1) Eagle’s Eye at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
How to get there: Ride the Eagles Express Gondola from the Plaza to the summit, step outside and see the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant walkway in front of you
What you’ll see: Spectacular views of 6 National parks surrounding the resort (and eat a delicious meal as well).
2) Lost Boys Lookout at Fernie Alpine Resort
How to get there: Ride the Timber Chair to the top and walk a short distance past Lost Boys Café over to the Lost Boys Lookout
What you’ll see: Amazing landscapes of the surrounding peaks of the mountains and of the town of Fernie below.
3) Kimberley, B.C – Lois Creek Trails
How to get there: Parking is available at Centennial Hall. To enter Lois Creek Trails go to either the North End of trail Street, the intersection of 8th and Elko Street or at Centennial Hall at the old Legion Tracks.
What you’ll see: Gorgeous mountain vistas and a variety of wildlife along the trails.
4) Lizard Lookout at Fernie Alpine Resort
How to get there: Ride the Elk Chair to the top and walk a short distance into Lizard Bowl
What you’ll see: Stunning views of the Elk River & town of Fernie
5) Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort – The Ultimate Mountain View
How to get there: Ride the Eagles Express Gondola from the Plaza to the summit, step outside and proceed to Eagle’s Eye, look for the tent to meet up with your guide and group. Once everyone is there you’ll do some training and head right over to the suspension bridge taking you to the Terminator Peak for the climb of your life!
What you’ll see: If you’re brave enough to turn around and take a look behind you’ll see a stunning stretch of mountains while hanging off the Terminator Peak including 6 National parks, the resort below you and Eagle’s Eye Restaurant off in the distance.
NEW this summer – try the Hanging Glory Suspension bridge! More information.
Photos by Alpenglow BnB, Dave Best
Feature Photo: Dax Justin
Summer might be the best time to get outdoors and enjoy what the mountains have to offer in our amazing backyard in Canada. In recent years, ski resorts in British Columbia have made a series of additions, upgrades and updates to have family friendly activities for adults and the little’s as well as keeping the hardcore activities available for the summer thrill seeker.
Summer is a great time to escape the hustle and city bustle, to relax and recharge. The tranquility of fishing will help those kids forget all about the stress of making the grade at school and will help you take a real mental vacation from work. Fishing provides kids (of all ages) a great lesson about being calm and one with nature in an authentic environment. More information about fishing in Golden is on the Tourism Golden website.
- Take a Hike
No, we’re not telling you to get lost, but we are literally telling you to take a hike. Fernie, Kimberley and Kicking Horse all offer hiking in a mountain setting with amazing views at Fernie and Kicking Horse the lift accessed hiking provides some epic views you won’t on any regular old hike. For more information about hiking in mountain towns visit the Tourism Fernie, Tourism Golden or Tourism Kimberley websites and for more information about lift accessed resort hiking visit the Fernie Alpine Resort or Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- See a real bear up close (and learn too)
Perhaps one of the most unique aspects at Kicking Horse is Boo the Bear who lives year round at the resort and has made a name for himself as a local celebrity. Boo has an interesting story of how he ended up making his home at Kicking Horse, in the largest protected Grizzly Bear habitat in the world. While living at the resort he’s offered us humans a rare and special opportunity to learn about the life and practices of Grizzly Bears. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy taking a Grizzly Bear Interpretive tour and learning about his life at the horse! Get more information about Boo and Interpretive tours on the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
- Monkey Around
The Aerial Park at Fernie Alpine Resort is a good introduction to find out how the little’s in your family feel about heights. They can try out the free kids aerial park, or if they meet the height restrictions can venture up in the trees. The lesson beforehand from our knowledgeable guides and extensive safety system will allow them to feel safe while far away from the ground! If you have a very adventurous little one (who is at least 10), use the Aerial Park as a stepping stone to trying the Via Ferrata at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Get more information and book the Aerial Park on the Fernie Alpine Resort website.
- Explore historic towns
Many towns in British Columbia have a strong history in mining and have museums or memorials in town to commemorative and conserve the memories. Along with learning about history, try out some of these unique town experiences;
- Visit Beanpod Chocolate (Canada’s Traditional Chocolate maker) in historical Downtown Fernie. Beanpod website.
- Walk the downtown platzl in Kimberley (also location of the Kimberley museum). More info.
- Walk with Wolves in Golden, a truly unique experience in the Canadian Rockies. More info.
- Visit the Heritage town – Fort Steele (near Kimberley, B.C). More info.
- Pop into the Clawhammer Press in Downtown Fernie. Clawhammer Press website.
