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Kicking Horse

“Heli-skiing splendour at lift ticket prices”, the Horse is the most formidable spot on the Powder Highway, with the kind of 45 degree descents you’ll tell the grandkids about. Make the most of the fact it’s still in its infancy and get here soon for the little to no lift lines, empty slopes, and - we’re in the Canadian Rockies after all – dreamily light powder almost always.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Insane steeps • Awesome powder skiing • Traffic free

Great for: • Off Piste • Experts

“Heli-skiing splendour at lift ticket prices”, the Horse is the most formidable spot on the Powder Highway, with the kind of 45 degree descents you’ll tell the grandkids about. Make the most of the fact it’s still in its infancy and get here soon for the little to no lift lines, empty slopes, and - we’re in the Canadian Rockies after all – dreamily light powder almost always.

Accom'Accommodation

Kicking Horse Resort

Not so long ago, the high, powder-filled bowls of the Dogtooth mountains could only be accessed a lucky few heliskiers. In 2000, Vancouver architect Oberto Oberti decided to change all that. Setting up the zippy Eagle Express Gondola to the top of Eagle Eye peak, now everyone can access this resort’s 2800 acres of terrain, which include an impressive 1260m vertical (4th longest on the continent), and some truly humbling expert terrain.

One glance at a piste map and it’s obvious who this resort is billed at - 45% of the runs are black and 15% double-black diamonds. Many maintain that even some of the single black diamonds would be considered doubles elsewhere. It’s no wonder so many veteran skiers make a beeline here, where 45 degree gradients are the ultimate test of ski strength. The lack of traffic here doesn’t hurt either, and means you’re unlikely to spot more than a couple dozen skiers throughout the day.

Part of the Rocky Mountains’ Powder Highway, fresh powder days are a dime a dozen.

The powers that be say there are great things in store for the Horse, but for now the lift system and the buildings in the Base Area remain limited – a handful of purpose built lodges and holiday homes around the Gondola Plaza (most inspired by Scandi design, with some more avant-garde than others).

There’s also the characterful railway town of Golden (with a regular shuttle bus up to the ski area). Many choose to stay here and commute to the slopes for its variety of pubs, bars and dancefloors – and nice, affordable lodging.

Stats & FAQ

Location: British Columbia, Canada

Established: 2000

Open: December - April

Downhill: 106 runs

View our detailed Kicking Horse snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Kicking Horse snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Calgary International Airport (YYC)293km, 3 hours
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 15%

  • 25%

  • 60%

Top Altitude:2450m / 8033ft
Bottom Altitude:1190m / 3900ft
Resort Altitude:1190m / 3900ft
Longest run:10km
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:
Skiable Vertical:4133ft / 1260m
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

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  • Base
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  • Forecast
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Web Cam

Kicking Horse web cams
Downhill Runs:106 runs
Beginner slopes:15%
Intermediate:25%
Advanced slopes:60%
Lift Pass Price: Ski pass: $99 (adult pass per day)
Nearby resorts: Silver Star, Revelstoke

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Kicking Horse

The top of the mountain consists of four main bowls and several ridges that fan out into one main face, providing a total 128 named runs. Filled with steep open bowls, glorious glades and dry powder, this absolutely perfect for seasoned SNO lovers, and quiet too.

Skiers well outnumber boarders here - the resort lacks terrain parks and traversing is required beyond the lifts. While praised as expert territory, there’s enough terrain for beginners to improve their skills at the base of the mountain, and the resort’s peace and quiet is just what’s needed while you get to grips with the basics. For a rewarding achievement for the end of the week, the 10km It’s a Ten run, spans the resort from top to tail, with knockout views.

Of the 4 bowls, Crystal Bowl is largest and most open, with high blue runs like Cloud 9 and Northern Lights to let you in on some stellar scenery before feeding into numerous intermediate trails on the middle mountain.

