Valemount is a key destination for many winter enthusiasts

This area is family friendly and full of fun

by Trish Drinkle

Curtis Pawliuk sitting next to his sled, enjoying the blue sky and deep powder in Valemount BC.
Curtis Pawliuk enjoys the blue sky and deep powder in Valemount, B.C. Photo courtesy VARDA

Westridge Family Loop

Family friendly and full of fun, this 22-kilometre snowmobiling loop has amazing views of the valley and the sled-friendly town of Valemount, British Columbia. The Westridge loop is a great area for new riders to practice their skills, with many cutblocks and adventurous detours to explore. Even experienced riders enjoy this area on the socked-in days when visibility is low, as it provides ample opportunity to burn some fuel. A warming hut is located at the far end of the recreation area, complete with a wood stove for warmth and meal preparation. These trails are not regularly groomed, so no trail fee exists, but a token donation to the Valemount and Area Recreation Development Association (VARDA) is always encouraged. 

The Westridge loop connects to the larger upper Westridge riding area. This zone is for more advanced riders, with plenty of terrain that is extremely technical. Be prepared, for once through the gauntlet of challenges the area opens up into enormous bowls with consistent epic snowfall levels . Again, not for the beginner rider. Know before you go, and ride prepared. 

Keyhole

About 30 kilometres from Valemount in the Clemina riding area is the hidden gem of Keystone. Grooming fees apply when grooming is active. This area is a higher elevation adventure, with single-track access through the trees leading into epic alpine riding. It is a smaller area, but extremely fun. Often referred to as the Skatepark, this area is full of jumps, bumps, kickers and booters to keep everyone laughing all day. Rubber side down, people!  

There are no facilities at this location. If unsure about the access, ask the toll booth operator for directions.  

Best advice

Curtis Pawliuk is a seasoned rider and general manager of VARDA. He logs over 4,500 miles per season on his Ski-Doo Summit XM.

“Stop at the Valemount visitor information centre for your VARDA membership and some advice,” said Pawliuk. “They can let you know the areas best suited for your needs, and where fresh grooming can be found.”

Pawliuk is a Level 2 professional member with the Canadian Avalanche Centre and a driving force behind VARDA’s success.

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