With so much to see and do at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in beautiful British Columbia, you’ll find you need to keep going back for more.
In addition to the phenomenal skiing and hot springs, there’s something to please everyone’s palate from laid-back leisure activities to high-adrenalin adventure.
B.C. Rockies Adventures, Fairmont’s recently revamped outdoor program offers “40 tours over four seasons,” focusing on getting you out there, having fun, and probably learning quite a bit along the way.
That’s the hope of nature guides and interpreters Jocelyn MacGregor and Andi Dzilums, who have been at the resort for two years, and who were selected for their dynamic personalities and accredited expertise in everything from history and geology to kayaking and rock climbing.
“One call to the BC Rockies Adventures Centre and [we] can plan your entire vacation to suite your family or group specifically,” says Andi. “We make it easy to have a worry-free vacation.”
Just two hours north of the U.S./Canadian border, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is located in the Columbia Valley covering 3,000 acres at the headwaters of the legendary Columbia River.
The endless pristine wilderness gives nordic skiers, snowshoers, snowmobilers and hikers a almost surreal experience sweetened even more with the knowledge that at the end of the day, comes a post-adventure, rejuvenating soak in the mineral pools.
New this year is a tour that Andi and Jocelyn are especially excited about: the “Kidz Smoreshoe.” Geared towards children, the Smoreshoe starts with a short snowshoe trek, focusing on the intricate nature of the local forest and finding signs of wildlife like animal tracks and scat (animal poo). Kids love this approach and parents do too.
Parents are free to join at no cost or leave the kids for a little alone time. Afterwards, all participants enjoy roasting marshmallows and making s’mores ‘round a warm fire. This creative and yummy tour lasts 40 minutes and costs $25/child (5-13 yrs).
Another fun, delicious snowshoe adventure for adults and children alike is Snowshoe Fondue. You’ll experience a magical journey through snow-covered forests and beautiful views of the mountains, while learning about animal tracks, winter birds, local history and more. After the trek, enjoy a warm pot of chocolate fondue and hot chocolate in a heated tipi. This tour lasts two hours and costs $35/adult, $25/child.
Since you’re visiting Canada, you must indulge in “the ultimate Canadian experience”—dog sledding! You can either relax while your guide takes you through the mountain forest, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, drive your own team of furry hounds! Cost is $199/adult, $159/child. (Includes guide, snack and transportation.)
Another “must-do” while visiting the B.C. Rockies is the Hoodoos Winter Hike. This takes you on a geological journey that began 800 million years ago and shifts through events of chaotic mountain building and carving glaciers. Discovering the amazing geology of the Hoodoo formations while enjoying one of the best views in the valley is spectacular and captivating, to say the least. This tour lasts 2 1/2 hours and costs $25/adult, $15/child.
Maybe you’re ready for a sled ride—as in the snowmobile kind? Get ready for five hours of fun for the whole family, as this ride takes you from the base of a mountain all the way to the top, through a big powder bowl, with glimpses of wildlife and incredible views throughout. Cost is $229/adult driving, $125/adult passenger, $89/child. (Includes guide, snack and transportation.)
Also, coming soon, in honor of the 2010 Olympics lighting up B.C. and the Olympic Torch Relay running through Fairmont Hot Springs will be the first annual “Fire and Ice Festival,” Jan. 22-24. Activities include ice carving, fun ski races, live entertainment, and special Canadian-themed Dinners.
There are outdoor hockey games, ice skating in the fabulous outdoor skating rink, ice fishing, geo-caching and much more.
Designed with families in mind, Fairmont Hot Springs is definitely a one-of-a-kind resort that caters to the young, the old and all those in between for the sum total of an unforgettable experience.
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