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Whitewater Skiing & Snowboarding Resort Guide

Whitewater is one of the closest British Columbia ski and snowboard areas to the United States, only a three and a half hour drive from Spokane. Whitewater is a bit smaller than other BC ski and snowboard resorts, at only 1,184 lift-served acres, but there is a total of 2,367 skiable acres. The mountain has great laid-back vibes and fun chutes, bowls, and trees. Whitewater is largely community focused, with no on-mountain lodging, however, the town of Nelson is close by. Few crowds and deep powder are hallmark of this fun and laid-back ski and snowboard area.

Mountain Overview

Whitewater Ski Area
Photo: Doug LePage/Whitewater Ski Area

Whitewater is split into three major areas, Silver King, Summit, and Glory Ridge. The Silver King area is the smallest of the three areas, and has terrain for all abilities levels. The intermediate and beginner skier here is pretty good, while the advanced terrain is often mogul filled.

The Summit area is across the valley from Silver King. The terrain of of the Summit is mostly advanced with a handful of intermediate cruisers. These runs are longer than over at Silver King. Right underneath the lift, showboaters and jibbers will love all of the playful lines. Traversing far out to either side of the Summit chair, there are fun glades and trees for advanced skiers and snowboarders. There are lots of fun cliffs and natural features to jump off of and jib on out here. The Diamond Glades and Terra Ratta run are some of the most fun runs at Whitewater.

Dropping over the backside from the Summit is the Glory Ridge area, which has more intermediate and advanced skiing and snowboarding. Skier’s left on Glory Ridge has advanced glades, bump runs, and intermediate runs. To the skier’s right there are lots of steep trees, glades and gullies. This is an awesome place for advanced and expert skiers to head on a powder day.

Mountain Stats & Whitewater Trail Map

Whitewater Trail Map

Whitewater Trail Map

Whitewater Trail Map
 Total Skiable Acres 2,367 Beginner Terrain 10%
 Base Elevation5,400' Intermeidate Terrain 32%
 Summit Elevation 6,710' Advanced Terrain 47%
 Vertical Drop2,044'Expert Terrain11%
Total Lifts4Average Annual Snowfall480"

Travel Information & Directions

Whitewater is located in southern Interior British Columbia, just north of the United States and Canada border. Driving, Whitewater is 20 minutes from Nelson, three and a half hours from Spokane, and four hours from Kelowna. Spokane and Cranbrook have the closest airports to Whitewater. There are shuttles available from Nelson, Rossland, and Spokane.
Travel Resources:

Getting to Whitewater

Lodging Information

There is no on-mountain lodging, or base area village at Whitewater, so visiting skiers and snowboarders have to stay down the road in Nelson. This isn’t a big deal though, because Nelson is an awesome British Columbia mountain town. Lodging in Nelson is very affordable overall, with several “Ski & Stay” packages available to help keep costs down.
Whitewater Lodging Overview

Our Favorite Snowboards for Whitewater
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Local Food Picks

The town of Nelson has some great restaurants, bars, and cafes. Nelson is a great mix of 1970s logging town and modern mountain hippies. Baker St. is the hub of activity in town with something to suit everyone’s hankerings. El Taco is a killer stop to grab cheap Mexican takeout, perfect after a long day on the slopes. The Library Lounge in the Hume Hotel is a favorite spot, too. Spirit Bar is the place to head for after dinner drinks and a usually good live music lineup.
El Taco
Library Lounge
Spirit Bar


Our Favorite Skis For Whitewater
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Where to Find Lift Tickets to Whitewater?

The laid-back vibes and small mountain feel at Whitewater carry over to the lift tickets, meaning Whitewater ski and snowboard lift tickets are some of the cheapest in British Columbia. Youth, Juniors, and Seniors all receive discount Whitewater lift tickets, too. Half days, and single ride tickets are also available.
Whitewater Lift Tickets

Whitewater Conditions & Weather Information

It snows a lot at Whitewater. An average of 480”, or a whopping 40 feet of snow fall in an average winter. This means a lot of powder days throughout the year. The relatively high base area elevation also means that the powder at Whitewater is light and high quality. All of the great tree skiing and snowboarding makes for great powder riding, even on stormy days when visibility is low.
Whitewater Weather Resources

Whitewater Ski Report
Local Avalanche Forecast
For an awesome small-mountain ski and snowboard vacation, Whitewater makes a very compelling case for inclusion on any skier or snowboarder’s bucket list. Although the lifts may be slow, the terrain is fun, the snow is deep, and the crowds were are few. The charming and fun culture of the nearby town of Nelson makes staying at Whitewater even more appealing.

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