Mt. Cain is located in a regional park and is run by a non-profit society, the Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society. It is Vancouver Island’s only community-owned and operated ski and snowboard facility. Situated on the north end of Vancouver Island, Mount Cain offers a unique experience for skiers, snowboarders and backcountry explorers.

At Mount Cain you’ll find untouched powder which has built up over the week, virtually no line-ups for lifts and the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of a family oriented mountain. With its Island interior location, Mt. Cain has drier snow than other Coastal mountains and better spring skiing conditions. Mount Cain has the highest base elevation of any coastal ski hill in British Columbia, Alaska and Washington State. Mount Cain’s peak elevation is second only to Whistler.

Mt. Cain is accessed from the Island Highway 19 and is located 8 km south of the Woss turnoff. It’s a 16-km ride on a gravel road from the highway to the day lodge. Roads are regularly maintained by the mountain’s maintenance department, assisted by the forest companies. The driving time from Port Hardy to Mt. Cain is 1 hour and 45 minutes, and 1-1/2 hours from Campbell River.

Directions From The South: From Nanaimo, take the Inland highway north to Campbell River, then continue northward on Hwy 19. After passing Campbell River, in a little more than an hour, look for the blue highway signs signifying both Mount Cain and Schoen Lake Provincial Park. If you make it to Woss, you’ve passed the Mount Cain turnoff. Turn left onto a gravel road and follow the signs to Mount Cain.

Directions From The North: The Mount Cain turnoff is about a 50-minute drive south of Port McNeill, and about 5 minutes (8km) south of the Woss turnoff. Look for the blue Mount Cain and Schoen Lake Provincial Park highway signs on your right, then follow the access road signs to Mount Cain.

On any day when the ski hill is in operation:

  • Uphill traffic only from dawn until 1:00 p.m.
  • Downhill traffic only from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The carrying of chains is mandatory, so make sure you have chains that fit and you know how to use them. The use of chains may be required for going both up and down the access road. Actually putting tire chains on is often required for all vehicles, including 4×4’s with good snow tires. Towing services are not available. Requiring a shovel on the Mount Cain road is also always a possibility, as you may need to dig your own car out of the snow.

A few metres from the highway cutoff you will see the Mt. Cain base parking lot. This is where you can catch the Mount Cain Shuttle Bus. It leaves at 8:30 am for the ski hill and departs from the lodge at 4:15 pm. First come/first served. Please call the Mount Waddington Transit Office for more information: 250-956-3151.

Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society
Box 1225, Port McNeill BC, V0N 2R0
1-888-668 6622 or 250-923-3170
Toll Free:
Snow Phone:
Early December (snow permitting) to early April (conditions permitting).
Lift Hours:
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The hill is open on Mondays when school groups are scheduled. On these Mondays, only the lower T-bar and handle tow will be in operation. Full-day tickets are sold at half-day rates. Visitors should call the Snow Line or check the web site to confirm operational Mondays.
Annual Snowfall:
1,500 cm (38 ft)
Vertical Drop:
457 m (1,499 ft)
Base Elevation:
1,311 m / 4,301 ft.
Top Elevation:
1,768 m / 5,800 ft.
Skiable Acreage:
Number of Trails:
21 – The majority of the lower runs are groomed while the majority of the run accessed from the upper T-bar are left ungroomed for sheer powder pleasure.
Novice: 20%
Intermediate: 45%
Advanced: 35%
Number of Lifts:
2 T-bars and 1 Beginner’s Handle Tow
Lift Capacity:
Night Skiing:
Yes – The area surrounding the Mt. Cain Alpine boasts some of the best cross-country, backcountry skiing, and snowshoeing on Vancouver Island. The terrain ranges from gentle sub-alpine trails to mountaineering steeps easily accessible from the parking lot. There are 15 kms of marked trails and logging access roads. Light touring equipment is recommended for sub-alpine trails. For the mountaineer there are three peaks at 1,500m within a 5-km radius.
Terrain Park:
Resort Services:
Nordic trails, Day lodge, ski shop, ski school, on-hill accommodation, ski and snowboard rentals, cafe and pubs. Mt. Cain now has a shuttle bus, leaving from the base of the mountain (just off the Island Highway, about 70 kms northwest of Sayward). It seats 20, first come, first serve, and makes 1 round trip per day.
Nearest Ski Area:
Mt. Washington Ski Resort
Nearest Towns:
Woss, Sayward, Campbell River
More Information:
Skiing & Winter Activities on Vancouver Island