Whistler Village At Night
photo by Joe Shlabotnik

Whistler is in the province of British Columbia in Canada. Whistler is a popular winter snow-skiing destination near Vancouver. The official name for the Municipality is The Resort Municipality of Whistler


Before the skiers and boarders came, Whistler was a logging town with the name Alta Lake. The area was known for its snow and a group of investors hatched a plan to build a ski resort in the hopes of attracting the 1968 Winter Olympics. The Olympic dream didn't come through immediately, but the first ski resort opened in what is now the Creekside area in 1967 and a second resort opened on Blackcomb mountain in 1980. The two merged in 1988 and full-scale development of Whistler Village began shortly after.

Whistler will get its Olympic wishes in 2010, as it will host most of the ski and sliding events for the 2010 Winter Olympics.


Not surprisingly for a ski resort, Whistler gets its fair share of snow and cold weather. Winter temperatures average about 0 during the day and -6 overnight in the village with snow typically on the ground from Dec into April. Summers days can be quite warm, with temperatures reaching the high 20s, but nights tend to be cool. As with the rest of the Lower Mainland, there is significantly more precipitation from Nov through April than other times of the year.


Not surprisingly for a ski resort, Whistler gets its fair share of snow and cold weather. Winter temperatures average about 0 during the day and -6 overnight in the village with snow typically on the ground from Dec into April. Summers days can be quite warm, with temperatures reaching the high 20s, but nights tend to be cool. As with the rest of the Lower Mainland, there is significantly more precipitation from Nov through April than other times of the year.

Getting there

By car

Whistler is connected to the rest of British Columbia by the Sea to Sky highway (Highway 99), a beautiful but windy and, at times narrow, road. Care should be taken when driving, especially in Winter conditions. At the current time, the Sea to Sky Highway is undergoing major upgrades, particularly between Squamish and Vancouver. Typical driving time from Vancouver is about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

By bus

  • Greyhound Canada, 1-800-661-8747, offers coach service from the Vancouver Bus Depot, 1150 Station Street (at the Via Rail station). Greyhound allows bicycles unboxed on this route. They charge $10 for a bicycle. A bus ride generally takes 2-2.5 hours each way. $28 one-way.

  • Pacific Coach Lines, 1-888-403-4727, . Runs direct from airport to Whistler with their YVR-Whistler SkyLynx service. 12 daily departures in winter and 7 other times. $51.45/$26.25 one-way (adult/child).

  • Snowbus, 604-331-7850, . Stops in Richmond, Vancouver and Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver. Provides movies as in-bus entertainment. $30.95/$20.00 one-way from Vancouver (adult/student). $56.19/$34.29 Round Trip (Adult/Student).

By taxi

Whistler Resort Cabs, +1 604-938-1515, , provides taxi service from Vancouver and Vancouver International Airport to Whistler for $230.

RideBooker.com operates shuttles between between Vancouver International Airport and Whistler.

If a number of people are travelling together it is possible to go by Limo for $350-400 with room for between 6 and 10 people.

By plane

The nearest major airport is in Vancouver. From there, you can rent a car, take a bus or book one of the Whistler shuttles. Tickets for Snowbus (Tourism BC Visitor Center) and PCL (SkyLynx counter) can be purchased in the arrivals terminal.

  • Helijet, 1-800-665-4354, . Offers helicopter service from the airport for around $200 per person each way.

By train

  • Whistler Mountaineer , 1-888-687-7245, 1-888-687-7245, Once daily train service between North Vancouver and Whistler between May and October. Not your fastest option as the train travels slow so passengers can take in the view, but possibly the most relaxing and scenic.

Traveling around

The town of Whistler sprawls out around the valley, but the heart of the Whistler experience focuses on the European-style villages built around the base of the gondolas. Most of the accommodation, restaurants, bars, shops and the Blackcomb and Whistler gondolas are in Whistler Village and the Upper Village, at the foot of Whistler and Blackcomb. Village North (Blackcomb Village), built around the old base of Blackcomb, is smaller but still has a number of restaurants and hotels. Whistler Creekside is built around the original gondola on the south side of Whistler Mountain.

The easiest way to get around most of Whistler is by foot. Whistler Village and the Upper Village are mostly pedestrian walkways and small enough that you can walk anywhere. A short trail (5-10 minutes) links it with Village North and there is also an extensive system of trails that links Whistler Village with many of the parks, golf courses and beaches in other parts of the valley. Cars are best used if you're trying to reach some of the outlying areas. If you do use a car, the main road through town is Highway 99.

