Whistler Resort Guide

Insider tips from our team

We've been selling Whistler ski holidays since 1996, most of our team have skied and stayed there, and a few of us have even lived there. It's safe to say we know the resort well.

Based on our 25+ years of experience, we've put together our Whistler Resort Guide covering where to ski, stay, eat and drink, plus the best activities, tips for families and options for learning and developing skills from complete beginners up to backcountry experts.

Where to Ski in Whistler

The resort's two mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb are home to more than 8,000 acres of hugely diverse terrain - far more than you can ski in a week.

Connected by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, one of the world's highest and longest, you can easily ski both mountains in the same day. From rolling cruisers and backcountry bowls to gladed runs and top-to-bottom blues, there's genuinely something for all abilities.

Add to this some of North America’s most reliable snowfall, and you can see why so many skiers, including us, have a soft spot for Whistler.

We've highlighted some of our favourite areas and runs below, we recommend taking a look at the piste map while you read through!

Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain Map Preview

Whistler Village Gondola - your gateway to Whistler Mountain - the quickest way to the alpine, taking you straight up to the Roundhouse Lodge. Jump-off at the Olympic Mid Station for...

Olympic Chair - the main beginner area where kids and first-timers will work their way up from magic carpets on wide, gentle runs away from other skiers and snowboarders. Unlike many resorts where you start learning at the base, it's a great opportunity to take your first turns mid-way up Whistler gondola and there's an easy green down to the village too.

Fitzsimmons Express - a great option if there are weekend queues at the Village Gondola. Once up Fitzsimmons, take Garbanzo and then ski down to Franz's or Emerald to keep moving up into the alpine.

Garbanzo Express - mid-mountain lift servicing good intermediate and advanced runs, all below the tree-line so good for poor visibility days. Bear Paw and Tokum are Whistler classics.

Emerald Area - a fantastic beginner/intermediate area with great tree-lined runs on a gentle pitch. Home to the School Yard and Chipmunk Park - ideal for your first foray into park life. Kids - look for little trails through the woods!

Happy Skier Whistler © Logan Swayze / Coastphoto.com
Happy skier in Whistler © Logan Swayze / Coastphoto.com

Harmony Bowl - a huge, long bowl of go-anywhere terrain. The Horseshoes 1-8 are the steep entrances (many with big cornices), but Pika’s Traverse is the easy route in and offers fantastic views. Once into the bowl, it’s a great place to venture off-piste if you're less confident. Harmony can be difficult in a white-out.

Symphony Bowl - another vast bowl, well worth exploring. Easy skiing, open at the top, quite flat in the middle, and fun runs through the trees at the bottom. There's no ski-out access at the bottom - you have to take Burnt Stew Trail to get back to Harmony and it takes a while, so don’t leave it too late!

Big Red Area - long, fast, intermediate runs, some with steeper pitches, tumbling all the way down to Creekside. Check out the Dave Murray Downhill, the 2010 Winter Olympics downhill run. Take Garbanzo to start at the top and imagine straight-lining it! Big Red Express and the Creekside Gondola were both upgraded in winter 22/23 enabling much quicker laps on this side of the mountain.

Peak to Creek - a superb 6.8 mile roller-coaster ride dropping over 5,000 vertical feet from the mountain top to Creekside - it's a real thigh-burner.

The Peak - the main steep alpine skiing area on Whistler. You can access Glacier, Whistler, West and Bagel bowls from here. Whistler Bowl gets bumped up quickly, but has some good skiing lower down, or cut over the ridge to Shale Slope and Surprise. Use caution on all these runs.

Our favourite runs

Our favourite runs on Whistler Mountain. We think you’ll love them too.

Intermediate - Peak to Creek, Franz’s, Harmony Ridge, GS, Fisheye

Advanced - Bear Paw, Harmony Bowl, Dave Murray Downhill, Franz’s Meadows

Expert - Whistler Bowl, Cockalorum, Gun Barrels

Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain Map Preview

Blackcomb Gondola - the quickest way up to the front side of the mountain, lots of great, well-groomed cruising terrain at a nice pitch. The main runs can get busy, but try the next one along and it’ll be quieter!

Jersey Cream - a popular area with cruisers and a nice bowl area to try a few powder turns. Check out the Race Centre where you can have a free timed run through the gates.

