Mount Washington Alpine Resort boasts one of the most spectacular coastal alpine settings in North America and is known as Vancouver Islands' all-season Alpine Resort. Ski in vast depths of all natural powder, while taking in the rugged peaks of Strathcona Provincial Park. Enjoy glorious views of the Beaufort Range while below the Strait of Georgia spreads out at your feet. This is Mount Washington. Canada's Island Mountain is Vancouver Island's playground, in both winter and summer.
Getting to Mount Washington
Mount Washington is located mid Vancouver Island just 25km west of the Comox Valley, 50 km south of Campbell River and 100km north of Nanaimo. You can easily travel to Mount Washington by air, ferry or car. Mount Washington is less than an hour away from both the Comox Valley Airport and Campbell River Airport. If you arrive by BC Ferries or COHO Ferries in Victoria, it is a 3.5 hour drive on a paved all season road. There is also a daily bus service through Island Coachlines that connects all parts of Vancouver Island with the mainland.
History and Climate
Mount Washington was named after Rear Admiral John Washington who was the Official Hydrographer to the Royal Navy. It was named by Captain Richards as he explored Canada's Pacific Coast in 1860. Mount Washington was the first planned ski resort in British Columbia and was opened in 1979 by Henry Norie and Alex Linton. It was considered state-of-the-art, in part because it included the first indoor washrooms of any ski facility on Vancouver Island. The resort grew and grew with additional units, the Whiskey Jack Lift, the RV park, summer facilities, Deer Lodge, Ted's Bar and Grill in the Alpine Lodge, and Raven Lodge for cross-country skiing. Also, two International Paralympic Committee World Cup events were held here.
In winter, Mount Washington receives a legendary 11 metres of annual snowfall. The resort is acknowledged as the home of Canada's deepest pile and that very reason makes the resort so popular.
Mount Washington Activities
Mount Washington Alpine Resort offers a wide range of alpine winter activities including skiing, snowboarding, 2 terrain parks, night skiing, snow tubing, ski schools, children's programs, day care facilities, a progressive snow school and instructor training programs. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy over 81 alpine trails accessed by 9 lifts or carpets.
Nordic skiers and snowshoers have access to 55kms of scenic cross-country trails and a world class Nordic Centre. Off mountain winter sport activities available include guided snowshoe hikes and ice climbing. Vancouver Island has some of the best cold water diving in the world and visibility is at its best during the winter months
In the summer, Mount Washington has many trails for mountain bikers, and offers scenic chair lifts and hiking trails to visitors. There are also many special events occurring during the Summer. Beer enthusiasts can check out Tapped, Mount Washington's annual beer festival. Wine enthusiasts shouldn't miss the annual Alpine Wine Festival. There are also special events and promotions for Canada Day, a Family Scavenger Hunt and Inukshuk Building Contest.
Bordering Mount Washington is Strathcona Park. Strathcona Provincial Park, designated in 1911, is the oldest provincial park in British Columbia and is a rugged mountain wilderness comprising more than 250,000 hectares. Activities include canoeing, climbing, cycling, fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, swimming and some winter activities.
Mount Washington Accommodations & Dining
There is a wide variety of accommodations on Mount Washington to choose from with prices ranging from affordable to luxury. Mount Washington's large selection of accommodation ensures you will find the perfect place to make your getaway a memorable one. Choose from charming mountainside chalets, townhomes, lodges, and fully equipped condominiums.
There are a few restaurants at the resort but most of the selection is in Comox or Courtney. At Alpine Lodge, Ted's Bar and Grill is the resort's only pub, offering standard fare in the order of nachos, wings, burgers, and steaks. Raven Lodge does an all-day menu of burgers and sandwiches, but changes on weekends to a variety of fondues. Sushi-Mon serves up sushi.