Advice for Shawn’s road trip?

Dear Bob,

Cool website! 

I was wondering if you might be able to help me? I am trying to put together a North American Nordic “Cross Country Ski” road trip leaving sometime this coming January 2018 from my home in Winthrop, WA. and heading east across the continent with the goal of skiing approximately 25 kms per day at different groomed Nordic Ski Venues along the way. Obviously, logistics, rest and long driving days will net me staying at some locations for multiple days as I want to write, photograph and post to a website about the various places and venues I ski at, as well as explore other topics of interest:  restaurants and lodging, wax conditions, driving conditions, nordic centers, nordic clubs and various local personal interest stories.

I would like to try and ski in both the US and Canada evenly, but realistically once I leave WA I will probably not re-enter the US until the Great Lakes where I’ll ski Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan (depending upon snowfall)  before re-entering Canada and skiing through Ontario and Quebec respectively then ultimately finishing with the New England States of the US.

From my home, I can easily make my way via various groomed nordic venues to the BC/Alberta border without too much difficulty, but from there how would you recommend I cross Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? Going north then east? Are there any ski venues along the southern part of Alberta and Saskatchewan? Any help with ski clubs, venues and “must see” destinations would be appreciated as well as notable local people to contact for brief interviews. Other thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated on the matter as your website seems chock full of ski information. 

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely, Shawn Delaney. 


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  1. Shawn,
    If you are thinking of passing through Regina, then there are some very nice XC trails near the legislature building.

    Have a great time.

  2. Sault Ste Marie has the Hiathawa Hughlands ski area and the area tends to be in a snow belt. 100 miles east is Blind River, Ontario that also has a local network of ski trails.

  3. So rad! I’m jealous but great to read the various ideas to save for a future date. One recommendation I would add is Nipika. I think formally it’s Nipika Mountain Resort just outside Radium Hot Springs, BC. Have a fantastic trip – what’s the address to your website tracking your trip?

  4. Two ones to add to the list along the trip located near the Trans Canada Highway
    Falcon Ridge, Manitoba
    Marathon, Ontario

  5. Manitoba (I live in Winnipeg):
    Navigate to Where To Ski.
    Use the menus and maps to locate skiing locations, learn about them, and read trail conditions reports.
    Currently, the province has less than average snow, except for near the Ontario border. The West is especially low-snow except for Riding Mountain National Park.
    (My wife & I are looking forward to our week in Kananaskis/Canmore/Banff in early March.)

  6. Suggest you plan to enter a “Birkebeiner Ski Race”. An incredible experience, history and tradition.

  7. There are to many destinations in BC and Alberta to do in one trip, most are scenic, at least in the mountains and regardless where you go you will find a lot of friendly folk.
    A strategy I used for traveling through BC was to go to and save all the cross country ski destinations by highway,.in My favorites folder on my laptop and also marking them on a hardcopy map…depending on road and trail conditions I had various options open to me when travelling.
    Travelling further east from Calgary I would check out Cross Country Canada..and go to the club links…as well as checking out national and provincial park links.
    Another tip is that every trial system has some trails which are mundane , while others are scenic , so it pays to contact others in advance as to which routes to take.

  8. Here is some advice…..can I come with you????

  9. When you are in Saskatchewan check out Eb’s trails.

  10. I live in Calgary and also have a dream XC ski vacation. Heading north from Winthrop, I dreamed about skiing at: Nickel Plate in Penticton, Telemark in Kelowna, SilverStar/Sovereign Lake in Vernon, Larch Hills in Salmon Arm, Mount Macpherson in Revelstoke, Dawn Mountain in Golden, Moraine Lake and Great Divide in Lake Louise, Canmore Nordic Center, Elk Valley nordic center in Fernie, Kimberley nordic center, Black Jack in Rossland and then back to Winthrop. Of course, my start and finish is Calgary, Alberta.

    Henry Yau

  11. Alberta provides lots of options, whether Kananaskis country and peter lougheed provincial park, or the mountain national parks. Ribbon creek hostel in Kananaskis village is a good base for skiing multiple areas in Kananaskis, including ribbon creek trails right outside the door. The village may even have their new Nordic spa done by then. You could easily spend a week at ribbon creek before moving on to Banff, lake Louise, field and golden and then deeper into British Columbia, such as Nelson and fernie, making a loop back to Alberta via crowsnest pass and onto Waterton national park on the border with Montana (border crossings nearby). Many hostel options that way too if on a budget. If in Kananaskis, a sunny ski day is not complete without a visit to “the couch” near elk pass and west elk pass in peter lougheed provincial park, and really recharge your batteries for such a long road trip.

  12. Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan, Elk Ridge Resort also has ski trails on the golf course just outside of the park. Not sure how snow is there though.

  13. Two places to consider if you return via Lake Superior way and Sault Ste. Marie.

    About 30 minutes north of town along the Trans-Canada highway near Goulais River is Stokely Creek.They have about 130km of trails. You can get lost there! If you stay out there you can combine with alpine skiing at Searchmont.

    But the hidden gem is the small Hiawatha Highlands, ( Soo Finnish Club). It is beautifully perched on the top of the escarpment, and is only 10 minutes the city, also north. There are trails leading in both directions from the chalet. About 40km of lovingly groomed trails, with some good variety and hilly enough to get your ticker tocking.

    Here are Hiawatha Highlands and Stokely Creek in someone’s personal video:

    • Henry, Thanks for that information that was very helpful advice. Any other places that direction I should hit? How about Saskatchewan? All the best, Shawn

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