Big White Ski Resort Guide
Tucked away in the interior of Canada’s most western province, Big White is the third largest resort in Canada, and one known for great skiing. The views are stunning, ski run variety high, and other activities plentiful.
At under an hour from the airport in Kelowna, it’s easy to get to – at least as far as Canadian resorts go.
Big White is a resort built for and around skiing. It has the second-largest number of visitor beds of any Canadian resort, too. Add to that the unusual fact that most accommodations are ski-in, ski-out… no wasting time on a shuttle bus or lugging equipment around.
The resort is compact, with everything you need in easy walking – or skiing – distance.
Unlike many areas, all accommodations at the resort are owned by the resort. You’ll find a choice of styles (called standards), but most of the accommodations are at a similar level of luxury and design. That said, there are a lot of options, and you won’t find it difficult to book something that will give you that feel of being in the Canadian wilderness – in a good way!
On the slopes
The one sure thing Big White is known for is the snow. Great powder, even on many of the easier slopes, makes Big White a great place for those intermediate skiers who want to know what all the fuss is about. On groomed runs, skiers will find a stable, thick base from start of season to end.
The area enjoys more than its share of sunny weather and mild temperatures – which is part of the reason it is rated no.1 in Canada for children.
The resort is not especially high, especially by North American standards, but visibility can be poor at times, especially on the higher runs.
For the advanced beginner all through the intermediate spectrum, Big White is a Mecca of great experiences. From runs that challenge developing skills, to the opportunity to ski powder without having to face sheer drops and highly-technical runs, Big White is ideal.
Experts are not left out, however. A full quarter of the runs will give experts all the challenge they enjoy, great powder, and a few jaw-dropping descents that will put smiles on faces and shakes on knees.
There is a terrain park, Nordic trails, and of course schools for skiing and snowboarding.
This is an area in development at Big White. It’s not known for its parties or night life, but non-skiing activities are plentiful at nearby Happy Valley. Weekdays are slow in general, which can be considered a negative with regard to parties – but is great for wide-open skiing and no queues.
There isn’t much of a club scene at Big White, but there are spots for live music, a little dancing, and drink shared with friendly people.
The restaurants are good and present a wide variety of choice. The service is excellent and you’ll feel welcome from the moment you first step through the door. Try The Blarney Stone Irish Tavern, The Woods, Globe Café & Tapas Bar, Gunbarrel Grill, or the Black Diamond. Try some fine dining at Degrees, or a thrifty bite at Underground Pizza. Whatever your tastes, you’ll find something you like.
Be sure to experience some ice wine while you’re there.
There are spas on offer, as well as a 60-foot ice climbing tower, ice hockey games, dogsledding, snowshoeing, horse drawn sleigh rides, snowmobiling, SnoLimo tours, wine tasting tours, and even a snow coaster.