Rossland’s RED Mountain Ski Resort is one of the least crowded ski resorts in British Columbia, but it offers a heart-pounding and gorgeous terrain, massive skiable acres, untouched fresh powder, shorter lines for ski and chairlifts, and one of the best après-ski bars in North America.
In addition to skiing and snowboarding, the little hamlet of Rossland has some of the best outdoor scenery for snowshoe hiking, cross country skiing, charming little boutique shops, local restaurants, and even fat-tire biking.
Located just 2.5 hours north of Washington’s Spokane International Airport, Rossland and the RED Mountain Resort may be a longer drive than you’re used to, but during the ski season (December–April), a shuttle runs between Spokane’s airport and the destination. Pack up your winter gear, grab those ski goggles, and find out why this quaint hidden gem ski destination is perfect for a last-minute March getaway.
This was a hosted trip by Rossland Tourism, but 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 resorts. Those smaller crowds mean shorter lift lines and no tracked-out conditions.
Unlike the typical up-and-down slopes at many resorts, this British Columbia hidden gem ski resort has 360 degrees on Granite Mountain — the largest of the four peaks — as well as 270 degrees of skiing on Grey Mountain.
RED boasts some of the best tree skiing in North America, fluffy and groomed tracks, and stellar ski instructors if you are still a beginner like me! The resort also has snow hosts to guide all levels of skiers and snowboarders throughout the sprawling acres of terrain.
2. Some Of The Best Slopes In North America
What else does the RED Mountain and Rossland area offer? The RED Mountain Resort has 3,850 total skiable acres to explore with 119 marked runs on different peaks. Yet, despite being voted as one of the “Top 10 Ski Resorts in the World” and among the “Best Resorts in North America for advanced skiers” by The Toronto Sun, RED often flies under the radar for most ski enthusiasts.
RED Mountain Resort
Rossland and RED Mountain Resort’s tagline is The Good Life, and you’ll quickly discover why. RED is one of Canada’s oldest ski resorts. The laid-back, crowd-free vibes will charm you into understanding why this BC destination was voted the #1 ski town by USA Today for the last 2 years.
RED Mountain Resort may have 3,000 feet of vertical drops and 3850 skiable acres….
RED Mountain Resort may have 3,000 feet of vertical drops and 3850 skiable acres, but the area of Rossland gets 300 inches of snowfall per year on average, which means glowing white pristine powder on a regular basis.
The runs are groomed and RED Mountain is part of the Ikon Pass, an unlimited ski pass for a family of ski destinations. What’s more, it has the only snowbound taco truck, Flying Phil’s/Taco Rojo, in Canada just up the hill near the Topping Creek chair.
You’ll want to block out at least an entire day for skiing, snowboarding, and resort fun.
After a full day of conquering the slopes, what’s better than an après-ski drink? Rafters, an on-site bar and grill at RED, was voted the top après-ski spot in the world and serves up craft beers on tap, strong cocktails, a full menu of après-ski comfort food, and live music. This place fills up around 4 p.m. and is one of the most popular spots to people watch and unwind at the resort.
Our little group stayed at The Josie (named after one of the largest and most famous gold mines in the area), located just steps from RED. Besides the spacious rooms with views of the slopes, guests can put down those poles and leave their gear with Josie’s ski concierges before hitting the bar for a cocktail or dining on-site at The Velvet Restaurant and Lounge.
What To Order At Velvet: Everyone raved about the yuzu mirin glazed ling cod with poached radish, mushroom, edamame, and a mushroom 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.
Food & Drink In Rossland
Nearby Rossland has a unique and underrated selection of dining options. Start off your culinary adventure with a stop at Rossland Beer Co. for a taste of the local craft beers before heading out to fill up on incredible Italian food at local favorite Gabriella’s.
If you are in town to shop or explore the local Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre, stop in at Alpine Grind Coffee House or the Seven Summits Coffee Company for a latte. Closer to the resort is Rossberry Hill Bistro, serving up some of the most luscious and hearty Indian fare I’ve had in a while, as well as a modest selection of breakfast sandwiches.
What To Order: At Gabriella’s, any of the pastas are spectacular, but the salmone all’aragosta with lobster lemon cream sauce on a wild coho filet served with risotto cakes is to die for.
At Rossberry Hill, you must have the lamb curry and the potato and peas samosas.
4. The Constella
Staying the night under the stars on top of one of RED Mountain’s glorious peaks in a cozy cabin you have to ski to may be the next top experience on your bucket list. The Constella is an overnight experience on the backside of Granite Mountain that includes six overnight cabins and a shared central clubhouse in RED’s Paradise Basin. For those looking for the ultimate ski-in/ski-out adventure, you can’t get better than this.
Each cabin sleeps up to five guests and is fitted with Wi-Fi access, electricity, baseboard electric heaters, a bathroom with a sink and toilet, hand-made fold-down tables and benches, and hooks for your gear. A central clubhouse serves drinks, beer, and wine in addition to an aprés drink when you check in with the clubhouse host.
As Canada’s sole ski-in-only overnight stay, you’ll wake in the morning to Paradise Basin’s tree-lined and groomed runs as you ski your way back down to the resort.
5. Rossland Range Recreational Site
Rossland is tucked deep into the Kootenay Rockies region of British Columbia along the Powder Highway, so outdoor activities abound outside of skiing. We spent an afternoon snowshoe hiking in a light snowstorm in the Rossland Range Recreational Site to a few of the 16 day-use cabins scattered around Strawberry Pass. The views from Eagle Nest Cabin were eye-wateringly beautiful and the trails are well-marked.
You should be in relatively good shape to tackle these trails in winter because you’ll be hoofing up some steep inclines. If you’re doing the hike from the parking lot to Eagles Nest Cabin, set aside at least 3 hours and bring a picnic lunch and thermos for a snack when you arrive.
Don’t Limit Yourself To Downhill Skiing
Cross country skiing is also popular here. Just 4 minutes north of town is Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club. This club has more than 30 miles of groomed trails, a doggy loop, and 1.5 miles of lit trails.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have your own vehicle, the Rossland Ski Bus runs during the winter ski season between various points in Rossland and RED Mountain Resort. Starting early in the morning, the bus runs between town and the resort, and 3 days a week on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. The 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. bus makes trips to and from Black Jack Ski Club.
The Kootenay Gateway Shuttle runs airport transfers from various airports during the ski season.
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