Big White Ski Resort was our next stop after Silver Star and in our opinion this would be the most dog friendly resort in Canada. Big White is about a 45 minute drive from Kelowna in British Columbia, making it fairly easy to get to from both within Canada and internationally.
Before arriving here, I had absolutely no idea how pet-friendly Big White truly was. When we first arrived at Big White, I was pretty excited to find out that they offered a Pet Season Pass in exchange for a $25.00 donation to the SPCA (For our Aussie mates back home, this is the Canadian version of our RSPCA). Mya’s pass had her photo on it, with her name and my contact details in case she somehow got separated from me and needed to be reunited.
Our stay at Big White was made easier by the variety of pet friendly transport options in and around the Village. There is a Village access gondola that runs from the car parks to the Village. When Mya saw the gondola for the first time, she was a little unsure of what to make of it, but after a few positive experiences on it, she was pretty comfortable and excited to be riding it. Furthermore, there is the free Village bus that also welcomes dogs whilst travelling around the village.
As far as pet friendly accommodation goes Big White offers several pet friendly options. You can get help and advice from the Big White reservations team. You can find their details on the link below. Unfortunately for Mya and I, they were fully booked out during our stay. Luckily enough I found a last minute, pet-friendly condo on Airbnb. The stunning three bedroom condo had everything you could possibly need, including a fire place to keep you warm, a hot tub, WiFi, laundry, and at the time was decorated for Christmas – I was actually shattered I wasn’t spending Christmas there!
Skiing And Snowboarding
Despite it been known as big white out- this was not what we expired as had clear skies and blue bird days. There is a variety of ski and snowboard terrain available for all rider abilities. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to ride the back bowl, but otherwise there was a good variety of terrain and for abilities with nice groomed runs and tree runs for the more adventurous.
Gondola Laps With Mya
Big White is the only place to date, that we have come across in North America which allows your four-legged friend to join you for a ski! Despite it only being a small area (Only the Happy Valley Way ski run between the Village and the gondola), it was lots of fun and a great experience to share with Mya. It also got Mya used to riding the gondola and running in the snow- which she loves.
But for those who aren’t skiers, there is still plenty of dog-friendly activities to do like snow shoe hikes through the Black Forest trail where you can check out the opencreek and beautiful snow crystals as well as some great locations to view some amazing sunsets. For the slightly more adventurous there’ also an ice climbing tower which we would of loved to visit if we had time!
Pet minding services
For those activities where your four-legged best friend can’t join you, Big White offers pet minding services through the Big White Sitters Agency. They can provide you with services from a simple dog walk or pet check, to minding services at your vacation home.
Unfortunately the Village Centre Mall isn’t dog friendly, however two places we would recommend for food and drinks are:
Black Diamond bar and Grill – We ate a few of our evening meals at and they have an awesome outdoor Patio where Mya could be right by my side.
The Deck at Sessions Restaurant – Great Place to have a drink and watch the sunset
Candle Creek Dog Sled Tours
Mya and I were lucky enough to have met the team at Candle Creek Dog Sled tours. We met owners, Tim and Kerry and their dog family of 33 enthusiastic sled dogs – who truly are the stars of the show.
Their team is made up of Alaskan Huskies, the majority who were adopted, and were a variety of shapes & sizes. However, the one thing they all have in common is they love working.
Whilst there, Mya and I met a few of the dogs, one being 12-year-old, retiree Sparkle, From what I could see the love Sparkle had for Kerry was exactly the same bond Mya and I share. Sparkle followed Kerry around everywhere like Mya does with me. We also got to meet Max who was kind enough to say hello to Mya and join us for a photo. Max had previously raced in the Yukon Quest which is a 1000 mile dog sled race, an achievement that still blows my mind.
Tim actually said to me that every now and then they think about giving up the tours, but then he thinks about having to give up the dogs, and the thought of losing their fur-family keeps them going.