Who said the Powder Highway—renowned for its consistent snowfall and deep powder—was just a winter destination? Stretching through the Kootenay Rockies in the southeastern corner of British Columbia, the 1300-kilometre (800-mile) route connects eight adventure-packed alpine resorts, charming towns, and celebrated mountain ranges—but skiing and snowboarding is only part of the story. The Kootenays is open for every season, beckoning travellers seeking outdoor adventure, a deeper connection with nature, and the desire to discover authentic mountain culture.
There are several gateway airports for access into the Powder Highway area: Calgary, Alberta (YYC); Spokane, Washington (GEG); and Kelowna, British Columbia (YLW). Now’s the time to discover how a summer road trip through the region can lead to heart-pumping new attractions, exhilarating nature excursions, and stunning mountain scenery.
- The Pipe Mountain Coaster—the top summer attraction at Revelstoke Mountain Resort —is expanding. As of June 17, 2023, visitors can experience a new 1.4-kilometre track, which starts at Revelation Lodge and finishes in the Village Plaza. Both tracks lead riders on an exhilarating journey across ski runs, between glades, and through a tunnel. The ride can reach 42 kilometres (26 miles) per hour, though guests control the speed, which means every member of the family can join the fun.
- While you’re at Revelstoke Mountain Resort, hop aboard the Revelation Gondola for a scenic ride 1,676 metres (5,500 feet) up the mountain. At the top, snap selfies at several viewing points—glaciated plateaus and cloud-engulfed peaks serve as an alluring backdrop—then hike through a scenic tableau encompassing subalpine rainforest, wildflower meadows, and an alpine lake.
For more inspiration visit: www.SeeRevelstoke.com
- On May 12, 2023, Golden Skybridge —home to Canada’s highest suspension bridges—unveiled another heart-pumping activity: Railrider Mountain Coaster, one of the biggest roller coasters in Canada. Spanning 1,028 metres (3,375 feet), the coaster features showstopping views of the Columbia Valley and the commanding Rocky and Purcell Mountain ranges. After strapping in, riders hang on tight as the coaster climbs high into the canyon—then plummets 669 metres (2,195 feet), races through old-growth forest, and makes a 360-degree loop, before shooting through a tunnel and emerging onto a stomach-churning cantilever extending over the valley. The adrenaline-pumping ride joins Golden Skybridge’s vast array of offerings, including a zipline, rock wall, canyon edge walk, axe-throwing, and rope course.
- Craving an adrenaline kick? The glacial-fed Kicking Horse River is renowned as one of the best of Canadian Rockies rafting, with four levels of rapids ranging from Class 1 (gentle and family-friendly) to Class 4 (ultimate thrills). The ride is enhanced by turbulent rapids, powerful waterfalls, and braided streams, with spectacular surroundings of canyons, gorges, cliffs, and massive icefields. There are several rafting outfitters in the Golden area, including Wild Water Adventures , whose base is located an easy 20-minute drive from Golden.
For more inspiration visit: www.TourismGolden.com
- Panorama Mountain Resort was just certified the first whitebark pine-friendly ski area in Canada . Spanning the subalpine of BC, Alberta, and parts of the US, the slow-growing, five-needle, endangered whitebark pine is integral to the ecosystem’s many species—including grizzly bears and birds—that depend on its nutritious seeds for survival. Panorama’s ongoing collaboration with the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation of Canada to facilitate restoration projects—including cone collection and tree planting—contributed to its recent designation. See the area’s whitebark pine this summer while walking the 3.5-kilometre (2.1-mile) Valley Trail, or hiking the mountain via chairlift accessed trails.
- Valley Zipline Adventures opened a new 50-Foot Aerial Park on May 1, 2023. The family-friendly park consists of three levels of challenges, with 33 obstacles ranging from army crawl and spinning beams to hanging buckets (there’s also a Big Foot Kids Course for the little ones). The new park is anchored by a 50-foot Jump Tower that adventurers ascend before stepping off the edge—a QUICKflight device provides a stomach-flipping free-fall experience before gently lowering participants to the ground. Valley Zipline Adventures is located near the Radium Hot Springs townsite, en route to Panorama Mountain Resort.
For more inspiration visit: www.InvermerePanorama.com
- Whitewater Ski Resort will open its Hummingbird Lodge and Campground July 2023. Situated at the edge of the resort boundary, the area provides front-door access to expansive backcountry trails in the summer and winter months. Here, visitors can choose from 10 RV sites (six powered and four non-powered) and 15 tenting sites (private two-bedroom suites are also available). The property leads to several wooded trails and an adaptive bike trail; it also features a general store and café.
- Whether you’re a mountain biking newbie or seasoned pro, Nelson is home to an enticing array of forested trails. Use the town as your home base to explore gentle railway grades that slope over restored trestle bridges and into peaceful wilderness, or tackle steeper and more technical tracks with stunts, ladders, and big drops—all backdropped by the commanding Selkirk Mountains. Plan your mountain biking adventure in Nelson using Trailforks.
For more inspiration visit: www.NelsonKootenayLake.com
- Mountain biking aficionados won’t want to miss the Seven Summits Trail , an epic traverse of the Rossland Range. For adventurous riders only, the trail is completely remote. Long, technical, and physically demanding, the Seven Summits combines catch-your-breath climbs with exciting descents and gorgeous scenery spanning subalpine meadows, ridges, and mountain forests. Park at the Dewdney trailhead (where the trail ends) and take a shuttle to the Nancy Greene Pass (where the trail starts). The trail can take most of the day to complete.
- Need a break from road tripping? The roadside Nancy Greene Park is a welcome haven for tired travellers, thanks to its peaceful setting and subalpine lake offering fishing, boating, and swimming. Meander the five-kilometre (three-mile) trail that loops the lake, canoe, or kayak, cast a line for rainbow and cut-throat trout, or try your hand at windsurfing. After the day’s play, make use of the picnic areas to refuel before continuing your journey along the Powder Highway.
For more inspiration visit: www.TourismRossland.com