To live in Prince George, you have to like winter. And not just like – as in tolerate – but you have to look forward to it, at least a bit. Luckily for us, our northern BC climate allows for a huge array of fantastic winter activities that we actually get excited about once the snow starts to fly – and skiing & snowboarding are absolutely two of those activities that cause people to start itching for the local hills every winter.
Snowboarders (and skiiers, as well – I just tend to the snowboarding option, but this post is for all of us!) actually have a good selection of hills to visit without having to venture too far from PG. Daytrips to four different hills, in a range of sizes and challenges, are entirely possible here. And the powder is definitely not lacking!
Hart Highlands Ski Hill
People living in the Hart – a suburb north of the downtown core of PG – literally have a ski hill in their backyard. The Hart Highlands Ski Hill is fun for the whole family, and a great place to bring your kids who want to try snowboarding out and find their groove. But don’t get me wrong – I know a lot of adults who enjoy this hill too, for more than just its proximity. They offer rentals and a variety of lessons as well.
Tabor Mountain Ski Resort
Tabor Mountain is where I learned to snowboard years ago and found my love for the sport. Only 15 minutes east from downtown PG, it’s perfect for a whole day, a half-day or even night boarding (which I tried once and was blown away by the feeling of complete, happy solitude on a run that was empty but for myself). Tabor has over a dozen runs and as an official venue of our upcoming 2015 Canada Winter Games, it’s been going through some exciting upgrades lately in preparation for the events.
Purden Ski Village
Located 60 km east of Prince George (and 145 km west of McBride), Purden Ski Village is another great option for a half-day trip or a full day, especially if you take advantage of their shuttle and sleep en route! They also have several rental cabins right on the hill that would allow for a weekend getaway (I’ve yet to do this, but it’s on the list!). Purden has 25 runs – many of which offer thrilling views of the snow covered landscape and Purden Lake – and a comfortable lodge with a fireplace. It’s also another official venue of the upcoming Games.
Powder King Mountain Resort
Nestled in northern BC’s Pine Pass in the Rockies, just over two hours north of PG and two and a half hours west of Dawson Creek, a trip (or several) to Powder King is every snowboarder’s winter dream. Powder King has an amazing 37 runs and boasts over 40 feet of powder every year. A shuttle is available from Prince George (highly recommended to avoid the winter roads), but the resort also has hostel rooms available at the hill and offers overnight packages for nearby Mackenzie and Chetwynd (both about an hour away).
See you on the slopes!