Are you looking for an affordable and invigorating way to embrace winter’s snowy days? Well, look no further: Cross-country skiing may just be what you need. Not only does it provide a fantastic workout, but it also promises an enjoyable experience in the great outdoors. As this sport gains traction season after season, the Gold Rush Trail emerges as a premier destination for cross-country skiing enthusiasts in British Columbia. Here are the best cross-country skiing spots in the region awaiting your glide.
Bull Mountain: Premier Cross-Country Skiing in the Gold Rush Trail
Nestled just north of Williams Lake, Bull Mountain stands out as a gem for cross-country skiing aficionados. Overseen by the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club and spanning over 28 kilometres (18 mi), this location boasts an extensive network of groomed trails, catering to various skill levels. The terrain offers a thrilling mix, encompassing challenging uphill stretches and exhilarating downhill runs. What sets Bull Mountain apart is its unique trail setup, featuring distinct tracks on either side of the main trail. This layout caters perfectly to both traditional and skate skiing enthusiasts, along with those keen on snowshoeing.
An exceptional feature of Bull Mountain is its evening accessibility until 10 pm, providing 3.5 kilometres (2 mi) of illuminated trails for nighttime adventures. Pet owners can also join the fun any time of the day using the 5 kilometres of designated dog trails, allowing families to enjoy a full exercise experience together. Adding to the appeal is the newly inaugurated Nordic Ski Lodge, which serves as a warm respite for skiers. Managed entirely by volunteers, Bull Mountain offers rental equipment, cozy resting areas, and a space for families to unwind after a day of outdoor pursuits. The Williams Lake Cross-Country Skiing Club offers memberships, daily passes, and comprehensive ski training programs for both children and adults.
Chimney Lake: Diverse Cross-Country Skiing Terrain
A mere 30-minute drive from Williams Lake, Chimney Lake presents a diverse landscape for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Accessible through the provincial campsites, this location offers a vast network of classic Nordic skiing trails – nearly 30 km (18 mi) when groomed. Ideal for those seeking adventure on both groomed and less-tended paths, Chimney Lake invites skiers to carve their unique routes. For a more intense workout, skiers can ascend the Fir Forest to discover the Howl, a broad and level trail. Alternatively, they can opt for the Shipwreck trail, offering a narrower path with playful rolling hills.
100 Mile House: Skiing Haven in South Cariboo
At 100 Mile Nordics, one of the oldest ski clubs in the South Cariboo, visitors are treated to a complete cross-country skiing package. Boasting 45 kilometres (28 mi) of groomed trails, an equipment rental shop, night skiing options, a lodge, and two warming huts along the trails, this location shines as a cross-country skiing hub. Day passes or seasonal passes are available for skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts, with classes catering to both youth and adults.
Hallis Lake: Cross-Country Skiing in the North Cariboo
Located in Quesnel, Hallis Lake, managed by the Cariboo Ski-Touring Club, stands as one of the largest independent ski clubs in the region. Its extensive trail system spanning approximately 75 kilometres (29 mi) beckons skiers of all ages. This locale offers equipment rentals, ski classes, 4 kilometres of illuminated tracks, day-use passes, and memberships. Club members can even opt to delve deeper into the backcountry by booking stays at the Cariboo Ski Club Cabins, located 2 to 4 hours away from the club lodge.
With its diverse landscapes, groomed trails, and welcoming facilities, the Cariboo region emerges as a haven for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Whether you’re a novice seeking a leisurely glide or a seasoned skier craving challenging terrains, these meticulously curated destinations promise an exhilarating skiing experience amidst breathtaking winter vistas. Embrace the snowy wonderland and explore these cross-country skiing gems the Cariboo region proudly showcases.