- Take a golf lesson
Getting them started young is a great way to build impressive golf skills! Check out our websites to see about specials like ‘take a kid to the course day’, ‘family stay & play packs’ and family golf lessons.
- Sunbathe and Swim in the outdoor pools
Staying at ski resorts in the summer offers a full service experience! While many of our hotels have in house or nearby Spas to pamper, gyms to keep in shape and outdoor pools/hot tubs for the kids to keep entertained for hours! Shown in below photo – Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort.
- Eat all the food
It might be a bit of a hidden fact (although gaining more and more recognition), mountain towns are the best place to have great food! Each have their own unique restaurants, bars or cafes to check out – all come with an authentic mountain town vibe (guaranteed).
- Mountain Bike ON a mountain
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a great starting point to get the passion flowing for mountain biking, with a kid’s skills course in the base area set up each summer. Fernie Alpine Resort has also added a myriad of beginning trails over the last couple season to provide a gentle ride down the summer ski slopes. In addition to beginner trails, Fernie Alpine Resort along with the Fernie Trails Society and Fernie Nordic Club unveiled a new Peak to Park multi use trail last summer. Adding a different experience to the mountain biking game – ride the chairlift at Fernie Alpine Resort and bike your way back down to the town. More information about mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort can be found on our websites.
- All the best fests
What’s your jam? Outdoor music? Farmers Markets? Hardcore racing events? There is something nearly every weekend in Fernie, Kimberley or Golden. Check out the online events calendars on the resort websites or town tourism websites to find out the schedule for this summer!
Photos: Tourism Golden, @calsnape, Cali Sammel and Patrick Majer.
That’s what the experts are saying. And while many people across Canada may be rolling their eyes, for winter outdoor enthusiasts it’s music to their ears.
What is La Nina anyways?
La Niña is the positive phase of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and is associated with cooler than average sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. (According to Wikipedia)
Okay, but what does that really mean?
According to Dave Phillips, senior climatologist at Environment Canada – “In B.C. there is a high probability that we can expect a more frigid winter. A little cooler, a little bit more snow..”
Read more about what exactly La Nina means and more from Dave Phillips on the CBC website.
For a longer and even more scientific explanation of La Nina visit the Weather Network website.
La Nina = Happy Skiers & Snowboarders
Don’t forget to order your Kicking Horse Season Pass before the end of the Early Bird Season pass sale on June 25th – order online through the RCR webstore now!
Try out the only gondola accessed mountain biking in the region at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, with over 3,700 feet of variety, there’s downhill hardcore single tracks with multiple berms, jumps and wooden features as well as lessons and green trails offered for beginners! Golden, B.C has more amazing mountain biking options to offer, being located near Mount 7, one of the most challenging downhills in Canada! Not to worry if you aren’t into the challenge, there are over 100 kms of cross country trails on Mountain Shadows and Moonraker trail systems as well as easier road and mountain cycling. Don’t miss the annual Western Open – B.C Cup, this year on July 2nd & 3rd! Keep an eye on the online events calendar for more information.
There are ‘trails for everyone’ in Kimberley, 3 different trail networks offer everything from beginner riding with gentle, scenic cruises to some adrenaline pumped more difficult trails. With the newest improvements of the trails, the North Star Rails to Trails network is a 25 km long multi use track perfect connecting Kimberley & Cranbrook, perfect for families looking for an afternoon spent exercising outdoors in one of the sunniest places in B.C! Other trails to try are the Lois Creek Trails, geared towards beginner to intermediate riders, and the Kimberley Nature Park, one of the largest municipal parks in Canada for great for riders of all levels. Visit the Tourism Kimberley website for more information on biking in Kimberley.
One of the largest Bike Parks in the region with a recent focus on progression makes Fernie Alpine Resort’s bike park a favourite among the biking community, being voted in the Top 5 Bike Parks in Canada for the last 2 years. Offering cross country, downhill, single track and dual slalom trails accessible from the base area or chair lift as well as a number of green trails and lessons for any ability level to learn the sport or brush up on skills.
Fernie Alpine Resort isn’t the only place to ride in Fernie, along with a number of trails accessed from town, maintained by the Fernie Mountain Bike Club and the Fernie Trails Alliance there have been significant improvements made to a number of trails over the last few summer’s allowing even more people to enjoy scenery around this gorgeous mountain town! A favourite among the youngest generation of riders, Fernie also has a FREE dirt jump park with large & small jumps, bridges and obstacles to check out, located in town near the aquatic centre. For more information on Mountain Biking in Fernie, B.C visit the Fernie Tourism website
Our partner tour operator, Kicking Horse Powder Tours, has set up an exclusive pro-athlete hosted, fully inclusive, on-mountain lodge based trip at Kicking Horse this March.
