Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Village attract millions of visitors annually who are looking for Rocky Mountain highs all year-round. Keep reading to find out what’s hot in Canada’s coolest mountain town.
Whistler Blackcomb/Whistler Village is a hot spot for nature-lovers and adventure-seekers. Regardless of the season, there are plenty of activities to fill up your vacation and make it a trip of a lifetime.
Whistler is a top destination in Canada for good reason! Check out some of the reasons below and book your next trip to Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.
Skiing in the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
There are two main mountains as part of the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort: Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.
While Whistler Mountain is the older ski hill of the two, Blackcomb Mountain is open for summer skiing/riding in June and July. And both of these ski hills near Vancouver have their perks!
They both have vertical heights of over 5,000 ft (1,500 metres), with over 4,700 and 3,400 acres of skiable terrain, respectively. Both mountains have over 100 trails each, with the longest runs going for 11 km (7 miles). Whistler Mountain has 2 terrain parks and 19 lifts, while Blackcomb Mountain has 3 terrain parks, 1 superpipe, 1 snow cross track and 17 lifts.
All about Whistler lift tickets
Let’s face it, skiing at Whistler Blackcomb is not cheap. But there are a few ways to save on Whistler ski lift tickets.
Top tips to save money at Whistler Blackcomb
- Buy early: Purchase Whistler lift tickets as early as possible. Whistler Blackcomb suggests purchasing tickets at least 7 days in advance for the best price. However, always keep a lookout for pre-season sales for the ski season 2019/2020.
- Purchase for consecutive days: Buy Whistler lift tickets for consecutive days in order to bulk save and get some rest days included in your lift tickets. If you’re undecided, you can always reload additional days online the night before to benefit from some savings (before midnight). Purchasing more days at the ticket window won’t grant the same savings.
- Avoid peak ski periods: Avoid skiing at Whistler Blackcomb during peak periods: Christmas, New Years, February, and early March.
- Get the spring Epic 10 Day Tickets: Skiing during the spring can save you money with the Epic 10 Day Tickets available to use April 23 – May 27, 2019, on Whistler Mountain.
- Bring the kids: Travelling with kids? Kids ages 0-6 ski for free at Whistler Blackcomb! Kids aged 9-10 and in Grade 4 or 5, are eligible for the SnowPass with The Canadian Ski Council. For $29.95, your kid gets three lift tickets for each of the 150+ ski areas that participate across Canada, including Whistler Blackcomb.
What is the Whistler PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola?
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola at Whistler Ski Resort is the longest continuous lift system in the world as it connects three different gondolas. It is also the highest lift of its kind, with the highest point raising 436 metres (1,427 ft) over Fitzsimmons Creek. The whole ride takes around 11 minutes to cover 4.4 km (2.73 miles), meaning you cover 7.5 metres every second.
In case that wasn’t enough distance on a gondola, there’s even more to the story of this ski town! A new Blackcomb Gondola opened for the 2018/2019 ski season and when combined with the PEAK 2 PEAK and the Village gondolas, the whole connection completes a continuous lift system of a 13.5-kilometre loop. It goes from the bottom of Whistler Mountain, across the valley between both mountains, and down Blackcomb Mountain.
Whistler Weather in Winter
Being on the west coast of Canada, you get to experience a slightly warmer ski trip than out east with the more pleasant Whistler Blackcomb weather.
In the Whistler Village, daily highs from November to March range from -2°C (28°F) to 8°C (46°F). Daily lows in the same time period range from -8°C (18°F) to -1°C (30°F).
Top of the mountain
At the top of the mountain, it is, of course, slightly chillier. December to February sees highs of -5°C (23°F) and lows of -12°C (11°F). March to May sees highs of 5°C (42°F) and lows of -8°C (19°F).
Even if it’s frosty at Whistler Blackcomb, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen! The high altitude and cold weather increase your chances of not noticing your nose is burning until it is too late.
Things to Do in Whistler That Aren’t Skiing
Whistler Blackcomb is not just for skiers and snowboarders! As much as there is an emphasis on hitting the slopes, there are plenty of activities to do in this ski town, even if skiing isn’t for you.
- Whistler Village is enormous! It is split into different sections (Village Centre, Upper Village and Village North) and are all connected by pedestrian walkways. In Whistler Village, you can shop, eat, drink, and browse galleries.
