Thursday, March 03, 2016

Family Guide to Kimberley Alpine Resort

I recall ski trips to Kimberley Alpine Resort with great fondness back in my pre-parenthood days. My husband and I used to make the trek across the border into BC to ski at Kimberley every couple of years and it was always one of my favourite hills. Many years later, we have finally returned to ski in this small mountain town, and everything was just as awesome as I remembered! Perhaps better...

We love skiing at Kimberley Alpine Resort

First Impressions of Kimberley Alpine Resort as a Family 

The Drive: The drive took us approximately 4.5 hours from Calgary and I admit, it was a bit far for a regular weekend trip. We chose to drive through Radium Hot Springs rather than through the Crowsnest Pass because we live in the NW of Calgary. Families in the south would likely prefer to reach Kimberley via the Crowsnest Pass (although then it would be tempting to just stop in Fernie and save an hour and a half of driving...)

Long drive aside, we left Calgary around 4:30pm and were in Kimberley by 9:00 for  a slightly "later than normal" bed time. We had all Saturday to ski and still managed to get in half a day of skiing on Sunday before heading home, arriving back in the city in time for dinner! (impressive driving I might add)

Next time we go to Kimberley we will make a long weekend of it so that we don't have to drive home after skiing on the second day. We'd likely still drive out Friday night, but it would be nice to be able to come home on Monday rather than rushing back Sunday.

The Kimberley Alpine Resort and Village

The Hill: One word - Corduroy!!! Oh, the glorious groomed corduroy! And lest you stop reading right now because of that previous sentence - there are plenty of natural runs too. In fact, Kimberley boasts of having the largest gladed terrain in North America. I also saw a few runs with moguls for those of you who like your ride bumpy and the terrain park was something to see! (you get to ski over a car!)

Perfect grooming Sunday morning on the main run at Kimberley Alpine Resort

Highlights of Our Ski Weekend in Kimberley

The Kids' Tree Runs

My son is officially in LOVE with tree skiing now on twisty little trails resembling a luge track. Kimberley has a kids' run (doubled in length over the last couple of years) that winds through the trees off of the Bradford Run on the front side of the hill. You'll first see the entrance marked with a yellow "minute maid" sign and then you'll see the next part of the trail lower down marked with a large KIDZ sign. (and if you look for this run on the official trail map, it's double the length shown.)

Kids trails at Kimberley Alpine Resort

My son's confidence sky rocketed while skiing through the trees and we are now thinking about taking him out onto some real mountain trails where he would snowshoe up and ski down (one of us carrying his downhill equipment.) We took a fun video (below) and while it's a bit long, you can watch as much of it as you want to get an idea of what skiing on these kids' runs is like. Warning for adults, the trail is designed for kids so you will find your skis very long if trying to follow your child. It's doable, but challenging.


A Hill for the Whole Family

 My husband loves powder, my son loves trees, and I love corduroy. Fortunately, Kimberley offers something for everybody. While my boys were off skiing in the trees, I would cruise down the easy green and blue main runs on the front side and meet them at the chair lift. We'd ride up together and then split off onto our separate ways again. When skiing off of the Easter or Tamarack chairs, my husband would escape to do his black runs and I'd follow my son down the groomed blue runs. Again, we'd always meet at the bottom to ride back up to the top together.

Skiing on one of the kids' runs off of Bradford Blvd. at Kimberley

Sunday Funday - With No Crowds

Skiing at Kimberley on a Sunday has got to be a highlight for everybody I've talked to. There are no crowds, no lift lines, nobody to share the runs with... - just glorious peace and quiet. It's a rare thing at a ski resort and I can't wait to come back again. We will definitely plan future trips around skiing hard Sunday rather than driving home at noon.

Sunday Skiing at Kimberley Alpine Resort


Ski in / Ski out Accommodations at Kimberley Alpine Resort

We stayed at Trickle Creek Lodge at Kimberley and loved our location on the hill. We were able to have breakfast in our condo, hit the slopes when the hill opened for the day, return to our condo for lunch, and hit the hot tub at the end of the day. My son loved the swimming pool and definitely won the cannon ball challenge!

Trickle Creek Lodge and the outdoor pool

While we didn't participate in night skiing, Kimberley is open for skiing under the stars on the main run Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 5:30 through 8:30pm until March 12th. This would be a  great option for families staying on the hill. Night skiing is also included with your lift ticket for the day which is a bonus.

Night skiing at Kimberley Alpine Resort

For dinner Saturday night, we traveled downtown to the Bavarian Themed Platzl to eat at the Pedal and Tap Restaurant that I'd heard so much about. To summarize the experience in one word, I would just have to say "YUM!!!" My son loved the spaghetti balls stuffed with cheese and us adults loved the Vietnamese style sandwiches with the mucked up fries (think poutine but better!)
Word of advice about eating here though - arrive early! By 5:00pm it was standing room only with a line out the door.

Dinner in Kimberley at the Pedal and Tap

Our other dining experience that totally "rocked" was breakfast at Montana's at the Trickle Creek Lodge. The restaurant didn't open until 9am but the food was quick, and we were first in line for the lift at 9:55am, ready to be the first people on the chair lift up the hill. How often does that happen?!!

First in line at the lift Sunday  morning

Overall Experience at Kimberley Alpine Resort

Overall, we have no complaints about our recent trip to Kimberley. We're already planning another trip next year and hope to stay for three nights instead of two. Maybe we'll even get to try out the nordic trails at the hill or will get the chance to rent some fat bikes for a spin. There are no shortage of activities at the resort and one could easily spend a week here.

Visiting Kimberley's Bavarian Themed Platzl

For More Information 

For more information on Kimberley Alpine Resort, please visit the resort website.

For information on accommodation in Kimberley, visit the Kimberley Vacations website.

For information on Kimberley and the surrounding area, visit the Tourism Kimberley website.


  1. Hi Tanya - great read! My family has been coming to Kimberley for years and I also love it. The nordic centre is quite extensive and lit for night skiing as well. Summer in Kimberley may be even better than winter with phenomenal mountain biking, hiking and lake activities. Next time you go be sure to try the The Old Bauernhaus restaurant. Best German food anywhere!


    1. Thanks for the suggestions Arthur. We LOVE the Old Bauernhaus and previous ski trips may have been planned around me wanting to go to Kimberley just to eat there! Visiting Kimberley is on my summer list. We were there briefly last summer and did the ride from Kimberley to Cranbrook on the Rail Trail. It was a great ride. Can't wait to go back again.