are three Ski Resorts in the Northwest BC Region:
In a land where
winter lasts for what seems like most of the year, winter recreation
is a necessity. There are more snowmobiles here than you would imagine
possible, and cross-country snowmobiling is far and away the most
popular winter pastime. In
the winter, lakes and rivers freeze, creating level playgrounds for
cross-country skiers. During winter, ice can freeze 4 feet thick or
more. Be careful when skiing on frozen surfaces, especially rivers,
where moving water does not freeze as solidly as lake water does.
Check with locals for ice conditions before heading out.
Murray Ridge Ski Hill and Vanderhoof Area
Ridge Ski Hill in Northwest BC is open to downhill skiers and
snowboarders, it's known for great powder and sunny days, and the
resort boasts the longest T-bar in North America (6,500
feet/1,980 m). Prime downhill skiing and 12 miles (20 km) of
cross country trails attractive winter enthusiasts. In February, the
ski hill hosts the Great Bathtub Race, with an emphasis on fun rather
than competition. If you're in the area when the race is on, make
sure you check out Murray Ridge Ski Hill, located 6 miles (10 km)
north of Fort
St. James, northwest of Prince George.
are numerous cross-country trails around Vanderhoof.
The Nechako Valley Sporting Association maintains some of the
trails in this area, including 19 miles (30 km) of groomed trail at
Waterlily Lake, located north Vanderhoof off Hwy 16 on Sturgeon Point
Hudson Bay Mountain Resort and the Bulkley and Skeena River Valleys
There aren't many big ski hills in the region, so downhill skiers
and snowboarders must travel some distance to find the steep stuff.
Hudson Bay Mountain Resort offers
plenty of light, dry powder for downhill skiing, snowboarding and
cross-country skiing on Hudson Bay Mountain in the Bulkley Valley
of Northwest British Columbia. Formerly known as Ski & Ride Smithers,
Hudson Bay Mountain Resort is located 8 miles (12 km) west of Smithers
in Northwest BC, between Prince George and Prince Rupert. Access is
via Ski Hill Road.
Hudson Bay Mountain
is the biggest hill in the area, with excellent powder skiing
that's been enjoyed by locals since the 1920s, when the Smithers Ski
Club began clearing runs. In 1980, the Smithers Ski Corporation was
created to promote the mountain. The ski area has complete facilities
for alpine skiing and snowboarding, including a triple chairlift and
two T-bars that service 1,750 feet (525 m) of vertical rise and 24
runs. In good conditions, it is possible to ski up the south ridge
close to the summit of Hudson Bay Mountain (8,300 feet/2,530 m). By
traversing the prairie in a northeasterly direction, it is feasible
to ski or hike back to Smithers via Simpson Creek Road, or you can
travel in a westerly direction to join with the top end of Duthie
Mine Road. These routes are for experienced, equipped skiers only.
Cross-country skiing is also popular in the Smithers area.
The Pine Creek Cross-Country Ski Trails and Chris Dahlie
Cross-Country Ski Trails in the scenic Smithers Community Forest
provide two sets of groomed trails of varying levels, accessed on
the Hudson Bay Mountain Road. Tyee Lake Provincial
Park, and a dozen other areas offer Nordic skiing in fine, dry,
powder snow near Smithers.
Mountains Provincial Recreation Area, 9 miles (15 km) east of Smithers
off Hwy 16, has an extensive system of trails open to skiers and
snowshoers. A popular overnighting destination is the Silver King
Cabin, just over 8 miles (13.5 km) down the trail, but there are
many routes in this area. Because this is mountain backcountry skiing,
there is the danger of avalanches. Take the appropriate precautions.
On the east side of the valley in the Babine Mountains Provincial
Recreational Area, cross-country routes from trailheads along Driftwood
Road east of Hwy 16 lead to Driftwood Canyon, Silver King Basin, and
Harvey Mountain. Skiers follow an old mining road in Silver King Basin
for almost 7 miles (11 km) to reach the subalpine region. The Silver
King Cabin is located about 8 miles (13.5 km) from the trailhead.
There's room for about 12 people to overnight in the cabin on a first-come
basis. If you like to be on your own in the outdoors, with the chance
to spot a diminutive northern pygmy owl (one of the few owls that
hunt by day), this is the perfect winter getaway in the 'great white
Morice Mountain Ski Trails, in the Silverthorne Lake area of
the Houston Community Forest, are track-set by the volunteer Morice
Mountain Nordic Club. There is about 24.5 miles (40 km) of well-signed,
groomed trails. There is also a 5.5-mile (9-km) trek along unmaintained
trails to an overnight cabin just below the tree line on the slopes
of Morice Mountain, a starting point for excursions into the alpine.
The cabin is free to members and a nominal fee for non-members; it
must be booked in advance through. The trails are southwest of Houston
on Buck Flats Road.
Omineca Cross-Country Ski Trails, 4 miles (6.5 km) south of
Burns Lake on Hwy 35, consist
of 15 miles (25 km) of groomed trails. There are also many, many ungroomed
trails, such as hiking trails, that are open to cross-country skiers.
Shames Mountain Ski Area and the Terrace Area
Mountain Ski Area in the Coastal Mountain range of British
Columbia is one of North America's best kept secrets, known for its
great views and more snow than any other lift-served ski area in North
America! Enjoy the massive amounts of snow without the lineups or
crowds! Shames allows skiers and snowboarders easy access to an amazing
backcountry environment If you like tree skiing, steeps, big mountains
or just powder, Shames has it all!
The first year that Shames
Mountain Ski Area was opened, it had to close. Seems they
weren't expecting quite so much snow: the top of the ski lift got
snowed under. Shames Mountain boasts the most accumulated snow of
any ski hill in North America (but just try telling that to Mount
Baker Ski Area in Washington state). Fifteen runs accommodate skiers
of all levels on a vertical rise of 1,705 feet (520 m), and the ski
resort offers equipment rental, multilevel ski lessons, snowboard
lessons, a double chairlift, T-bar, and handle-tow services. Shames
Mountain is located
in the Shames Valley of Northwest BC, 13
km off Highway 16, between Terrace
and Prince Rupert. From Terrace, travel about 12 miles (20
km) west of
on Hwy 16, then 9 miles (14 km) north on Shames Road.
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