Elkwater in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is only a 45 minute drive outside of Medicine Hat.
When it was announced Hidden Valley wouldn’t open in the new year in late 2021, the Medicine Hat community collectively voiced their concerns on social media, reaching out to leaders, starting and signing petitions and using hashtags to show why it was important that the ski hill stay open.
The park was more to the community than just hills with snow. It was an oasis they looked forward to every winter, where they’d pile on snow gear, pack up the vehicle and drive 45 minutes to a winter wonderland. They’d race down the slopes and feel the rush of the wind and their adrenaline for several minutes, with friends and family members, and when they’d reach the bottom, they’d do it all over again until the sun started to set.
The Elkwater Ski Club sent letters to MLAs and the Minister of Environment and Parks lobbying to keep the region-wide favoured ski hill open. They created the hashtag #littlehillontheprairie and encouraged locals to share photos using the hashtag. As a result, many families posted their smiling faces on the chairlift, at the top of the hill and carving down the slopes.
“Hidden Valley, as a part of Cypress Hills, hosts a unique ecosystem that is stunning year round. In the winter, visitors are often treated to a winter wonderland with bluebird skies and snow covered pines, even when there is no snow in Medicine Hat," says Morgan Blair, member of Elkwater Ski Club. "You can watch for moose, deer, eagles, hawks and owls that live in the hills, and on the way home, see if you can spot the snowy owl that hunts from the tops of telephone poles along Highway 41 at sunset."
She says it’s prime for the Medicine Hat community to be situated in the prairies with a nearby ski hill that’s less than an hour drive away. One minute, they’re surrounded by breathtaking coulees and relaxed flatland, and the next they are encircled by tall pine trees and invigorating hills in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.
Only a 45 minute drive from Canada’s Sunniest City, Hidden Valley Ski Resort encompasses eight hills that range from beginner to advanced skill levels and is now open for the 2022 season.
To say the residents of Medicine Hat were happy when Hidden Valley Ski Resort announced its opening is an understatement, considering the social media responses have been full of excitement and optimism. 2022 will be the start to another thrilling season at Hidden Valley Ski Resort, and another thrilling year for those who plan to spend the majority of the first four months of the year riding the chair lift up and flying down as snow trails behind them.
Find more information about Hidden Valley Ski Resort here.
Find the list of places to stay while skiing and snowboarding the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort here.