Panorama, British Columbia | Activities

Adventures in the Canadian Rockies

Skiing

Variety, exceptional weather, and a family-friendly orientation mark Panorama’s reputation for skiing. Founded in 1962, the resort has been in operation for more than 50 years and is in the top 10 of North America’s biggest vertical descents.

On one end of the resort, experts will find Taynton Bowl, a 750-acre former heli-ski destination that is now accessed via the Summit quad chairlift and features a vast area filled with chutes, bowls and glades that will challenge the black diamond skier. Its orientation means it is famous for collecting new snowfall, perfect for the backcountry experience with the convenience of a chairlift.

Recently, Panorama has put a high degree of focus on developing a greater network of beginner to novice level trails and intermediate to advanced glade-skiing trails so that skiers and snowboarders of all abilities can enjoy the mountain together. Contrasting Taynton is Panorama’s new Discovery Zone, which caters to children and beginners. It’s groomed daily and was recently re-sculpted for progressive learning, convenience and fun. Discovery Zone lessons for all ages and specially priced lift tickets are offered.

senior couple skiing

Here are the statistics for Panorama’s famed mountain:

  • Ski season:Typically mid-December to mid-April
  • Terrain: 2,847 acres patrolled
  • Vertical rise: 4,019 ft.
  • Highest elevation:7,792 ft.
  • Average snowfall:196 inches
  • Average winter temperature: 25°F
  • Snowmaking:40% coverage, 50 million gallons of water per winter
  • Trails:120 trails, Taynton Bowl, Extreme Dream Zone, and two terrain parks
  • Terrain challenge:Beginner 20%, Intermediate/Advanced 55% and Expert 25%
  • Uphill capacity:9,500 skiers per hour
  • Longest trail:Taynton Bowl’s “Never Never Land,” 3.4 miles

Lake Windermere

It’s not just the rush of Alpine skiing that Panorama is known for. Nordic skiers can also enjoy world-class solitude and natural immersion in the lower village or just down the road. The Panorama Nordic Centre, located in the lower village, offers more than 12 miles of groomed trails for classic or skate style skiing, and four snowshoe trails about 2 miles in length. The ski trails take skiers along the scenic Toby Creek, with different routes available for all levels of skiers, from beginner to advanced. Traverse a 4-mile loop out to the Hale Hut Warming Cabin for a beautiful adventure out in the woods.

For a change of pace and something unique to the area, take a free 20 minute shuttle ride to Invermere, a small resort community neighboring Panorama, nestled on Lake Windermere with towering Alpine views of the Rockies and Purcell Mountains ringing the lake. The Lake Windermere Whiteway will challenge your endurance as you glide over the longest ice skating path in the world- 21 miles of flat, groomed, skating and cross country skiing tracks. Breathe in the cool, crisp Canadian air and embrace the winter wonderland. Skate along and maybe even join a pickup hockey game, as there’s plenty of ice to go around.

When you’re finished skating, amble over to Invermere’s quaint downtown district. Situated in the beautiful Columbia Valley, the downtown offers a relaxed atmosphere with trendy, funky boutiques, restaurants, cafés, galleries, specialty shops, grocery stores, pharmacies, a delicious German deli, a bakery and much more. Discover locally made products like Kicking Horse Coffee, Arrowhead craft beer, Dave’s Hot Pepper Jelly, Saunders Family Farm preserves, Anchor Organics lotions and Om Organics skin care.

Snowmobiling

Rip up the mountain or cruise along backcountry trails with Toby Creek Adventures, an outfit that will rent you a snowmobile to suit your mood, mild to wild. They also offer full day guided outings in Panorama- there are 32,000 acres in eight tenured operating areas to explore, ranging from valley trails in old growth forest to sheltered meadows, powder-filled bowls and high Alpine climbs.

At Panorama, there are more ways to see the mountain than you can imagine. Hop on a fat bike, available at the Panorama Ski Cabin in the upper village, and cruise the Nordic ski trails or the roads around the resort. This new recreational trend pairs a traditional mountain bike with extra-large, fat tires, meaning these bikes have no problem negotiating snow and other terrain.

Glass bead making

This stunning artisan store has a beautiful new location in a cozy little wood cabin next to the Panorama Springs Pools. Shop for unique beads, artwork and other items crafted in the Columbia Valley. The team at Saffire offers glass art classes including bead and jewelry making over an open flame.

Wagon rides through the snow

Embark on a rustic horse-drawn wagon ride through snow covered trails. The ride length is one hour including a beverage stop at base camp.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .

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