Ski & Snowboard

Hit the Slopes: A Guide to Skiing and Snowboarding Near Kelowna

A person in red downhill skiing at Big White Ski Resort.
Blake Jorgenson

Amidst snow-clad peaks and crisp alpine air, Kelowna emerges as a destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Let's explore Kelowna's skiing and snowboarding scene, offering insights on local ski resorts, beginner tips, and rental options, all to help you navigate the thrilling slopes that surround this city.

Local Ski Resorts

Big White

Big White stands as a pinnacle of family-friendly winter fun. Known as Canada's favourite family resort, it boasts the largest night skiing area in Western Canada. The resort's 2,765 acres are blanketed with over 300 inches of champagne powder annually. Skiing through the snow ghosts—spectacular snow-covered trees—is a unique experience. With ski-in/ski-out access throughout the main village, Big White combines convenience with adventure, offering activities ranging from horse-drawn sleigh rides to snowmobiling.

Silver Star

Silver Star, with its scenic mid-mountain village, offers a compact layout perfect for families. It's renowned for its extensive cross-country terrain, catering mainly to intermediate and advanced skiers. The resort provides a lively après-ski scene, including the Carnival Ice Sculpture Competition. While it receives slightly less snowfall than Big White, its charm and value are unparalleled.

Sun Peaks

As Canada’s second-largest resort, Sun Peaks offers an expansive 4,270 acres of varied terrain. Its impeccably groomed slopes and family-friendly village make it a favourite among those seeking a less crowded alternative to Whistler. The resort is also known for being budget-friendly, boasting a reasonably priced ski school and numerous activities such as tobogganing and dog-sledding.


Revelstoke, a serene spot on the Powder Highway, presents the most significant vertical drop in North America. Its terrain, primarily catering to intermediate and advanced skiers, includes options for cat-skiing and heli-skiing. Revelstoke's challenging slopes live up to its reputation, with the Freeride World Tour making a stop here. The town offers ample dining and accommodation options, with many activities like dog sledding.

Apex Mountain Resort

Apex Mountain Resort is a local favourite, offering an array of advanced runs and family-friendly amenities. Its 1,112 acres of terrain are perfect for those seeking a challenging yet affordable skiing experience. The resort is also known for its annual Brewski event, adding a festive flair to the winter season.

Tips for Beginners

Embarking on your skiing journey can be exhilarating yet daunting. Choosing a beginner-friendly resort is crucial, with amenities like gear rental shops and ski schools being vital. Preparing in advance, such as figuring out parking and studying ski maps, will ease your first experience on the slopes. Comfort is key, so keep your boots warm, avoid overdressing for the commute, and arrive early to beat the traffic and prepare for your day.

On the slopes, renting your gear is advisable, except for goggles, which are better owned for hygiene and comfort. Learning to manage your gear effectively, from putting on ski boots to carrying skis, is part of the journey. Utilize lockers or valet services to store your belongings, and remember to dress appropriately for the varying mountain conditions.

Safety and comfort are paramount. Prevent goggle fogging, stay hydrated, protect your skin with sunscreen, and give your feet a break whenever possible. Warm up and stretch before hitting the slopes to prevent muscle soreness. Most importantly, listen to your body and don't overexert yourself.

Ski and Snowboard Rentals

Kelowna's newest ski and snowboard rental shop, Mountain Lifestyle, located conveniently on Highway 33, is your gateway to Big White Ski Resort. With a vast inventory of quality rentals for all ages, including high-performance options, the shop caters to every need. They offer a variety of rental packages for juniors, youths, and adults, with the option to add helmets for extra safety.


Kelowna's winter landscape is a playground for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From the vast, powdery terrains of Big White to the challenging slopes of Apex Mountain, there's an adventure waiting at every turn. Embrace the winter spirit and explore the slopes that make Kelowna a top destination for skiing and snowboarding.