This exclusive hosted trip is truly the real deal – you’ll get to ski some of the best terrain Canada has to offer and ski with an Olympic winter sports athlete from the UK.
Based out of Kicking Horse, the trip is open to all levels of skiers from intermediate to experts looking for powder snow adventures.
If you’d like to tie in a cat skiing experience to your trip, they’ve got an option for that too.
Words by Doc Pow
Just as most other mountains in Western Canada are doing right now, Kicking Horse had its own early opening November 28 for two “preview” weekends, November 28 and 29 and then December 5 and 6 before opening full time through the rest of the season on December 11.
Over 2,000 people took to the Horse to get in on the goods November 28, and as you can see from these photos I shot during the day on Saturday, we wouldn’t think too many went home disappointed. Six year Kicking Horse ski patroller Alex Giesbrecht hasn’t seen conditions this good, this early, ever, “this is the best start I’ve ever seen here in my six years that is for sure,” explained Giesbrecht. “At current we have the same amount of snow we had this time last March. Opening came fast after that storm system in mid-November delivered over 50 cms of snow within a 24 hour time period. At one point our snow monitoring system was telling us we had 10 cms in one hour, and we thought it was wrong.” Ullr wasn’t kidding, and the results are evident in shots like this.
Fernie Freestyle Coach Ben Ogilvie (@RexOgilvie on Instagram) basking in some serious powder glory, during the preview weekend at Kicking Horse.
“With the best snow pack in years, bombing and getting the mountain open was easier when you don’t have the snow pack to play with,” explained Giesbrecht.
Alex Giesbrecht points out some of the goods on the ridge line leading into Feuz Bowl, for a full map of the mountain, click here.
Read the full article on the snowseekers website.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has the reputation as a proving ground for big mountain skiers seeking out big vertical, steep chutes and alpine bowls. It’s true, Kicking Horse has no shortage of skill and fitness testing burly terrain – the mountain wears its reputation proudly.
However, much less known is the fact that this resort in the Dogtooth Range above Golden also has families in mind with a ski in -ski out philosophy that exemplifies its base area chalet and hotel accommodation. You can literally ski to the front door of the Palliser Lodge or Glacier Mountaineer Lodge, without even double poling or skating. The same goes for many of the plush rental condominiums and homes that are artfully constructed in the woods next to the ski area boundary – if it’s not ski to the front door convenience, then it’s the next best thing.
When I go to a ski resort with the family I want to park my car in the underground lot, hang up the keys next to the entrance of the chalet and never have to think about driving for the rest of the stay. At Kicking Horse , you can spend your time doing what you came to the mountain to do; ski and ride, dine and drink, and relax with a post ski Jacuzzi or sauna. Riding up the Eagle Express Gondola is an exhilarating feeling as it delivers you nearly
1300 vertical metres uphill to the crest of the Dogtooth Range. The vastness of the terrain below fills you with anticipation. One thing you thankfully don’t have to anticipate at the end of day, is a long walk to the hotel or condo, which can feel like a desert trek or an Arctic slog depending on the weather. It takes one trip to a ski resort with kids to realize that a winter experience is about much more than lifts and vertical, vibrant après ski diversions and a cozy place to put your down for the night. It’s about how all these elements work together to create a seamlessly enjoyable ski in-ski out experience. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has it dialed. Trust me, I’m a veteran of the family ski adventure.
Words by Andrew Findlay
Can’t wait to get those skis shined up for this winter? Neither can we, or Richard over at Kicking Horse Powder Tours across the pond in the UK, for that matter.
Have a sense of even more adventure? Check out the Storm Chasers trip; an epic guide led, backcountry focused road trip, for up to 12 guests. Visit the destinations that will be best for your arrival in terms of snow conditions, changing weather patterns and storm tracks, and do it in style! Your mode of transport is a luxurious rolling lounge motor coach that delivers comfort, entertainment and carefree travel. Check out more info here.
Kicking Horse Powder Tours specialize in providing skiing and snowboarding holidays and experiences throughout western Canada’s famed Powder Highway area. This boutique tour operator offers everything from simple family skiing holidays to fully organized multi-resort ski safari trips with full-on, epic skiing and snowboarding adventures. Kicking Horse Powder Tours is up for the World Snow Awards 2015 Best Specialist Tour Operator in the World.
Photos by Caroline Van t Hoff and Anna Henley
Feature Photo by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Words by: Cali Sammel & Lindsay Minor
Photos by: Abbybarret, Dave Best and Dax Justin.
Ski resorts love to tell their potential guests about all the ‘unique’ experiences they have to offer all the while trying to entice with perfectly staged images and colourful descriptions of the surrounding beauty. The only problem with that is, many of the ‘unique’ experiences ski resorts offer are the same across the board!
