A First-Timer’s Guide to Visiting Big White Ski Resort

Posted On: December 06, 2019 |
You’ve heard about our legendary Okanagan Champagne Powder, our impeccable groomers, the long list of adventure activities, the family friendly atmosphere – and figured it’s time to check it out for yourself. Well, we’re here to help. We’ve put together a guide, from start to finish, to give you the best possible experience during your visit to Canada’s Favourite Family Resort.

Get Familiar

Your absolute first step is to get to know us. Follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Youtube). Click your way through our website. Read the blog. We know how great Big White is, and we know that if you get familiar with who we are and what we do, you’ll think we’re great, too!

Book Your Getaway

Now it’s time to secure your stay. The experts at Central Reservations can find you the best deal on the mountain and set you up in a home-away-from-home that best suits your budget and your taste. Big White Ski Resort is totally ski-in, ski-out, so no matter where you’re set up for your vacay, there is absolutely no need for a vehicle.

The Village

Getting Here

If you’re a local, getting to Big White is as easy as hopping on one of the express buses throughout Kelowna. There's no need to pre-book, just show up at one of our many stops. You can find a bus schedule with pick-up locations and cost, here

Have a car? Enjoy the scenery and wildlife during the 55-minute drive, but be sure to check road conditions before you leave –  and do not make the journey unless you have mud and snow rated winter tires, mountain snowflake tires, or chains! 

There’s plenty of free parking throughout the resort – and as mentioned earlier, once you park it, there’s no need to start it up again until you leave! Park in Happy Valley and take a short (and FREE!) ride up to the Village Centre on Lara’s Gondola to grab your lift tickets and maybe a morning treat from Clocktower Coffee Co.

Flying into the Kelowna International Airport (YLW)? Let our Cen Res team know, and we’ll reserve a spot for you on our Airport Shuttle

How to Get Here: Alberta

How to Get Here: Vancouver

How to Get Here: Seattle

How to Get Here: Australia & New Zealand 

Talk to Our Rental Experts

Our rental team knows how daunting skiing or boarding can be for the first time. That’s why they have equipment suited for every level. They’ll talk you through what you need to be comfortable – and what you need to work your way up from beginner to pro.

The Rental Department is located in the Village Centre Mall, right next to the Ticket Desk, where you can purchase your lift tickets for the day (or the week!). It opens at 8am – get there early so you can spend less time in line and more time on the slopes. 

Take a Free Tour

Familiarize yourself with Big White on one of our Free Mountain Tours. Our Snow Hosts meet everyday at 10:15am outside Dizzy’s, across from the Village Centre Mall. They’ll be in bright yellow jackets, so you can’t miss them! For two hours, they’ll give you the ins and outs on the best runs for your ability (no blacks!), and give you a run down on lifts, restaurants, lodges and mountain etiquette. 

Group lesson, adults

Take a Lesson

It can be tempting to skip the lesson and have a buddy teach you instead, but for your safety, and the safety of the other skiers and boarders on the hill, we encourage all newbies to spend some time with our world-class instructors. They’ll take you to our beginner areas, where you can fall and fail in a comfortable, slower-paced environment. Once you’ve graduated from the magic carpets and are ready to take a chair, they’ll make sure you get on and off safely and make it down the run with the confidence to go again on your own. Get started with our Discover Packages, which include a lift ticket, lesson and rental, and is available in either full day or half day, for all ages.

If it’s been a while since you strapped on a pair of skis or a board, we recommend taking a refresher lesson. Contact our Ski and Board School to find out what level you should enrol in.

Adult group lessons start at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, and children’s lessons at 9:45 am and 3:15 pm. Be sure to arrive 45 to 60 minutes ahead of schedule to allow time to sort out your rentals!

Après Time!

Rest your ski legs and warm up at one of the many on-mountain bars and restaurants for après ski. Sit slopeside on Sessions Taphouse & Grill’s outdoor patio, and enjoy a pint of Elevation 57 beer brewed right on the mountain while watching the last of the skiers and snowboarders rip down Perfection Run. 

The Bullwheel Gastro Pub has not one, not two, but three Happy Hours – and have the perfect patio for watching the sun set over the Monashee Mountains. Ski straight to the door of The Woods, grab a beer or a warm cocktail, and soak in the last rays of sunlight on the outdoor patio. 

Full list of on-mountain bars, cafes and restaurants

kids tubing

After Hours

Bringing the family? Don’t miss out on all the action at the Happy Valley Adventure Centre. From ice-climbing to tubing to dog-sled tours, there are so many kid-friendly activities to keep you and your loved ones busy when you’re not on the slopes. Or, head to Canada's Highest Skating Rink for a lap or two! Skating is free for everyone at Big White, with skate rentals available at Happy Valley Lodge. And, every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, warm up with us beside the rink with a FREE hot chocolate and bonfire. And, on Saturday nights, stick around for our weekly fireworks display. Check out our weekly events calendar to find out what’s happening every day to day Big White Ski Resort.

Escaping the family? Our vibrant night-life will surely fill your party needs. Whether it’s playing pool at Session’s Taphouse or listening to live musicians jam on Thursday nights at Snowshoe Sam’s, there’s always something happening after hours. Plus, you’ll have the chance to meet some of our staff members, who come to work at Big White from all over the world.

Additional Questions?

Big White is a big resort, with tons to do – and we understand it can be difficult to wrap your head around an entire village, situated on a mountain, that’s sole purpose is to spread fun. You’re going to have questions – our Concierge Team is going to have the answers. Have a certain type of food in mind? Looking for something to do after the lifts stop spinning? Unsure of where something is? They can, and will, point you in the right direction. 

Get in touch – let us help you plan your trip to Big White Ski Resort, home of the world-famous Okanagan Champagne Powder.

 

Concierge desk

 

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