Top Rated in NTH BC POWDER Highway

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The major part of the Northern BC Powder Highway
The major part of the Northern BC Powder Highway
Northern BC ski areas
Northern BC ski areas
Skeena Cat Skiing and Heli Skiing is near Smithers
Skeena Cat Skiing and Heli Skiing is near Smithers
Last Frontier Heli Skiing is located way up north near Alaska
Last Frontier Heli Skiing is located way up north near Alaska
Northern Escape Heli Skiing is near Terrace
Northern Escape Heli Skiing is near Terrace
Northern BC skiing is across an extensive region
Northern BC skiing is across an extensive region

NTH BC POWDER Highway

The Northern BC Powder Highway has all the perfect ingredients for a powder hound: ski areas with absolutely no crowds; abundant snowfalls; heli skiing operators; and a snowcat skiing operation. So whilst you’ve probably heard of the BC Powder Highway down south, you might not have heard of the Northern Powder Highway, considering that it’s a term we’ve coined to describe the Northern BC skiing and snowboarding near the towns of Prince George, Smithers and Terrace. And unlike its southern counterpart, there are absolutely no crowds with northern BC skiing. Compare this to Revelstoke where the gondola queue on a powder day often goes for a mile (almost literally!).

Summary of Pros and Cons of Northern BC Skiing

Pros
  • The Northern Powder Highway lodging and lift tickets are even cheaper than the Southern Powder Highway.
  • The ski areas are mostly for locals only or for folks within a couple of hours away, so skier traffic is very low.
  • The ski resorts can provide a nice warm up if you’re heli skiing or cat skiing in the area.
  • The Northern BC region provides exceptional heli skiing and snowcat skiing options.
  • The heli skiing and cat skiing tenures are renowned for receiving huge snowfalls (Northern Escape Heli Skiing receives 20 to 30 metres per season on average).
  • A couple of the northern BC ski resorts receive large snow volumes.
Cons
  • It’s easy enough to fly into Prince George, Smithers or Terrace, but if you want to sample more than one spot, unless you’re on a tour you’ll need to drive yourself and enjoy very long road trips. This is probably part of the reason that the ski hills feel almost deserted.
  • Even though the northern BC ski resorts provide a gateway to great backcountry terrain, the in-bounds terrain is rather small.
  • The ski resorts are not open every day of the week so you’ll need to make account for this in your itinerary planning.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • The ski areas are devoid of any glitz or glamour and the facilities are very low key. Don’t have high expectations for high speed quad chair lifts.

Where is the Northern Powder Highway?

The Northern British Columbia Powder Highway in Canada starts in Prince George, which is 780km north of Vancouver. The highway extends 190km north up Highway 97 to Powder King Ski Resort and west along Highway 16 to Smithers and then Terrace. It also extends up Highway 37 on the road up to Alaska. Unlike the Powder Highway down south which is relatively small, the road distances covered on the northern Powder Highway are extensive.

There are flights from Vancouver to Prince George, Smithers and Terrace. You can look at flight options here.

Northern Powder Highway Ski Resorts

The Powder King Ski Resort is aptly named because it receives an abundance of powder; an average of 12.5 metres of snow per season. The inbounds terrain doesn’t present anything particularly gnarly, but it offers some challenging side/backcountry. It’s an old-school no frills ski area where pretty much anything goes. Powder King is 190km (2 hours) north of Prince George.

Hudson Bay Ski Resort near Smithers doesn’t score the same snow volumes, and whilst it has a few more frills than Powder King, it’s still pretty low key.

Shames Mountain is located 37km west of Terrace. The Shames Mountain Ski Resort is a small little ski hill that receives big snowfalls (12 metres/475 inches) and is popular for the sidecountry and backcountry skiing that it provides access to.

Purden Ski Village is also reasonably small with only 25 named runs and is 60 km (37 mi) east of Prince George.

Murray Ridge Ski Area is another small Northern British Columbia ski resort, located 166km northwest of Prince George. It’s ideal for family skiing, and doesn’t receive the high snowfalls that some of its counterparts do.

Northern BC Heli Skiing and Cat Skiing

Bear Claw Lodge of Skeena Heli Skiing is possibly one of the most luxurious heli ski lodges in Canada. The living spaces are beautiful, as are the guest rooms, and the outlook across the river is serene. It enjoys a lovely remote location, far far away from major civilisation and the hubbub of everyday life, and 138km northwest of Smithers. Transfers are provided from Smithers.

Skeena Cat Skiing offers multi-day snowcat skiing packages, based out of a backcountry camp that features glamping type tents. It’s pretty cool! Suskwa Lodge of Skeena Cat Skiing is located 45 minutes northwest of Smithers near New Hazelton, and from there the backcountry camp up in the mountains is accessible via 4WD and snowcat. Transfers can be provided from town or the Smithers Airport.

Northern Escape Heli Skiing is a great spot to escape the mundane of everyday life. Northern Escape offers a range of multi-day heli ski packages that include snowcat skiing back-up, and the lodges are located just 11km southwest of the town of Terrace and 20km from the Terrace Airport.

Bell 2 Lodge of Last Frontier Heli Skiing is located 220 miles (360km) northwest of Smithers along the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, and transfers from Smithers are included in the package. The Ripley Creek Inn of Last Frontier Heli Skiing is located in the tiny town of Stewart BC, which is 200 miles (310km) northwest of Terrace BC. One small part of the attraction of heading so far north is knowing that you’re really getting away from it all.

Heli ski operators in the vicinity of Prince George include Crescent Spur and Bear Paw, whilst White Wilderness Heliski is located near Terrace.
Safari (Road Trip) Tours
5 Days To Play Tour DETAILS
NORTHERN BC HOSTED ROAD TRIP
2 Resorts PLUS a day of Cat Skiing in 5 Days
From price based on twin-share accommodation
Base/invoice currency is CAD ex tax
* display price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 1,129
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Shred one day at Shames Mountain, a day of cat skiing at Skeena Cat Skiing and one day at Hudson Bay Mountain with 4 nights accommodation, private van and driver, lift tickets and a local rider to show you the secret powder stash! Join one of the fixed date tours or CUSTOMISE for your own private group.
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7 Day Northern Winter Tour DETAILS
NORTHERN BC HOSTED ROAD TRIP
3 Resorts PLUS Cat Skiing PLUS Snowmobile
From price based on twin-share accommodation
Base/invoice currency is CAD ex tax 5%
* display price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 1,801
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Ride Shames Mountain, Hudson Bay Mountain and Powder King Resorts with a day of cat skiing/boarding and a half day of snowmobiling. Fully hosted, including 6 nights accommodation, lift tickets and transport with a private van and driver. Join one of the fixed date tours or CUSTOMISE for your own private group.
More
The Weekend Warrior DETAILS
NORTHERN BC HOSTED ROAD TRIP
3 Resorts in 4 Days
From price based on twin-share accommodation
Base/invoice currency is CAD ex tax 5%
* display price may vary slightly due to currency fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 950
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Spend 2 days riding Powder King, 1 day at Hudson Bay Mountain and finish with 1 day at Shames Mountain. Fully hosted, including 4 nights accommodation, lift tickets and transport with a private van and driver. Let the locals show you their terrain, no crowds. This tour is just a sample & is fully CUSTOMISABLE.
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit NTH BC POWDER Highway here