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Big White, British Columbia

Written by Greg and Heather Burke

Looking for big mountain skiing, big snow, and a beautiful base village…check out Canada’s Big White. Big White Ski Resort is British Columbia’s third biggest ski resort, after Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks. Located in the wine-laden Okanagan Valley, just an hour from Kelowna airport, near the snowy Monashee Mountains, Big White offers long fall-line runs, modern lifts, a fun central village mid-mountain, and serious natural snow - nicknamed Big Whiteout and puffing the motto "It's the Snow." 

Big White has almost 1,000-acres in bounds of long rolling groomers, 118 runs all tolled, with a respectable 2,500’ of vertical. The ski terrain sprawls East to West for miles, from an ideal beginner area - Happy Valley, and Black Forest's well-spaced glades. High speed lifts The Bullet, Snow Ghost and Ridge Run serve two dozen beautiful blue trails where you can “cruise the bluz.” Big undulating runs Speculation, Paradise, and Perfection embrace the fall line for super fun skiing. Big White’s upper mountain has crustier classic lifts - The Falcon, Powder, and Cliff fixed grip chairs and the Alpine T-Bar are old school, serving earthier more challenging terrain, despite the locals “Big Flat” moniker. We found plenty of interesting glades and some gutsy terrain at the 7,608’ summit. The snow ghosts, rime-caked pines are otherworldly. Big White has big snow fields and some steeps out in the double black diamond Cliffs and Parachute Bowl. But for novices, Big White has a Green trail from each lift. Finally, the Gem Lake Express area has fantastic long runs, like 2.5-mile Blue Sapphire – a favorite, served by a 2,300’ vert high-speed quad far skiers’ right. Park skiers will love The Telus Park with its own designated chair, and lights for night skiing. Big White boasts Western Canada’s largest night skiing weekends and holidays. 

Big White only has snowmaking in the terrain park, they typically get plenty of natural snow given its north-west locale, so go Big on a powder day or during a big winter. 

Staying in Big White village, you have plenty of lodging, in fact, the resort has a staggering 17,000 beds, most condos and hotels offer underground parking, giving the Village a nice open alpine feel with the quintessential Clock Tower. We stayed at Chateau Big White, not uber luxurious but perfectly located with nice fireplace suites, ski lockers, a Spa, and rooftop hot tub poised for Alpen glow over the Okanagan Valley at sunset. You can ski or walk to après ski in the Village at The Woods, Snowshoe Sam’s, or Canada’s highest Irish owned Blarney Stone Pub with spectacular views and often live craic. Grab provisions at The Market or Wine shop, go tubing or dog sledding or just drink local wine or ale and dine at one of a dozen restaurants. Big White’s village has everything you need, including entertainment and festivals winter long.

Kids in tow? You won’t find better Kids Programs – Big White's Family Channel sponsored Kids Adventure Center is center stage along with Daycare. Big White tags itself “Canada’s Favorite Family Resort” and they entertain kids from small to tall, from lift opening and ski school to night skiing, Carnival nights and fireworks. Parents will love that their kids have a snow flake GPS that tracks their runs, and is downloadable at day’s end.

Big White Ski Resort has a great vibe, from the big variety of skiing and beautiful views to the self-contained village, and the fun influx of Aussies – Big White is Australian owned since 1994. Consider a ski trip to Big White, combined with a few days cat skiing at Monashee Powder Cats, or a side ski trip to Revelstoke.

Elevation

Base
4947 feet
Base
Summit
7608 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
2661 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

Gondola & Tram
1
Gondola & Tram
High Speed Six
1
High Speed Six
High Speed Quads
5
High Speed Quads
Triple Chair
1
Triple Chair
Double Chairs
3
Double Chairs
Surface Lifts
5
Surface Lifts

Terrain

Beginner Runs
18 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
54 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
22 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
6 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
118
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
1
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
4 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
2765 acres
Skiable Terrain

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 11/23/2017 04/13/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/30/2016 04/16/2017
2015/2016 11/13/2015 04/10/2016
2014/2015 11/29/2014 04/12/2015

Lift ticket and season pass prices

Category Age restrictions Price (USD unless otherwise stated)
Adult 19 - 64 $76 (95 CAD)
Child 5 & under Free
Child 6 - 12 $43 (54 CAD)
Child 13 - 18 $64 (80 CAD)
Senior 65 & over $64 (80 CAD)
Student 19 & over $64 (80 CAD)
Season Pass $1,022 (1278 CAD)

Overall Rating

4.2 / 5 Very Good

based on 32 reviews

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Availability, quality and pricing of lodging

Lodging

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness

Latest reviews

Score: 3.6 / 5Dec 06, 2017
Really fun family orientated mountain. Accessibility is pretty darn good, with most places being ski in/out. Snow can be deep and fluffy, although it can get socked in by cloud. Head to the trees and you will be ... More
William G. advanced snowboarder
Score: 4.3 / 5Dec 05, 2017
The 3rd largest in Canada, and it's a great time always! You NEED to do this place if you snowboard or Ski in Canada! It's a must try and enjoy! Powder days are the best ... More
Stan D. intermediate snowboarder
Score: 3.6 / 5Dec 05, 2017
Pretty good hill overall, many different styles of trails or runs over a wide mountain, best thing about it is small natural features everywhere! Small jumps over the entire resort! Very close to kelowna which is a great city to visit if you are ... More
John B. advanced snowboarder
Score: 4 / 5Nov 28, 2017
Great family resort with lots of varied Terrain options with great snow. Plenty of family apres Ski activities. Close to Kelowna international airport and the powder highway. Most accommodations are so in ski out and very acceibke to village centre. ... More
Terry M. advanced skier
Score: 4 / 5Nov 24, 2017
Always a blast. Great terrain for all levels. Family friendly and still rad for a boys stag weekend. Sweet powder on groomed runs or in the back country. Hot tubs on every deck in the hotels and the larger house accommodations have every thing you could need. ... More
Cody advanced snowboarder
Score: 3.5 / 5Nov 23, 2017
Big White is an excellent all aroubd resort. Despite the frequent inclement weather, a day spent at Biggie is always a good one! Freedom from the crowds during the week and the typical weekend crowds allow you to ride however you may please. Make a friend on the lift and enjoy ... More
Jeffrey B. advanced snowboarder
Score: 4.9 / 5Nov 22, 2017
Big White is a North Anerican powder gem. Located close to Kelowna, a bumping and fun-filled town, this mountain offers up some of the best waist deep pow I’ve ever ridden in. Definitely worth the flight into ... More
Andreas P. advanced skier
Score: 3.7 / 5Nov 21, 2017
Really good family resort. Good for beginner and intermediate skiers with lots of blue runs. Some fun tree runs but could get boring for an advanced skier or boarder after a while. Good terrain park for all ... More
Ben L. intermediate snowboarder
Score: 4.8 / 5Nov 21, 2017
I loved my trip to Big White! My whole family was able to find a suitable run, from my grandparents on the Greens to my sister and parents skiing the “fall down and walk bowl” from the very top! ... More
Maxx T. advanced snowboarder
Score: 3.8 / 5Nov 19, 2017
Big white is known as a great family destination, but also friendly for those adventure seekers that like to delve deep into the trees and find tons of hidden pow ... More
Nolan J. advanced skier