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January 19, 2024

Family Fun on BC's Powder Highway

Experience the ultimate skiing tradition on the Powder Highway! In my home, it was tradition to hit the slopes every weekend in Kimberley. The house would be a buzz with five of us trying to get all of our stuff together. Long-johns, turtlenecks and warm socks were donned before we made our way into the kitchen for a hearty cream-of-wheat breakfast.

Our crew of five, fully geared up, raced to the mountain, aiming for the prestigious first row parking spot. The Buckhorn chair awaited us, launching us into a day of exhilarating runs like Mambo, Midnight, and Dreadnaught. Fuel up with a quick brown bag lunch, then continuing the adventures on Rosa, Stemwinder, and Schoolhouse. This era of skiing will forever hold a special place in my heart.

The Powder Highway’s Alpine Resorts offers a plethora of activities beyond skiing and snowboarding. Embrace the Kootenay ski culture with off-mountain adventures that will make your family’s experience on the Powder Highway truly unforgettable. Join us for a trifecta of fun!


Experience the ultimate ski adventure at Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Area! With 14 runs catering to all skill levels, from green to black, our resort offers the perfect family-friendly slopes. Say goodbye to long lift lines and crowded trails and say hello to smooth, corduroy runs.

Après Ski
This resort is unique, as it has their own natural hot springs, parents can soak in the warmest pools while the kids play the generously-sized swimming pool and dive pool areas.

Desperados, the ultimate family-friendly restaurant nestled in our ski chalet. With an extensive assortment of appetizers and a blend of classic and trendy favourites, Desperados guarantees a tantalizing refuel to energize you after an exhilarating day on the slopes. More dining options in the Columbia Valley.

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort hot pools; photo by Kari Medig


The ‘Minute Maid Kids Trails’ off the Deer Chair will get you on the move; these trails are twisty, perfect for your kid’s short skis and it even has a secret entrance.  Other fave is the ‘Holo Hike’; an easy groomed blue run when you get to ski through two tunnels and weave your way through resort cabins.

Après Ski
Remember to bring your ice-skates and hockey sticks – in-town (Fernie) has an NHL outdoor skating rink. Start your own friendly pick-up game, it’s free for public use and is open daily.  Or stop by the indoor pool, it has a leisure pool for small children, an indoor waterslide, diving board, rope swing and a 25-person whirlpool.
Or watch a home game (hockey) of the local Fernie Ghostrider team.

Elk Valley Pizza Shoppe’s sauce is crafted with crushed tomatoes and infused with a perfect blend of 5 spices, creating an unforgettable homemade flavour. The original and whole wheat dough is meticulously made from scratch daily in-house, ensuring authenticity in every bite. Delight in their thin and crispy bottom crust, expertly balanced with just the right amount on the sides to contain the generous toppings and cheese. For more than two decades, they have proudly served Fernie with freshly baked pizzas.  More dining options in Fernie.

NHL Outdoor Ice-skating Rink; photo courtesy of Tourism Fernie.


As a family you may want to stay and play on the Catamount quad and ski/ride the green (beginner trails) or venture to the top on the gondola and ride. It’s a 10′ from top to bottom (but you do need to make your way over the Crystal Bowl, so skate-skiing and towing your kids could be a possibility).

Après Ski
On mountain, near the Kicking Horse Plaza, with access by the Jelly Bean surface lift is The Tube Zone.  No skills are required, just a sense of adventure. It’s the perfect family activity after a day on the slopes

Another option for non-ski, is to ride the gondola to the top of the mountain and have lunch at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant (Canada’s highest elevated snacking hot-spot)! Or, experience the thrill of live hockey in Golden – and cheer on the Golden Rockets team.

For one of the best burgers, check out the Wolf’s Den in downtown Golden.  Their full menu offers a great selection from AAA certified angus steaks to a family-friendly kids menu. Or dine outside in a heated Igloo with Reposados Tacos. More dining options in Golden.

Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Resort; photo by Mitch Winton


What has changed from the time I was a kid to now, is the mountain has way more glade areas to explore and a lot of it is easy or intermediate terrain.  

Après Ski
The Spirit Rock Climbing Centre in downtown Kimberley is a great way to burn more energy. The centre offers a kid’s area, plus a boulder wall and beginner routes to long overhanding technical climbs.

