If you’re thinking of booking a ski getaway this winter, now is the time to do it! With Early Booking Vacation Offers available for Christmas and Family Week vacations, as well as special long stay savings packages and spring skiing trips with big savings!
Visit our Early Booking Offers page to book a getaway online or give our vacation specialists a call at 1-800-258-7669 to book over the phone.
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.
Our winter Early Bird season pass sale ends on Saturday, June 25th, order your season pass or multi week ski school lesson online through the RCR Webstore before the deadline for the best savings of next season.
Don’t forget about those lessons! Get the kids in multi week programs or sign up for one yourself and brush up on skills. Kids & Teen lessons available as well as Powder Room Clinics (women only) and freeride club for adults. View and buy ski school programs through the RCR Webstore.
NEW this year buy a $500 Food & Beverage card for just $399 when purchased with your season pass! Find out more about this new Member Benefit and all the others on the RCR Webstore.
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
The best deals of the winter season have just been released! Book now for winter and save up to 35% on your getaway. Packages available include The Weekender for shorter stays, The Midweek pack for the best deals, the new Ski Weeks packages (booking everything for you from air/car to lodging/lifts) and The Holiday Pack – already taking bookings for Christmas & New Years.
Freebies are included in some packages – view our Early Booking offers, all are available to be booked online. Give us a call at 1-800-258-7669 to book with a friendly vacation specialist over the phone or visit www.skircr.com/vacations to chat live with a specialist (during business hours).
We’ve already been hit with a few snowstorms, hopefully this foreshadows an awesome season to come! The below image was taken at Eagle’s Eye restaurant on September 2nd, 2015.
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Words by Andrew Findlay
Photos by Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
A horse gave the boots to an explorer on the Great Divide back in 1858, giving Kicking Horse Pass its name. In the 1990’s skiers with vision gazed up at the rugged Dogtooth Range and dreamed of a ski resort that would match the impressive topography of these Purcell peaks above the town of Golden, laying the foundation for Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. It’s been 15 years since the first lifts cranked up at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, transforming what was then a mom and pop local hill into an internationally renowned ski destination that challenges the best and inspires the rest. So, if you haven’t yet carved tracks into Kicking Horse this season, book your trip now. I’ve been fortunate to ski at many resorts around the world, some little more than bumps in the boreal forest, others alpine to valley bottom village thigh-burners. Yet Kicking Horse never fails to get my adrenaline pumping. Perhaps it’s the view from the Eagle’s Eye restaurant at the top of the gondola looking west at the Matternhorn-esque spire of Mt. Sir Donald. Or the scene that unfolds below as you ride up the Golden Express Gondola, the Columbia River a vertical mile below and snaking northward against a backdrop of endless Rocky Mountain summits. But really it’s about the skiing, all 2,750 stunning acres of it.
Kicking Horse embodies what I love in a ski resort- a big mountain alpine experience bundled into a resort kept safe by a crack team of avalanche and snow safety experts. A resort like this that puts the adventure back into lift skiing is fitting for Golden, the heart of mountain sports in Canada where turn of the 19th century Swiss guides working for CPR’s luxury hotels once chose to settle. For a skier like me, the geography of the Dogtooth Range is tantalizing. A series of three ridges plunge down from the Dogtooth Range crest, dividing the terrain naturally into four prominent features – Crystal Bowl, Bowl Over, Feuz Bowl and Super Bowl. Together these bowls offer a tasty selection of wide gullies, steep pencil thin couloirs, benevolent open basins and rolling groomers that will test your stamina and leave the thighs feeling like rubber by the time you etch turns for 4,200 vertical feet all the way down to the ski racks outside Peaks Grill.
The folks at Kicking Horse realize the resort, though it’s well equipped with family friendly blue runs, can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. You might gaze longingly down the cat track carved out of CPR Ridge knowing that sweet lines tip off either side, or secluded glades of well preserved powder await just beyond view. However you’re gut might caution you not to commit without knowing what you’ll find. That’s the thrill of Kicking Horse. For the advanced skiers, enlisting the services of an experienced instructor and guide through the Big Mountain Centre is the perfect way to get straight to the best goods. It’s like flying first class. You get priority lift access while exploring Kicking Horse’s bounty and sampling some favorite local stashes, without the second guessing and route-finding challenges. So don’t let another day go by; plan your Kicking Horse Mountain Resort getaway and find out for yourself what inspired the resort’s founders to tap the potential of the Dogtooth Range.
