As one of British Columbia’s quintessential mountain towns, Whistler is a sweet, sweet spot year-round. The hub of Whistler Village is tailored to pedestrians, with quaint shops and cafes lining the chalet-style streets. You can walk, talk, sip a hot beverage and take in the beauty of your surroundings all day long. But to make the most of your visit, no weekend in Whistler would be complete without exploring the town’s winter activities out in the local snow-filled terrain.
While the Whistler Blackcomb mountains are a huge draw for skiers and snowboarders, the area offers heaps more options for outdoor adventuring. Read on for our favourite unique adventures to try in Whistler this winter!
Image: Destination BC/Andrew Strain
Whistler’s Must-Do Adventures:
Snowshoeing around Whistler is both captivating and pristine. The powder is ever-present, the trails are never ending and you can find gear anywhere (whether to rent or buy).
Whether you’re headed out for the first time or you’re just looking to find a new hidden gem, you have a few options:
This Adventure is perfect for those who are based in Vancouver but want to end the day in Whistler. Local, Amber will take you to a variety of waterfalls along the Sea-to-Sky and get you to Whistler for a late lunch. The best part of all? This Adventure is available year-round!
Perfect for all ages, join Local, Michael on this 2.5 hour snowshoe tour will take you through stunning trees and down an old trapper’s path known as the Medicine Trail. You’ll gaze at giant cedar, fir and hemlock trees, sample teas made from medicinal plants that grow on the route and capture gorgeous photographs of Trapper’s Cabin and Totem Pole Lake.
Finding untouched powder creates an incomparable feeling. And you don’t have to spend all day searching for it on your own two feet (but if you want to, we’ll get into backcountry skiing in a second). Jump on a snowmobile and get into the backcountry with power!
The feeling of riding on a mountain solo or with a friend is sensational. This tour occurs apres ski so you can savour the views of the village lights in the dusk. You’ll glide by old growth forest and up the mountain in time to sip hot chocolate and roast marshmallows as the sun sets.
Carve your way through the remote backcountry of the Callaghan Valley to a rustic cabin for a full Canadian Yukon breakfast. This skillet mountain feast is cooked on an old fashioned wood stove- delicious! After you’ve had your fill, rip it up on a frozen lake or head off into the alpine before descending back into reality.
The snow has started and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. This is the perfect time to get into the backcountry with a guide and explore the hidden valleys and perfect lines.
Join Local, Dave for a full day out ski touring in the Whistler-Blackcomb backcountry. Weather, conditions and participant abilities will determine the travel location: a totally personalized experience!
Whether you’re snowshoeing, snowmobiling, splitboarding, skiing or spending any amount of time in the backcountry during winter, if you’re exploring independently you’ll need to be safe and get your AST 1. So why not have fun while getting it? Local, FX is a blast! He’s ready to get you certified and ready for more backcountry exploration.
Image: Destination BC/Randy Lincks
Getting to Whistler
Vancouver is the closest major city to Whistler, so if you’re travelling by plane, your best option is to fly into Vancouver International (YVR).
From Vancouver, Whistler is about a 2 hour drive by car, along the incredibly scenic Sea to Sky Highway. You’re in for a treat! Since this is a mountain highway with unpredictable conditions, make sure you’re prepared with winter tires between Oct-Mar. Check road conditions before you set off.
There’s plenty of car rental options in Vancouver, but if you’re visiting for the day, check out Vancouver’s local’s car share option; Evo. Take advantage of free Evo driving minutes as a Yervana Explorer. There are also a number of buses and shuttle services between the airport, downtown Vancouver and Whistler Village.
Whistler is a great getaway for those nearby or abroad. Make it your next vacation destination and be prepared for endless Adventure combined with ultimate relaxation. If it’s your first time exploring Canada during the winter season, check out our guide on what to pack to stay cozy on your outdoor adventures!
THE CALLAGHAN VALLEY MEDICINE TRAIL
This 2.5-hour snowshoe tour takes you through a mysterious forest and down an old trapper’s path known as the Medicine Trail.
SKI TOURS AND BACKCOUNTRY COURSE
This is a full day of guided ski touring in the Whistler Blackcomb backcountry, with Local ACMG guide, Dave.