Powder King3 out of 5 based on 1 reviews
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Wagner Custome Skis
Powder Highway Road Trip

Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King BC
Powder King BC
Powder King Mountain Resort Canada
Powder King Mountain Resort Canada
Powder King Ski Resort
Powder King Ski Resort
Crowds are not usually a problem
Crowds are not usually a problem
The day lodge offers reasonably simple facilities
The day lodge offers reasonably simple facilities
Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King Mountain Resort
The triple chair lift
The triple chair lift
Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King Mountain Resort
Powder King Mountain Resort
The ski area is below the treeline
The ski area is below the treeline
The cafeteria and brown baggers area
The cafeteria and brown baggers area
The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch
The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch
The pub section offers meals
The pub section offers meals
The base area
The base area
Powder King ski area
Powder King ski area
Powder King BC has very good tree skiing
Powder King BC has very good tree skiing
The Powder King Hostel sits at the base of the ski area
The Powder King Hostel sits at the base of the ski area
The day lodge
The day lodge
Powder King Ski Resort Canada
Powder King Ski Resort Canada

Powder King

Powder King Ski Resort

Powder King Mountain Resort is very aptly named because it’s a king of powder skiing in Canada, however to call it a “resort” is a bit of a stretch! Powder King is a completely old-school no frills ski area that’s so un-resortified that you can park your snowmobile at the base of the chair lift if you like!

Located in the middle of nowhere in northern BC, the original vision for the Powder King Ski Resort was to become the “Whistler of the North”, with extensive terrain and lifts and glitzy hotels and restaurants. Obviously this never eventuated and the mantra is now the “Whisper of the North” because the locals want to keep Powder King a secret.

Summary of Pros and Cons of Powder King BC

Pros
  • The Powder King Ski Resort receives an average of 12.5 metres of snow per season - the most for a Canadian ski resort.
  • It’s a very quiet ski hill with minimal crowds so it’s easy enough to score fresh powder.
  • Powder King BC offers some rather nice tree skiing.
  • The locals are very friendly.
Cons
  • The in-bounds terrain doesn’t provide any great steeps for experts.
  • Powder King only has 3 lifts and it’s a rather wide ski area, so you spend a lot of time on ingress and/or egress trails (which can become rather monotonous).
  • Of the 3 lifts, only one is a chair lift and it’s painfully slow.
  • There is very little to do at Powder King, other than skiing and snowboarding or getting drunk with the locals.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • Powder King has no cell phone coverage and no wifi so it’s a place to fully get away from it all.
  • The ski area is rather remote which helps keep the crowds away, but it’s an effort to get there.
  • The Powder King Ski Resort is only open Thursday to Sunday so you’ll need to plan your itinerary accordingly.
  • The on-mountain accommodation is very basic and it’s cheap, but only if you have your own linen.

Powder King Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The lift serviced terrain at Powder King is all below the treeline, although in the lower parts of the ski hill there are lots of open areas where the trees were possibly cut due to over zealousness of a former logging owner, and due to massive power lines. In a place where powder lines should be the main feature, there are three lots of incredibly ugly power lines that cut a scar across an otherwise pretty landscape.

Powder King Ski Resort is small to medium sized, with 405 hectares (925 acres) of skiable terrain and 38 trails. The elevation of the lift serviced terrain is 935m to 1,575m, with a vertical drop of 640 metres.

The official trail stats are 37% beginner, 38% intermediate & 30% black (which they call “expert” – ha!). Intermediates have a decent choice of long fall line runs, some of which are groomed. The strength of Powder King is the advanced terrain in the trees which has a good variety of spacing.

Powder King Snow

They definitely don’t need snow making machines at Powder King considering the abundant natural snowfall. Storms from different directions all seem to get funnelled through Pine Pass and dump plenty of precipitation on Powder King. The snow quality is generally very good (without being stellar), thanks to a good northerly position and being adequately inland.

Where is Powder King Canada?

Powder King Mountain Resort is located just off Highway 97 (John Hart Highway) in the Pine Pass of the Northern Rocky Mountains in northern British Columbia. Powder King is 194km (a 2 hour drive) north of Prince George (which is 780km north of Vancouver) and 68km east of the little town of Mackenzie (population 3,500). Powder King is one of the ski areas on the “Northern Powder Highway” of BC.

Self-drive is the easiest way to get there and the highway up from Prince George is pretty good and not particularly steep or windy. Or from Prince George and MacKenzie, there is a bus to Powder King (Thursday to Sunday).

Accommodation

There isn’t a village at Powder King, rather just a collection of privately owned houses and little cabins. Some cabins make you wonder if there’s such a thing as a building code in northern BC!

For commercial accommodation on-mountain, your only option is the Powder King Mountain Hotel, which is really a hostel rather than a hotel. It has 35 very basic rooms (twin bunk, double, family) that utilise communal bathrooms. There is no guest kitchen, so the only option for a cooked meal is to head to the day lodge. A huge plus is that the hostel is pretty much ski-in ski-out.

There are also cabins and suites about 5 minutes drive away from Powder King.

The other option is to stay in Prince George and do a day trip to Powder King. The Prince George hotels provide excellent value for money, and options such as the 4 star Ramada Prince George provide luxury for a very small price tag.

Ski Resort Facilities

The facilities and services are reasonably simple and are housed within the little day lodge at the base. The rental “shop” is very small but the equipment rentals are ridiculously cheap, and they also sell a few basic ski and snowboard accessories and sundries. The snow sports lessons are also dirt cheap. The cafeteria food is also very inexpensive, albeit pretty bad. The brown baggers eat in the same area, and with an absence of lockers, everyone throws their gear all over the place so it can be pretty hard to find a seat.

Next door is a table service café which is very nice for breakfast and lunch, and adjacent to that is the pub which serves up meals and a range of adult beverages.

With nowhere to buy supplies or snacks at Powder King and no town nearby, you’ll want to BYO anything you think you might need. You might also want to bring cash in case the satellite powered card machines are not working.