Onion Lake Ski Trails

Photo Credit: Morgan Hite

Onion Lake Ski Trails

👤Morgan Hite 🕔Mar 09, 2018

In a sense, the Onion Lake cross-country ski trails date back to 1976, when the Kitimat Cross Country Ski Club started constructing its first trail at the Hirsch Creek golf course. But in the late 1980s it became clear that this area didn’t get enough snow, and a new location was sought near Onion Lake, in the (relatively) elevated region halfway between Kitimat and Terrace.

Today the club has grown into the Snow Valley Nordic Ski Club, and at Onion Lake they maintain over 35 km of groomed trails. Trails vary from the kid-sized T (“Troll”) loop next to the stadium to the 13 km M (“Moose Highway”) that club president Liz Thorne says is her favourite. It takes you on a long run out to the west through nice hills with views.

The trails are located on a plateau just south of Lakelse Lake. Turn west off Highway 37 when you are 23 km from the Terrace airport or about 30 km from Kitimat. There’s a sign (with a skier icon) on the highway. A parking area is a hundred metres down this side road. If you are not a member, you can buy your day-use pass at the ticket booth in the parking lot.

With a Pisten Bully 200 for tracksetting, a warming hut, and toilets at the parking lot, plus a rental program (skis, boots and poles!), Onion Lake offers everything you could need for a day of skiing. Each year, the club hosts several races and a women’s ski clinic.

Five kilometres of the trails can be skied at night, under lights. Just press the big red button on the west side of the ticket booth to illuminate the trails for the next two hours.

The newest trail in the network is the six km “Doggy Trail,” where canine companions are welcome. These pet-friendly trails are on the south side of the road, opposite the parking lots.

If you are a member of another cross country ski club between Prince George and Prince Rupert, the Snow Valley Nordic Club charges $10 for a one-day pass ($12 otherwise). Annual passes are $140 but are cheaper if you buy before December 1st or after February 14th.

Amazingly this entire operation is run and maintained by volunteers. Check their website at snowvalleynordics.com for the conditions and grooming report, the latest news, and the hours when the rental hut will be open.