British Columbia Ski Tour
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Where is Whitewater Ski Resort?

Situated in the Kootenay region of British Columbia Canada, Whitewater ski resort is 15 minutes (19 km) southeast of the town of Nelson. The ski resort is located below Ymir Mountain (pronounced Why-Mer) in the Selkirk Mountains.

Whitewater and Nelson are in the southeast corner of BC, 657km (394 miles) from Vancouver and 624km (374 miles) from Calgary. These distances are one of the reasons for the lack of crowds at Whitewater, but this is of benefit to powder hounds that are prepared to make the trek.

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

The family oriented Salmo Ski Hill is nearby, and Red Mountain is about an hour drive to the southwest.

The Kootenay region also has a smorgasbord of cat skiing operations including Valhalla Powdercats, Retallack Cat Skiing and Big Red Cats.

Getting to Nelson

There are lots of options for gateway airports, but none of them have the combination of proximity and reliability. The Canadian Rockies “International” airport near Cranbrook has flights from Vancouver and Calgary, and Delta has flights from Salt Lake City. This airport is a 3 hour drive away.

Spokane International Airport in Washington (USA) is serviced by various airlines and is 4 hours away. Kelowna airport is also 4 hours away.

Castlegar Regional Airport is only 40 minutes from Nelson and is serviced by Air Canada Jazz with daily flights from Vancouver and Calgary. Many a joke is made about “Cancel-gar airport” where flights are commonly cancelled because they don’t have sophisticated systems to aid landing in foggy conditions.

You can search for flights and compare different airlines.

Renting a car will provide the most flexibility to get to Nelson and then get to Whitewater each day. Car rentals are available at all of the above-mentioned airports. Use one of our car rental search engines to compare rates for various different car rental companies.

Access from the east and west is via Hwy 3 and 6, and from the south via Hwy 31. Check road conditions as sometimes the roads through the mountain passes may be closed due to excessive snow.

If coming from the west, an alternate route to Kootenay Pass (Hwy 3) is via the Kootenay Lake Ferry from Hwy 3A (Ferry info: 250/229-4215). The ferry goes about every hour, so this route only saves time if you arrive at the ferry terminal close to the departure time. The road to the ferry departure point is largely along the lake so it’s very picturesque, and the 35 minute ferry trip is also very enjoyable.

There are shuttles available from the above-mentioned airports although they can be either infrequent or expensive. From Castlegar and Spokane, Queen City Shuttle provides shuttles to Nelson. Greyhound buses are another option to get to Nelson.

Scheduled transfers
Private Airport Transfers

Getting to Whitewater from Nelson

Self-drive is the easiest way to get to Whitewater from Nelson. Travel south on highway 6 towards Salmo until the signs to Whitewater indicate the need for a left turn. The 6km road up the mountain is paved initially and then unpaved but it’s fairly wide. Parking is very conveniently located near the day lodge or there’s parking near the base of the Glory Ridge chair lift if you already have a lift ticket.

Whitewater Ski Resort provides an inexpensive shuttle service between Nelson and Whitewater.
  • 8:25am - Safeway, Nelson BC
  • 8:27am - Prestige, Nelson BC
  • 8:29am - Whitewater Office at 602 Lake Street, Nelson BC
  • 8:32am - Base Camp ROAM, Nelson BC
  • 8:35am - Best Western, Nelson BC
  • 8:38am - Hume Hotel, Nelson BC
  • 8:41am - Grounded, Nelson BC
  • 8:45am - Alpine Motel, Nelson BC 
  • 4:00pm - Departs Whitewater Ski Resort
Not surprisingly, lots of Gen Y-ers without a car choose the hitchhiking method to get to Whitewater ski resort.

Getting Around Whitewater

Getting around the Whitewater ski resort is incredibly easy considering that all the facilities are housed in the one day lodge.