Your Guide to an Epic Ski Road Trip from Alberta to British Columbia this Winter

Written by
Staff Writer
January 15, 2024
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First Published on

So you’re ready to conquer the Canadian Rockies in one epic road trip? Here is our guide to the ultimate route from Alberta to British Columbia, seamlessly blending stunning vistas, adrenaline-pumping ski slopes, and cozy retreats. Packed with insider tips on where to stop, stay, and discover winter wonders along the way.

Preparation & Navigating Winter Road Conditions with Ease

Embrace the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, but be ready for unpredictable winter weather. Ensure a worry free journey by equipping your vehicle with winter tires, by staying staying updated on highway conditions through 511 Alberta and Drive BC, and packing essentials like kitty litter or sand, a compact shovel, and extra blankets. Don't forget some snacks and water to keep you fuelled both for the adventure and in case of unexpected delays.

Deciding the Best Time to Roar Through the Rockies

If you're a powder enthusiast craving fresh turns, kick off your Rockies adventure from January to early March. For the sunshine seekers yearning for warmer days and clearer skies, set your course from mid-March to the end of April. And just when you think the powder days are done, don't be surprised by those late-season surprises – the Rockies always have a few tricks up their snowy sleeves.

Photo Credit: Revelstoke Mountain Resort via Instagram

Day 1: Drive from Calgary to Banff

Start your adventure from Calgary to Banff, about a 1 hour and 45-minute drive on the Trans Canada Highway (Ab-1), offering beautiful scenery and setting the stage for your Banff experience.

Taking the Scenic Route, Must See Attractions:

As you embark on your road trip, resist the urge to rush and immerse yourself in the journey. Make a pit stop at Banff Ave, where the iconic Cascade Mountain provides a picturesque backdrop for your touristy photo moments. Alternatively stop by Lake Louise, only 35 minutes down the road and rent a pair of skates from the Chateau and take a leisurely skate on the frozen Lake Louise. To cap off the experience stop for a warmed cocktail with a refreshing beverage at the Ice Bar.

Photo Credit: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise via Website

Opt for an Authentic Mountain Cabin Stay at Baker Creek

Kick off your epic road trip by securing an authentic mountain cabin stay at Baker Creek, just a mere 15 minutes away from the Lake Louise Ski Resort. Surrounded by nature’s tranquility, each cabin at Baker Creek exudes genuine mountain vibes, providing ample space for your whole crew to unwind. Embrace the woodsy ambiance, warm up by the crackling fireplace, or relax in the on-site sauna.

Purchasing a National Park ahead of time is recommended, as it is required for your time in Banff National Park.

Photo by Pete Hoang/Arc'teryx Alberta

Day 2: Explore Lake Louise Ski Resort

On your first official day, dive into skiing paradise at the world-renowned Lake Louise Ski Resort in Banff National Park. With over 4,200 skiable acres, including unmatched back bowls, freestyle parks, and family-friendly slopes, it's a haven for skiers of all levels. Don’t miss the picturesque runs like Saddleback (109) for beginners, Charlie’s Choice (25) for intermediates, and the challenging West Bowl (157) for advanced skiers.

View the Resort Map.

Photo Credit: Lake Louise Ski Resort

Après Ski: What's Next?!

After conquering the slopes at Lake Louise Mountain Resort, be sure to grab a pint at Banded Peak Base Camp. Then retreat to your Baker Creek cabin for a perfect night, enjoying complimentary board games or exploring the grounds. For an evening under the stars, head to the Creekside Cafe and grab a pack of Smokies (Sausages) and ask for the S’more’s Package to roast in our Creekside Fire Pits. Perhaps you’ll get lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights!

Photo Credit: Josh McCabe & Kateryna Khoroshun

Day 3: Drive from Lake Louise, Alberta to Golden, British Columbia

Enjoy the beautiful drive from Baker Creek to Golden, taking around 1 hour and 10 minutes. Explore recommended stops along the way, and don't forget to check for road closures on highway patrol websites before you head out.

Scenic Stops Enroute from Banff to Golden

Give your legs a break and seize the opportunity to explore the scenic stops along the way to Golden. Don't overlook the iconic Morant’s Curve on the Bow Valley Parkway, just 8 minutes from Baker Creek. Continue your adventure into Yoho National Park, where you can stroll along the frozen Kicking Horse River, surrounded by mesmerizing rock formations at the Natural Bridge. And, of course, no trip is truly complete without a visit to the pristine Emerald Lake or the thundering Wapta Falls in Golden.

