Visitor reviews for Kicking Horse Ski Resort
January 25, 2017
Gord Barlow from Canada
It's unfortunate that KH does not have a summer grooming program on a year to year basis. RCR has done some in the past but very sporadic and very limited. The lower to mid section of many of the runs have fir trees and brush sticking above the snow even in the latter part of Jan this year: 2017.
Their inattention and lack of funding for summer and winter grooming certainly reflects their disregard for the safety and skiing experience of their customers. Since RCR took over in 2000 from Ballast Nedham I have only once seen a trail crew member cut a hazard on one of the runs on one occasion. It's disappointing as we have great terrain, and snowfall snowfall as good as any ski area with the exception of coastal mountains and Revelstoke. I have been assured that they will do some summer grooming in late 2017 before the snow flies but I won't hold my breath. When I contacted them they said their mechanical brusher broke down in Fernie and so were unable to work on KH this past fall of 2016. The issue, as I see it, is that they could have hired a brushing crew to fall the 5 and 6 foot trees that have been growing for the last 7 years which the mechanical brushes can't do anyway. Of the 30 ski mountains I have skied I have not seen the lack of attention to grooming that KH exhibits on the mountain. It's not good, not good at all.
Kicking Horse Ratings
Overall: 3.6. Based on 62 votes and 60 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Kicking Horse.
Public Transport: 2.9
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Kicking Horse, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Kicking Horse, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 3.4
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Kicking Horse.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.5
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Kicking Horse, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Kicking Horse is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Kicking Horse relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 3.4
(1) There are no snow groomers at Kicking Horse, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Kicking Horse are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Kicking Horse is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.0
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Kicking Horse, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.2
(1) Kicking Horse usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.3
(1) The staff at Kicking Horse are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Kicking Horse are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 3.9
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.4
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.6
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Kicking Horse has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Kicking Horse, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 1.9
(1) Not even a kicker at Kicking Horse, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Kicking Horse, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Kicking Horse has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 3.9
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.2
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.3
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 3.5
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 3.8
(1) Overall, Kicking Horse is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.0
(1) Overall, Kicking Horse is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
January 17, 2017
Jane from Canada
This is my 6th year as a season pass holder & to be honest probably my last. Yes, this mountain has great alpine terrain but I am fed up skiing down the cat track to get to the bottom because the resort can't be bothered to prepare the rest of the lower mountain in the off season. There is not one run in mid Jan that is free from bushes & trees. There is plenty of snow, but not enough to cover up everything. I am an accommodation provider in Golden & this year many guests have packed up & left after a day when they booked in for at least 5. The astronomical cost of a ski pass simply does not give value for money when better accessed & looked after resorts surround us. We have had long periods without snowfall (not unusual in Jan) & most of the mid mountain is a huge bumpy mogul field as no grooming has been done. This is a great mountain & it's very sad that the owners RCR are more interested in flogging real estate than putting some investment into running a top notch ski hill. The gondola is brilliant; bottom to top in under 15 minutes IF it is working well. Lack of maintenance means it stops regularly & to be stuck in one of those ice boxes for 30+ minutes is not pleasant. If there is enough snow then lack of a mid station isn't a problem. If, however, there isn't enough snow (3 out of my 6 years) then it is a chore to fight your way back down to the bottom of the resort to get the gondola back up again. I would also say not to trust the resort marketing; its a long way to travel from the Albertan cities to realise you've been duped. If you are a blue/green run loving skier/boarder then unless you want to really push yourself this isn't the resort for you. This is a great place for experts & blue/black intermediates wanting to stretch themselves. A great place for an adventurous family, not such a great place for a tamer family!
January 20, 2016
I'veskiedeverywhereman. from Canada
This is possibly the most spectacular place I've skied. While you may have to wait half an hour on a busy weekend, the protected and spacious gondola ride takes you up 4000 feet and then a huge amount of terrain is yours for the taking! And this year the whole mountain is well covered and in excellent shape. You are dropped at the top of the mountain and the views are incredible. The only folks who may not love the terrain are beginners who go to the top and get vertigo. Kicking Horse has the most aggressive terrain of almost any resort in North America. And go have a drink/ beer at the Eagle's Eye, at 7800 feet, definitely one of the best bars to sit at, anywhere. If you have lots of time, do a day in Revy too... If you ski tour, you may never leave. Welcome!
