For summer or winter recreation, head up to Silver Star Mountain Resort (250/542-0224 or 800/663-4431, www.skisilverstar.com ), a colorful gold-rush-era-style, fully self-contained resort town 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) northeast of Vernon  (take 48th Ave. off Hwy. 97).
The views of Vernon as you climb the mountain are worth the fairly long, steep drive, and the resort at the top offers great skiing and snowboarding, as well as a variety of summer recreation to suit all ages.
Silver Star offers the biggest range of summer recreation of any alpine resort in the interior. Starting at the end of June, a chairlift runs from the village to the top of Silver Star Mountain (1,915 meters/6,280 feet) for terrific views of Vernon and surrounding lakes.
Much of the alpine area around the summit is protected by 8,714-hectare (21,500-acre) Silver Star Provincial Park; pick up a hiking guide in the village. The summer lift operates daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. June–September; $18 for one ride, or buy an all-day pass for $34 (the day pass includes access to hiking and biking trails).
To learn more about the mountain’s natural history, take the naturalist-led three-hour wildflower tour at 1 p.m. Thursday–Sunday; $32 per person, which includes a chairlift ride. Mountain-bike rentals are $18 for one hour, $32 for two hours, and $52 for a full day.
From November through April, skiers and boarders mob Silver Star, coming for great terrain and the facilities of an outstanding on-hill village. The two main faces—Vance Creek, good for beginners, and Putnam Creek, for intermediates and experts—are served by five chairlifts and a couple of T-bars. The resort’s 80 runs cover 1,135 hectares (2,800 acres) with a vertical rise of 760 meters (2,490 feet). Lift tickets are adult $71, senior $59, child $36.
Adjacent to the resort is Sovereign Lake Nordic Club (250/558-3036), featuring 35 kilometers (22 miles) of groomed and set tracks, while beyond these are 50 kilometers (31 miles) of backcountry trails. A day pass is $15 per person; rentals are available for an additional $20.
The base village contains numerous types of accommodations; book year-round through central reservations (800/663-4431, www.skisilverstar.com ) or contact each accommodation directly. The rates quoted below are for summer, which is low season. Through winter, expect to pay double (except at the Silver Star Hostel).
Least expensive is Silver Star Hostel (9898 Pinnacles Rd., 250/545-8933 or 877/972-6378, www.samesun.com , $24 dorms, $68 s or d), one of Canada’s only ski-in, ski-out backpacker lodges. Facilities include a modern communal kitchen, plenty of table space for dining, and 140 beds in dorms and private rooms.
The Pinnacles Suite Hotel (9885 Pinnacles Rd., 250/542-4548 or 800/551-7466, www.pinnacles.com , $99 s or d) has a wide range of rooms to suit all needs and budgets, including many with kitchens.
The Lord Aberdeen Hotel (139 Main St., 250/542-1992 or 800/553-5885, www.lordaberdeen.com , $85–131 s or d) also offers self-contained suites, with a one-bedroom suite complete with a full kitchen selling for just $115 per night in summer.
The most luxurious on-mountain lodging is Silver Star Club Resort (off Main St., 250/549-5191 or 800/610-0805, www.silverstarclubresort.com , from $125 s or d), which offers standard hotel rooms and self-contained suites spread through three buildings. Guests enjoy use of all facilities at the nearby National Altitude Training Centre.