Crystal Zone - for quiet skiing and long-lasting powder stashes after the runs off Excelerator and Jersey Cream have been skied out, head to the Crystal Ridge Express for heaps of blues and gladed black runs.

7th Heaven - a huge, wide, sunny expanse looking across to Whistler. Great cruising skiing, it can get windy at the top. Check out the views from the Horstman Hut and practise your bumps on Angel Dust and Sunburn. This is a real team favourite and also where Rupert proposed to his wife!

Whistler Deep Powder © Mitch Winton / Coastphoto.com
Deep powder in Whistler © Mitch Winton / Coastphoto.com

Glacier Express - takes you up to the Horstman Glacier which always has good snow. At the end of the day, Glacier Road can get busy so follow Crystal Road as an alternative.

Blackcomb Glacier - an awesome area for advanced intermediates and above. It’s a short hike up from the top of the Showcase T-bar to get there, use caution above the blow-hole, but the skiing is not difficult. It's a long road on the way out so leave time. If you're not confident, take the Blackcomb Glacier Tour which departs from the Mountain Skills Academy and Adventures office. To reach the office, take the Whistler Gondola to the Roundhouse (the second stop). The office is located approximately 100 metres down from the Roundhouse stop.

Spanky’s Ladder - this gives access to Blackcomb’s steep off-piste terrain. You need to be an expert skier and have good visibility and don’t go on your own. If you're up for it, the terrain is incredible!

Our favourite runs

Our favourite runs on Blackcomb Mountain. We think you’ll love them too.

Intermediate - Ridge Runner, Rock’n’Roll, Cruiser, Honeycomb, Cloud Nine

Advanced - Heavenly Basin, Arthur’s Choice, Xhiggy’s Meadow, Blackcomb Glacier

Expert - Pakalolo, Couloir Extreme, Ruby Bowl, Outer Limits

Peak 2 Peak © Destination BC / Andrew Strain
Peak 2 Peak © Destination BC / Andrew Strain

Good to Knows

Tips and advice from our team to help you have the best time on the mountain.

Peak to Peak - Connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, this fantastic gondola is your ticket to making the most of the resort’s vast ski area. The ride takes 11 minutes and there’s rarely a queue. Make sure you catch the glass-bottomed gondola on a clear day!

Magic Chair - If you are staying at Blackcomb and need to reach the village, take the Magic Chair and ski across. Although obvious, it’s amazing how many people walk all the way, carrying their skis.

Creekside Gondola - The quickest route to the village from Creekside is to take the Creekside gondola (upgraded for 2022/23) and ski down to the Whistler Village base on Expressway. It takes 20 minutes if you get your skates on!

Alpine Responsibility Code - this code, which you will see in many places around the resort is the ‘rules of the road’ of the resort. Please abide by this code at all times.

Helmets - we recommend wearing helmets for skiing and riding. If you don’t already wear a helmet, please do consider buying one - you'll notice that almost everyone wears one in Whistler!

Easy way down - from the top of every lift there is an easy way down so you are never going to get yourself into too much trouble!

Ski Patrol - if you need assistance on-mountain, or want advice, ask the ski patrol staff, stationed around the resort.

Don’t queue on a powder day - It takes time for the ski patrol to make the mountain safe after heavy snowfalls. Rather than wait at the lifts, we always do a few lower runs first or sneak into the trees to get first tracks in the powder.

Stay low when it snows - Ski below the tree-line if visibility is poor as the trees hugely improve your spatial awareness and provide shelter from the elements. The Crystal area on Blackcomb and Emerald area on Whistler are our favourite spots.

Head higher if it rains - Don’t be put off by the weather outside your window. Rain in the village often means snow up high, so head up the mountain for fresh tracks on the quiet slopes, while everyone else is getting wet.

Take the Peak Express on a clear day - The view of Black Tusk volcano is stunning when the sun’s shining. You’ll get the best vista from the top of the Peak chair.

Whistler Boarder Inspiration © Mitch Winton / Coastphoto.com

Where to Stay in Whistler

Whistler’s three distinct villages are one of the reasons it has such wide appeal, with options for all budgets and tastes from self-catering suites and private lodges, to family condos and exclusive spa hotels. But which is right for you, and where do we recommend you stay?