January 03, 2016
Jack the ripper from Canada
Here is the real deal about Kicking Horse from a long time local:
If you want a place to take the family, a terrain park, a vibrant apres-ski and plenty of good grooming go spend your money somewhere else. Kicking Horse is a lift accessed mountain not a resort. The alpine terrain is top notch, the snowfall is adequate, not the deepest, but it also rarely rains here. Expert and advanced skiers will be blown away by the off-piste skiing, intermediates and beginners will bore of the limited groomed terrain. The lifts do not have enough uphill capacity when it is busy, but when it is quiet bagging 3700' of vertical in a 12 min gondola ride is awesome. Yes, you do have to ski to the bottom when the lower mountain conditions are bad to go back to the top because there is no mid station, but that will probably never change. Bottom line: if you have never skied in BC before go to Whistler, it is fun for the whole family. If you are sick of the mega resorts and want a real unique ski experience try Kicking Horse.
December 06, 2015
Shelagh from Canada
Wow, after a very mediocre season last year Kickie is off to a great start with over 300 cm snowfall already this season! Everybody and their dog was here last weekend for opening day so the line-ups were long (please RCR send us some lifts!), but today was even better pow than last weekend after 22 cm new in last few days, stellar conditions and NO line-ups! El Niño seems about to bless us with another spectacular season and it's barely December! Yeee-haw!
April 10, 2015
Chris from Canada
As a beginner to skiing and snowboarding this year, Kicking Horse was very challenging for me; in the best possible way. If you are willing to push yourself and commit to the challenge, the terrain offered here allows you to improve your skills and confidence to exceptional levels quickly.
The level of talent in the people skiing/boarding here is exceptional. And from when I have been hearing, they are not disappointed with the terrain. A full run to the bottom and the hike to T2 is worth every step. I feel like this is the kind of mountain that could mislead you if you only came up for a weekend, there is so much area to explore and the next dump of snow will arrive at some point, and when it does it will blow your mind.
A better lift system to access this terrain would be great, but I also think it would open the door to people who might over-estimate their ability; the hike makes you think twice! Something from the mid-mountain would have been great this year, especially, though.
As for the night life, there are a few options. If you are the type of person that makes your own party, you can have an absolute blast on the mountain. Locals are fantastic, laid back, friendly and really helpful.
As I said, I'm a beginner and I don't have a lot of experience elsewhere. I do know that despite the unfortunate snow conditions this year, lift system and "lack of night life" (as some have put it) I have had a fantastic season and I think I'll have a hard time finding another resort that will compare.
Next year, Whitewall.
March 01, 2015
DKong from Canada
Kicking Horse is a great hill when they have fresh snow but when they don't it's not really worth the 3 hr drive. And that's their biggest problem! When it snows the hoards from Calgary show up and since they only have one gondola to take you to the top the line ups can easily be 45 min to an hour. Once you're finally at the top you have to ski all the way to the base unless you cycle Stairway to Heaven chair, which gets boring after a few runs and inevitably you'll head into Fuse bowl for some fun, which is great, but now you're forced to ski the cruddy runs to the base and stand in the gondola line up again!
Bottom line is they need chairlifts servicing the top half of the mountain in all the bowls!
January 02, 2015
Brian from Canada
Dec 29-30, 2015. Love Kicking Horse. The two days we skied we found the lower mountain was very cold and sketchy on snow conditions but the upper area was great and much warmer and the view on those clear days was simply breathtaking! Very little for line ups. I guess people saw the -20 forecast and were scared away. Made for lots of uninterrupted runs. Can't wait to return with hopes of powder days.
December 22, 2014
JP SKI from Canada
Good snow in the upper bowl. It is unfortunate KH received rain on the lower portion of mountain. It is noticeable and increases the obvious need of a mid station lift.
The terrain remains the best advanced progressive skiing comparable to Jackson Hole, Alta, Snowbird.
December 14, 2014
Kirk Mclellan from Canada
I would like to point out as of yesterday December 12/14 there was not 99cm of snow on the lower portion of the Mtn. I would be surprised if there was 9cm. Dirt, rocks and sticks dispersed among ice would be the best description of lower 1/3 of Mtn. Top was nice but limited sking as only one bowl open.