That’s why, at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, when we say people visit us for a Truly ‘Unique’ Experience we aren’t just saying it as a shameless self promotion, hoping to seduce on words alone, we really mean it. Whether you are a skier, snowboarder or simply have a deep appreciation and love for nature’s beauty, you’ll want to visit to be whisked 7,700 feet to the top of our Eagle’s Eye Express Gondola to our mountain top observation area and dining experience at Eagles Eye Restaurant.
The aptly-named restaurant sits at the top of the gondola, at over 2300m above sea level and is the Highest Elevated Restaurant in all of Canada. The multiple award-winning dining venue (including Tripadvisor’s 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2019 Certificate of Excellence) offers stunning views of the five surrounding national parks and the breathtaking mountain peaks, down to the valleys. Eagle’s Eye is the crown jewel of ski resort dining, offering far more than your typical ski resort burgers-and-fries, and won’t break your holiday budget for lunch, après ski and open for dinner Friday & Saturday nights in the winter. Your meal could consist of one of many of our Chef’s creations (made with fine local ingredients) anything from – Wild Boar Poutine, Summit Salad, or even Duck Confit (please note menu options change per season).
Not only is Eagle’s Eye the Highest Elevated Restaurant in Canada, but it’s also the ultimate bedroom with a view. Home to two luxury suits, where you can sleep on top of the world with all the amenities of a high end hotel. A night at Eagle’s Eye includes a private chef, butler and instructor guide to help you get around the mountain. But, perhaps the best perk is a guaranteed first tracks in the morning from the front door of your very own mountain top private mountain chalet.
Visiting in the summer? Visit Eagle’s Eye during our summer operations for a different view from the top!
So this winter, wake up with this view….
Now THAT is what we like to call a real unique experience.
Vast terrain, untouched powder, awe-inspiring views, exciting flights: all to be shared with only a few other skiers. Kicking Horse is the perfect warm-up for even bigger backcountry adventure.
Purcell Heli-Skiing has been taking skiers and snowboarders to the pristine summits and powder heaven of the Purcell mountains for over 40 years. Ever gazed beyond the top of Kicking Horse at the vast winter wilderness beyond? That playground can be yours.
Skiers and riders confident on the black diamond terrain of the Horse are ready for heli-skiing, even if you’re new to deep powder.
Purcell’s beautiful day lodge and heli-pad are a short 20 minute drive from the resort, just opposite the slopes of Kicking Horse. All guests meet there for morning briefing and gear set up in front of panoramic views of the Purcell mountains.
For large groups, heli pick-up can be arranged right from our heli-pad at the base of the resort.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kind of terrain do we ski and how steep is it?
Depending on the weather, visibility and snow conditions on any given day, groups will enjoy anything from open bowls and glaciated runs to subalpine glades, trees and lower elevation cutblocks (area opened by logging). A single run can take you through all of the above.
Avalanche stability and participant ability guide the steepness of terrain choice, but most is comparable to the pitch of black diamond runs at Kicking Horse, but with the natural variety that comes with natural, uncontrolled, powder-filled terrain!
Will I be grouped with people of the same ability level?
YES. Participant ability is best measured by demonstration, in the moment, so our program is designed to adapt. Each group is composed of 9 guests and 3 guides, which can be split into two smaller groups to best match skier pace. A faster sub-group can ski ahead with the lead guide, and do another lift ahead, while newer powder skiers can take their time to enjoy without pressure.
How many vertical feet/metres are skied in a day?
Packages include five runs, at an average of 700 vertical metres (2300 feet) per run.
What happens if the weather is bad enough that we cannot fly?
If heavy fog, high winds or extreme conditions force the cancellation of your heli-ski day, you may reschedule to another day within your holiday, or receive a 100% refund.
What are the safety precautions?
Your safety is our number one priority. Guides are highly trained, ACMG certified and have extensive experience in our terrain. Heli-ski pilots are some of the most experienced in the industry, and are very familiar with mountain flying in winter conditions. All guests receive a thorough but concise safety briefing before heli-skiing, to feel informed and confident in their surroundings.
How far in advance should I reserve?
If you’re thinking about late February or early March, you should reserve NOW! That is our busiest time and spaces book out well in advance, so plan early to avoid disappointment. Outside of that time, we still recommend inquiring about your preferred date at least 60 days in advance.
Make it an unforgettable all-adventure package with Kicking Horse lift tickets, ski-in/out accommodation, and a day of heli-skiing. For more information about heli-skiing trips, call 1.877.HELI.SKI or visit the Purcell Heli-Skiing website.
Words & Photos by Purcell Heli Skiing