7 unexpectedly cool après-ski spots


Big ski resorts deliver some amazing seasonal après parties. But what about the lesser known spots? With fewer crowds to contend with, these cool places will give you that feeling of exclusive access to the front row (or backstage!). Try these winter adventures with a chaser of local après in seven of Alberta's and BC's unexpectedly cool places.

Ski at Troll, find gold in Quesnel

Basecamp to Troll Ski Resort, Quesnel is a gold rush boom town with style. After a day of shredding at Troll, head to Barkerville Brewing Co, and check-in to the Billy Barker Casino to round our your evening après. This is the sleeper ticket to some of the raddest skiing and après fun in Western Canada!

Barkerville Brewing Co delivers the gold after a day of ripping at Troll.
Nordic like an Olympian, après like a Vermilionaire

It may seem counterintuitive to head east for skiing, but for cross-country destinations Vermilion is one of Alberta’s top spots, former home to Olympian Beckie Scott. Ski in the natural beauty of a provincial park, and then check out main street with its craft distillery, Copper Cork, downhome restaurant hospitality and cool brick and mortar shops. Read more here. 

Two cross country skiers near Vermillion
Photo: Paul Lavoie
Ski the former training grounds of Olympian Beckie Scott in Vermillion.
Have a GOAT experience in Greenview

The MD of Greenview in northwestern Alberta is huge! Spanning from Greenview on the southeastern edge, across to Grande Prairie in the north and Grande Cache in the west, it offers everything from rolling hills and local valley ski areas to the mountains of Grande Cache. For a full day of adventure, combo a rip at Little Smoky Ski Area with a cross-country ski at Young’s Point and then over to Alberta’s first (and only?) farmstand distillery, Crabbie Goat. Here's how to claim your space in Greenview. 

Crabbie Goat Distillery Valleyview AB Paul Lavoie
Photo: Paul Lavoie
After a day of skiing at Little Smoky Ski Area, enjoy a beverage at Crabbie Goat Distillery
Soak up the #SmithersVibe

This little northern BC gem has won over SnowSeekers' hearts with its soulful scene. Local ski area Hudson Bay Mountain is full of great riding, but another great riding experience awaits in the nearby Bulkley Valley: a sleigh ride! Add in skating on mountain lakes and a brewery visit, and you've got an epic full weekend of winter fun.   

Get your glow tubing on in Grande Prairie

Local ski area Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park knows how to throw a party! Hit the hill in the evening, after a day of downhill or cross-country, and go snow tubing with the added ambience of DJ music and colourful lights. Pro tip: hit town for Grande North Winter Fest in January, when the entire downtown of Grande Prairie turns into an après scene!

Get out the sunnies in Hinton

Perched on the edge of Jasper National Park, Hinton’s got hiking, fat biking and cross-country ski trails for miles, without the crowds of Jasper. And when the day is done, you can claim a spot in the sunny west-facing taproom at Folding Mountain Brewing. Read on to find out how to cruise into Hinton ready for adventure. 

Photo: Paul Lavoie
Enjoy the Alberta Rockies without the crowds and finish the day at Folding Mountain Brewing
Make all of YEG your winter patio

It's a little bit of a cheat, combining 15 #YEGWinterPatios spots in one, but to be fair - you can make all of Edmonton’s outdoor patio scene your après! Try a winter patio crawl after a cruise at Snow Valley, Edmonton Ski Club or local cross-country trails. Talk about an easy win. 

Try a winter patio crawl after a cruise at Snow Valley, Edmonton Ski Club

Great winter adventures aren’t just about the activity on the mountain or the trails. That’s where they may start, but when you end up at some of the coolest local scenes afterwards, you’ve got the makings of an epic memory. Hit the road for these cool spring skiing adventures and return with a story to tell.


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