By bus

The WAVE, (604) 932-4020, is Whistler's public transit system and is considered very good for a city of its size. It runs regularly from 5:30AM to 3AM all year. In the winter, all of the buses have ski racks.

By taxi

Whistler Taxi, 604-932-3333.

Whistler Resort Cabs, 604-938-1515.


  • Take in the view from the top of the mountain. The Whistler and Blackcomb Gondolas run daily almost year-round (they are closed for maintenance during October-early November). The views from the top are quite spectacular. Sightseeing tickets cost $40.

Things to do


If skiing or boarding is your thing, it's hard to be disappointed with Whistler-Blackcomb, 1-800-766-0449 (toll-free) or +1 604-904-8134, . With 37 lifts servicing over 200 runs on two mountains and a vertical drop of over 1,500 meters (5,000 feet), Whistler-Blackcomb is the largest ski resort in North America and consistently ranks as one of the top three ski destinations in North America. The variety of terrain is huge — ranging from beginner areas to chutes and trees and groomed cruising runs to alpine bowls heaped with powder after a fresh snow fall — so there should be something to suit everyone. On the freestyle side of things, it has four terrain parks, a snow cross track and a superpipe.

If you are staying in Whistler Village or are parked in the day lots, the closest access point for both mountains is the two gondolas from Skiers Plaza in Whistler Village. The ride up takes 20-25 minutes and lineups can be long during the morning. Whistler Creekside has a gondola that accesses the southwest side of Whistler Mountain. This is a long walk from the Village so it is only useful if you are staying in the Creekside area or have a car. Village North has a couple of lifts that access Blackcomb Mountain and a beginners area. The gondolas start operation at 8:30AM and stop between 3PM and 4PM, depending on the time of the year. Snow conditions are available from the Snow Phone at 1-800-766-0449.

Both mountains open the fourth weekend of November and the main season runs until late April. Conditions permitting, the resort will keep one of the mountains open until early June for spring skiing. An adult lift ticket costs $89 at peak times of the year (typically over Christmas and during March), with slightly cheaper rates at other times. Spring skiing tickets are cheaper at $47. You can also purchase your lift tickets at the 7-11 convenience store in Squamish (on the drive up from Vancouver), where they are sold at a small discount.

The Blackcomb Glacier opens for a few hours a day from mid-June to early August, but the number of runs are limited as most of it is used by summer ski and snowboard camps.

Other activities

  • Backcountry skiing and cross country skiing are popular in Whistler as well. There is cross country skiing around Lost Lake, including night skiing if the conditions are right, and Backcountry Skiing throughout the valley, particularly off of the tops of Whistler and Blackcomb. The Callaghan Valley is just south of Whistler (turn left before Function Junction) and will host the Nordic Skiing events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Callaghan Country hosts guided ski touring, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing tours in this region. Heliskiing is an expensive but worthwhile endeavour if you crave making tracks where few others do. Several operators make Whistler's miles of backcountry terrain available to visitors.

  • Whistler Mountain Bike Park, 1-866-218.9690 (toll-free) or +1 604-904-8134, 10AM - 5PM daily mid-May to mid-Oct. Open until 8PM during summer, access from Skiers Plaza, During summer, the skiing paradise turns into a biker's paradise with a handful of lifts carrying bikers and bikes up the mountain. There are over 50 runs and 4,900 feet of vertical catering to all skill levels. Tracks include single trails and fast race tracks with spectacular jumps and some Northshore elements have been built. Bikes can be rented at the base of the Whistler gondola.

  • Lost Lake Park, turn-off near the end of Blackcomb Way, Lost Lake is a great place to relax in the summer and is a popular spot with the locals. There's a beach, the water is warmer than the other lakes in the valley and there are miles of trails for walking or cycling. It's also a popular spot for cross-country skiing in the winter.

  • Golf is a popular activity in Whistler and it has three championshp caliber courses.

    • Nickalus North, +1 604-938-9898 , 8080 Nicklaus North Blvd

    • Chateau Whistler, +1 877 938-2092, +1 877 938-2092, 4612 Blackcomb Way

    • Whistler Golf Club , 1-800-376-1777 (toll-free), 4001 Whistler Way

  • There are a number of hiking trails in and around Whistler. For the casual walker looking for a pleasant walk through an ancient grove of cedar trees, Cougar Mountain provides an easy hour loop. More aggressive day hikers might head to Brandywine Meadows, a six hour trip up much steeper terrain. And multi-day backpackers also have a variety of options including the Helm Creek trail to Garibaldi Lake and the Black Tusk. Of course, the ski lifts and gondolas of Whistler Blackcomb operate in the summer to offer hikers a relaxing short cut into back country.