- Outside of the Whistler Village areas, there are even more Whistler neighbourhoods that provide days of entertainment like Whistler Creekside and Function Junction.
- You can go sliding at the Whistler Sliding Centre. You can try the bobsleigh or skeleton down the track used at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
- The Valley Trail is a pedestrian-only trail that is maintained over the winter months so you can explore the area at your own pace and take in the mountain views.
- Gondolas aren’t just for skiers! The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is open to non-skiers during the winter. It provides some epic views as well as access to the mountain-top dining options and après ski events.
- Other winter outdoor sports like snowshoeing, tubing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, ice skating, and cross-country skiing are all available at Whistler Blackcomb.
- If you enjoy spending some time exploring arts and culture attractions, there are tons of private galleries to browse. There is also the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, the Whistler Museum, the Audain Art Museum, and more. There are even events, speaker series, live performances, music and movies, including Family Après events and the Fire & Ice show.
Dining and Drinking in Whistler Canada
There’s no shortage of food options in this ski town. In fact, there are over 100 different Whistler restaurants to choose from. If you’re looking to snag a table at some of the award-winning restaurants, be sure to make reservations. Hot spots like Araxi Restaurant and Bearfoot Bistro attract the ‘it crowd’. Like vodka? Try it at The Ketel One Ice Room, a boutique bar made of ice (goose down parkas provided).
If chic casual dining if more your vibe, there are plenty of choices too. Portobello at Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a great spot for breakfast or lunch. It’s classy, cozy, and the food is yummy. Earl’s Whistler Village may be a chain restaurant, but you’ll still need reservations during peak times.
If you consider yourself a bit of an epicure, take a food tasting tour of the area with Whistler Tasting Tours. Wherever you choose to dine, afterwards, relax by a fire or keep the party going at a cocktail bar or dance club. You might need to cash in on a rest day the next morning! You’ve been warned.
Spas in Whistler Canada
Is it even really a ski town if there aren’t an abundance of spa options? Luckily, there are plenty in Whistler.
Scandinave Spa stands out for their Scandinavian baths experience. The Nita Lake Spa has won top Canadian Spa Awards, and the Taman Sari Royal is the only spa in North America to offer an authentic royal Javanese-style spa.
Other top spots include the Whistler Day Spa, Aviva Wellness, and the Vida Spa at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
Whether you’re looking for hydrotherapy, a full body wrap, manicures or deep tissue massages, you can definitely find it in Whistler Village.
How to Get to Whistler Blackcomb
From Vancouver to Whistler
The best way to get to Whistler Blackcomb is to fly into the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Once in Vancouver, Whistler is around 2-hours away by car along Highway 99. This is such a scenic road it’s been named the ‘Sea to Sky Highway‘. It’s one of the top Canadian road trips!
If you’re feeling extra fancy, get a helicopter transfer from Vancouver to Whistler for the ultimate rock star entrance.
From Seattle to Whistler
Alternatively, you can fly into Seattle and drive from there. Whistler is a 4.5 to 5-hour scenic drive from Sea-Tac Airport and a 2.5-hour drive from Bellingham Airport. You can also take a shuttle between the Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle and the Vancouver International Airport. There are buses and shuttles that go from Vancouver to Whistler.
At Whistler Village
Once you’re in Whistler Village, you won’t need a car to get around. You can walk around the ski town or hop on one of the free shuttle services offered throughout the year.
Where to Stay in Whistler
Deciding where to stay in Whistler is very dependent on how close you want to be to the slopes. If you’re at Whistler Blackcomb for a strictly-ski vacation, then you might choose to stay in Whistler Village or at a ski-in, ski-out luxury hotel like the Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside.
Whistler accommodation does not tend to be “budget-friendly” during high-season. However, there are still non-luxury options that are perfectly comfortable and more affordable. A great option located at the far end of the Whistler Village is Whistler Village Inn by Outpost.
More Whistler hotel recommendations:
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler Resort
- Four Seasons Resort Whistler
- Nita Lake Lodge
- Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
- Summit Lodge & Spa
Want to Plan Your Whistler Blackcomb Vacation?
Now that you know lots about Whistler Blackcomb, start planning your trip. Check out the Skyscanner search engine for deals on cheap flights, car rentals, and hotel stays to get the most out of your vacation.