If you still want more runs, the resort offers night-skiing too.  Or, hit the Kimberley Nordic Centre to classic or skate-ski under the starts on their lit 3-km trails.  Or, enjoy a fun night at the rink in Kimberley – grab a seats and cheer on the local Kimberley Dynamiters team.

Neapolitan pizza & Italian food made from the freshest of regional ingredients. The Stonefire Grill is a truly unique family restaurant right in the centre of Kimberley’s Platzl, their pedestrian walking mall.  More dining options in Kimberley.

Gladed ski area at the Kimberley Alpine Resort; photo by Kari Medig


This resort offers 2 magic carpets, 1 poma lift and two chairlifts accessing their beginner area, the Discovery Zone. Offering this whole kid friendly/learning zone is pretty awesome!

Après Ski
The XC trails at Panorama are family-friendly too, as they have small warming huts along the route — which is great for kids.  Or, they can go ice-skating on Lake Lillian (a mini-Whiteway), or venture into downtown Invermere to experience The Whiteway and its 34-km ice-skating track (the longest one in the world).  Or if you just want stay warm, be sure to take at dip in the Panorama Springs pools

Or take in a half day snowmobile tour with Toby Creek Adventures.  The Paradise Mine half-day tour (3-hours) is perfect for beginners and families. This tour follows the trails through old-growth forest to a frozen waterfall ending at a cozy cabin.

Location near Lake Windermere, in downtown Invermere, is the Black Forest Restaurant. Be sure to check out their “bird room”.  More dining options in the Columbia Valley.

The Whiteway on Lake Windermere; photo by Mitch Winton


Taking the lift to access ‘Paradise’ is an amazing option for families at RED in Rossland.  You could spend your entire time skiing/riding the terrain here and with the addition of the Paradise Lodge you can!  (Take ‘Easy Street’ run to access the front side of the mountain.)

Après Ski
Black Jack Cross Country Club near Red Mountain Resort proudly stands as one of the most esteemed cross-country ski facilities in all of western Canada. With its diverse range of trails and top-notch grooming, they offer an unparalleled experience. experience the thrill of night-skiing on the Jeldness and Fisher’s Loop trails.

Or cheer on the local hockey team, the Trail ‘Smoke Eaters’, play regular games over the ski season; cheer them on while they compete with other Junior A ice hockey teams in BC.

The Colander in downtown Trail has the very best spaghetti dinner with an authentic family-style dining experience.  Fill up on carbs for day two of exploring the mountain.  More dining options in Rossland

Nordic skiing at the Black Jack Ski Club; photo by Steve Ogle


The first gondola up to Revelation Lodge is a short ride, so it’s pretty cool that families, and beginners can experience ‘gondola skiing’!  Novices are in for a treat at the base and the gondola mid-station! They have got you covered with a magic carpet and a nice, gentle slope.

But if you’re up for the challenge, brace yourself for the next level. Zone 2 offers the epic Last Spike run, a long and thrilling journey down the mountain. Or you can opt for the slightly shorter, yet equally exciting, Sunshine. Don’t worry if it seems intimidating on those low visibility days, even beginners can conquer this stretch! So gear up and get ready to take on the mountain.

Après Ski
Great Canadian Tours offers short fun tours on a snowmobile along Frisby Ridge to a rustic cabin that overlooks the surrounding mountains.  Perfect for families, this tour offers four excursions daily to fit around your on-mountain activities.
Or join in cheering for local hockey team – the Revelstoke Grizzlies at one of their home games.

Chubby Funsters — it’s just fun to say!  This casual dining experience in downtown Revelstoke offers great Canadian cuisine featuring lasagna, prime rib dinners, delicious burgers and a family-friendly kids menu.  More dining options in Revelstoke.

Snowmobiling in Revelstoke with Great Canadian Tours; photo by Mitch Winton


Skiing/riding the Silver King area offers up some great easy to intermediate terrain for your family.  This mountain also offers an amazing terrain park — check on the current conditions and ride responsibly.  

Après Ski
The Nordic trails at the base of Whitewater are fun plus you can snowshoe & bike on them as well which means from the base area a family can experience all three activities.

Just a short 45-minute drive north of Nelson lies the magnificent Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort. Prepare to be amazed as you discover the unique horse-shoe shaped cave that sets these hot springs apart.

For dinner check out the Main Street Diner for greek or
Marzano for Italian cuisine… mmm kids menus and amazing dishes for the parents! More dining options in Nelson.

The Cave at Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort; photo by Don Weixl

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