Kelowna is the biggest metropolitan area in the interior of British Columbia and has good access to some fine skiing close at hand.
Although the local ski area, Crystal Mountain, is currently closed at the time of writing, there are four decent-sized ski resorts within an easy drive of the city. And, while Big White and Silver Star are nowhere near the size of the massive Whistler-Blackcomb ski area, they are still rank as two of the largest BC ski resorts.
Ski accommodation in Kelowna
Although there is accommodation available in the base areas of some of the ski resorts, it makes sense to use Kelowna as a base for a ski trip in central British Columbia. Kelowna has its own airport and a thriving tourist industry because of its situation on Okanagan Lake.
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Big White Ski Resort
Big White is the closest ski resort to Kelowna as well as being one of the top ski resorts in British Columbia. It has 16 lifts including a gondola which serve a total of 119 marked trails. The patrolled skiable terrain is around 2800 acres with just under 2700 feet of vertical. The night skiing is the largest in western Canada with 38 acres of terrain.
Distance from Kelowna: 39 miles
Ski area website: www.bigwhite.com
Silver Star Mountain Resort
Silver Star Mountain Resort is located to the north of Kelowna just outside the town of Vernon in the Monashee Mountain range. The ski area is another of BC’s top winter destinations, with just under 3300 acres of skiable terrain and 2500 feet of vertical. A total of 12 ski lifts, including a gondola, serve just over 130 marked ski trails, with a good selection of expert and extreme terrain on the back side.
Distance from Kelowna: 46 miles
Ski area website: www.skisilverstar.com
Apex Mountain Resort
Apex Mountain is located to the south of Kelowna, not far to the west of the town of Penticton at the southern end of the lake. The ski area is smaller than the previous two resorts but it also tends to be less busy. The vertical is just under 2000 feet and the skiable terrain is just over 1100 acres. There are 79 runs served by just four ski lifts, including a high-speed quad.
Distance from Kelowna: 60 miles
Ski area website: apexresort.com
Baldy Mt Ski Resort
Baldy Mountain Resort is located to the south of Kelowna just east of the town of Oliver. The small family-friendly ski area is actually on Mount Baldy but has changed its name to avoid confusion with other similarly-named ski resorts. It is open five days a week outside peak periods (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and offers four ski lifts serving 22 runs with a vertical of around 1300 feet.
Distance from Kelowna: 86 miles
Ski area website: baldyresort.com
Find out more about other options for skiing in British Columbia