Whistler Village

At the base of Whistler Mountain, Whistler Village is the main hub with the best choice of shops, restaurants and bars and access to Whistler Mountain via the Whistler Village Gondola and Fitzsimmons Express and Blackcomb Mountain via the Excalibur Gondola.

If it's important for you to be right in the heart of the action, the 5* Westin Resort & Spa and 5* Hilton Whistler Resort in Village Centre are perfectly positioned by the gondola and more affordable than their luxury star rating might suggest, with early booking rates saving you up to 50%. As full-service resort hotels, everything you need is on-site including pools, spas, restaurants and bars.

If you want proximity to the slopes but don't need all the amenities of a luxury hotel, the 4* Crystal Lodge is a fantastic alternative. The rooms are a good size, there's a pool, hot tub and sauna, and it's home to the best wings in town at the Crystal Lounge plus family-favourite The Old Spaghetti Factory.

For more space and the facilities to cook your own meals, you may want to consider staying in Village North. The 4*+ Delta and 4* Summit Lodge offer spacious suites with kitchens. They're in the quieter side of the village but you're still a walk away from the bars, restaurants and shops of Main Street and Town Plaza and it's easy to catch the complimentary resort shuttle to the lifts in the morning if you don't fancy the seven minute walk.

A good value option for groups and families is the 3*+ Tantalus Lodge. Despite its quiet and secluded location, it's just a five minute walk to Whistler Gondola - or you can catch the complimentary shuttle transfer straight to the lifts.

Whistler Village © Christie FitzPatrick
Whistler Village © Christie FitzPatrick

Upper Village

Within walking distance (or a quick shuttle or lift ride) of all the amenities of Whistler Village, Upper Village sits beneath Blackcomb Mountain in a more secluded setting.

Upper Village (often called Blackcomb) is dominated by the landmark 5* Fairmont Chateau Whistler with its abundance of top-notch facilities, including a spa with multiple hot tubs, some of Whistler's best restaurants and on-site ski rentals. First-class service with a relaxed atmosphere, it's one of our all-time favourite hotels.

If you prefer the feeling of getting away from it all, the 3*+ Blackcomb Spring Suites can be found in a wooded area part way up Blackcomb Mountain, offering true ski-in ski-out access. Ideally, you'll want to finish your skiing on Blackcomb so you can ski in at the end of the day, but the resort shuttle stops right out side if you end up in Whistler Village or want to head into town in the evening.

Whistler Upper Village from above © David McColm
Whistler Upper Village from above © David McColm


Far quieter, Whistler's original village of Creekside is a ten-minute drive or bus ride away but, with a gondola, restaurants and shops, it still has everything on hand for a relaxing holiday.

This winter, access to the mountain is even better with both the Creekside Gondola and the Big Red chair getting an upgrade.

We recommend opting for a modern, self-catering condo at 4*+ Evolution or 4* Legends. The spacious units are complimented by additional facilities including pools and hot tubs, outdoor BBQ areas, media rooms and children's games rooms.

Getting Around

Free shuttles - Running from early morning to late evening, the service is very efficient. It follows several different routes to the lifts, village and Blackcomb (Upper Village), so there’ll always be a stop within walking distance of your accommodation in Whistler Village or Blackcomb.

Other buses - For a small fare, regular services run between the village, Creekside and other outlying areas. Family saver tickets are available.

Taxis - There are several taxi companies serving all areas, 24-hours a day. Cabs are used to carrying skis and snowboards, and mini-vans are available for groups.

Where to Eat & Drink in Whistler

Whistler is home to well over 100 restaurants, cafes and bars which can make it tricky to pick where to go when you're only there for a week or two! We've covered our favourites below, or for even more, check out Tourism Whistler's excellent Dining Guide.

Whistler’s best restaurants fill quickly, so it’s always best to book, especially during peak weeks. People tend to eat early, so ask restaurateurs or the concierge in your hotel for advice on particular restaurants. Most restaurants also deliver or, at the very least, do take away.

Dining in Whistler © Destination BC / Leo Zuckerman
Dining in Whistler © Destination BC / Leo Zuckerman

Fuel up at breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even more important when you're fueling up for a day on the slopes. Here are a few of our favourites, from a quick coffee and pastry or a cooked breakfast so big it needs more than one plate.

Lift Coffee Company - right by the Whistler Gondola station, ideal for grabbing something quick and easy while you wait in line.

