The Canadian resort town of Whistler is best known for its fantastic skiing. Located in the Pacific Range of the Coast Mountains, Whistler is internationally recognized for its alpine skiing, snowboarding, and top-notch pedestrian village. However, few of the millions of visitors that come to Whistler each year are aware of the terrific summer activities that can be enjoyed in the area, making Whistler a true year-round resort destination.
Frequently ranked as the number one mountain resort in North America, Whistler is located in the Canadian province of British Columbia, about 125km north of Vancouver. The town has a permanent population of around 10,000, and a larger number of temporary residents, most of whom are young adults (especially from Europe and Australia) who are working and travelling their way through the country.
In 2010, Whistler hosted numerous events from the Vancouver Winter Olympics, including the luge, skeleton, and bobsled events. Whistler Village is a gabled, postcard-perfect sight, and is nestled among the imposing Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Whistler Mountain opened in 1966, and boasts a vertical rise of 1,530 meters, while Blackcomb Mountain opened in 1980, and has a vertical rise of 1,609 meters. Both mountains are known for their consistent snowfall and great trails.
A lack of snow definitely does not mean a lack of activities in Whistler. The area is renowned for its fabulous cross country mountain biking, and boasts everything from gentle trails to technical single tracks. Bikers can also check out the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, which offers a thrilling downhill riding experience. There are plenty of bike rental shops and bike-friendly accommodations to be found.
Thrill-seekers can also try zip-lining in Whistler; the Whistler Zipline has its riders gliding over beautiful creeks and impressive old-growth trees. Hiking, horse-back riding, and golfing are also popular activities in Whistler. For those travelling with children, there are many great activities to enjoy with the family. Every year, Whistler hosts the Whistler Children’s Festival, a weekend-long event that features hands-on workshops, theatre, crafts, music, and more.
Kids will love the Whistler Tree Trek Tour, a network of bridges, boardwalks, and platforms suspended among the trees, as well as the Aerial Adventure Course, a challenging circuit made up of tightropes, plank bridges, and swinging logs. Finally, no trip to Whistler is complete without a ride on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.
Featuring the longest unsupported lift span in the world, the gondola is the highest lift of its kind (with an elevation of 436 meters), and connects the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. The ride provides breath-taking 360° views of the mountain peaks and glaciers, and provides access to superb hiking trails.
Whistler is located on B.C. Highway 99, more commonly referred to as the “Sea-to-Sky” highway. By bus or by car, the ride from Vancouver is quite scenic. The ride is about 2 hours, and there are many shuttles and bus services that run back and forth from Vancouver to Whistler. Summers in Whistler are warm, and rather dry.
The average high temperature in July and August is approximately 19°C. There are a few villages in the area, though Whistler Village is the main hub, and is where you will find many restaurants, shops, and hotels. It is easy to get around the village on foot. Whistler has a diverse selection of accommodations to choose from, offering everything from mountainside lodges to luxury hotels, and even the occasional hostel. The Riverside RV Resort & Campground, and the Whistler RV Park both offer camping opportunities.