Google+ Photo Essay: Hitting the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Alberta | Travel & Happiness I by Jenn Smith Nelson

Photo Essay: Hitting the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Alberta

Recently I wrote about my family’s first visit to Hidden Valley Ski Resort for You can read it here. Hidden Valley is found in Alberta, 65km from Medicine Hat, nestled within Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. Once a private ski hill, Parks Alberta now operates the family friendly park that features 9 runs.

The Cypress Hills region is absolutely beautiful in the winter, especially with a fresh dusting of snow.

Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

Scene from along the route to Hidden Valley. Hoar frost makes the white landscape pop from the blue sky.

The resort is surrounded by an abundance of rolling hills and pine trees that make for beautiful sight even on a cold day. Though we visit the region at least once a year, it’s usually during the summer when we camp. As well, we’ve always stayed on the Saskatchewan side, so it was nice to finally check out the Alberta side during winter to see what the season had to offer.

Being a family friendly learning environment was of the upmost importance to me and Hidden Valley came highly recommended. Though Jamie and me had skied before, we were far from competent, and this would be the first time for the kids. We were all grateful to be receiving some lessons via the resort’s ski school.

Lift area Hidden Valley Ski Resort

Just outside the facility doors at Hidden Valley is the ski lift area.

I must admit I’m always surprised about the process it takes to gear up for skiing. First, you have to figure out the right layers to wear. On the day we went in particular, the weather was frigid, so we all bulked up – which admittedly makes getting the actual ski gear on all that more fun.

Boy putting ski boots on Jenn Smith Nelson

Bundled up in all his gear, Zevin works on getting his ski boots on. True story: I couldn’t do up my own boots. :/

Feeling like puffy Michelin men, we waddled our way to another building to collect our rentals. Since we were newbies, we needed to rent boots, helmets, skis and poles – all of which Hidden Valley offers.

Boys getting ready to ski Hidden Valley Ski Resort Jenn Smith Nelson

Geared up! The boys are ready to try skiing for the first time at Hidden Valley Ski Resort.


Hidden Valley ski rentals Jenn Smith Nelson

Hidden Valley will size and outfit guests with snowboards, skis and poles if need be.

After several attempts to find the right size and squeeze my feet into the stiff boots (is this extraordinarily hard or is it just me?), we were sized for skis and finally ready to get onto the hill!

Hitting the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort

Boy thumbs up skiing Jenn Smith Nelson

We’ve finally made it outside. Zev’s thumbs up means he’s ready to hit the slopes!


Skiing self-portrait Jenn Smith Nelson

Skiing self-portrait. I may not match but I’m sure warm!


Learning to ski Jenn Smith Nelson

Starting out on the magic carpet run, the family learns to navigate without using poles.


Boy learning to ski Jenn Smith Nelson

On the bunny hill, Finn getts instruction from Marc Krasilowez on how to perfect his pizza shape, a technique also known as “snow ploughing” used to slow down and stop.


Boy resting on ski slope Jenn Smith Nelson

Skiing is fun but hard work. Zevin rests after learning to master the bunny hill at Hidden Valley.


Boy up close portrait skiing Jenn Smith Nelson

Finn all rosy-cheeked and happy.

How did it go?

You’ll have to read my full Snowseekers story to find out. For now, I hope you enjoyed these images that captured our day out at Hidden Valley (Hint: It was kinda wonderful!).

Learn more about Hidden Valley Ski Resort, and for more fun in-the-snow winter activities, check out


Disclosure: Me and my family were guests of Hidden Valley Ski Resort and Parks Alberta who neither approved or reviewed this story prior to publishing. 

4 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Hitting the slopes at Hidden Valley Ski Resort in Alberta
  1. Wow, looks like fun! It’s been far too long since I’ve hit the slopes…. and I’m practically surrounded by them AND we’ve actually had a pretty decent season so far. I better get out there – thanks for the inspiration!

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Thanks for your comment Mariko! It’s funny how sometimes we forget what’s in our own backyard. Glad to provide some inspiration for you to get outdoors and enjoy the season. Best wishes. 🙂

  2. Glenn Tracey on said:

    You always produce such an interesting read accompanied by some fantastic photography. I should let you know more often by leaving a comment, but I always read and look at your Travel and Happiness when you send them out usually via the phone or tablet and is remiss of me not letting you know. Please accept this as the past and a couple in the future 🙂 …looking forward to your next.

    • Jenn Smith Nelson on said:

      Wow, thanks Glenn for such a kind hearted note. I love what I do and am glad that it shows. Hidden Valley really was a treat for my whole family so I’m thrilled that it comes across in both my writing and photography. I really enjoy your work as well. Cheers and Happy Australia Day mate ;)!

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