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Explore the 5 Top Ski Resorts Near Kelowna in 2024

Kelowna Ski Resorts, 2024 Guide

Known for its warm climate, stunning landscapes, and the beauty of Okanagan Lake, The Okanagan Valley transforms into a winter wonderland with some of the best ski resorts in Western Canada.

Whether you’re a seasoned skier seeking challenging slopes or a family looking for a fun winter getaway, the ski resorts near Kelowna, British Columbia have something for everyone.

In this blog, we’ll dive into the top 5 ski areas near Kelowna: Big White, Revelstoke, Silver Star, Apex, and Sun Peaks.

Photo: Big White Ski Resort

Big White Ski Resort: An Alpine Paradise

Location: 45 minutes from Kelowna, BC; 55 minutes from the Kelowna International Airport
Vertical Drop: 777m
Runs: 119

Founded in 1963, Big White Ski Resort caters to all skill levels, from easy greens, cruiser blues for intermediate skiers, and intense double black diamonds for the best skiers & snowboarders.

The Gem Lake Express, with its breathtaking views of the Monashee Mountains, and the Powder Chair for glade skiing are standout attractions. For those who like catching air and busting moves, Big White maintains an excellent terrain park off of the Bullet Chair. If downhill is not your calling, Big White offers 25 km of cross country ski trails.

The resort’s diverse offerings include night skiing, a variety of runs, and an average annual snowfall of 750cm, making it a powder paradise. Families can enjoy discounted Friday night deals and an international atmosphere. Summer at Big White offers alpine hiking trails, challenging downhill mountain biking trails, a pump track, a 9-hole disc golf course, and live music events.

Getting there: Take Highway 97 west through Kelowna, then turn right onto Highway 33. Continue about 30 minutes, then turn left at the sign onto Big White Rd.

Photo: Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Tom Poole

Revelstoke Mountain Resort: A Haven for Powder Enthusiasts

Location: 2 hours 30 minutes from Kelowna
Vertical Drop: 1713m
Runs: 75

Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a remarkable outdoor playground that boasts the longest vertical descent in North America at 1,713 meters (5,620 feet), and the most snowfall in a single winter at 2,438cm (~40 ft).

While not recommended for beginners, experienced skiers and riders will revel in the steep faces, alpine bowls, and technical, powder-filled glades. To access some of the very best runs at Revelstoke like the North Bowl, you need to hike a short distance at high altitude (~2,300 meters), a hard test of your fitness. With frequent snowfall, a wide variety of terrain types, and a plethora of routes down, it’s easy to find your own fresh powder line at Revy.
The resort also offers cat-skiing, heli-skiing, and back country terrain, making it a haven for expert skiers.

After a day of world-class skiing, head to the town for apres ski in casual bars like The Village Idiot and Craft Bierhaus. For a more upscale experience, head to the Regent Hotel or Quartermaster Eatery.

Getting there: Follow Hwy 97, then 97A all the way to Revelstoke. Check highway conditions before leaving, as access may close due to heavy snowfall.

Photo: SilverStar Resort

SilverStar Mountain Resort: A Colorful Escape Near Vernon

Location: 1 hour 10 minutes from Kelowna
Vertical Drop: 551m
Runs: 132

Known for its colorful ski-in-ski-out village, SilverStar offers a ski-in, ski-out experience with 7 meters (23 feet) of annual snowfall, an average temperature of -5C (23F), and diverse terrain that’s suitable for all skill levels.

From mellow beginner runs on the front side to groomed cruisers, moguls, and steep glades in Putnam Creek on the back side, it’s a favorite ski resort in the Okanagan Valley. With a lower elevation than Big White, Silverstar tends to experience better visibility with fewer foggy days. Night skiing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and tubing add to the resort’s family-friendly charm.

Experienced skiers can take a heli skiing tour in the breathtaking Monashee Mountains, departing directly from SilverStar Resort with Eagle Pass Heli Skiing.

After a day of winter activities, the quaint Silver Star Village beckons with its apres ski bars, restaurants, lounges and colorfully painted cabins with architecture thats reminiscient of 19th century mining towns.

Getting there: Take Highway 97 north from Kelowna to Vernon, then turn onto Silver Star Rd until you reach the parking lot.

Photo: Apex Mountain Resort

Apex Mountain Resort: Affordable Fun for All

Location: 1 hour 20 minutes from Kelowna
Vertical Drop: 603m
Runs: 79

Apex Mountain Resort, near Penticton, is a budget-friendly option with runs for beginners, intermediates, and advanced skiers.

The resort’s steep glades and long groomers attract intermediate to advanced riders, while the well-groomed terrain, tube park, and ice skating loop make it a hit for families. With affordable ski passes, a laid-back atmosphere, and runs to challenge any skill level, Apex makes for a great ski trip from Kelowna or Penticton.

Getting there: Take Hwy 97 South to Penticton. Turn right on Green Mountain Rd and continue until the Apex parking lot.

Sun Peaks Ski Resort: A Family-Friendly Haven

Location: 2 hours 45 minutes from Kelowna
Vertical Drop: 882m
Runs: 137

Sun Peaks, just 45 minutes from Kamloops, stands out as Canada’s second-largest ski area, encompassing an expansive 4,270 acres of skiable terrain. With 3 separate mountain peaks and a diverse array of 139 trails – including 19 gladed areas and 2 alpine bowls – this winter wonderland offers an exhilarating experience for all skill levels, from novice to expert.

Boasting light, fluffy powder, an annual snowfall of 6 meters, and over 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, Sun Peaks is a sun-drenched skiing paradise.

The quaint Sun Peaks Village offers a European-style atmosphere, complete with shopping, dining, and beautiful hotels. In summer, Sun Peaks offers a slew of activities like alpine hiking, fat biking, an 18-hole golf course, and live music events.

Getting there: From Kelowna, take Hwy 97 northbound to Vernon. Take the left turn at the end of Swan Lake, then continue on Hwy 97 until Kamloops.

Epic Photo Credit: Nick Gosset, Unsplash

Snow Conditions in the Okanagan Valley, BC

The Okanagan Valley experiences cold and dry winter weather, creating perfect snow conditions from November to early March. The annual snowfall varies across resorts, with Big White receiving an impressive 762cm of champagne powder on average.

Best Months to Ski Near Kelowna

The ski season typically kicks off in November and extends until early April, allowing ample time for winter enthusiasts to enjoy the slopes. Each resort has specific opening and closing dates, so it’s advisable to check their official websites for the latest information.

The Okanagan’s Winter Paradise

The ski resorts near Kelowna offer a diverse range of experiences, from family-friendly slopes to challenging terrains for seasoned skiers.

Whether you’re drawn to the steep, powder-filled landscapes of Revelstoke, the colorful village charm of SilverStar, or the all-around appeal of Big White, the Okanagan Valley promises you unforgettable winter exeriences.

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