There are four Ski Resorts and Ski Hills in the Northeast British Columbia region:
- Big Bam Ski Hill, Taylor
- Powder King Mountain Resort, Mackenzie
- Purden Ski Village, Prince George
- Tabor Mountain Ski Resort, Prince George
Powder King Mountain Resort and Northeast BC Region
For those interested in downhill skiing and snowboarding, Powder King Mountain Resort, located right next to the Pine Pass summit on Hwy 97, offers, as the name suggests, some of the best powder skiing in the province. Nestled in the pristine wilderness of the Canadian Rockies, Powder King offers the best of the great outdoors, from virgin snow and breathtaking drops, to the gentle groomed slopes of beginner runs. Most of the terrain, spread over a vertical rise of 2,100 feet (640 m), favours intermediate-level skiers. The 24 runs serviced by a chairlift, 2 T-bars and a platter tow are located about 120 miles (200 km) north of Prince George on Hwy 97.
Around Dawson Creek, you can cross-country ski on the 15 miles (25 km) of the Bear Mountain Forest Service’s interpretive trails. Farther north, the hiking trails in Beatton Provincial Park near Fort St. John double as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing routes. Andy Bailey Regional Park, about 24 miles (38 km) southeast of Fort Nelson, has some of the driest, fluffiest powder snow in the province, and there’s hardly anyone to share it with. Cut your own track here.
Big Bam Ski Hill is a volunteer-run community ski hill located on the south side of the community of Taylor, south of Fort St. John. Volunteers worked vigorously through the summer of 2009 to re-open part of the hill after a landslide in 1997. A new tow-lift is capable of moving over 400 people per hour up the 750-ft tow line to an elevation of 180 feet.
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Prince George Area
Tabor Mountain Ski Resort offers downhill skiing (800 feet/240 m vertical), with triple lift and a T-bar. The ski resort has a bus service on weekends, and is open seven days a week, including night skiing three times a week. Tabor Mountain Ski Resort is located on the Yellowhead Highway, 12.5 miles (20 km) and 15 minutes east of Prince George,
Purden Ski Village is the largest ski mountain in central British Columbia, and provides some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the province. Over 1,200 vertical feet of skiing on dry powder snow, treed runs and uncrowded slopes make Purden Ski Village a paradise for skiers. The longest run (Lakeview) has over two miles of fabulous terrain! Purden Ski Village is located 38 miles (60 km) due east of Prince George on the Yellowhead Highway, and 91 miles (145 km) northwest of McBride. The mountain is a 4-km drive north of the highway. The Purden Shuttle Bus runs between Prince George and Purden Ski Village.
There’s more conventional winter recreation at Hart Highlands Ski Hill, a small ski hill for beginners, children, and freestyle skiers. Located within the city limits, this hill always first opens right after a dump of snow. Offering 11 machine groomed runs, this non profit society keeps its day rates low. Rentals, ski school, T-bar, city bus to the hill. A great place for night skiing.
Prince George also has superb cross-country skiing. There are trails in Cottonwood Island, the University of Northern British Columbia campus, Forests for the World, and Moore’s Meadow. You’ll find maintained trails (for a modest fee) at Otway Ski Trails and Tabor Mountain Ski Area.
There’s cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on 9 miles (14 km) of trails in Eskers Provincial Park, west of Hwy 97 on Chief Lake Road, about 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Prince George. The Giscome Portage Heritage Trail offers 5 miles (8 km) of cross-country trails. There’s 5.5 miles (9 km) of cross-country trails around Bear and Squaw Lakes in Crooked River Provincial Park , north of Prince George.
West Lake Provincial Park, 18 miles (29 km) southwest of Prince George off Hwy 16, is a favourite spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and tobogganing. The 9 miles (14.5 km) of ungroomed trails are usually suitable for cross-country skiing from December until April, and its large picnic/day-use area has the added advantage, during those cold winter days, of an enclosed shelter for cooking.
Okay, so sandblasting doesn’t qualify as downhill skiing, but how else can it be classified? If you’re overwhelmed by a desire for some skiing, and it’s still the middle of summer, try sandblasting, a peculiar local sport that involves powering down the sandy cutbanks of the Nechako Plateau on Hwy 97 near Prince George. Just don’t expect to use that pair of skis on snow again. There’s even a competition for all the die-hard skiers every August.