Free Mountain Tour. The tour is catered to you and your family’s ability, which will help you make the most of the mountain for the rest of your trip.
- When the young ones get tired of skiing, drop them off at the Kindercare, RED Mountains on-site licensed daycare. With the kids well taken care of, you can continue skiing to your heart’s content. Young ones between 3-5 can even take lessons through the daycare.
- After your morning shred, make your way back to town for lunch at Ake Dake Sushi, your spot for authentic Japanese Cuisine in the heart of Rossland.
- After lunch, explore the Rossland Museum & Discovery Centre for a casual afternoon. On Saturdays, kids can take part in STEAM Day, where the whole family can explore activities in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
- Dinner is beckoning, and Rossland is full of options from casual to upscale.
- Have a pre-game meal at The Flying Steamshovel Gastropub, the popular Rossland pub. Choose from mouth-watering tacos, creative burgers or a selection from their classics plates; you won’t go wrong with any of them!
- Hit the highway and take the short trip to Trail Memorial Centre, where the hometown heroes Trail Smoke Eaters take on their regional BCHL rival. The current team shares the name and legacy of the historic Smoke Eaters, who won 2 Ice Hockey World Championships in 1939 and 1961.
- Rise and shine! It’s your second morning in Rossland! Jump-start your day with a cup of fresh coffee and baked goods from Rossland’s local coffee roaster, Seven Summits Coffee Company.
- Now that you’re well orientated with the terrain at RED (snow report/web cams), spend the morning doing laps of Grey Mountain. Over 405-hectares (1,000-acres) of pristine powder, snow-capped glades and 360-degree descents provide endless options for the whole family. If you want to get off the beaten track, catch a lift on the Mt. Kirkup cat-ski. A 10-minute ride will take you to the top of Mount Kirkup for a 626-metre descent through some of Red’s most far-flung terrain. Did I mention it’s only $10 per ride? (Currently postponed until February.)
- The base of a chairlift in the remote mountains of BC is the last place you’d expect to find authentic Mexican street food. But at Red Mountain, anything is possible! Make sure you check out Taco Rojo at the base of the Grey Chair and scarf down one of their beefy burritos!
- In the afternoon, drop into Get Lost Adventure Centre to pick up a fat bike rental and explore Rossland’s selection of groomed winter trails. You’ll find everything from mellow pathways to cruising single-track throughout the town. Beware, fat biking may leave you hooting and hollering as much as you would be laying down powder turns on the mountain!
- Unwind from your afternoon at Rafters, one of North America’s top après bars. Grab a shared platter of nachos, a pitcher of your favourite beer, pull up a seat at one of the picnic tables and re-live the epic descents of the day.
- No stop to Rossland is complete without a dinner at Idgie’s Restaurant. Featuring sustainably caught seafood from around the world alongside a rotating selection of daily specials, a dinner at Idgie’s will be remembered for years to come.
- Wrap your evening up with a pint or two at Rossland Beer Company. Tucked away just off Columbia Avenue, Rossland Beer Company has been the home of local beer enthusiasts and casuals since they brought craft beer to town in 2012.
- On your last day in Rossland, your first stop should be Sourdough Alley, RED Mountain’s on-location breakfast spot. A breakfast burrito will fire you up and get you ready for the big day ahead.
- Step back in time at RED Mountain and spend your morning on the historic RED Chair. It’s slow, it’s steady, and it will take you to some of RED’s oldest and arguably best terrain. This 70’s era chair replaced Canada’s second-ever chairlift, originally constructed in 1947.
- Pick up a bagel sandwich lunch from Alpine Grind Coffee House and load the snowshoes into the car to make the short drive north to the Rossland Range Recreation Site. A network of day-use huts with wood-fired warming stoves are scattered throughout an extensive trail network. Visit either the Red Dog Cabin to the North or Eagle’s Nest Cabin to the south for a quick out and back trip. Longer loops can encompass 4 different cabins or more!
- Or go Nordic skiing at the Blackjack XC Ski Trails in Rossland. Black Jack ranks as one of the premier cross-country ski facilities in western Canada because of its variety of trails (45 kms/30 mi of trails groomed for skate and classic skiing), excellent grooming, abundant and reliable snowfall and proximity to the city of Rossland.
- To satisfy the ‘sweet-tooth’ of the family, head to the Bombshack. Rossland’s sweet spot will leave the whole family with their sugar fix fulfilled. Hard to find candies and confectionaries share the shelves with toys, clothing and other accessories.
- Finish off your trip with dinner at The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge, located in RED Mountain’s Josie Hotel. Enjoy fine cuisine in the dining room or keep it casual in the lounge. The choice is yours!
Know Before You Go – Plan ahead so you can travel safely and responsibly. Familiarize yourself with weather, road conditions, general alerts for travellers and provincial health orders & recommendations.
~ 6 Safety Tips for your Powder Highway for your Road Trip
~ 9 Tips to Keep Your Family Safe on the Slopes
~ 72 Hours in the Columbia Valley this Winter
~ 72 Hours in Fernie this Winter
~ 72 Hours in Golden this Winter
~ 72 Hours in Kimberley this Winter
~ 72 Hours in Nelson this Winter
~ 72 Hours at Panorama Mountain Resort this Winter
~ 72 Hours in Revelstoke this Winter
~ Family Fun on the Powder Highway
~ Kootenay Winters: Why We Love Them
~ Our Kootenay Mountain Culture
~ Powder Highway 101
~ Up the Ante: Powder Highway Day Cat & Heli Packages
~ What’s New on the Powder Highway?
Top/cover photo by Dave Heath in Rossland, BC.
Words by Mark Locki. Mark is a photographer and writer based in Kimberley, BC. An avid traveller throughout the Kootenays and abroad, he enjoys exploring the natural world, camera in hand, seeking out compelling stories. He’s often found deep in the backcountry, running, climbing or on skis, challenging himself to discover new scenes and viewpoints.