by Henry Allen
Did you know that Western Canada’s oldest ski resort is just across the Washington-British Columbia border? This legacy resort is called Red Mountain Resort, near the town of Rossland. Easily accessible from Washington—only a 2.5-hour drive from Spokane and 6.5 hours from Seattle—and depending on your point of origin, it is perfect for a day or a weekend ski-cation.
The charming and historic town of Rossland hails from a mining past. Start your exploration at the site of the old Le Roi Gold Mines, now home of the Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre. There’s no better place to get your bearings, learn a little about what put this town on the map and find where to go for the best dining and entertainment from a local’s point of view.
One of the first things you’ll discover is that Rossland has attracted creative types. Artists abound, as you’ll see if you pop into one the town’s galleries, like Art for the People, Jennie Baillie Artworks or the Stephanie Gauvin Studio and Gallery.
When it comes to sniffing out your next meal, Rossland has a surprising array of good dining spots for a town its size. You’ll find everything from breweries and pub grub, fine dining, family-friendly spots and even sushi.
But you are heading to Rossland for the powder, right? That’s where Red Mountain come in. Red Mountain’s 3,580 acres of terrain puts it in the top 10 largest ski areas in North America. With all those superlatives to crow about—oldest and one of the biggest—you’ll find an unpretentious, welcoming vibe. Lodging on the mountain ranges from condos, family-sized cabins, boutique hotels and a hostel. It’s newest lodging option is The Constella Cabins—six cabins that sleep five adults, with a central clubhouse shared by all of Constella’s guests—geared for an immersive ski-and-stay experience. Its mid-mountain location gives easy access to lifts.
Red Mountain is home to Big Red Cats. Whether you’re up for cat-skiing or just a scenic ride, Big Red Cats offers several trips a day to some tucked-away terrain. It’s also home to a program called “Get Lost” where guides will customize an experience just for you with the right gear and expertise, whether it’s fat-tire biking, tandem paragliding, winter fishing or guided tours into the backcountry.