Ecologyst Cafe - excellent coffee and vegan, veggie and gluten-free treats - all sourced from local businesses.

Portobello - situated in the Fairmont but perfectly casual, their breakfast bowls will not leave you hungry.

Grill & Vine - choose the extensive breakfast buffet or opt for a Canadian classic, based on the Westin.

On the mountain

With such a vast ski area, you're going to want to stay on the mountain for lunch.

Roundhouse Lodge / Rendezvous - these are the two largest self-service style restaurants at the top of Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas respectively. Both offer a wide range of quick eats with hearty portions to suit all palettes and appetites.

Chic Pea - cosy mid-mountain hut at the top of the Garbanzo Chair. Keep an eye out for the Whiskey Jack jays and make sure to visit on a sunny day when they have the BBQ running on the deck.

Christine's - ideal for a one-off, special lunch - Christine's is based inside Rendezvous but offers full-service dining with a diverse wine list to match.

Crystal Hut - AKA the waffle hut as that's what we always eat here! Excellent for laps of the Crystal Ridge Express.

Glacier Creek Lodge - a good alternative to Roundhouse/Rendezvous with plenty of seating and they tend to have the music blaring on sunny days for on-mountain après.

Horstman Hut - the highest hut on either mountain, meaning unbeatable views. A European-style hut with gluhwein and waffles.


Après in Whistler tends to take place straight after the skiing around 3/3:30pm, before most people head back to their accommodation to shower and change in time for dinner. The most popular spots are right at the base of the lifts.

GLC (Whistler) - one of Whistler's most famous venues, live music, epic nachos and cocktails

Longhorn Saloon (Whistler) - a longstanding and legendary après bar at Whistler base, the rowdier alternatives to GLC

Merlin's (Blackcomb) - very welcoming vibe and home of the resort’s best-known band, The Hairfarmers

Dusty’s (Creekside) - another famous après bar with Wild West ambience and tasty BBQ food

Merlin's Apres © Whistler Tourism / Mike Crane

Evening dining

Family favourites

Spaghetti Factory - affordable, great for kids, always busy, you can’t book a table here.

Caramba - good wood-oven pizzas and other dishes.

Teppan Village - entertaining teppanyaki dining, it's a bit touristy, but a whole lot of fun.

Good all-rounders

Earl’s - a very good chain restaurant with burgers, steaks and noodles.

The Keg - authentic Canadian dining, with steaks, ribs, fish and more.

Sachi Sushi - the locals’ favourite, very, very good. Very popular too, so get in early!

Elements - boutique tapas bar with good martinis. Breakfast is great here too (not with the martinis though!).

Sushi Village - great atmosphere, food and sake margaritas.

The Mexican Corner - very good Atlantic Mexican cuisine in a relaxed setting.

High-end dining

Araxi - contemporary cuisine, rated consistently highly.

Il Caminetto - showcasing both local and Italian ingredients on a regionally-inspired menu.

Hy’s Steakhouse - great steaks, good fish and yummy cocktails.

Bearfoot Bistro - champagne and oyster bar that’s one of Canada’s best.

Rim Rock Café - (near Creekside) very popular with great seafood.

Whistler Tasting Tours - multi-course dining tours featuring some of the best restaurants - pre-bookable.

Dining at Bearfoot Bistro

Best bars and nightlife

Most of the best après bars are also good in the evenings, while other popular spots include:

The Dubh Linn Gate - this Irish bar has craft beers, hearty pub grub and live music. Open until 1am.

Cinnamon Bear Bar - a sophisticated sports bar in the Hilton (Whistler) with screens, pool tables and open fires.

Beacon Pub & Eatery - formerly Cittas, located in Whistler’s central Village Square just a short stroll from the gondolas.

Amsterdam Pub - café style bar with a young crowd and big sound system.

Tapley's Pub - locals’ pub with sports screens and live music.

The Crystal Lounge - cosy, laid-back bar with sports screens. Serves tasty chicken wings.

Mallard Lounge - at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a relaxing hotel bar that’s good for cocktails (deals on Fridays).

Whistler’s free newspaper, The Pique has complete and up-to-date listings of all local après bars and nightlife. Find a copy in the resort to discover what’s on. Several bars play an après set at around 3.30pm, followed by an evening set from 8pm - try to catch a gig with local legends, The Hairfarmers. Wherever you end up, always remember to tip, even at the bar. Service staff rely on tips, and it encourages fast and attentive service.