  • Whistler also offers some excellent sport and trad/gear rock climbing. Within the city limits there are several small, single pitch crags collectively known as Nordic Rock. The area offers 23 vertical routes, most of them sport, up to 20m long ranging in difficulty from 5.8 - 5.13a (French: 5 - 7c+). For more information on the routes in Whistler and area, check out any of the quality guide books describing the climbing in the Sea to Sky corridor.

  • There are a number of companies that specialize in outdoor adventure travel such as whitewater rafting, ATV (all terrain vehicle) tours, snowmobiling, dog sledding and many other types of activities. Depending on your particular tastes, some or all of these can be extremely entertaining and are generally professionally run. Tour operators include:

    • Canadian Outback, 1-800-565-8735,

    • Whistler Backcountry Adventure, 1-888-297-2222,

    • Activity Bookers

  • Whistler Tennis Club, . Rates start at $32/hour for indoor courts to $16/hour for outdoor courts.


Whistler village has a variety of restaurants ranging from very cheap fast food to expensive, and covering a number of styles. Regardless of what type of food you're looking for, the best way to find good food in Whistler is to take a walk around the village.

Whistler's on-slope food is surprisingly good and varied. Though you'll pay a small premium for the high altitude service, your udon bowl ($10) or salmon steak ($12) is similarly priced to the village below and though the seating arrangements may be less comfortable than what you'll find in the village, the dining views can't be beat. One special on-hill treat is the enormous waffles topped with berries, cream, and chocolate at the Crystal Hut on Blackcomb Mountain.


  • Mogul's Coffee, Tasty paninis and sandwiches like Chicken Cranberry, as well as small items like samosas and baked goods.

  • Ciao-Thyme Cafe, 8AM-5PM, Serves breakfast and lunch with a bit more flair than the usual bacon, eggs and toast. The Bob breakfast sandwiches are recommended.

  • The Old Spaghetti Factory, Whistler Village, close to Lulu Lemon, An old fashioned Italian restaurant, serves meals with a free loaf of bread per table, and tasty big dishes ranging from $12 to $20. The food is delightful, not to be missed. Serves lunch and dinner.


  • The Brewhouse , 604-905-2739, 11:30AM - midnight Su-Th, 11:30AM - 1AM F-Sa, 4355 Blackcomb Way, near the Fire Hall

  • Caramba! , 604-938-1879, 12-4314 Main St, Medditerrean inspired dishes with local flavour. The pizzas are recommended.

  • Citta , 604-932-4177, 7-4154 Village Green, Popular spot to hang out with its patio on Village Square with decent pub fare.

  • earls, 604-935-3222, 200-4295 Blackcomb Way, One of a large chain of restaurants. Serves a lot of good appetizers and decent cocktails, in an average price range.

  • Kypriaki Norte , 604-932-0600, 4122 Village Green, Medditerrean and seafood.

  • Mongolie Grill , 604-938-9416, 201-4295 Blackcomb Way, A unique and delicious stir fry restaurant. Pick from a wide variety of ingredients, customize your sauce, and watch them stir fry it up in front of you. Although it depends largely on how much you pick out, prices are usually in the mid-range. Beware of your eyes being bigger than your stomach though, as it adds up quickly!


  • Araxi , 604-932-4540, 4222 Village Square, Italian and seafood. Reviewers found the food was good, although expensive, and recommended the wine list.

  • Monk's Grill , 604-932-9677, 4555 Blackcomb Way, Upscale restaurant with steaks and seafood.

  • Teppan Village , 604-932-2223, 5:30PM - 10PM daily, 301-4293 Mountain Square, Japanese teppanyaki.

  • Whsitler Tasting Tours (Whistler Restaurant Tours) , 604-902-8687, 9AM-9PM Daily, 4101 Village Gate, Walk-about dining tours, guiding groups to several gourmet Whistler restaurants for a delicious multi-course dinner paired with fine BC wines.


One of the true joys of Whistler is to go to one of the many bars after a long day of skiing or outdoor activities. The bars are where many of the visitors gather and the atmosphere is laid back and easygoing.

