provides some of the best skiing in North America, and Vancouver Island
slopes are second to none! By virtue of its location between the Pacific
Ocean and the Strait of Georgia, Mt. Washington gets heaped with snow
during the season. Thrill-seekers can golf, sail or scuba dive in
the morning, ski in the afternoon and revel in a hot tub in the evening.
Whether you ski the diamond slopes or challenge the all-natural Snowboard
Park, you'll have a winter vacation to cherish for a lifetime.
Click for Companies that offer Skiing
and Winter Activities.
There are three Ski Resorts on Vancouver Island:
Mt. Washington and Area
Mt. Washington Ski Resort is the
premier resort on Vancouver Island, located in the Comox Valley west
of Courtenay. The snow here is often deeper than anywhere else in
British Columbia, and occasionally deeper than anywhere else in the
world! That was Mount Washington's claim to fame in late 1995. Try
as they might, no matter where the staff called, no one could beat
the more than 21 feet of snowpack that just kept falling and falling.
Mount Washington has long been known for having good snow conditions
from early in winter to well past Easter. This accounts, in part,
for Mount Washington being the second-busiest winter recreation destination
in BC, behind Whistler/Blackcomb. It doesn't take long to discover
why this part of the province continues to attract new arrivals from
across the country. With a temperate coastal climate, it is possible
to ride bicycles on local trails year-round, yet be up in the snowfields
with a half-hour drive.
A great deal of Mount Washington's charm comes from its location.
Mount Washington's chairlift glides to a mile above sea level, and
on a clear day, visitors have a 360-degree panorama of the Strait
of Georgia and the Sunshine Coast from Powell River to Sechelt, with
the peaks of the Coast Mountains rising in a long march behind. Closer
at hand, the many peaks adorning Strathcona Park's Forbidden Plateau
region look equally magnificent. Take your fill of the inspiring vista
and set off on one of the world-class alpine runs, groomed daily to
ensure excellent run quality.
Snowboarding: Experience the thrill of the Snow Zone! Mt. Washington's
Snowboard Park includes 2 Terrain Parks and a half pipe maintained
with a pipe grinder, guaranteed to test the most skilled of snowboarders.
The slopes offer plenty of enjoyable and challenging runs down to
the high-speed lifts that will return you to snowboard heaven.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowboarding: Although Vancouver Island
is renowned for its steep, rugged mountains, there's also great beauty
in the mellow, rounded hills and snow-carpeted meadows. This terrain
is ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, great aerobic activities
for the whole family, or the wandering couple and invigorating exercise
for the fitness fanatics. Forty kilometres of quiet track-set trails,
partially located in Strathcona Provincial Park, will provide enough
terrain for the most demanding adventurer to explore.
Nordic skiers on Mt. Washington enjoy some of the most diverse and
scenic trails in the Pacific Northwest. All trails are track-set for
classic and have a centre lane groomed for skating. From the cozy,
cross-country day lodge at Mount Washington, a series of loop trails
offers workouts of between 3 and 12 km long across the gentle terrain
of Paradise Meadows. All told, there are over 40 km of skating-style
and double-track cross-country trails around Mount Washington.
Intermediate and advanced nordic skiers can take advantage of a specially
priced lift ticket for the Red Chair, from which you can descend into
the upper West Meadows along 10 km of tracked trails. For some
of the best cross-country terrain anywhere, try the Lake Trail Loop
and the Upper West Trail. There's an unhurried nature to cross-country
skiing at Mt. Washington.
Snowshoeing is the best and easiest way to access the outdoors in
winter time. Strap on your snowshoes and hit the trails at Mt. Washington.
Don't miss the Lantern Light Cross-Country and Snowshoeing tour through
the incredible meadows of Mt. Washington. Glide along under a canopy
of stars, with only lanterns or headlights to guide you home.
Families that have diverse interests within their group will appreciate
having both alpine and backcountry facilities within a short walking
distance of each other at Mt. Washington. While some members are riding
the ski lifts, others can be exercising in the quiet of the backcountry.
Some of the best views of Mt. Washington's alpine terrain are from
out in Paradise Meadows.
Snowmobiling: Vancouver Island's hundreds of kilometres of
old logging roads provide convenient access to remote forests and
mountain ranges. Snowmobile touring on the island combines exploration
of unexplored areas with panoramic views of distant valleys and towering
With abundant snowfall and spectacular views, Mt. Washington is a
great place for snowmobiling, offering unlimited adventure. Snowmobiling
is not permitted beyond the 10-km marker! Snowmobile rentals are available
in Courtenay and Campbell River, and guided snowmobiling tours can
also be arranged.
Winter Camping: Self-sufficient skiers intent on winter camping
use these trails as starting points for exploring the Battleship Lake
and Lake Helen MacKenzie region and beyond.
Snow Tubing: Lift accessed and night lift, 3 chutes.
Rentals: Skis, snowboards, snowshoes and tow sleds are available
from the rental shop at Mt. Washington. Mt. Washington Ski Bus Company
departs daily from Victoria. Luxury coaches transport enthusiasts
to the mountain, arriving prior to the lifts opening and departing
shortly after the last run of the day. The bus ride includes on-board
movies and meal stops.
The Mount Washington Ski
Area lies 31 km west of Hwy 19 in Courtenay, and is accessible from
and Campbell River. Visitors
can arrange to stay in either the on-hill accommodations or in the
nearby Comox Valley. If you're
not into driving, shuttle buses to the mountain run from a number
of hotels in Courtenay.
Mt. Cain and Area
Mt. Cain is located in Mt. Cain Regional
Park, off Highway 19 north of Campbell River, and is run by the non-profit
Mt. Cain Alpine Park Society. It is Vancouver Island's only community
owned and operated ski and snowboard facility, with plenty of enjoyable
and challenging runs.
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. Mt. Cain (1,646m) is open on weekends
and ski holidays in the winter, offering 18 downhill runs (vertical
drop 450 m) and 15 km of unmarked cross-country trails to explore.
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.
||Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Mt. Washington
||Play in the snow, in the mile high alpine at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Vancouver Island's Winter playground. Mount Washington has long been known for having good snow conditions from early in winter to well past Easter, accounting for Mt Washington being the second busiest winter recreation destination in BC, behind Whistler Blackcomb. Mt. Washington Alpine Resort offers something for everyone, featuring an average snowfall of 10 metres (33 feet), 60 marked runs, cross-country skiing, snow camping, snowshoeing trails, and two terrain parks. Mt Washington also offers lift-accessed and night-lit snow tubing.
||Mt. Cain Ski Resort, Woss
||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.