Whistler Après © Destination BC / Kevin Arnold
Whistler Après © Destination BC / Kevin Arnold

Local tipples and nibbles

Beer - Kokanee is the skiers’ beer. Sold everywhere, it’s actually very good. Also try Alexander Keith’s and Sleeman’s Honey Brown. Local beers include Whistler Pale Ale and the darker Black Tusk Ale.

Wine - Canada produces great wines, with the best from Okanagan Valley. With dessert, try Ice Wine made from grapes frozen on the vine.

Gluhwein - Sold in several village bars, or for a gluhwein on the mountain head to Pikka’s in the Roundhouse (Whistler).

Posh hot choc - For sophisticated après, try the Four Seasons Hotel and their fantastic hot chocolate menu.

Appies - Giant nachos, chicken wings and yam fries are all popular appetizers. For wings, we like Crystal Lounge best, or try GLC for yam fries with balsamic sauce.


Supermarkets - Whistler Village is home to two fully stocked supermarkets Fresh St Market and The Grocery Store. Near the base of Blackcomb, there is a convenience store in the Embarc Resort, and another fully stocked supermarket right in the heart of Creekside: Creekside Market. If you have a vehicle, there is another larger supermarket located 10min north of Whistler in Rainbow, Sewak's Your Independent Grocer

Pre-seasoned meat and fish - supermarkets sell good marinated, flavoured and spiced meat and fish - making it easy to cook yummy things without having to buy all the bits!

Alcohol - you can’t buy alcohol in supermarkets. There are liquor stores in the Marketplace in the village, next to the grocery store in Village Square, at Blackcomb (near the front entrance to the Fairmont Chateau) and Creekside.

Activities in Whistler

Whistler’s range of winter activities are some of the best we’ve experienced, and most are easily accessible from the village.

Whistler Tubing © Mitch Winton / Coastphoto.com

Ziptrek Ecotours - Ride a series of cables and suspension bridges on a three-hour journey through the forested valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, discovering the beauty of Fitzsimmons Creek.

Snowmobile adventure - Join Canadian Wilderness Adventures and go snowmobiling from Whistler Village on Blackcomb Mountain and in the beautiful Callaghan Valley.

Olympic bobsleighVisit the 2010 Olympic sliding centre and whizz down the bobsleigh track at up to 50 miles an hour. You could also try the skeleton or take a tour of the site.

Winter bungee jumping - Leap from a bridge above the Cheakamus River at BC’s highest year-round bungee venue. Close to the Village and surrounded by old growth forest and rugged basalt column cliffs it’s also a beautiful place to spectate.

Whistler Ziptrek

Eagle viewing float tours - See bald eagles in their winter habitat during the peak viewing period, November to March. A short drive south of Whistler in Brackendale, you’ll float along the river where the eagles feed on salmon.

bubly™ Tube Park - Fly down icy chutes on inner tubes, racing the rest of the family before taking the conveyor lift back to the top. Located at the Base 2 Zone on Blackcomb Mountain, the tube park is also open at night. Under 12 must be accompanied by an adult and children must be at least 3 years of age and a minimum of 36" (for Mini Zone with mini-tubes).

Magic Castle and Tree Fort - The Magic Castle on Blackcomb and Tree Fort on Whistler are great if you’ve got little ones. Take off your skis or board and explore these two outdoor adventure playlands. Free and fun for all ages.

Heli-skiing/boarding - If you’re a confident skier or boarder, this really is the experience of a lifetime. Whistler Heli-Skiing has exclusive rights to 432,000 acres of big mountain terrain and offers packages for a variety of levels.

Heli-sightseeing tours - Take a 30 minute tour with Blackcomb Helicopters for a spectacular birds-eye view of these beautiful mountains. From the Blackcomb base, head out past Green Lake, around Whistler and Blackcomb peaks, over Cheakamus Lake, then circle Black Tusk before landing on top of Rainbow Glacier for a stroll around to take in the heady vistas (very popular for proposals!) before heading back to Blackcomb base.

Canadian Wilderness Adventure snowmobiling

Scandinave Spa Whistler - Just north of Whistler and surrounded by a spruce and cedar forest, this unique spa overlooks incredible mountain vistas. Indulge in the hot baths and refreshing waterfalls, then book-in for a massage.