Matt Mosteller, For The Calgary Herald
Published: December 26, 2014
No disrespect Canmore. Golden truly is a more edgy, hardcore, a seat of your pants, go for it mountain town. Not as polished or refined. Golden and Canmore both have rivers running through town. But the similarities differ like the rivers.
The Bow River, elegant, slowly moving through Canmore. The Kicking Horse River, charges, tearing through its namesake canyon, go for it pace until it slams into the Columbia River on the edge of town hitting its brakes.
Golden, framed by two mountain ranges, far away from being cookie cutter anything, a place where adventurer’s, rippers, mountain guides, river guides, go-for-it types and hardcore athletes hideout, mixed, in a community good way with loggers and railroad workers.
Logging trucks still run down main street in Golden. The centrepiece is a wooden bridge across the Kicking Horse River, a symbol of the logging industry backbone and a deep connection to the natural environment that the people share, one skis it, walks it, bikes it, climbs it and the other sleds it, cuts it, hunts it and drives it. The lines are blurred for sure and it is not that simple but the key is they get along, joined in this place full of do it yourself, help your neighbour care and go for it adventure spirit.
You may have driven the Trans Canada Highway, catching a glimpse of the spectacular mountain scenery around Golden, just a quick blur on your road trip, maybe to the Shuswap, or Vancouver, but this place deserves pulling off the road. It will grow on you. Not as quick as Canmore so give it some time. Canmore is a refined tea and Golden is strong, black, kick ass coffee that sinks in, becoming a dear friend over time.
Friday. Slide in for foodies delight. Pack your sleigh up, make the breakaway from the daily grind, finally that feeling, you know the one you get when you escape. The Trans Canada Highway enhancements have made it easier to get to Golden, with a 2.5 hr. drive from Calgary, one can easily leave after work and make it to Golden for eats. Foodies finds abound hidden in and around town. Score one for Eleven 22, a renovated old house that serves up a 91% rating on Urban Spoon, known for its original comfort cuisine, your tummy will thank you.
Check in. Kicking Horse Mountain Resort will surprise you. Having probably one of the nicest offering of private homes of any mountain resort in Canada, secluded in the woods, ski to your door, hot tub adorned and all ready for your classic cabin escape. John Lush, escaped Whistler-Blackcomb, on a road trip to check out the best skiing in British Columbia. He literally was pulled off the highway, he blames magnets in the go on forever mountain views and the champagne powder. A cabin in the mountains. For a family huddle, making everyone connect, fireside chats, story time, there is no place better for an escape. You need to check this out for yourself. Lush Mountain Accommodations at Kicking Horse nothing short of ‘Family Amazing’ time. A little secret, large family gathering, Valhalla is perfect.
Big Mountain Skiing and Snowboarding taken to a new level at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Many other ski resorts use this description. It comes to life here. One cannot fathom the magnitude of skiing terrain here, one bowl beckons, then another, another, phew your legs say as you try to make it to the 4th bowl. Still un-discovered, many don’t know that the place has the 4th biggest vertical in North America, and more chutes than any other resort in Canada. The hardcore knows this. But don’t you worry, beginners and intermediates have a home here as well with a massive lower mountain terrain and much-needed recent enhancements to the skiing egress out of Crystal Bowl. Besides even if you don’t ski the dining at Eagles Eye Restaurant, perched high in the Purcell Mountains, is the only place where both the food and views will amaze.
Saturday afternoon. Sip, Soak and Skate. A glass of BC wine led to a bottle, sitting by the fire at Eagles Eye Restaurant, ending a great day in the mountains, we decide to drink, eat and it is probably better to ride the Gondola down to the base. Back at the cabin, steam is rising from the deck, beckoning us in. Settling in, relaxed as my daughter yells, ‘don’t forget the cross-country skiing we planned before dinner’. The Golden Nordic Ski Club, operates one of the finest Nordic centres in British Columbia, with 33 km of track-set skiing, snowshoe loops and an incredibly homey and warm timber frame club house, right at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
Sunday. caffeinated, books and wild animals. Boo is famous but sleeping. If you don’t know he is the resident grizzly bear at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, so while Boo naps, don’t miss checking out a walk with wolves or the resident bison. Coffee first. Bluebird Cafe, good joe and atmosphere or Bacchus Books and Cafe, for great eats and reads. Stroll main street of Golden, browse the shops and more importantly share in some local conversation, more than likely, someone excited about their next adventure. Now fuelled, you’re ready for the wildlife. Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre, offers a forest walk, where wolves are freely roaming. One of kind experience for sure!
