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Nordic, Downhill Ski & Snowshoe

Snow sports are closer than you think – ski your way through Arrow Slocan.

Arrow Slocan is home to big backcountry adventures and also family-friendly skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and nordic experiences.

The waterfront towns make ideal bases to launch deep powder missions. Together, the nordic ski areas create a multi-day winter exploration through the region. Families will appreciate the quiet charm of the Summit Lake Ski Area, a small community-operated ski hill just 16 km south-east of Nakusp on Highway 6. Scenic snowshoe trails make for enjoyable winter hikes. The region’s four backcountry lodges offer backcountry ski touring experiences.

Summit Lake Ski and Snowboard Area

The Summit Lake Ski Hill offers a skiing and boarding experience for the whole family. The snowshoe and cross country ski loop, terrain and tube park mean fun outside of the typical downhill. Normal hours of operation are Wednesday to Sunday and Friday nights.

Near the base of the ski area there is a loop for snowshoeing and cross country skiing. The rental shop has ski and snowboard packages, snowshoes, helmets and goggles.

Summit Lake Ski Hill is located between Nakusp and New Denver on HWY 6 in BC.
Views of Rugged Peak from Summit Lake Ski Hill


Snowshoeing is a great way to get out in the snow and enjoy the stillness of nature. Convenient trails in the region cater to snowshoers, while extensive mountainous terrain offers unlimited options. Tread safely wherever you go.

Jack Rabbit Interpretive Trail

Just a 5 minute drive from downtown Nakusp, this trail is located within the Nakusp and Area Community Forest at Wensley Creek. The area also includes cross country ski trails. The cross country ski club warming hut is located approximately mid-way down the trail. Signage along the trail points out tree species, viewpoints and mountain peaks. Parking is available at both ends, enabling a one-way hike.

Kuskanax Hot Springs Trail

This 19.6 km trail features a waterfall and runs through mossy old growth forest along the south wall of the Kuskanax River canyon between Nakusp and the Nakusp Hot Springs. Near the Hot Springs, the trail crosses a wooden covered footbridge over the rushing river. In winter it is recommended to travel from the hot springs and enjoy a soak at the end of the hike.

Jack Rabbit Interpretative Trail, Nakusp
Views from the Jack Rabbit snowshoe trail south of Nakusp.

Cross Country and Skate Ski

A Journey beyond the track.

Groomed XC trails: 78+km in 5 ski areas
Ungroomed terrain: Many kilometres of backcountry routes throughout the region for the more adventurous skier looking to make their own tracks.

Arrow Slocan has three nordic areas and also groomed scenic trails that connect skiers with the remote nature beyond the track. No two spots are the same.

Always pay your user fees, or make a donation

These go directly toward fuel, equipment maintenance and trail upkeep costs of these volunteer maintained trails. Consider making an additional donation to the organizing Club.

Valhalla Hills Nordic Ski Club

The Valhalla Hills ski area lets visitor glide along on a Club maintained trail network. The 11 km of groomed trails are ideal for both skate and classic ski. A 5 km groomed section of the rail trail heading north from Hills is accessed via Reibin Road and also maintained by the Club. The nordic area is host to Club organized youth programs and a race team.

Valhalla Hills nordic area offers some challenging climbs and descents for the more experienced skiers, as well as some gentler loops for beginners. Don’t miss out on the famous ski bumps or the roller coaster downhill that will get the adrenaline pumping!

Membership and day passes are available.

  • Bring $5 cash for user fees. Access is on an honour system – no change is provided.
  • Seasonal memberships are available online.

Wensley Creek Ski Trails

Maintained by the Arrow Lakes Cross Country Ski Club, the 8.2 km of groomed trails and warming hut are located about 5 km east of Nakusp off Highway 6. Membership or day use fee is required.

  • Bring $4 cash for the user fee. No change is provided.

Slocan Valley Rail Trail

The 52 km groomed and track set Slocan Valley Rail Trail follows the scenic Slocan River through nature reserves and past local cafes. The trail runs north-south with access from Highway 6 via seven trailheads.

  • South Slocan to Crescent Valley – 5 km
  • Crescent Valley to Passmore – 16.5 km
  • Passmore to Winlaw – 10.1 km
  • Winlaw to Lemon Creek – 12.0 km
  • Lemon Creek to Slocan – 8.1 km

Skiers enjoy a mix of forests, meadows, wetlands and river shoreline. Informational signage about the area along the trail covers history, wildlife habitat, ecosystems and more. The trail has both track set and open corduroy lanes for xc skiing.

Slocan Valley Rail Trail

Sandon’s K&S Trail

Located 14 km east of New Denver, off Highway 31A, the Sandon end of the K&S Historical Rail Trail offers skiers views of Sandon, the mountains and also passes by the historical Altoona mine. A warming hut is available at Sandon Rail Station.

The K&S Rail Trail is track set for 3 km from Sandon Rail Station warming hut before looping back on a higher trail to connect to the 3 km ungroomed Cody Spur that brings skiers back to the wood fired warming hut.

  • Bring cash to leave in the donations box at the Sandon Rail Station. Donations go to the North Slocan Trail Society.
  • A $5 – $10 donation is suggested, but any amount is appreciated.

Where to Stay for XC Skiing

Air BnB has a variety of options available through the whole region. A few options convenient to the trail heads and ski areas are listed below.

Slocan Valley Rail Trail

Frog Peak Guesthouse is across the street from where the gravel portion of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail starts in Crescent Valley.

Valhalla Pines Campground & Guesthouse is a 10 minute bike ride or a 4 minute drive from the Passmore trailhead of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.

Paradise Valley Lodge is located a 10 min walk from the Winlaw trailhead of the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.

Raven’s Perch is a short walk from the Winlaw trailhead of the Slocan Valley rail trail.

The Col Guesthouse is in the heart of Slocan City, a short walk to the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.

Driftwood is located right near the lake in Slocan City and a short walk away from the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.

Slocan City Hotel is a block from Slocan Lake and a short stroll to the Slocan Valley Rail Trail.

Sandon & New Denver Rail Trails

Adventure Domes is located in New Denver right between the access points for the Galena, Old Sandon and N&S rail trails that run adjacent to town. It is also a 20 minute drive from Sandon and 15 minutes from Valhalla Hills Nordic.

N&S Rail Trail and Valhalla Hills Nordic

Smiling Hills Cabin is located in Hills and has close access to the southern end of the N&S Rail Trail that is groomed from Reiben Rd. It is also a short drive to Valhalla Hills Nordic.

Brouse Creek BnB is a 5 minute walk from the Brouse Loop rd entrance to the N&S Rail Trail just south of Nakusp. It is also a few minutes drive from the Wensley Creek XC ski area parking and 15 minutes to Valhalla Hills Nordic.

Additional options exist in and around Nakusp such as Canyon Court Motel, Leland Hotel, Selkirk Inn and Nakusp Municipal Campground. AirBnB offers a variety of accommodations in and around Nakusp.

Need equipment or a tune up?

Shon’s Bike & Ski in Nakusp has an assortment of winter gear. Check with them to confirm snowshoe or xc ski rental availability.

250-265-3332 OR

Know before you go….

  • Weather conditions can change quickly. Always be prepared for cold temperatures.
  • Not all areas have cell service.
  • Know where your are going and how to return to the car.
  • Not all xc ski areas permit dogs. Please pick up after your pet wherever you adventure.

Kootenay XC – explore the region

To explore more places in the Kootenay Rockies Region, visit the Kootenay XC website. With 7 towns and 300+km groomed trails there are endless places to visit. Share your adventures with #KootenayXC