The RED Mountain Ski Resort in Rossland is one of the least crowded ski resorts in British Columbia, yet it offers stunning and beautiful terrain, vast skiable acres, pristine fresh powder, shorter ski and chair lift lines, and one of the best après-ski bars in North America.
As well as skiing and snowboarding, the tiny hamlet of Rossland offers some of the best outdoor scenery for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, charming little boutiques, local restaurants and even big tire bike rides.
Just 2.5 hours north of Washington’s Spokane International Airport, Rossland and RED Mountain Ski Resort may be a longer drive than you’re used to, but during ski season (December through April) a shuttle operates between Spokane Airport and the Goal . Pack your winter gear, grab your ski goggles, and find out why this scenic, hidden ski resort gem is perfect for a last-minute March break.
This was a hosted trip by Rossland tourismbut all opinions and recommendations are my own.
1. Beat the crowds… and the lines
Rossland and RED Mountain may be famous for their sheer size and variety of skiable terrain, but it’s also known for not being as crowded as other ski areas. These smaller crowds mean shorter lift lines and no tracked conditions.
Unlike the typical up-and-down slopes found at many resorts, this hidden British Columbia ski resort offers 360 degrees of skiing on Granite Mountain – the tallest of the four peaks – as well as 270 degrees of skiing on Gray Mountain.
RED offers some of the best tree skiing in North America, fluffy and groomed slopes, and excellent ski instructors if you’re a beginner like me! The resort also has snow hosts who guide skiers and snowboarders of all levels through the extensive grounds.
2. Some of the best slopes in North America
What else does the RED Mountain and Rossland area offer? RED Mountain Resort has 3,850 acres of skiable space to explore with 119 marked runs at various peaks. But although he is from The toronto sunRED often flies under the radar for most ski enthusiasts.
RED mountain resort
Rossland and RED Mountain Resort’s slogan is The Good Life, and you’ll quickly see why. RED is one of Canada’s oldest ski resorts. The relaxed, uncrowded atmosphere will enchant you and make you understand why this British Columbia destination was voted #1 for ski resorts United States today for the last 2 years.
The RED Mountain Resort may have 3,000 feet of vertical drop and heli-skiing and CAT-skiing, but the Rossland area averages 300 inches of snowfall per year, which regularly means bright white, untouched powder.
The slopes are groomed and RED Mountain is part of the Ikon Pass, an unlimited ski pass for a family of ski resorts. Also, it has the only snowy taco truck in Canada, Flying Phil’s/Taco Rojo, right up the hill near the Topping Creek chair.
You should plan at least a full day for skiing, snowboarding, and fun at the resort.
3. Apres ski
After a day on the slopes, what’s better than an après-ski drink? Voted the best après-ski spot in the world, Rafters, an on-site bar and grill at RED, serves craft beers on tap, strong cocktails, a full menu of après-ski comfort food, and live music. This place fills up around 4pm and is one of the most popular places to people watch and relax at the resort.
Our small group stayed at The Josie (named after one of the largest and most famous gold mines in the area) just steps from RED. In addition to the spacious rooms overlooking the slopes, guests can ditch those sticks and leave their gear with Josie’s ski concierges before meeting for a cocktail at the bar or dining at The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge.
What you can order from Velvet: Everyone raved about the yuzu mirin glazed ling cod with poached radish, mushrooms, edamame and a mushroom and caramel sauce. But the baby kale and arugula salad with beets, goat cheese, walnuts, cranberries, and a maple cider vinaigrette was perfect for a lighter dinner.
Eating & drinking in Rossland
Nearby Rossland offers a unique and underrated choice of restaurants. Begin your culinary adventure with a stop at Rossland Beer Co. to sample the local craft beers before heading out to indulge in incredible Italian dining at local favorite Gabriella’s.
If you’re in town to shop or explore the local Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre, stop by Alpine Grind Coffee House or Seven Summits Coffee Company for a latte. Closer to the resort is the Rossberry Hill Bistro, which serves some of the most delicious and hearty Indian fare I’ve eaten in a while, as well as a modest selection of breakfast sandwiches.
What to order: At Gabriella’s, all the pastas are spectacular, but the salmone all’aragosta with lobster-lemon-cream sauce on a filet of wild coho served with risotto cake is to die for.
At Rossberry Hill you have to have the lamb curry and the potato and pea samosas.
4. The constellation
Spending the night under the stars on one of RED Mountain’s magnificent peaks in a cozy cabin that you have to ski to might be the next top experience on your bucket list. The Constella is an overnight experience on the back of Granite Mountain that includes six overnight cabins and a shared central clubhouse in RED’s Paradise Basin. For those seeking the ultimate ski-in, ski-out adventure, there’s nothing better.
Each cabin sleeps up to five guests and is equipped with Wi-Fi access, electricity, electric heaters on the baseboard, a bathroom with sink and toilet, handcrafted folding tables and benches, and hooks for your gear. A central clubhouse serves drinks, beer and wine, and an après drink when you check in with the clubhouse host.
As Canada’s only ski-in-only overnight location, wake up on Paradise Basin’s tree-lined and groomed slopes as you ski back to the resort.
5. Rossland Range Recreation Area
Located on the Powder Highway deep in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies region, Rossland offers plenty of outdoor activities outside of skiing. We spent an afternoon snowshoeing in a light snow storm at Rossland Range Recreational Site to some of the 16 day lodges scattered around Strawberry Pass. The views from the Eagle Nest Cabin are breathtakingly beautiful and the trails are well marked.
You should be in relatively good shape to tackle these trails in winter as you will be scaling some steep climbs. If you’re doing the hike from the parking lot to Eagles Nest Cabin, allow at least 3 hours and bring a picnic lunch and thermos for a snack upon arrival.
Don’t limit yourself to skiing
Cross-country skiing is also popular here. Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club is just 4 minutes north of town. This club has over 30 miles of groomed trails, a doggy loop and 1.5 miles of lighted trails.
Pro tip: If you don’t have your own transport, the Rossland Ski Bus runs between various points in Rossland and RED Mountain Resort during the winter ski season. The early morning bus runs between town and the resort 3 days a week on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. The bus runs to and from Black Jack Ski Club at 11am and 2pm.
The Kootenay Gateway Shuttle offers airport transfers from various airports during ski season.
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