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Visitor reviews for Kicking Horse Ski Resort

Kicking Horse Ratings

Overall: 3.6. Based on 70 votes and 64 reviews. Vote

Snowsure: 4.2

(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.

Variety of pistes: 4.5

(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.

Off-piste: 4.6

(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.

Scenery: 4.5

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Access: 3.3

(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: 2.8

(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.

Accommodation: 4.1

(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: 3.8

(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.

Childcare: 3.6

(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.

Snowmaking: 2.5

(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.

Shelter: 3.7

(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.

Crowds/Queues: 3.5

(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.

Beginners: 3.1

(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.

Intermediates: 3.7

(1) No intermediate terrain at Kicking Horse, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.9

(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: 1.8

(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.

Cross-country: 4.4

(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.

Luge/Toboggan: 2.2

(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: 3.8

(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.

Eating: 3.6

(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.

Apres-Ski: 3.4

(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.

Entertainment: 2.8

(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: 3.2

(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: 3.4

(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): 3.7

(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): 3.9

(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.

Show all 35 ratings

April 07, 2009
RB from Ski United States United States
I believe the KH's (Kicking Horse) reported snowfall statistics, but they are pretty unimpressive: 145 inches per year average. That's a couple of good storms at Kirkwood or one decent month at Alta. For whatever reason meager snowfall seems to plague many of the areas around Banff. Not sure why anyone would book a week long trip to this area (Kicking Horse) when so many U.S. areas have much more reliable snow. It doesn't do any good to have great terrain when you are skiing stumps, rocks, and crud.
March 03, 2009
Jack Reacher from Ski Afghanistan Afghanistan
Anyone with any sort of ability with have no issue skiing at KH (Kicking Horse) whatever the conditions. In fact, everyone that I spoke to who skied KH (Kicking Horse) during Jan 2009 was stoked to be there.
February 09, 2009
AB from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Just back from Kicking Horse after 3 days spent there in Jan 2009; last went in 2003. As with all resorts, this place massively improves with a good dump of snow. 2007/08 was a record breaking season at Kicking Horse so this was a phenomenal place to ski/ride then. When I went this year (2009) there had been no snow for 15 days so the bowls/runs were hard packed/icy/tracked out and not much fun - contrary to other reports in previous years there was NO pow to be found in trees/bowls. The 'village' has improved since my last visit - there are now accommodations at the base and somewhere to eat 'n drink. Golden (nearest town 15/20 min drive depending on conditions) also seems to have expanded to meet increased demand from skiers/riders. Only compensation for the lack of decent snow at Kicking Horse was the restaurant at the top of the gondola which still serves fab grub even if the wine list was reduced from fully international to local BC wines; nothing against BC wines but occasionally would want an alternative. The restaurant can be enjoyed no matter what the snow conditions - that's why I may come back again but for only a few days. It's an awfully long way to come from Britain if the snow here is poor as there really is no good skiing unless the pow is here 'cos the steeps are short and after them, the bottom 3/4 of the mountain (in reality, no matter what the piste map says) is a dreary blue. In pow this place would be fantastic - empty runs, lots of lines through trees, 3 (?) bowls - but I haven't yet been lucky enough to experience it.
March 15, 2008
Ryan from Ski Canada Canada
Pros: - some of the most challenging terrain in North America - steep runs (don't worry about flat spots here!) - big vertical / long runs (4133 ft all covered by the gondola) - gets huge dumps of snow - usually quiet, highway often closes, blocking the Calgary crowd - awesome chutes on the bowl ridges - the best rollers down the front side I've ever seen - there's always POW to be found in the bowls and the trees Cons: - generally more for advanced riders, unless you stay on the Catamount quad chair for cruisers - gondola does not have a mid-station, which would allow riders to stay on either lower or upper half, vastly improving this mountain (longer seasons for both snow and bike). This would also provide lift access to another bowl (Superbowl) easily opening up another 900 acres of terrain - lower mountain can get slushy or icy Summary: super steep, super deep, super tall, excellent challenging terrain - step off the gondola and think "wow I drop in here!?!" then change your shorts when you get to the bottom (15 minutes later)
March 14, 2008
