Early in December 2021, my friends and I hit up a ski resort we had never visited before: Powder King Mountain Resort. It ended up being an unforgettable weekend.
Powder King Mountain Resort is located between the communities of Chetwynd and Mackenzie along Highway 97 in Northern British Columbia. Something I wish I’d known before venturing out here for the weekend? There is no cell service for miles. This isn’t a big deal as I love an opportunity to go off-grid, but it would have been nice to know in advance so we could have let friends and family know we’d be hard to reach. The lodge has wifi, but the hostel does not.
It was a snowy weekend with a 230 cm base and fresh powder each morning we were there. Powder King comes by its name honestly– I’d never seen so much fluffy snowy in my entire life. It was a brand new skiing experience for us, as we’re used to heavily-groomed and hard-packed trails.
We stayed at the PK Hostel for the weekend. It’s a small, no-frills hostel with various options for room sizes. We lucked out with a room right across the hall from the shared washroom/shower facilities. Don’t forget to bring your own bedding, or you’ll have to pay $22 to have bedding for your stay. The hostel was a super fun environment with lots of young people up for a good time. Sadly, the common areas and kitchen were closed due to Covid-19 restrictions, but that didn’t stop us from (safely) socializing with other skiers and snowboarders. The hostel is conveniently located right at the base of the mountain meaning you can easily ski straight to the lift in the morning– no more lugging around gear. At about $120 per night for a family-sized room, I would say that the convenient location and social environment makes the price worth it despite the overly basic accommodations.
Powder King is a smaller mountain by Western Canadian standards, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing. One huge perk is the prevalence of local skiiers over tourists, giving it a more authentic, easygoing vibe. The mountain has only one chairlift but there is a T-Bar lift to give skiiers and snowboarders access to the upper-half of the mountain. My first experience with a T-Bar and I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with it. There is an even distribution of green, blue, and black runs making the hill accessible to most skill levels. Pay attention and you’ll notice that many of the runs are named for a certain classic music group.
The lodge has a rental shop, ticket counter, quick service cafeteria and a sit-down bar and restaurant. The food was spectacular and the service from the wait staff was even better at the bar and restaurant. Typically, food and drinks in ski chalets are super overpriced, but that’s not the case at Powder King. There’s another restaurant, Cafe97, listed on the Powder King website, but that’s actually off the resort grounds and located down the highway a little way. The weather was not great during our visit, so we didn’t bother to try it out. I’d also suggest packing some snacks, light meals such as sandwiches, and alcohol to keep in your room if you plan on staying at the hostel.
Would we go back to Powder King Mountain Resort? Yes, with absolute certainty. Grab your board or your skis, a camera, and some friends, and check it out for yourselves!