Experts are the guests of honour here, with 3 entire peaks dedicated to black runs. Many of the sweetest lines tip off the lift-served CPR ridge. There’s also some easily accessed backcountry and out-of-bounds skiing. But with a small effort to reach slopes beyond the top lifts, you’ll reap the powder rewards. The Super Bowl (a short bootpack to Terminator Peak) is a classic, while the Feuz bowl has rightly been described as “millionaire skiing”. With terrain this steep (45 degrees in places), the authorities rightly take their avalanche-safety very seriously.

Kicking Horse Apres Ski

In several ways, the Horse is actually still just a foal, and the village has a way to go until it reaches maturity. Still, there are just enough restaurants, pubs and bars to keep things interesting. It’s an unspoken rule that Peaks Grill is the first stop for après and crowds can be seen spilling out onto the terrace on sunny days. Whiskies on the patio at The Local Hero are another must after-hours experience. For food, one of the best of all, the Eagle Eye restaurant, is not at the base but perched up on the mountain top. While many mountain restaurants struggle to do both gorgeous views and gorgeous food, that’s not the case here, with the likes of truffle fries on the menu and “bird’s eye” views of 5 surrounding national parks.

If the mood for merriment takes you, there’s lots more action down in Golden with its pubs and clubs.

KHMR is quiet, but it’s certainly not dull and you can spice up afternoons with snowshoeing, dog sledding, ice skating, or even ice climbing, to get out and see the Kicking Horse Canyons and Yoho National Park. For an even bigger brush with nature, visit the local wolf sanctuary (to literally walk with wolves) or grizzly bear refuge, where orphan “Boo” is something of a local celebrity.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Kicking Horse

When is the best time to ski Kicking Horse?

These slopes are well known for that light, dry “champagne” powder, and the summits see an impressive average of seven metres (275") a season. This is the famous Powder Highway, and if you plan to spend most of your time on the expert terrain around the peaks, the slopes are likely to have a good dusting any time in the season.

That said, the snow below mid-mountain can be somewhat slushy or slightly bare in later months, considering the resort’s impressive vertical. There are plans in the pipeline for additional snowmaking, but for now we’d recommend intermediate and beginners come earlier rather than later. By February the temps are up above the minuses and the sun is often shining.

Peak Dates

With everything from gingerbread decoration parties to tours on Alaskan huskies, Christmas in Kicking Horse is always lively.

New Year in Kicking Horse doesn’t pass quietly, with rail jam, torchlight parade, fire shows, live bands & fireworks in years gone by.

While the trip may be a little longer than you’re used to, the payouts of a Half Term in Kicking Horse include blissfully quiet slopes and high chance of deliciously deep snow.

Snow is still usually in good supply up at the top of the resort for a powder filled Easter in Kicking Horse, while the bottom sees antics like the Slush Cup - trying to ski jump over a 75ft pool (in costume)…

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Families in Kicking Horse

With a number of ski-in/ski-out properties just steps from the learner’s area, and quiet, generally traffic-free trails, Kicking Horse is just what new skiers need. The Telus Winter Sports School offers a range of lessons, with everything from single hour one-on-ones to full day programmes for family groups. The Kid’s Club caters well for children aged 18 months to 5, and has been known to organise a “kid’s night out” for a bit of fun on a Friday. With activities like ice skating, ice climbing, tubing and trips to local grizzly bear, “Boo”, youngsters are going to have a great time here.

GroupsGroup Holidays Kicking Horse

The experiences to be had on the Dogs Teeth aren’t the type you want to keep to yourself, making the Horse a great place for groups of strong skiing ability (and those who enjoy a little friendly competition). Ploughing through a powdery bowl you have all to yourselves is like owning a private mountain, and really has to be experienced.

Previously offering special rates on lift passes and lessons for groups of 15 or more, there are cost advantages too. Going the extra mile for groups, the resort here has even been known to put on fun-filled activities like private tubing parties.

More Kicking Horse Holiday Resources


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