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Northern BC's great snow and stunning landscapes mean great Nordic skiing


Prince George, BC - One of the best things about Nordic skiing is that it gets you into quiet and beautiful places. And because northern BC is all about remote and beautiful places, it's the perfect destination for Nordic skiers who want to experience nature in a pristine northern winter.

"Smithers and other communities along Highway 16 have a strong tradition of and participation in Nordic skiing," says Gladys Atrill, Tourism Coordinator for the town of Smithers, located in the Bulkley Valley west of Prince George, BC. "Cross-country skiing is a big part of the community fabric. The Bulkley Valley Cross County Ski Club in Smithers has been a mecca for Nordic skiing since early in the last century, when immigrants from Europe brought the sport to these areas. It's the whole spectrum, from people who just want to get out and ski groomed trails to younger skiers who are beginning to race competitively. Lots of kids from around here are on development teams, and some end up on provincial teams, heading for the national team."

The Omineca Ski Club in Burns Lake offers 25 kilometres of trails groomed for cross-country skiing (skate and classic), including two kilometres of trail lighted for night skiing. Near Houston, the Morice Mountain Ski Trails, in the Silverthorne Lake area of the Houston Community Forest, are track-set by the volunteer Morice Mountain Nordic Club. There are 40 kilometres of well-signed, groomed trails and a nine-kilometre trek along unmaintained trails to an overnight cabin just below the tree line on the slopes of Morice Mountain, a starting point for excursions into the alpine.

The Otway Nordic Centre, home of the Caledonia Nordic Ski Club, is located minutes west of Prince George. Otway has 30 kilometres of machine groomed trails for classic and skating techniques. Five kilometres of trails are lit until 9:30pm every evening for night skiing. There is a biathlon range at the Nordic Center. The club also has trails at Tabor Mountain, about 30 minutes east of Prince George on Highway 16. The Tabor facility offers longer touring trails which are usually not track-set.

In McBride, on Highway 16 midway between Prince George and Jasper, the Yellowhead Ski Club maintains, grooms and sets track on 30 kilometres in two trail systems offering family-oriented terrain with easy access to parking lots, cabins and outdoor toilets. Just five kilometres west of McBride, the Dore Valley offers ten kilometres of groomed and track-set trails, depending on snow conditions. A warming hut, toilets and parking area are provided. 

And if you like backcountry ski experiences, northern BC is for you. "Northern BC's wilderness provides countless opportunities for Nordic skiers of all ages and abilities to have fun. You can spend an afternoon, a day or a week skiing through challenging, remote terrain or skiing along scenic trails in provincial parks and nature reserves," says Anthony Everett, CEO of the Northern BC Tourism Association. "Nordic skiers love northern BC because we have miles and miles of what they want - seclusion, natural beauty and great snow." 

"Inconsistent weather and snowfall isn't a problem in northern BC," says Everett. "Because of the northern latitude, temperatures are consistently wintry, snow is light and fluffy, and skiers can depend on a constant supply from the sky," he says.

For more information on the incredible range of winter activities in northern BC, visit the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association web site at or call 1-800-663-8843.


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