Whistler Tasting Tours - Join one of the regular evening dining tours through Whistler Village, following a local guide around several gourmet restaurants for a multi-course dinner. Collect a card at each venue ready for prizes at the end of the night.

Crystal Hut Fondue by Snowmobile - Drive your own snowmobile or share with a friend as your guide leads you up winding trails to the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain. Enjoy a traditional fondue dinner with wine, dessert and live music.

Plus many more including dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing...

We can book some of these directly for you - speak to your tour coordinator or call us on 01273 224063.

Kids in Whistler

Childcare - With a range of programmes available for children from 18-months and over, ask our team for the best options to suit your family. Call us on 01273 224 060.

Children’s Learning Centre - The mid-station on the Whistler gondola is the main learning area for kids, and is where ski school lunches are provided. It’s a great facility, fun and stimulating for all ages. Blackcomb and Creekside also have smaller kids’ bases.

Babysitting and equipment hire - Whistler’s two babysitting services - Nannies on Call and Babysitting Whistler - offer hourly rates and flexible care. Babysitting Whistler also rents toys, games, cribs, high chairs, strollers and baby backpacks. Baby’s On The Go has cribs, strollers, high chairs and car seats for rent along with indoor and outdoor toys. They feature two Mountain Baby packages and can deliver and install the equipment at your accommodation before you arrive.

Kids’ ski lessons - Before their first lesson, you’ll need to register your children for ski school and collect their vouchers. It’s good to do this the night before, or early the following morning before the programme starts. Most ski schools meet at 8.30am in the morning, ready to start the programme at 9am.

Learning in Whistler © Tourism Whistler / Vince Emond
Learning in Whistler © Tourism Whistler / Vince Emond

Kids' winter activities

Whether the skiing doesn’t work out or you need more on-slope fun, Whistler has a huge range of child-focused activities to up the excitement. Here’s a taster of some of the most popular:

Fire & Ice Snow Show - This free show featuring skiers and snowboarders jumping through a ring of fire, together with music and fireworks, is an entertaining welcome to the resort. It’s suitable for all the family and takes place every Sunday at 7.00pm (usually from mid-December to mid-March) at the Whistler Village Gondola base. 

Indoor rock climbing - Children as young as four can join guided sessions at The Core’s 5500 square-foot wall.

Ziptrekking - Fly high through the trees and across Fitzsimmons Creek on a zipline

Tubing - Slide down all the runs, from green to black diamond, at the Coca-Cola Tube Park

Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre - Learn about Whistler’s First Nations People and make traditional crafts

Ice Skating - Hire skates and slide on the rink at the Olympic Plaza between December and March

Tree Fort and Magic Castle - These kiddie playlands are perfect for little ones. Find the Tree Fort in Whistler or the Castle in Blackcomb

GS Race Centre - Good skiers can time themselves and race the rest of the family at this giant slalom course on Blackcomb

Terrain Parks - Several options for all ages, from kiddie jumps and rails at Terrain Garden (Blackcomb), to medium features at Habitat Terrain Park (Whistler), and larger jumps at Nintendo Terrain Park (Blackcomb)

Little Things Kids Lessons © Tourism Whistler / Mike Crane

Ski School, Courses & Clinics in Whistler

Ski school

Whistler’s fantastic terrain attracts some of the world’s best instructors, making the resort’s only school - Whistler Blackcomb Snow School - one of the very best in North America. Whether you’re learning for the first time or perfecting your powder turns, the emphasis is on having fun, which creates an excellent foundation for gaining confidence and progressing fast. If you’re already confident on piste, book a powder or backcountry lesson - it’ll open up a whole new element to your skiing.

There are options to suit every age and level, from private lessons to five-day ski camps, so speak to our team who can advise you on the best options for your level and budget.

Kids’ ski lessons - Before their first lesson, you’ll need to register your children for ski school and collect their vouchers. It’s good to do this the night before, or early the following morning before the programme starts. Most ski schools meet at 8.30am in the morning, ready to start the programme at 9am.

Private Ski and Snowboard Lessons - The fastest way to learn or improve your technique, book a one-on-one or friends and family lesson. If you’re already a confident skier, you could hire a guide instead and discover secret spots on and off-piste.

