From rustic clubs to world-class ski resorts, Kelowna has a cross-country skiing area for everyone.
Whether you’re a beginner looking to classic ski in a social setting; an athlete who skate skis for winter fitness; an outdoor enthusiast who requires adaptive equipment to enjoy the region’s best views or a family looking for a place to ski with your pooch, Kelowna has a trail for you.
With a long season, powdery snow and a winter that’s often filled with sunshine, read on for some of the region’s best options.
Note: Contact all ski areas in advance. Covid-19 restrictions mean that some facilities are closed and, in some cases, tickets need to be purchased in advance.
Stake Lake Trails, Kamloops
Long, leisurely loop trails are the highlight of this pretty ski area. With 60 kilometres of mostly easy and intermediate trails to choose between, you’ll have a lot of skiing to do before you run out of new terrain—and then there’s a few advanced trails to try your skills on. A lit tail runs around the lake.
Mcculloch Cross-country Ski Trails, Kelowna
Rustic facilities and 75 kilometres of wooded ski trails have been attracting locals for generations. While membership is encouraged with Kelowna Nordic (and free lessons are offered) visitors can pay a day rate or arrange ahead of time for a member to show them around. No rentals are available at the site but can be obtained at Fresh Air in Kelowna.
Big White, Kelowna
For more advanced skiers, Big White has 25 kilometers of combined Nordic and Wilderness trails which may not all be groomed or track set. Most of the trail network is on intermediate trails that are better suited to skate skiers. For the 2020/2021 season, access to the winding trails is complimentary.
Nickel Plate, Penticton
Nickel Plate has over 65 kilometers of groomed track for both classic and skaters of all experience levels. There are also 20 kilometers of backcountry trails and even a trail for dogs. The 4,000-square-foot day lodge (closed during Covid-19) has eating facilities, lessons and rentals available.
Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre, Vernon
Looping runs over meadows and through forests make this a wonderland of a ski area for skate and classic skiers of all abilities. Rentals and nearly daily lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers are available.
Silver Star Resort, Vernon
Silver Star Resort has over 55 kilometers of trails ranging from easy to advanced, many with sweeping mountain views. Get a dual mountain cross-country ski pass and you can explore another 50 kilometers of connecting trails at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre. Set in a resort town, you’ll find all sorts of amenities including rentals, lessons, restaurants and shopping.
Destination BC/Ben Giesbrecht
CRIS Adaptive Adventures in Kelowna offers a variety of cross-country ski trips at locations around the Okanagan. Perfect for people who with barriers such as physical, cognitive or sensory challenges who need extra support to get out into the snow and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.
Okanagan Rail Trail
A former railway track, the multi-use trail has sections that run from Coldstream through Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, Oyama, Winfield, the Syilx people’s territory, Kelowna International Airport, UBCO and terminating in downtown Kelowna. After a few good snows, the even terrain offers up several options for cross-country skiing.
Telemark Nordic Club, West Kelowna
For skiers looking for more challenging terrain and the possibility of spotting a wide range of wildlife from moose and mule deer, to lynx and snowshoe hare—the Nordic Club is a great option. Rentals and lessons are available.
Chef Mark Filatow
Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park
During the right winter conditions, the trails into Cosens Bay provide leisurely ungroomed cross-country skiing. Other options include the grasslands above the bay.