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Kids Whistler

Whistler by the Numbers

Why do we love Whistler? Let us count the ways—skiing, shopping, dining and reliving the Olympics are just the beginning. To sum up, there’s something for everyone


Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

Whistler and Blackcomb mountains tower above the Village. (Photo: David McColm/Tourism Whistler)

1 Whistler Blackcomb has once again been named the number one ski resort in North America by SKI magazine. The resort offers more than 200 unique runs, 3,307 hectares (8,171 acres) of terrain and après options for everyone.

8 Whistler was home to eight sports during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Live the dream and try everything from skeleton at the Whistler Sliding Centre to ski jumping at Whistler Olympic Park—glory can be yours.

50 The 2015-16 season marks the 50th anniversary of Whistler Mountain as a ski resort. When it first opened in 1966, there were just six runs, including Franz’s Run, named for Franz Wilhelmsen, the company’s first president.

200 If you need a break from all the wintry adventure, or just get the urge to shop, duck into one of the 200+ stores to stock up on everything from art to ski gear.

551.3 Whistler boasts 551.3 hectares (1,362.3 acres) of parkland spread across 15 public parks. Add in the area’s five major lakes, and there’s plenty to do without taking a chairlift.

6,450 Need to refuel? There’s no need to go far, or even to leave the slopes. Whistler Blackcomb has 17 on-mountain dining options, with seating for 6,450.

69,939 Whistler Blackcomb’s 37 lifts can move 69,939 people per hour. That includes the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the world’s highest and longest lift, which spans 4.4 km (2.7 mi) between the peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb.

2,100,000 Each year 2,100,000 people from all over the world visit Whistler. That doesn’t include the more than 2,000 seasonal residents—note all the Australian accents.

Gone Fishin’


An eager angler hooks a catch with Pemberton Fish Finder

An eager angler hooks a catch with Pemberton Fish Finder

It’s cool—you don’t have to miss out on excellent BC fishing because you’re visiting during winter. It may sound fishy, but with Pemberton Fish Finder you can visit stunning high-mountain lakes and land a rainbow trout—through six inches of ice, of course. Chilling with family and friends on the frozen lake is just about as Canadian as it gets. Ice-fishing tours are family-friendly and, if you need to come in from the cold, the ice huts are cozy.

Flight of Fancy


From November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world's largest populations of bald eagles

November through February, nearby Brackendale boasts one of the world’s largest populations of bald eagles

Birds of a feather flock together. It’s especially true in beautiful Brackendale, where from mid-Nov. through Feb., the tiny town hosts one of the largest populations of bald eagles worldwide—all thanks to the feast of spawning salmon. For a bird’s-eye view of the feathered arrivals, take a float down the Cheakamus River with Sunwolf. Expect to see dozens of eagles along the glacier-fed river, plus breathtaking views of the Tantalus Range and surrounding scenery. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers to flock together, too.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola’s Record-Breaking Ride


The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

The greatest mountain range (Himalayas) and the flattest country (Maldives) have something in common with the Peak 2 Peak Gondola: they’re all record-breaking. In the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, the engineering marvel claimed fame as the “highest cable car above ground” and for the “longest unsupported span between two cable car towers.” Gondola cars hang 436 m (1,427 ft) above the valley floor, suspended by towers 3 km (1.8 mi) apart. It all adds up to one unbeatable ride.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Whether you’re a nervous nellie or a thrill-seeker or somewhere in between, there’s an outing to suit your desired adrenaline level


Explore Whistler's back country on horseback

Explore the picturesque Pemberton Valley on horseback. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Giddy-up! If you feel the urge to saddle up and hit the dusty trail, call Adventures on Horseback—only instead of dusty trails you’ll see postcard-worthy scenery throughout the Pemberton Valley, BC’s very own cowboy country. As you clip-clop along, keep your camera ready for picturesque creeks, tall grasses, roaring rivers and lush forests. Most impressive of all is the snow-capped peak of Mount Currie, rising up 2,591 m (8,501 ft). Surrounded by so much tranquillity and natural beauty, it’s easy to imagine you’ve slipped into an earlier, simpler, quieter time period. Trips can be customized for riders of all levels, from beginner to expert, and even small children. Adventure Ranch also offers equine adventures, complete with friendly cowgirls.

Summer here is practically synonymous with cycling. At the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, more than 1,507 m (4,946 ft) of sprawling bike-park terrain guarantees a trail for every preference, from gentle and banked to tight and twisty. Over 200 km (124 ft) of the trails are lift-serviced, meaning you can start from what feels like the top of the world and descend on two wheels, fuelled only by adrenaline. Whistler Eco Tours offers a valley bike tour for those who want to keep it peaceful and learn about history, geography and nature while on a bicycle, as well as a single-track tour for more advanced riders wishing to explore rougher terrain. Whistler Electric Bike Tours lets riders take it easy, which is especially appreciated on the uphill sections.

