Are you an advanced or expert free-riding junkie? Then the Kicking Horse Mountain Resort might just be the place for you.
This resort is situated in BC, Canada but, being so close to the Alberta border, the closest cities are actually the Albertian cities of Calgary and Banff.
With 60% Advanced and Expert runs this is the mountain to keep the experienced rider interested all day (did I say all day? I meant all season, or maybe for a lifetime).
Not so much for the beginners or freestyle riders but for the die hard free-riders this resort is well worth the trip.
Kicking Horse’s Mountain Stats
It has the fourth highest vertical drop in North America! At 1,260 metres that is a serious drop. I guess that’s what helps to make the longest run a mouthwatering 10km.
Enough said! Let’s move on……..
|KICKING HORSE MOUNTAIN STATS|
|Resort Elevation: 2,450m (8,033ft)|
|Vertical Drop: 1260m (4,133ft)!|
|Ride-able area: 2,750 acres|
|No. of Lifts: 5 (1 gondola, 3 chairs, 1 surface lift)|
|No. of trails: 106|
|21 (20%) Beginner (Green)|
|21 (20%) Intermediate (Blue)|
|48 (45%) Advanced (Black Diamond)|
|16 (15%) Expert (Dbl Black Diamond)|
|No. of parks: 1|
|Night Riding: No|
This is where Kicking Horse is king. Oodles of backcountry and an abundance of chutes (some 80 odd!), bowls, trees & steeps.
Not so much for the beginner – that said there are still 21 beginner runs so it’s definitely not a no go zone for the beginner. Anyone from Intermediate up is going to love this mountain for its free-riding.
Just remember to tear up the trail map and explore everything that this mountain has to offer. Sounds like the backcountry requires a little bit of hiking but is well worth it.
The Terrain Parks
Where to Stay
Check out the post at the link below to find out more about Kicking Horse’s Village and the best places to stay during your visit to the Kicking Horse resort.
Usual opening date
Kicking Horse usually opens early December.
Past 5 years opening dates:
2010/2011 Season: December 3, 2010
2011/2012 Season: December 3, 2011
2012/2013 Season: December 8, 2012
2013/2014 Season: December 7, 2013
2014/2015 Season: December 12, 2014 (expected)
Usual closing date
The usual closing date is mid to late April.
Past 5 years closing dates:
2010/2011 Season: April 24, 2011
2011/2012 Season: April 15, 2012
2012/2013 Season: April 7, 2013
2013/2014 Season: April 20, 2014
2014/2015 Season: April 12, 2015 (expected closing date)
Lifts typically run from 9am to 3:30pm on the weekdays and 9am to 4pm on weekends. Kicking horse is not set up for night riding.
How to Get There
According to their website The Kicking Horse resort is located 1.5 hours drive west of Banff, 2.5 hours from Calgary, 5 hours from Kamloops, 6 hours from Edmonton & 9 hours from Vancouver.
Google maps says otherwise:
- Banff – 2hours
- Calgary – 3 hours 15 minutes
- Kamloops – 5 hours (this one’s the same!)
- Edmonton – 5 hours 45 minutes (this one’s similar too)
- Vancouver – 8 hours 20 minutes (they’re actually over the mark on this one – must want to put off Vancouverites from going ;-))
Flying: Calgary International Airport is the closest airport to Kicking Horse so if you are flying in this is where you want to go. From Calgary you can either drive or take their shuttle.
Driving from Calgary: Kicking Horse is about a 3 hour 20 minute drive from Calgary Airport.
Their website claims 2.5 hours but I tend to trust google maps – in my experience they tend to be more accurate than the mountain’s website. They have no reason to make the resort sound easier to get to! I’m happy to be proved wrong though – if you make this trip regularly please feel free to leave a comment below and let us know how long it takes you.
Shuttle Service from Banff: There is also a shuttle service which runs from Banff and Lake Louise – check out the details here
What’s Your Experience with Riding Kicking Horse?
Ever attempted to tame the Kicking Horse? Let us know what you thought in the comments below. Any other comments, questions etc very welcome too.