Panorama, BC is a family-friendly summer vacation!

Panorama, BC, is a little-known summer vacation gem in south-eastern British Columbia. Originally founded in 1962 as a ski resort, Panorama now boasts year-round attractions for the whole family. We’ve enjoyed skiing there in the winter and also look forward to all the fun summer activities this small mountain town offers. If you’re looking for a family-friendly summer vacation, read on to find out more about what you’ll find at Panorama!

Panorama, BC is a family-friendly summer vacation! (Photos of kids rock climbing, bungee jumping, and hiking.)

Getting There

Panorama is located in the Purcell Mountain Range south of the small towns of Invermere and Radium. It’s about a 10-hour drive from Vancouver, BC, or a 3-hour drive from Calgary, Alberta. The road from Invermere into Panorama is narrow and windy, twisting up through the mountains until you arrive at the village. The road is very well-maintained year-round, however. In summer or winter, it’s easy to see the ski runs stretching up the mountain behind Panorama.

Panorama Mountain Resort Google maps

Where to Stay

Panorama offers numerous accommodation options, from hotels to private vacation rentals, but no camping. We’ve always stayed at my brother’s townhouse there, now available to rent on Panorama Vacations. Affectionately known as “the Pit,” this 3-bedroom townhouse is cozy and conveniently located close to the center of all the activities. There’s a patio with a BBQ for grilling all our summer favourites, big windows to admire the mountains, and an open-plan dining room and living room that draws the family together.

Dining room at the Pit, a vacation rental in Panorama, BC.

What To Do

Panorama offers a wealth of activities for the whole family (which is why it’s great to stay in the village so you can take advantage of all the fun there!). The “people mover” or Village Gondola flies over the village, making it easy to get from the “upper village” to the “lower village.” (Sometimes we just ride the people-mover for fun.)

Girl riding in the Panorama village gondola.

The upper village is located near the base of the ski runs. Here you can find Guest Services (for picking up passes to your adventures), shops and restaurants, as well as access to the chair lift and the hotel pool.

The lower village is geographically lower down the mountain, next to Toby Creek. Down here you’ll find Toby Pool, mini golf and tennis courts, and a grocery store. It’s a great idea to grab a map of the village at Guest Services when you arrive, but in no time, you’ll be walking (or riding) around the village with ease.

Howling Wolf Mini Golf

Mini golf is the perfect activity for the whole family. Get your tickets, clubs and balls at Guest Services, then ride the gondola down to the lower village. Walk the suspension bridge over the Toby River to the Howling Wolf Mini Golf.

3-year-old boy walks over bridge to go mini golfing with his sisters.

Howling Wolf Mini Golf offers 18 holes of fun. My kids like to howl like a wolf when they get their ball into a hole. Some of them also get rather competitive, while others dislike the competition. We try to keep it all friendly. There are some trees in the mini golf, but it can get warm here on a summer day, so be sure to bring sunscreen and a water bottle along with you.

Girl golfing at Howling Wolf Mini-Golf in Panorama, BC.

Summer Activity Pack

In the summer, the base of the ski runs turns into a kids’ adventure area with a bungee jump, gold panning, and rock climbing wall.

Simply purchase the kids’ activity pack and your child can decide which activities to do. For example, I got my kids each the 5-ticket pack so they could go rock climbing, bungee jumping, gold panning, mini golfing, and up the chair lift once. Turns out they had different ideas about what would be fun than I did… so talk to your kids about what activities they think would be fun and be willing to help them pivot if they change their mind and decide bungee jumping is too scary.

Girls panning for gold at the Paradice Mining Co.

The girls’ favourite activity was panning for gems, fossils, and artifacts at the “Paradice Mining Co.” For one ticket, they got to choose what sort of bag they the sluiced through the water. For example, Joey wanted the fossil bag and the girls went for the gemstone bags. Since we were there during the hottest week of the summer, playing in the water was a great idea. The girls got really excited about what they found in the dirt in their bags, and they all still have their treasure bags from that day.

Two girls comparing the gems they found in their sluice boxes to the gemstone guide at the Paradice Mining Co in Panorama.

I was fascinated to learn that the Paradice Mining Co. is part of Panorama’s history (typo and all). Before becoming a ski resort, Panorama was home to loggers and miners searching for wealth among the natural resources of the area.

Girl rock-climbing while staff member looks on.

The girls also did the rock climbing wall. There were staff present to help them into harnesses, supervise and provide tips. The climbing wall had three auto-belays and fairly easy routes.

Teenager having fun bungee jumping on a trampoline.

The bungee trampoline was probably the girls’ favourite activity. Buckled into a harness attached to bungee ropes, they could jump super high. One of my girls was a bit cautious at first but slowly started jumping higher and higher as she got used to it. The girls all wanted to give the bungee jumping a second go, but it was the one activity they also had to wait in line to do.

Hike the Trails

Of course, when we’re in the mountains, we go hiking. Panorama offers a multitude of family-friendly trails. From the east side of the village, you can access the Valley Trails. These trails follow the river and golf course up the valley. (Hikers should stay off the golf course.) There are plenty of signs to help direct you.

Mountain views from the valley trail in Panorama, BC.

Another option is to ride up the Mile 1 chairlift and then hike the trails at the top of the mountain. It’s pretty fun to fly up the mountain the summer time (and watch the mountain bikers heading down). Riding the chairlift up also lets you take advantage of more trails while admiring the gorgeous mountain views.

Riding the chairlift up the mountain in the summertime.

At the top of the chairlift, there are several trail options, from easy flat trails at that elevation to climbing steeper trails higher up the mountain. We saw tons of wildflowers (arnica, daisy, columbine and more) and also picked wild strawberries in one meadow. Again, the trails were well-marked and easy to find. Because we’ve skied there in the winter, we had fun seeing the signs for the ski runs.

Signs for a black diamond and blue ski run in the summertime.

Go for a Swim

We also hit the pool every day for a swim. Toby Pool is in the lower village and doesn’t usually have a life guard. There are rules posted on the side of the pool and you can bring along your own pool toys. We usually put on our swim suits, wrapped up in our towels, and rode the village gondola down, then came back up the village gondola soaking wet after our swim.

Girl jumps into outdoor pool.

More Activities around Panorama

Some other activities in the area that we haven’t tried (yet) include:

  • whitewater rafting
  • tennis
  • golfing
  • horseback riding
  • mountain biking

It’s also easy to pop into Invermere or Radium for more adventures, including ziplining, soaking in the hot springs, and more.

For more information about visiting, check out the Official Travel Guide For Invermere BC & Panorama Mountain Resort or go to Panorama Mountain Resort.

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