Posted by: cherylyoung | March 7, 2012

Nancy Greene Provincial Park is known for its alpine and Nordic Skiing.


Nancy Greene Provincial Park is nestled in the Monashee

Mountains and is known for its alpine and Nordic skiing.

  The park and a nearby provincial recreation area are named

 after Canada’s world-famous Olympic skier Nancy Greene,

who originated from the Rossland-Trail area. 


 These parks encompass 8,100 hectares of mountain wilderness,

including the subalpine Nancy Greene Lake.


The park offers opportunities for a variety of recreational

 activities including canoeing and kayaking. 


 Anglers frequently have good luck catching rainbow trout in

Nancy Greene Lake.


 During summer and fall, hikers can take advantage of the more

 than 20km of low-elevation trails offering spectacular views

of the surrounding landscape and its wildlife.


  A small band of mountain goats ranges along the west side of

Old Glory Mountain until winter conditions drive them down

 into Sheep Creek.


 Other wildlife found here are pikas, Columbia and golden-

mantled ground squirrels, and other small rodents.

 Blue grouse, Clark’s nutcrackers, juncos, Steller’s jays, and

 red-tailed hawks are frequently observed. Many migratory

 songbirds are heard, if not seen, in the subalpine forests.


In winter Nancy Greene Provincial Park is a popular location

 with cross-country skiers who like to cut their own tracks.

 For those who would rather enjoy groomed runs, the Paulson

 Cross-Country Ski Trails, directly adjacent to Nancy Greene

 Provincial Park on Hwy 3, provide an extensive network of

 easy to advanced cross-country trails.


 There are warming shelters and trail maps at strategic locations

 on this trail system, which also makes for good mountain

 biking in summer.


In 1947, a progressive group of local skiers installed Western

Canada’s first chairlift at Red Mountain.

Of course, if you had powder skiing at your door the way the

 folks in Rossland do, you too would want the newest-fangled

 technology to get you to it as quickly as possible.


 So fabled are the snow conditions in this town tucked away

 in the southeast corner of the province that a century ago,

 Red Mountain hosted the first Canadian Ski Jumping and

 Ski Racing Championships.


 One of the local Scandinavian miners, Olaus Jeldness, not only

 organized the championships but won the event.


There must be something in the water here, for in more recent

 times Rossland has produced two of the best women skiers

 to ever represent Canada,


Nancy Greene and Kerrin Lee-Gartner, as well as several dozen

national alpine ski team members, among them Felix Belczyk

and Don Stevens.


 (Although the mountains around Rossland may not look

 formidable, the town itself is perched closer to the peaks.


 At an elevation of 3,385 feet (1023 m), it’s higher than most

 other towns in Canada.)


Red Mountain is honeycombed with mine shafts tunnelled in

 the 1890s; most of these mines were exhausted by the 1930s.

 In many ways time has stood still here when compared with

 the upstart activity on ski slopes in the Okanagan Valley and

 at Whistler, especially over the past two decades.


That suits the townsfolk here just fine.


 First-time visitors may feel slightly underwhelmed upon arrival

at the base of Red and Granite,  the round-shouldered

sister mountains that stand side by side and are serviced

by four chairlifts and a T-bar.


There’s always plenty of snow, but after driving through some

of the province’s more rugged ranges, such as the Coast

Mountains, the Monashee Mountains look diminutive

by comparison.


(In geological terms the Monashees are a half-million years older

 and more worn down by successive periods of glaciation.)


 Be of good cheer: there’s a vertical rise of 2,800 feet (853 m)

between the base and the top of the Granite Mountain, the fourth

 largest in British Columbia.


When you know that there’s more to a mountain than meets

the eye, it’s best to enlist the help of a local guide.


One of Red Mountain’s volunteer mountain hosts will gladly

 take you straight up the Silverlode triple chairlift, from which

you’ll sight fluffy untracked powder in the evergreens.


 The trees in the forested slopes surrounding the cleared runs

 are spaced just widely enough to provide room for quick turns.

 As gentle as the terrain appears from the bottom, there are

challenging chutes aplenty through which to plummet,

with lots of knee-high powder to slow your descent.

 Occasionally you’ll pass one of the many funky old skiers’ cabins

 tucked away in the woods.


Nancy Greene Provincial Park is a popular overnight stop with

10 vehicle/tent campsites, as well as 5 day-use/picnicking sites. 


It is a place to enjoy a cool night’s rest away from the heat  in the

 valley, and you can often catch your supper of rainbow trout.


 Basic facilities are provided – picnic tables, pit toilets, fire pits,

 firewood and water. 


 There is a boat launch available on the lake, but powerboats

are not permitted.


 The park is open from May to September.


Nancy Greene Provincial Park is located in the Kootenays region

of British Columbia, 26 km west of Castlegar, 44 km east of

 Christina Lake and 22 miles north of Rossland on Highway 3.








  1. Hi Cheryl…spent many a wonderful day skiing Red in my day…even though it was 30 years ago, the memories are cherished and the thoughts of the powder on the backside of Granite with the sun on our back, still gives me tingles !
    Love that town !

    • It’s amazing how quicly 30 years fly by, isn’t it?

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