Add on. Helicopter skiing, Cat skiing or backcountry touring. It is all here. Golden is truly the epicentre for powder lovers. Featuring the jumping off point to the best of resort, Helicopter, Cat skiing and backcountry ski touring. There are many good operators, here are a few to get you going, Purcell Heli Skiing, Chatter Creek Cat Skiing and Golden Alpine Holidays operates a string of backcountry ski touring lodges.
Source: Calgary Herald
© Calgary Herald 2014
Words by Steven Threndyle
Photos by Trent Bona, Dave Best & Neil Jackson
OK, are we ready to go? We’ve got our boots, check. Goggles, yep. Gore-Tex jacket and pants. Uh-huh. The fat skis and poles with powder baskets are in the box. A couple of changes of long underwear, some jeans, fleece, and t-shirts – yeah, I think we’re good to go. Rental vehicle’s got good winter tires; GPS is set, side pocket is full of maps and brochures… We’re ready to roll, let’s see what this Powder Highway is all about…
The Powder Highway is a bit of a combination of myth and reality. Where a nose for adventure combines with the desire to make dreams come true. What is the dream? Free falling down a powder choked bowl or open glade, snow hissing and vanishing in a vapour trail behind you, turn after turn of what’s become known as “epic goodness,” a feeling sensation that powder skiing aficionados come from all over the world to seek.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort just outside of Golden, BC, and Fernie Alpine Resort in the southeast corner of the BC Rockies, and a Powder highway sojourn to both resorts and their respective towns embodies what a great road trip should be all about.
Here are five great reasons for gassing up the rental SUV:
- Snowfall—and Plenty of It: Due to a winning combination of mountain locale and micro-climate weather patterns, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort has become known as Canada’s Capital of Champagne Powder. When snow falls here, it’s not light – it’s what powderhounds call “blower” – the result of cold air temperatures and low humidity.
- Stunning Mountain Scenery: There isn’t a superlative yet that matches the view from the top of Eagle’s Eye restaurant at the summit of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. There are mountains in every direction, due to Kicking Horse’s unique location intersection four different ranges, including the world famous Rocky Mountains in Kootenay National Park. There’s literally a new mountain vista around every corner.
- Mountain Terrain for Experts…and Beginners: Next to snow, what makes skiing and riding at Kicking Horse so special? The myriad ways in which you can get down the mountainside, and the utter feeling of stillness and solitude as you descend turn after turn, powder boiling over the knees. The great part? You really don’t need to be a black diamond skier to start hooting and hollering. Intermediate runs groomed in late afternoon provide the perfect platform for a fifteen centimeter dump of downy powder. With the right gear (and maybe a good instructor, who will simply tell you to ‘keep centred over your skis’ and ‘relax’) – you could have a breakthrough day you’ll be talking about for year.
- Real Mountain Town Culture and Vibe: B.C ski towns don’t get more authentic than Golden. This is a place where you might rub shoulders with local guys who, plant trees in the summer time or ride in helicopters to fight forest fires to sock away enough money and time to ski over a hundred days each season (this is where the real ski bums live). The history of Golden – just eight kilometres away from Kicking Horse – is inextricably tied with the greatest nation building project in Canadian history – construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad from Montreal to Vancouver. Swiss mountain guides were hired by the CPR to lead ambitious travelers from all over the world to the snowy summits which stretch in every direction. The town has a wealth of natural history and cultural heritage that rival the epic snow conditions and mind boggling mountain scenery. In the past two decades, this scenery has led to the development of a vibrant four-season tourist industry.
- Easy Access from Major Airports: Both Kicking Horse Mountain Resort (and Fernie Alpine Resort) are accessible through Calgary International Airport (YYC), a major Canadian gateway that also serves the regional Airport of the Canadian Rockies. A wide range of rental vehicles are available. High performance skis and snowboards can be hired up at the hill