Morants Curve Photo By Mountains and Treasures via Blog

Proximity is Key - Stay at Basecamp Lodge Golden

Be sure to book ahead and choose Basecamp Lodge Golden providing a convenient 15-minute drive to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort and a short walk to Downtown Golden. Nestled along the banks of the Kicking Horse River, our mountain lodge offers stunning views and cozy loft rooms for your group. Unwind by our grand lobby fireplace and lounge area, a cozy retreat after your daily adventures. Don't forget to recharge at our complimentary coffee bar, ensuring you're fueled up for the excitement that awaits.

Photo Credit: Victor Arden

Day 4: Conquer Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

As the second stop on the Powder Highway, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort beckons thrill-seekers with its legendary steep terrain, champagne powder, and a medley of diverse bowls and challenging chutes. A game-changer, the new Golden Eagle Express Gondola whisks you to the slopes in a mere 12 minutes. No need to fret – with terrain catering to all skill levels, we suggest starting with the family-friendly 'It’s a Ten' and progressing to the inviting 'Cloud Nine' blue and intermediate run. There's an adventure waiting for everyone!

View Resort Maps.

Photo Credit: Destination BC/Ryan Creary

Hit the Town for Après Fun:

As the day on the slopes concludes, Golden opens its doors for après fun! Hit the town and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of the Tasting Room at Whitetooth Brewery or grab a bite to eat and play a game of pool at the Rockwater Grill and Bar.

Day 5: Drive from Golden to Revelstoke

Start your trip from Golden, BC, to Revelstoke on the Trans Canada Hwy BC-1 W, a scenic route taking about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Watch for wildlife, especially if driving in the dark, and check for any route issues or road closures before you go.

Discovering Wildlife & Winter Wonders on the Road to Revelstoke

After conquering the slopes at Kicking Horse, treat yourself to a well-deserved rest day en route to Revelstoke. Pause and connect with nature at the Northern Lights Wildlife Center, where you can hang with wolves, gaining newfound appreciation for these majestic creatures. Don't overlook the wonders of Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park at their Discovery Center, and for a refreshing break during the drive, embark on a beautiful short snowy walk at the Meeting of the Waters where you’ll witness the convergence of icy rivers surrounded by large, beautiful hemlocks and cedars, offering a tranquil interlude in the adventure.

In this sought-after stop on the Powder Highway, securing your accommodation prior to arrival is crucial. For those desiring lodging that blends proximity to town with budget-friendly options, Northwinds Hotel Revelstoke is an excellent choice. Alternatively, if you’re seeking a secluded, home-away-from-home ambiance, consider Basecamp Revelstoke Resorts on the Columbia River. Come April, Basecamp Suites Revelstoke will also be open!

Northwinds Hotel Revelstoke

Photo of Meeting of the Waters by Leigh Caporal

Day 6 & 7: Time to Shred Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Gear up for an unparalleled two days at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, where the thrill of shredding meets the grandeur of North America’s most vertical terrain. With a staggering 1,713 meters (5,620 feet) of vertical bliss, this mega mountain seamlessly blends big mountain terrain with legendary powder across its expansive 3,000 acres. From perfectly spaced glades to wide-open bowls, Revelstoke caters to all skill levels. Be sure to check out ‘The Last Spike’ for beginners and ‘Critical Path” for intermediate skiers before entering the famous ‘North Bowl’.

View Resort Maps.

Photo of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Subpeak. By Leigh Caporal

After Hours in Revelstoke - Where the Night Comes to Life

As the sun sets on the Resort, Revelstoke’s after-hours scene comes alive. Dive into diverse cuisines, catch a Grizzlies Hockey Game, or enjoy a pool night at the River City Pub or The Last Drop. There’s no shortage of places to spend your time, ensuring vibrant nights in Revelstoke. For a more relaxed evenings, consider a good soak in our Riverside Hot Tubs at Revelstoke Resort.

Photo by Victor Arden

From Banff to Revelstoke, this unforgettable road trip weaves together nature and alpine thrills, in to timeless memories. Whether you're chasing powder or enjoying après-ski delights, the journey ensures everyone will leave with a smile.

Your future winter adventures begin at Basecamp Resorts. Join our Explorer’s Club for up to 15% cashback rewards on direct bookings, turning every stay into rewarding alpine experiences. And as we conclude this Radical Rockies Road Trip, start dreaming of the slopes and epic pow that awaits.

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