You'll find almost any type of drink at the many bars, restaurants, cafes and clubs in Whistler. If you like beer, try a local "micro-brewery" beer at one of the pubs in the village.

  • Buffalo Bills , 604-932-6613, 3PM-2AM M-Sa, 3PM-12AM Su, 4122 Village Green, across from the Telus Conference Center, Restaurant and nightclub with pool tables, big screen TVs and a large dance floor.

  • Dubh Linn Gate Pub , 1-800-387-3311, 7AM - 1AM daily, 170-4320 Sundial Cres, Irish-style pub with good food and live music nightly after 8PM.

  • Garibaldi Lift Co., 604-905-2220, Open daily until 1AM, 4165 Springs Ln, above the bottom of the Whistler gondola, Popular spot for apres ski with its patio looking out at the base of the mountain and Skiers Plaza.



  • Art's Hostel , +1 604-932-4660, +1 604-932-4660, 2113 Nordic Drive, In

  • AMS UBC Lodge , +1 604-932-6604, Nordic Drive, This hostel is about another 200m up the hill from Art's Hostel and has a hot tub, plus a large lounge area with a cozy, rustic feel. Priority and better rates are given to UBC students so be sure to call for availibilty before just showing up.

  • Hostelling International Whistler , +1 604-932-5492, 5678 Alta Lake Rd, Beautiful location on the shores of Alta Lake, but a 45 minute walk into town making this the most remote hostel in Whistler. Guests can use the canoes for free and there is a swimming area. There are five buses a day between the hostel and Whistler Village. Taxi fare to get to or from this hostel is around $20.

  • Southside Lodge , +1 604-932-3644, Highway 99, Well situated about 300m from the Creekside gondola station (Whistler Mountain) and commercial area. While shops and restaurants (and ski lifts) are within walking distance, the main village area is a 40 minute walk, however the area is served by buses which come every 15 minutes (high season), or 30 minutes (low season). If staying at this hostel be sure to eat at the Southside diner, which occupies the ground floor and is one of the very few remaining establishments from the pre-Intrawest Whistler era.


  • Delta Whistler Village Suites , 1-888-299-3987 (toll-free) or +1 604-905-3987, 4308 Main St, The Delta offers 1 and 2 bedroom suites with full kitchen and laundry facilities as standard.

  • Mountainside Lodge , 1-877-607-3337 (toll-free) or +1 604-932-4511, 4417 Sundial Place, A lodge with studios, lofts, and one-bedroom suites. Heated pool and tub. Onsite Italian restaurant **Trattoria di Umberto**.

  • Summit Lodge and Spa , 1-888-913-8811 (toll-free), 4359 Main St, Boutique hotel with on-site spa. Has Deluxe and Executive studios and one bedroom suites.

  • Whistler Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort , 1-800-229-3188 (toll-free) or +1 604-938-0878, 4295 Blackcomb Way, Hotel is in the heart of Whistler Village. Studios and suites with kitchenettes.


  • Four Seasons Resort Whistler , 1 888-935-2460 (toll-free) or +1 604-935-3400, 4591 Blackcomb Way, Located in the Upper Village, walking distance to Blackcomb Wizard lift and to main village.

  • Hilton Hotel , +1 604-932-1982, 4050 Whistler Way, Located in Whistler Village, the Hilton is one long block from the Whistler gondola.

  • The Idylwood Inn , 8725 Idylwood Place, The Idylwood Inn is a large chalet split up into two and three bedroom units.

  • Pan Pacific Whistler Hotel Mountainside , 1-888-905-9995 (toll-free) or +1 604-905-2999, 4320 Sundial Cres, The Pan Pacific is located at the base of Whistler, a few steps from the Blackcomb gondola and right in the middle of the apres ski action.

  • Coast Blackcomb Suites at Whistler (the former Residence Inn by Marriott - Whistler ) , 1-888-905-3400 (toll-free) or +1 604-905-3400, 4899 Painted Cliff Rd, Luxury all-suite lodging, slopeside on Blackcomb Mountain. Ski-in ski-out access. Has a large hot tub.


  • Aloha Whistler Accommodations , 1-888-938-9998 (toll-free) or +1 604-938-6263, 2050 Lake Placid Rd, #101, Over 75 Whistler condos, luxury home and chalet rentals. Most are slopeside on Whistler or Blackcomb Mountains. 1 to 6 bedrooms.

