If you're a skier or snowboarder, you're spoiled for options when it comes to Canadian ski resorts. No doubt you've already experienced the most famous resorts like Whistler, Revelstoke, and Lake Louise.
But how much do you know about Red Mountain Resort?
The locals of Rossland, British Columbia will tell you that theirs should be the #1 ski town in Canada. A huge part of this is because of their epic ski resort, affectionately known as "Red." They're not just biased either — the New York Times ranked Rossland and Red Mountain #8 in the world on their list of Places to See in 2013.
Why should you consider skiing at Red Mountain this winter? What do you need to know about getting there? How can you decide where to stay and what to do when you're not tearing down the slopes?
Keep reading and we'll reveal all you need to know about this hidden gem in British Columbia.
It's no secret that British Columbia is one of the best places to visit during wintertime. But while most visitors flock to the more popular resorts, many overlook an equally appealing ski experience at Red Mountain.
Red Mountain peak is located in the beautiful Kootenay Rockies region in south-central British Columbia. In fact, it's just a few short kilometres from the US border. Located along the famous "Powder Highway," Red Mountain delivers an impressive 300 inches (7.6 meters) of snowfall each season.
Long before it became a ski town, the Sinixt First Nation long revered this area for its delicious huckleberries. They called the mountain "kmakrn," which appropriately means "smooth top." Early mining settlements in the 1800s were called Trail Creek and Thompsonville before the name Rossland finally stuck.
Those early settlers never could have imagined that the seemingly humble mountain in the backdrop would one day become one of BC's premier skiing destinations. It's now one of the 47 iconic winter destinations included in the Ikon Pass, which means you'll have plenty more incredible resorts to choose from.
Now that you're excited about the skiing opportunities at Red Mountain, how do you get there?
RED Mountain Resort is a ski resort in western part of Canada, specifically located on Granite, Grey, Kirkup, and Red Mountains in Rossland. It's a former gold mining town in the West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia.
Despite its somewhat remote location, you'll find plenty of options for getting to the Rossland area. Here's an overview of travel times and distances:
10 km from the US/Canada border
A 15-minute drive from Trail Regional Airport
A 30-minute drive from West Kootenay Airport in Castlegar
A 2.5-hour drive from Spokane International Airport (Washington state)
A 3.5-hour drive from Kelowna International Airport
You'll find car rental services available at each of the airports. However, if you're arriving at Trail or West Kootenay airports, you'll also find convenient shuttle services from the airports to Rossdale and Red Mountain Resort. There's even a daily shuttle service from Spokane airport, which is ideal if you prefer not to drive.
Once you're in town, you'll find options for ride-sharing as well as the Rossland Ski Bus that shuttles passengers from pickup points around town directly to the ski resort.
If you do decide to drive, Red Mountain is almost equidistant from Vancouver and Calgary. Expect to spend about seven hours driving there from either city location. Don't worry, though — the scenery is so spectacular, you won't mind the drive at all.
Red Mountain Resort Attractions
Red Mountain resort thrills the nature lovers and extreme adventure enthusiast in a once in a lifetime experience. The area has much offers to do and see.
Snowboarding & Skiing at Red Mountain
What makes skiing at Red Mountain such a great experience? If you're a numbers person, you'll love these stats and figures:
Ranked among the Top 10 total skiable acres in North America
Ranked #1 for the most acres per skier in North America
A total of 3,850 skiable acres
A total vertical drop of 2,919 feet
A total of 119 marked runs
Five interconnected peaks
Combine these numbers with the 300 inches of powder we mentioned earlier, and you'll wonder why you haven't headed to Red Mountain sooner. Visitors love their ability to spread out and find untouched powder — with so much available terrain, you'll never have to fight for space.
You'll find eight chair lifts spread across the five mountain peaks. The longest run is 4.3 miles (7km), so make sure your legs are up for the challenge! You'll also enjoy a great mix of runs and terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all levels:
17% beginner runs
34% intermediate runs
23% advanced runs
26% expert runs
There truly is something for everyone at Red Mountain, so it's the perfect destination for families with children or friends with mixed abilities. The mountain also boasts some of the best tree runs in all of Canada.
Another reason to love Red Mountain is its surprisingly low elevation. The base sits at 3,887 feet (1,185 meters) while the highest summit is only 6,807 feet (2,075 meters). This makes Red a terrific choice for anyone who struggles with altitude sickness at higher elevations.
Let's take a brief look at two other popular features of Red Mountain — its terrain park and cat skiing.
Rockstar Energy Terrain Park
Do you prefer to show off your skills at the terrain park rather than ski groomers all day? You'll love the variety of options available at the newly revamped Rockstar Energy Terrain Park including:
Up Down Box
Whether you're a terrain park pro or a complete novice, you can feel safe practicing your tricks under the watchful eye of the on-hill park staff.
Mt. Kirkup Cat Ski
There's only one ski resort in all of Canada that offers cat skiing. You guessed it — it's Red Mountain.
