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Your guide to Big White Mountain
All About Big White Mountain
At 2,315 meters high, Big White Mountain is the highest mountain in the Monashee range. It’s situated in the Okanagan region of British Columbia, around 60 kilometers from Kelowna. Big White is a favorite for skiers, offering 18 beginner runs, the largest night skiing area in Western Canada, and the most ski-in, ski-out accommodation in the country. The main street is even a designated ski run, which is great for warming up before hitting the bigger slopes. In summer, Big White becomes a playground for mountain biking and hiking, with many scenic trails to enjoy.
There are three main neighborhoods on the mountain. On your drive up, Snow Pines Village is the first you’ll reach, which is just a short walk to the main village. The main village is the center of the mountain and is full of shops, restaurants, and bars. The Happy Valley neighborhood, which is only a short walk away, offers many non-skier activities. Here you can try ice climbing, ice skating, or tubing. There are even spa treatments to pamper yourself. If you fancy heading down the mountain, the nearby Okanagan Valley has several wineries to visit, specializing in Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Riesling.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Big White Mountain?
Big White Mountain comes to life for the winter season from late November to April, with a range of ski vacation home rentals available. Big White is renowned for being milder than other mountain resorts in British Columbia, but you’ll still need to pack all your best snow gear. Every Thursday and Saturday night in winter, the Carnival comes to the Village Center Mall, with games, prizes, face painting, free popcorn, and freshly spun cotton candy. There’s also a firework show every Saturday night in Happy Valley. Summer at Big Mountain offers plenty of sunny days and breezes, which bring relief from hot days in the city. It’s a good idea to pack a jacket with your sunscreen, as it can get cooler at night. Summer is when the mountain bikers come to play, and Big White hosts a leg of racing events, usually in August.
What are the top things to do in Big White Mountain?
Try your hand at night skiing in the largest night skiing area in Western Canada. As darkness falls, the lights come on over 2,500 hectares of terrain to explore. The Plaza Chair and Bullet Express Chair are in operation, and the Bullet takes you up to the longest vertical drop night skiing area in North America. Apart from the thrills you’ll get from skiing at night, the calm of darkness and views over the surrounding area are spectacular.
Take a walk to Happy Valley, where you’ll find the Big White Ice-Skating Rink — Canada’s highest outdoor ice-skating rink at 1,755 meters above sea level. This beautifully maintained rink is free to enjoy, so strap on your skates and have fun. If you don’t have your own gear, there are plenty of places to rent figure skates, hockey skates, helmets, and even hockey sticks.
Enjoy a ride on the only Leitner gondola in the Americas. From up high in the gondola, you will be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views of Big White Mountain and beyond. And the good news is, it’s free to ride as many times as you like. Lara’s Gondola leaves from the center of the main village and takes you to Happy Valley, where you can enjoy a spot of lunch in a restaurant before making the trip back.