7 Favourite Winter Activities in the Kootenay Rockies

By Afton Aikens

In an outdoor playground like the Kootenay Rockies, it’s easy to make winter more about exploring snow-covered trails and seeking out powder stashes than setting marathon Netflix records. The area’s outdoor adventure options are so varied, there’s something for everyone, whether or not you’re the adventurous type.

  1. Cross-country ski or snowshoe the 5-km/3-mi trail around magical Emerald Lake, just an hour drive from Banff. Afterward, treat yourself to a meal at Emerald Lake Lodge (I’ve been more than once and their food is delicious!).
  2. Get a thrill from snowmobiling in Revelstoke. Revelstoke Snowmobiling Club grooms trails on Boulder Mountain and Frisby Ridge, and maintains day-use warm-up cabins.
  3. Have fun with the whole family at Panorama Mountain Resort’s tube and toboggan park.
  4. Go ice fishing in Elk Lakes Provincial Park, 69 km/43 mi north of Elkford. (To warm up after, check out Sulphur Springs, secluded undeveloped hot springs 5 km/3.1 mi south of Elkford).
  5. Enjoy ski-to-your-door lodging at Fernie Alpine Resort (not to mention the 11.5-m/38-ft annual snowfall, 10 lifts with two high-speed quads, and five powder bowls that are now easier to access via above-treeline Polar Peak lift).
  6. Lace up your skates and head to Winter Whiteway on Lake Windermere, a 34-km/21-mi trail that runs around the lakeshore. The Whiteway is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest ice skating path. (You can also cross-country and skate ski here, or walk along the trail).
  7. Dine at Canada’s highest restaurant, Eagle’s Eye Restaurant at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. Ride the gondola to daily lunch (11 am-3:30 pm) and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Inquire about special dinner events through the winter season.

Photo courtesy of the Canadian Tourism Commission.

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