Getting To Whitewater Ski Resort

Getting To Whitewater Ski Resort

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. 

Travel to Nelson

There are lots of options for gateway airports, but none of them have the combination of feasibility, proximity and reliability.

Nelson has a little airport for charter flights, which is great if you have the coin.

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.

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.

Your best bet is probably Spokane International Airport in Washington (USA) which is serviced by various airlines and is 4 hours away. From the flight into Spokane, there is a direct airport to Nelson shuttle bus or you can rent a car and do a little road trip of other ski destinations on your way to Nelson.

Kelowna airport is also 4 hours away, and ideal if you want to road trip some of the northern Powder Highway spots on the way.

You can search for flights and compare different airlines.

Driving to Whitewater:
Renting a car will provide the most flexibility to get to Nelson and then Whitewater each day, or to go cat skiing or heli skiing. 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 and the Kootenay Pass (Hwy 3) is closed for avalanche control, you can arrive via the Kootenay Lake Ferry from Hwy 3A (Ferry info: 250/229-4215). When the Kootenay Pass is closed, the Osprey ferry will operate 24 hours a day. 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.

If coming from Spokane Airport in the south, check the border crossing times because a couple of the crossings don’t go late into the evening.

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Airport Shuttles to Nelson:

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

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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 onto Whitewater Ski Hill Rd. The 6km road up the mountain is paved initially and then unpaved but it’s fairly wide and well maintained. 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.

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Whitewater Ski Resort provides an inexpensive shuttle service between Nelson and Whitewater. There are two morning shuttles, an early bird schedule to get there before the lifts open, or half an hour later, and two afternoon departures to return to Nelson. Bus stops for the Whitewater shuttle include: Not surprisingly, lots of youngsters 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 two buildings.

Other Ski Areas 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 various cat skiing operations nearby including Retallack Cat Skiing and Big Red Cats.

Stellar Heli Skiing is based in Kaslo, a one hour drive north of Nelson.