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Dakota Ridge FAQ

What is Dakota Ridge?

Dakota Ridge is a winter paradise waiting to be explored. The area offers world-class cross country skiing and snowshoeing on BC’s Sunshine Coast, and it is a 40-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. Dakota Ridge is a 1,532 acre plateau featuring 20 kilometres of world class cross country ski trails (classic and skate) and 8 kilometers of snowshoe trails. The trails wind through old growth forests and open areas in a beautiful sub-alpine setting. Topping out at 1,200 metres, amazing views of the Coast Mountains, Vancouver Island, and Georgia Straight capture the magic of the Sunshine Coast.

How do I get there?

Dakota Ridge is located at the end of Field Road in Wilson Creek on the Sunshine Coast. The main parking lot is located at the trailhead, 14 kilometres up the forest service road. The access road is plowed on a regular basis. However, winter conditions should be expected on the road. Due to the nature of the road, access is restricted to four-wheel drive vehicles with chains. All terrain vehicles are not permitted in Dakota Ridge.

  • Directions to Dakota Ridge FROM GIBSONS, click here

  • Directions to Dakota Ridge FROM SECHELT, click here

How can I find out daily conditions?

Regular updates can be found by:

Do I have to pay to go to Dakota Ridge?

Yes. Fees for the ski and snowshoe trails help to pay a portion of the cost of maintaining the trails, road and facilities. Individual season passes can be purchased online via the SCRD website here, or Family passes can be purchased in person at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre, 700 Park Road, Gibsons. Day passes can be purchased at the Dakota Ridge trailhead once season begins (exact fee amount required), and from us Alpha Adventures (cash only- change is provided)!

What do the trail passes cost?

Please consult the SCRD website for current rates.

*Flat fee per vehicle for all visitors who are not purchasing a snowshoe or skiing ticket/pass. This fee supports the cost of road snowplowing and sledding area maintenance.

What amenities can I expect at Dakota Ridge?

Dakota Ridge is a user pay system with onsite facilities that include a warming hut with fireplace and an outhouse with ecologically sound holding tank. A trail map is located at the trailhead kiosk. The area is patrolled during weekends by volunteer trail hosts who are available to answer questions, monitor trails, and help ensure skier safety.

Dakota Ridge is a wilderness area with varying weather conditions, visitors should be prepared for winter weather. Garbage facilities are not available on site, so please pack your garbage out with you. With the exception of one trail, dogs are not allowed on cross-country trails.

When is the warming hut open?

The warming hut at Dakota Ridge is open from dawn until dusk, seven days a week for the
winter season. No food services are provided so pack in and out what you need.

Can I ski with my dog?

Dogs are not permitted on most of the ski trails for safety reasons. However, there is a 1.5
kilometre trail open to dogs for the winter season. Dogs must be under control at all
times. Dogs are permitted on snowshoe trails and must be under control at all times.

Where do I get lunch, water, or a snack?

Food facilities are not available at Dakota Ridge. You must bring all of your food, water and
snacks with you. Please remember to pack out your garbage.

Can I snowshoe on the cross country ski trails?

No. For safety reasons, and to avoid deep snowshoe imprints on the cross country ski track set,
snowshoes are not allowed. There are designated and marked snowshoe trails

Can I walk on the cross country ski trails?

No. Walking is not permitted on the ski trails as it can be hazardous to skiers and it has a serious
impact on the trails.

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