Overview: Whistler is unparalleled by any ski resort in North America. The municipality offers an excellent opportunity to explore the beautiful west coast of Canada, while enjoying fresh tracks and pow on the slopes. The mountain is at your fingertips, or rather – your toes. And it can be yours to play on.
More Info: Whistler is not your average ski resort – It is home to the longest ski season in North America and is one of few places worldwide that you can still hit the slopes, (or should I say glaciers?) in the height of summer. It is piled high with both winter and summer activities stacked one on top of the other. So whatever the weather, for the adventure thrill seekers and outdoor enthusiasts out there, Whistler is the place to be. From hiking to biking to riding the powder and almost everything in between, Whistler’s got you covered…
Skiing/Snowboarding – Of course, with a mountain resort, this is a top point of interest! Whether it is Whistler or Blackcomb, you will definitely want to utilize your time in the winter months shredding the fresh powder or riding the cat tracks! Standing at 7,165 feet, Whistler Blackcomb offers plenty of terrain to shred – it might even take you an entire winter season to explore it all. Let us not forget how long the ski season is here – a whopping 6 months!!
Heli-Skiing – And at the literal height of skiing and snowboarding is the grand attraction of heli-skiing! Can you imagine the thrill and the wonder that would overcome you as you fly over Whistler Blackcomb and get to descend down a steep terrain of untouched, fresh powder? Challenge yourself when you are there this winter to embrace the top of the world from Whistler peaks! For some, Heli-skiing is a once in a lifetime opportunity so why not do it in North America’s number #1 ski resort?
Fresh Tracks Breakfast – Whistler is one of those ski resorts that just empathizes with your need to get in on the first tracks of the day! They just care, they really do… With that in mind, Whistler offers up the excellent opportunity for you to have a hearty breakfast up on the top of the mountain and to be among the first to have access to the fresh powder from the night before! Shredding on a full stomach and satisfied taste buds? Definitely a must in my books!
Fire and Ice Show – Every Sunday, Whistler puts on a fire and ice show where some of Whistler’s top skiers and snowboarders show us their moves. Grab a seat at one of the restaurants at the base of Whistler mountain and be in awe at the tricks these guys can do; even more so when they do them through a ring of fire…! This is a must-see attraction.
Tubing – Another core point of interest for Whistler winter months is the tube park. Get yourself saddled up with a tube and take a spin down the hill with a friend. Then, afterwards, get your grub on at the Beaver Tail stand – it’s a can’t-miss opportunity to over-indulge in some well-deserved calorific goodness.
Nightlife – There is no question about it that Whistler is a ski-and-party resort town. Not only is there endless mountain terrain to shred, but there are nights that never seem to end with tourists and locals partying well into the morning only to either go to work or shred some powder (or mountain bike in the summer) within the next few hours.
PRIDE Week – For LGBTQ travellers out there, Whistler has one of the best pride celebrations out there! Taking place in the last week of January, Whistler Pride overcomes the entire village with rainbow colours, LGBT celebrations, and love of all kinds. Whether it’s a splash pool party, gay nightlife, or riding down the mountain with a pride-flag superhero cape, the warmth and the love of it is rejuvenating! Mind you, it is often too cold for assless chaps!
Mountain Biking – Why not grab your bike and make a bee-line down Whistler’s bike park, A-line? Many biking enthusiasts come to Whistler and stay during the summer months due to the thrills and excitement that biking Whistler’s mountainous terrain has to bring.
Crankworx – With mountain biking in mind, Crankworx is a festival celebrating the world’s best riders and biggest bike enthusiasts! Racing, free-riding, and partying hard – Crankworx is the highlighted event of the summer with thousands of people attending to grab a glance at this spectacular glory. And for more family friendly options, the Village offers up a variety of obstacle courses for Familyworx and Kidsworx.
The Trainwreck – The Trainwreck is exactly that – a trainwreck. Several years ago, a train derailed off the tracks into the forest. Today, the train cars stand as a testament to the liveliness of the forest. It is highly recommended to check this place out in all of its graffiti’d glory. It has also been re-designed by bikers into a bike park – a must-see in summer – but really: check it out any time of year!
Parkhurst Ghost Town – Located nearby the train tracks along Green Lake, this little hike is home to an old logging town called Parkhurst, which came into being in 1926. After transitioning through the logging industry and even enduring a fire in 1938, Parkhurst was abandoned in 1966. Today, the little town stands as a ghostly reminder of what once was – an old logging industry home to a small community. All that remains is the remnants of collapsed houses and a car. If not for the rich history, Ghost Town is worth a visit for the artwork offered up by local graffiti artists.
Lost Lake – Advertised as a ‘short walk’ along the valley trail from the village, this lake definitely holds up to its name for newcomers. If I had a dollar for every time I pulled out google maps, I would probably be a millionaire – and I would still choose to live here! There is a trail loop that goes along Lost Lake which can make it difficult to find at first. However, the trail around it is just as gorgeous and inviting, with its cross-country ski and bike trails and secret pathways into the forest. Once you find Lost Lake Park, you will not regret the journey you made to get there. Home to a sandy beach, Lost Lake is one of many perfect hang out spots for beach volleyball, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and swimming and is extremely popular with both locals and visitors alike during the summer months.
River of Golden Dreams – Sounds quite fancy, doesn’t it? The River of Golden Dreams offers up a 2-3 hour relaxing boat tour through luscious green foliage and down calm, sometimes choppy (weather permitting), waters. For those who may want to opt out of guided tours, various shops in Whistler sell the infamous “explorer 100/200/300” boats. Blow these suckers up (with air please) and take them down to Alta Lake where you can begin your trek down the beautiful River of Golden Dreams!
Peak 2 Peak Gondola – Winter or Summer, the Peak 2 Peak gondola is always worth a visit. You will start your adventure off with a gondola ride up Whistler Mountain. If you go at the right time in the summer, you may well spot a bear or a deer scavenging for food along the pathways below, a great opportunity to wildlife watch without the price tag of taking a tour. That’s not all – as mentioned, take the peak 2 peak across Whistler to Blackcomb and back to see the valley from a staggering 1,427 feet up in the air. Did I mention the peak 2 peak is the highest lift of its kind and that it possesses the longest unsupported lift span in the world at 3.024 kilometres or 1.88 miles? Not only would you get to travel 3.024 kilometres across a steep valley, but you are also offered access to various hikes along Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.
On top of the peak 2 peak, you can freely ride an open chairlift up Whistler’s peak chair or down Blackcomb’s solar coaster and wizard chairs. Both of these chairs are brimming with spectacular views that are just as beautiful, if not more, as what the peak 2 peak has to offer. Do not be afraid to look down as what lays below you is a treasure trove of luscious greens, rocky mountainous terrain, and bodies of pristine waters – all surrounding the small town that we know and love as Whistler. Peak 2 Peak is well worth a visit any time of year!
The Olympic Rings and the Inukshuk at Roundhouse Lodge – In addition to the peak 2 peak gondola, you cannot miss out on the opportunity to take a picture at the Olympic rings. These are in recognition of the 2010 Olympics which took place in Whistler. The Inukshuk is another point of interest as it is a marker of being on the right path. Typically, these are monuments consisting of unworked stones that the Inuit use as a form of communication. Inukshuk traditionally means “in the likeness of human” and it is intended to signify that someone was there before, thereby indicating any lost individuals that they are on the right path to survival.
With its small-town feel and international diversity, Whistler offers something for everyone – so what are you waiting for? Your adventure starts here…
This was a contest entry by Paige Powell.