John from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
Went in February. The conditions were truly awesome - 50cm of snow in the week, fantastic powder! Resort is definitely for advanced skiers, although they are making an effort to appeal to intermediates. The resort centre is very limited, but the appeal is that it is a resort for skiers. Will definitely return.
February 04, 2008
Francois from Ski Canada Canada
This place is for riders that can handle stupid fast speeds and love to huck of cliffs. If you rate your ski vacation on food and lodging, go to Lake Louise or Panorama. Leave the real good stuff to the locals and ski bums. Yuppies.
January 11, 2007
Owain Dunn from Ski Turkey Turkey
I was at Kicking Horse for a full two weeks over Christmas and New Years and I have to say that it truly is an amazing resort. The mountain is great with truly satisfying runs and little lift wait time. And the snow was the most that I have ever seen. So much that I missed all my flights due to road closures. Every week there was easily 70cm of new snow. And it is fluffy and beautiful. It was the best boarding that I have ever done. I went to Louise once and stayed away because the snow at KH was purely irresistable. Go there!
December 16, 2006
Ryan Wilson from Ski Canada Canada
Don't listen to someone who says KH snow reports are false, that's bullshit. Why? Because... Most hills have a staff member write a snowreport in the morning based on their measurements, and are often inflated (see Sunshine Village). Kicking Horse automatically computer updates the report directly from the weather station, no inflated numbers here. They get pounded HARD... twice as much snow as Sunshine/Louise is the norm. This year they (and whistler) have broken all snowfall records for Nov and Dec. The storm that just ended today dumped over 110cm! Usually early season (pre-christmas) means grass and slush on the lower half, and decent snow up top. This year is awesome snow everywhere.... waist-chest deep turns in the alpine... boot deep at the bottom. It's all downhill at Kicking Horse, no lame flat spots to get stuck in. A black run at most ski resorts will equal a blue run here, so be prepared. The vertical is huge, 20 minute runs are standard. Since it's such a new hill (5-6 years old) they are still working on infruastructure and it will really come alive when they get some more lifts installed in the next few years. If you're looking for powder... mid december is usually decent (this year epic)... mid feb to mid march is usually good too. Other than that the lower half can get in rough shape. This is by far the best ski resort in the country..... when Whistler gets 100cm it's heavy and wet and settles, not to mention gets tracked fast by the bc hordes. When the Horse gets 100cm it's light and fluffy and you have untracked turns all day (or for multiple days). Basically the story is: - can have poor lower mountain conditions outside of powderseason - powder season dumps are among the best in the country - STEEP, DEEP, soft, and untamed..... you don't have to follow many trails, you can hit wide open alpine pow turns or take some epic tree lines. The backcountry is easily accessable for great lines when it hasnt' snowed in a few days, via an easy hike off the top ridge, as long as you have the gear. You can hike to heli-skiiing drop terrain within 40 minutes. Bottom line: one of (if not the) best hill in the country, as long as it's been dumping. without snow (usually early season or spring) it can be bad though. We're going tomorrow and due to the 4 foot dump they just got it's going to be EPIC...
November 23, 2006
Lee from Ski Canada Canada
Kicking Horse is simply phenomenal. There are so many plusses, the terrain is frankly the best in the Rockies. It's pretty much a heli-skiing experience without the cost. It's also so quiet there. European tour groups tend to stick to Louise and Sunshine leaving you sometimes cruising down a run wondering where the HELL everyone else is. It's one of the few Canadian resorts with bona fide on mountain accommodation options. Entertainment and eating is a bit limited but Golden is only a 10 minute drive away. You can pretty much spend the whole day here without freezing yourself on a chairlift every twenty minutes, ride from top to bottom, snuggle back up in the gondola. Fantastic. There are a couple of negatives, the hill would be improved with a lift from the mid mountain back to the summit and the lower slopes could benefit from some snowmaking (although I hear this will start in the 06/07 season). Also, from the gondola there is only one really narrow, flat access run to the main area of the mountain which can be a real pain, particularly for beginners on snowboards.
April 20, 2006
Graeham Douglas from Ski Canada Canada
A hit and miss place. The top of the mountian nearly always has at least decent snow in the alpine chutes, but the bottom has no snowmaking and can often be thin. They also tend to exagurate snowfalls. Terrain is epic, but best suited for experts or strong advanced skiers. There is not very much avalable for begineers. The village on hill is starting to develop and looks nice, if small. One big downside of kicking horse is a very poor lift arangement. Basicly, you have to ski from the summit to the base every run. This reduces the number of runs you can ski at the summit where the snow and terrain are better, and is very bad for early and late season when the snow is poor at the bottom. The resteraunt at the summit is quite nice and offers stunning views. Definately the place to be around Calgary on a powder day, due to low crowds and excellant terrain.