A must stop on the POWDER HIGHWAY®, winter in Nelson BC offers the very best in all of your favourite winter activities.
BC’s POWDER HIGHWAY® is described as deep snow, funky towns, where the most down-home, stash-laden, adventure-packed ski resorts in North America exist. Not only is that true, but this incredible region, extending from the BC-Alberta border to Revelstoke to the north and nearby Rossland in the south – boasting eight alpine ski resorts, over 20 backcountry lodges, and various heli- and cat-ski operators – is literally your road to winter.
Between our funky, vibrant, historic vibe and the amount of snow we enjoy in and around Nelson, it’s no surprise that we are among the very first stops. But, there’s more to us than the snow!
Winter in Nelson BC offers endless activities outdoors, but also inside. No matter your interests, the unique allure of Nelson is sure to capture your imagination… and your heart! And, when you stay at Alpine Inn & Suites, it’s all just outside your door.
Winter in Nelson BC = skiing, of course!
The fact is, winter in Nelson is for most, all about skiing. But, what the heck is it that makes skiing in this area just so incredible? Well, in short, the snow. More specifically, the quantity and quality of snow – heaps upon heaps of magnificent, fluffy, powdery, white snow.
It’s been said that winter in Nelson BC isn’t a season as much as it is a celebration. In an around Nelson we enjoy an average of 172 cm, or 64 inches, of snow! Choose from a variety of options depending on skill, level, and desire for chills and thrills!
Whitewater Ski Resort
Up at nearby Whitewater Ski Resort prepare yourself for a true snow experience in the over 12 m – or 40 feet!! – of snowfall every year. With more than 2,044 vertical feet of tranquil slopes – family-friendly groomers and playful bumps, epic steeps, exhilarating tree-skiing, and endless backcountry – there’s truly an incredible snow day for everyone.
RED Mountain Resort
Lots of fresh tracks to be had! A truly marvellous mountain experience, RED Mountain Resort offers 3,850 acres of pristine skiing and boarding – in the top 10 for the size of terrain in North America!
The Nelson Nordic Ski Club has been serving Nelson and is for almost 40 years. Since the early 80s, the club maintains a vast network of trails, meticulously groomed, beckoning eager cross country skiers.
Enjoy incredible nordic skiing from dawn to dusk and even nighttime skiing on the Apex lighted loop until as late as 9:30 pm. For nordic skiers of all ages and skill levels, there’s a track for everybody!
Heli- and Cat skiing
With such deep powder, our area boasts an abundance of cat and heli-ski operators. With their unique love and knowledge of backcountry skiing, we’re sure there’s an experience that’s just right for you!
Get high – heli-ski pristine, untouched bowls and glaciers offer first tracks all day long! With four metres of snowfall annually and a whopping 97,000 acres of terrain, there are 14 cats and five different cat operators in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region – we’re the Cat Ski Capital of the World!
Backcountry skiing around Nelson BC
Get away from the lift lines and crowds! Enjoy spectacular snow, terrain, and views – the adventure of a lifetime! Thanks to organizations like Backcountry Skiing Canada there is all kinds of information – trails and accommodations – to help you plan your route for a fabulous trip.
However, before you venture out into the vast solitude of the backcountry, check Avalanche Canada and DriveBC for snow conditions. With such depth and breadth of experience and expertise, you’ll also find a variety of backcountry and avalanche awareness courses available with local guides happy to help make your trip as safe and wonderfully memorable as possible.
Winter in Nelson BC – more than skiing!
Winter fishing on Kootenay Lake
Because of the depth (as much as 150 metres!) and flow rate of Kootenay Lake, it doesn’t freeze. That means you can fish year-round, even during the coldest of winters.
Winter fishing Kootenay Lake is popular with anglers as the bigger fish tend to come up from the colder depths of the lake – it’s possible to catch a Dolly Varden as big as 20 pounds!
Hiking and fat biking in and around Nelson
For hikers and bikers, you can still enjoy exhilarating views even during the winter in Nelson BC. For mountain bikers, fat-tire bikes let you bike year-round even in snow. Our extensive regional trail networks mean you can hike or bike and have great fun exploring no matter the conditions. FYI: there are a variety of local businesses that provide tours and rentals.
Break out your skates for a leisurely glide or bring your friends for shinny. There are local parks that maintain rinks or visit Mirror Lake for a more natural skating experience.
Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort
Owned by Yaqan Nukiy, the Lower Kootenay Band of Creston, BC, the resort showcases the significance of these wonderful hot springs. After a day in the snow, sit back in these hot, soothing waters and enjoy relaxation and healing as you take in the incredible views.
Food, of course!
Award-winning chefs, incredible local wines and craft brews, and Nelson’s historically distinctive spaces make for a fantastically diverse and quality selection of eateries – among the best in British Columbia. Truly something for everyone, Nelson and area offer more restaurants per capita than such foodie destinations like Vancouver, San Francisco, and even Manhattan, NY!
The careful restoration of our heritage buildings helps foster the unique local and historical vibe of Nelson. And with such a diverse selection of boutique and artisan shops, shopping in Nelson is an activity unto itself. In winter, it’s particularly charming!
Enjoy a stroll down Nelson’s revitalized main street, chock full of locally owned shops, many of which sell items that are locally made. No big box stores here! During this time, it’s especially helpful to support these local businesses. Don’t forget that many of them allow you to shop online for locally made products and more! #findingawesome