Review of Kicking Horse Ski Resort
Introduction: Nestled just a mere 14km from the historic logging town of Golden, British Columbia, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, often referred to simply as Kicking Horse, stands as a testament to Canadian skiing and world-class skiing. With its tagline, “A true big mountain experience”, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort offers a tantalizing mix of vast terrains, mesmerizing views of the Rockies, mountain biking trails during off-season, and unparalleled skiing opportunities. It continually proves itself as the champagne powder capital of ski enthusiasts, beckoning visitors of all skill levels from near and far.
Ski Area and Terrain: Stretching across a staggering 3,486 acres, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort provides skiers with access to 120+ runs which offer a blend of difficulties, including intermediate terrain. Beginners can enjoy 20% of the slopes tailored just for them, while intermediates have an equal share. For those seeking adrenaline, 45% advanced runs beckon, including the pristine Crystal Bowl, and the most daring skiers can tackle the 15% expert runs, such as the challenging 85+ inbound chutes that Kicking Horse is known for. The resort proudly boasts the fourth highest vertical in North America, a breathtaking 1,315 meters (4,314 feet). The presence of four alpine bowls, including the mesmerizing Crystal Bowl, adds depth and variety to the skiing experience. And if the terrain at Kicking Horse wasn’t impressive enough, the annual average snowfall of 7.3 meters ensures pristine, fluffy conditions throughout the season.
Location and Accessibility: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is strategically located about a 3-hour drive from Calgary, positioning it 1.5 hours west of the renowned town of Banff, making it an integral part of British Columbia’s ski map. For international visitors, the Calgary International Airport is the closest major airport. Kicking Horse also offers a convenient winter shuttle program, taking visitors directly from Calgary Airport to the heart of the action in Golden and Kicking Horse Village.
Winter Activities: Apart from its impeccable skiing opportunities, Kicking Horse is a treasure trove of winter activities. From heli-skiing and heli ski adventures for the adrenaline junkies at heart, to the more serene activities like snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The grizzly bear refuge and Grizzly Bear Interpretive Centre are an added attraction. The Golden Eagle Express Gondola Sightseeing stands out as a must-do, offering jaw-dropping vistas of the surrounding valley and mountains, including the resident grizzly bear’s habitat.
Village and Amenities: The village of Kicking Horse, often referred to as Kicking Horse Village, exudes warmth and simplicity. It combines the rugged charm of mountain architecture with the comforts of modern amenities. Dining at the Eagle’s Eye Restaurant, Canada’s Highest Elevated Restaurant, is an experience in itself. For those looking for ski school or lessons, they are readily available. If you’re looking for a casual bite, the Whitetooth Grill, Heaven’s Door Yurt, and village dining options like Winston Bar & Bistro, Peaks Grill, and Double Black Cafe ensure that visitors are spoilt for choice. For shopping enthusiasts, the Kicking Horse Brand Store, Outfitters, and General Store have a wide array of options, from branded merchandise to essential gear.
Strengths and Notable Features:
- Terrain Diversity: With a mix of beginner to expert runs and multiple alpine bowls like the Crystal Bowl, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort caters to all skill levels.
- Stunning Views: The Golden Eagle Express Gondola ride to the summit offers panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and national parks.
- Eagle’s Eye Restaurant: An exquisite dining experience elevated at 2,505 meters in Kicking Horse Resort.
- Grizzly Bear Refuge: A unique opportunity to witness and learn about the resident grizzly bear.
- Easy Accessibility: Convenient shuttle services from major locations and airports, making Kicking Horse Resort easily reachable.
Areas for Improvement: While Kicking Horse Mountain Resort provides a comprehensive ski vacation experience, it may benefit from expanding its après-ski activities and nightlife options to cater to visitors looking for post-ski entertainment.
Conclusion: Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is more than just a ski destination; it’s an embodiment of the Canadian mountain experience. With its vast terrains, stunning views, and a blend of activities, Kicking Horse stands out as a top contender for anyone seeking a memorable ski vacation in British Columbia. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned skier, Kicking Horse promises a thrilling ride, one run at a time. We can create a Kicking Horse Mountain Resort ski package deal for you and or your family.