Whistler Ski School © Whistler Tourism / Mike Crane

Ski coaching, tours and clinics

Alongside standard ski lessons, Whistler has an excellent selection of options from coaching, tours and guided skiing, tried and tested by us.

Free mountain tours - Free, guided 90-minute tours run daily to show you the best ski areas for your ability. Suitable for intermediates and experts, they meet at 11.15am by Whistler Mountain’s Guest Satisfaction Centre (top of Whistler Village Gondola); and at Blackcomb’s Guest Satisfaction Centre (top of the Blackcomb Gondola).

Fresh Tracks breakfast trips - Be the first to ski enjoy Whistler’s slopes by taking the gondola up before 8am for a huge breakfast on the mountain. Pick untouched powder or freshly-groomed runs for your ski back down. Buy tickets from us in advance, or at the ticket office in resort.

Extremely Canadian Intro to Backcountry - Geared towards expert skiers, these specialist clinics teach essential off-piste skills. From crevasse rescue to skiing steeps, it’s a great way to up-skill while exploring the backcountry.

Backcountry tours - Leave the lift lines behind and join a guided backcountry tour with the Whistler Alpine Guides Bureau.

Cat-skiing and heli-skiing - To maximise your downhill descents, we can arrange cat-skiing or heli-skiing.

Powder Day Smiles © Tourism Whistler / Guy Fattal
Powder Day Smiles © Tourism Whistler / Guy Fattal

Whistler FAQs

Where is Whistler?

Whistler is one of Canada’s most westerly resorts, just two hours north of Vancouver in British Columbia.

How do you get to Whistler from the UK?

The easiest route is to fly direct from London Heathrow to Vancouver International Airport (approx. 9 hours 30 mins) and catch a transfer to the resort along the Sea 2 Sky Highway (approx. 2 hours 30 mins). You won’t need a car in resort so a transfer is the most economical way to travel, and you’ll want all eyes on the stunning scenery en route.

What is the closest airport to Whistler?

Vancouver International Airport. It’s possible to fly direct from Heathrow, or via Calgary.

How do you get to Whistler from Vancouver?

It’s a two hour thirty minute drive from Vancouver to Whistler along the incredibly scenic Sea 2 Sky Highway. While you can hire a car for the drive, we recommend either a shared or private transfer for the most economical and stress-free way to travel.

When does Whistler open for skiing?

Whistler typically opens in mid to late November depending on snowfall, but early season conditions are likely to be in effect until mid-December.

When does the ski season end in Whistler?

Each year, one of Whistler or Blackcomb Mountains shuts in April while the other stays open into May, rotating each year as one mountain preps for the summer mountain biking season while the other stays open for skiing. Spring conditions can come into play from April with limited skiing to the base, but the Alpine usually stays in great shape well into May.

What is there to do in Whistler if you don’t ski?

As a large and bustling winter and summer resort, Whistler is a great option for non-skiers. Aside from the wealth of shops, bars and restaurants, the activities are endless. You can still get your snow fix with snowshoeing or snowmobiling, raise your heart rate with Ziptrek or bungee jumping or simply unwind with a trip to the spa.

How high is Whistler?

The highest point is at 7,494 ft on Blackcomb Mountain, which doesn’t seem high compared to some other resorts in North America, but as the Village is just 2,214 ft above sea level, that’s a lot of vertical feet to ski, and you have almost no risk of altitude sickness which tends to occur above 8,000 ft.

What time zone is Whistler?

Whistler runs on PST/PDT, 7/8 hours behind the UK.

Do you need a car in Whistler?

Not at all! Whistler Village is almost entirely pedestrianised and most hotels offer complimentary shuttles to and from the slopes (or to the village if you’re slopeside). There are also public buses but in our experience, you’ll rarely use them if ever! We always recommend a transfer from Vancouver to Whistler otherwise you’re paying for a hire car to sit in a car park for the duration of your visit.


Resort Map

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Trail map

Resort Map route map

Resort Stats

24 November - 22 May
Nearest airport
Flight time
9 hours 30 minutes
Direct flight
Transfer time
2 hours 30 minutes
Transfer or car hire
7,494 ft
Vertical drop
5,280 ft
Avg snowfall
37.3 ft / 11.38 m
Ski area
8171 acres
Ski lifts
25% advanced 55% intermediates 20% beginners