From 10 am to 2 pm daily, you can catch a ride in a snowcat from the summit of Grey Mountain to the summit of Mt. Kirkup. From there, you'll have the chance to enjoy epic powder skiing through an incredible 2,054 foot (626 meters) vertical drop. Shred through the trees and the waist-deep powder all the way down to Grey Chair or Topping Creek Chair and then do it again.
The area is closely monitored, so there's no need for avalanche gear or a guide. Skiers and riders do need to be at an advanced level to handle the terrain, however.
An experience like this is usually only available by helicopter and could easily cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Cat skiing at Red Mountain will only cost you — are you ready for this? — $10 per run.
That's right. Simply waltz up to the cat, hand over a crisp $10 note (cash only), and you'll be on your way to the skiing or snowboarding experience of a lifetime. No reservations are required!
Bonus tip: No matter what you sign up for during your vacation, make sure you've considered which type of travel insurance best suits your needs. Winter sports are very fun, but they can also be risky. Make sure you're covered — just in case.
Where to Stay in Red Mountain
There's a variety of accommodations to suit every budget and preference. Whether you need a cheap bed for the night or an opulent ski-in-ski-out condo, you'll find a little bit of everything around Rossland and Red Mountain.
For traditional hotel options, check out:
Prestige Mountain Resort
Rams Head Inn
Red Shutter Inn
SureStay Hotel by Best Western
If you're interested in renting a condo for your family or group of friends, take a look at:
Mountain Town Properties
RED Mountain Resort Lodging
Red Mountain Village Lodging
Constella: A Cabin Collective
For travellers who don't mind roughing it or are on a tighter budget, you can save by staying at:
You'll want to maximize your time on the hill, of course, but what about after the lifts close for the day? Don't worry — with so many other fun activities to choose from, you won't be bored for even a second.
Here's our roundup of the best things to do in Rossland and Red Mountain (besides skiing).
Other Winter Sports
Whether you take a day off from the slopes or the lifts have closed for the day, you can still have plenty of fun in the snow. Snowshoeing and fat biking are two favourite options among the locals, but there's more to choose from too.
For example, you could head over to the Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club for more than 40 km of cross country skiing trails. You'll also find a doggy loop, a biathlon range, and lit trails for after-dark ripping.
If you're ready to head inside, take cover in Rossland Arena and enjoy a few hours of ice skating, hockey, or curling. Or, if you're looking for fresh inspiration, go get ideas at the always popular GET LOST Adventure Centre.
Dining & Nightlife
Rossland may be small, but you'll be impressed by the high quality of dining options in this pretty mountain town. You'll find sushi, pizza, Thai, burgers, and everything in between to satisfy all your apres-ski cravings.
Speaking of apres ski, what would a ski town be without some local brews and ales? Stop by the Rossland Beer Company to sample their latest creations on tap. If you enjoy a good glass of wine, swing by Columbia Gardens Winery for a tasting session.
If you're looking to keep the party going after dark, settle in at Rock Cut Pub, Rafters at Red, the Velvet Lounge, or the Flying Steamshovel Pub.
Shopping & Culture
You won't find any strip malls here — this town is filled with boutiques that are as authentic as it gets.
If you need to stock up on winter gear, head over to Piste Off Supply Company, PowderHound Sports, or RossVegas Board Shop. For home goods or gift items, check out Feather Your Nest, Legacy Gift Room & Brew Shop, House of Paws, or the Gold Rush Bookstore.
Do you have the munchies? Pay a visit to Mountain Nugget Chocolate Company, Ferraro Foods, or Jimmy's Cannabis.
Art lovers will enjoy exploring the town's many galleries filled with pieces from local artists. Meanwhile, history lovers will love discovering the Rossland Museum, which traces back through hundreds of years of local history. It's even built on the site of the historic Le Roi Gold Mines!
Health & Wellness
After a few days on the hill, you'll need to slow down and let your body recharge. Book a massage at SpaTerre at the Josie Hotel or The Essential Body and you'll be ready to tackle another day on the slopes.
If you want to keep up with your regular fitness routine, you'll find classes waiting for you at Eternity Pilates Studio or Madhu Collective Yoga Studio. There are also a handful of hair salons if you want a fresh look for a winter date night.
Plan Your Winter Getaway in BC
British Columbia is a winter wonderland, and you have no shortage of amazing ski resorts to choose from. After reading this article, though, we hope you'll add Red Mountain to your BC bucket list.
While you're busy making plans for your upcoming ski trip, don't overlook the importance of getting travel insurance. You may find that your current coverage only works inside your province. Or you may discover that it doesn't cover certain sports or activities, such as skiing and snowboarding.
Whatever the case, you need to do some research as part of your winter vacation planning. At Insurdinary, we make it easy to find the coverage you need at a reasonable price.
Click here to compare travel insurance quotes from Canada's top providers. Once you have the coverage you need, you're ready to tackle the slopes at Red Mountain or anywhere else the road leads you.