  • Whistler Home Holidays , 1-888-644-7444 (toll-free N. America), 800 967 997 (toll-free HK), 0800 917 0478 (toll-free UK) or +1 604-938-9256, 3114 Tyrol Cres, Provider of 2 to 5 bedroom luxury Whistler home rentals. Can also book ski and golf packages.

  • Whiski Jack Whistler Accommodation , 1-888-944-7545 ext. 1 (toll-free N. America)604-932-6500, 4319 Main St. Whistler BC, The best prices on the best quality properties. Studios to multi-bedroom units. Units in 17 of Whistler’s best buildings. Self-contained, fully-equipped units.

  • Whistler Select Accommodation , 1-888-938-9998 (toll-free) or +1 604-938-6263, 2050 Lake Placid Rd, #101, Whistler luxury accommodation and vacations - including condos, home and chalet rentals. Most are slopeside on Whistler or Blackcomb Mountains. 1 to 6 bedrooms.

  • Platinum Whistler Accommodations , 1-877-932-1777 (toll-free N. America), 0207 117 6006 (toll-free UK) or +1 604-932-0100, 4557 Blackcomb Way, Offers a variety of condos, chalets and hotels.

  • Whistler Superior Properties , 1-877-535-8282 (toll-free) or +1 604-932-3510, #113 - 4368 Main Street, A good range of properties to suit the needs of all kinds of travellers.


Whistler is surprisingly short of organized places to camp. Most of those that exist are outside of town:

  • Cal-Chek Forest Service Campground, 604 902-0510. Cool cable suspension bridge across the Cheakamus River.

  • Nairn Falls Provincial Campground, 20 miles (30km) north of Whistler and 2 miles (3 km) south of Pemberton off Highway 99, .

  • Brandywine Fall Provincial Campground, 7 miles (11 km) south of Whistler off Highway 99 and 30 miles (47 km) North of Squamish, .


As is common to tourist-centric villages and towns, Whistler village has a number of shops awaiting you. In general, the shopping is better and you'll find more variety in nearby Vancouver, so if you're on a budget, your money is likely to go farther in Vancouver. On the other hand, many of the stores in Whistler village are a pleasure to visit and the outdoor setting makes browsing (or shopping) more enjoyable than the large malls found in Vancouver.

  • Whistler Ski Butlers Rental Delivery, Learn to ski or snowboard or re-visit the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb mountains again in style with this equipment rental service company. ,


  • Tamwood International College , 604-938-9843, 301 - 4204 Village Square, Tamwood International operates a number of carefully designed and managed English Language schools, Camp programs and Work Experience programs across Canada.


  • Cyber Web Internet Cafe , +1-604-905-1280, Open every day, summer 09:00-22:30h, winter 08:00-22:00h, #6, 4340 Sundial Crescent, Internet access at terminals and wireless. Plus related services like CD burning, photocopying, and fax service. Free local calls on courtesy phone. Also various espresso and cold drinks, and snacks. Look for 10% discount cards on the reception table. Located right on skier's plaza at the foot of both gondolas, next to Black's Pub, tucked into the Sundial Hotel.

  • Whistler Public Library , +1-604-932-5564, +1-604-932-5564, Monday through Saturday 11AM - 7PM, Sunday 11AM - 4PM, closed holidays, 4329 Main Street, Offers free internet access, in addition to the usual library services. Located on the opposite side of Village Gate Blvd from the plaza at the base of Whistler mountain.

  • Heading north on Highway 99 will take you past Nairn Falls, the village of Pemberton and the alpine beauty of Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.

  • Garibaldi Provincial Park, which has many hiking and backcountry camping opportunities, has access points north and south of town off Highway 99.

  • Squamish, the self-styled Adventure Capital of Canada, is 45 minutes south of Whistler on Highway 99.

  • Brandywine Falls is 20 minutes south of town on the way to Squamish.

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Joe Shlabotnik, Lucas Gomes, Kris Arnold, Roy and Susan, fujitariuji, Tatham Oddie, dennis and aimee jonez

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This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Jim DeLaHunt, David, Roy McClean, Shallana, Johny Canal, John M., Andreas Bjärlestam, Ryan Holliday, William Bakker, Gordon Addison, Josh, James Blake, Evan Prodromou, Saurabh Abhyankar, John, Jani Patokallio and Colin Jensen, Inas, Vidimian, Tatatabot, Shaund, Shannon1000, Vikkis, Occasional Traveller, Teamchachi, Jetgirlwhistler, Jonboy and Nils

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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