Do you feel the need to boldly go where no one has gone before? Put the pedal to the metal with Whistler ATV and embark on a bushwacker tour. Deep in the backcountry, stunning views of snow-capped mountains and remote lakes await. If you’re not afraid of heights and want to experience high alpine trails, choose the “top of the world” tour. Or chill out on a leisurely “easy rider” tour, with its gentle trails, perfect for newbie ATVers and families. For even more ATV excursions, call Canadian Wilderness Adventures. In summer, the most popular trip involves riding 1,830 m (6,000 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain, then enjoying live music and wild BC salmon on the Crystal Hut patio, with its sweeping views—a feast for all the senses.

More Than Just Books


Cozy Whistler Public Library (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Cozy Whistler Public Library. (Photo: Reactive Design Inc.)

Sink into a comfy chair in Whistler’s living room, better known as the Whistler Public Library. Part community hub, part resource centre, this spectacular building—with even more spectacular views—features an abundance of free events, such as story time for kids, workshops, games nights and film screenings. Visitors from elsewhere in British Columbia can borrow materials using the free BC OneCard program, while those from farther afield need to purchase a $10 temporary membership. Bonus: all guests can make use of the Wi-Fi, printer and scanner. Just like home? Even better, because most homes don’t contain thousands of books, CDs, DVDs and more.

Crystal Hut: Tippy-Top Trek


Enjoy Crystal Hut waffles. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Enjoy Crystal Hut waffles. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Stellar skiing, breathtaking views—and waffles. Just a few reasons locals and visitors alike trek 1,845 m (6,053 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain. Find the irresistible Belgian-style temptations at Crystal Hut, a cozy cabin nestled into a mountain ridge. The famed treats are served all day, and come loaded with tasty toppings, including whipped cream, maple syrup and chocolate chips. Take the sweet treat or a wood-oven-baked specialty out on the patio and enjoy the view. After all, you came all this way.

Family Fun With Blackcomb Snowmobiles


Snowmobiling with spectacular views

Snowmobiling with spectacular views

Every family vacation leaves lasting memories; make sure these are the best. At Blackcomb Snowmobile, families find fun for even the pickiest members. Hop on a snowmobile or strap on snowshoes to enjoy trails through forested terrain, reaching viewpoints for spectacular mountain vistas. Dogsled tours, a favourite with kids of all ages, include learning how to harness and command the dogs before visiting the snuggly Puppy Pen. To end the perfect day, cat-ski to a remote log cabin and indulge in a private family fondue dinner. Ready, set, make those memories!

30 Things We Love About Whistler


On or off the mountains, there’s plenty to adore about this winter-friendly town

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Dogsledding in the Callaghan Valley (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

1. Slaloming—or at least attempting to slalom—down the slopes of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

2. Biting into a truffle or brittle from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or Rogers’ Chocolates.

3. Braving ice cream headaches at Cows Whistler.

4. Marvelling at the jaw-dropping views from on board the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

5. Donning a parka to sip spirits in Bearfoot Bistro’s Belvedere Ice Room.

6. Joining the young and young-at-heart for a slide down Coca-Cola Tube Park.

7. Roots, a Canuck company that’s added a dose of Canadiana to wardrobes since 1973.

8. Making tracks in a pair of snowshoes from Cross Country Connection.

9. Practising our triple lutz while gliding around the free outdoor rink at Whistler Olympic Plaza, located right in the heart of the Village.

10. Feeling stress melt away with a massage, manicure and more at one of the resort’s many spas.

11. Channeling our inner Olympian on the bobsleigh and skeleton tracks at Whistler Sliding Centre.

12. Picking out a Coast Salish carving or handcrafted jewellery at The CRS Trading Post.

13. Digging into filet mignon or a New York strip at Hy’s Steakhouse, The Keg Steakhouse & Bar or Sidecut.

14. Sampling a buttery croissant or melt-in-your-mouth pastry—or two, or three—at Purebread, a local favourite.

15. Soaring high above the scenery with Superfly Ziplines or Ziptrek Ecotours.

16. Getting a rush of adrenaline over the Cheakamus River with Whistler Bungee.

17. Sipping handcrafted beer at The Brewhouse or Whistler Brewing Company.

18. Pairing Araxi’s celebrated Pacific Northwest plates with one of 1,000 wines from the cellar.

19. Soaking up the area’s local history at Whistler Museum or the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

20. Admiring stunning local and international artworks at Whistler’s galleries.

21. Reliving the 2010 Winter Games at Whistler Olympic Park on snowshoes, cross-country skis and
even toboggans.

22. Refueling with a sweet hand-stretched pastry from BeaverTails before heading back down Whistler Mountain.

23. Keeping toasty in a sweater from Amos & Andes or a fur shawl from Snowflake.

24. Warming up with a wood-fired pizza or other fresh regional fare at Grill & Vine.

25. Defying gravity on the indoor trampolines at Bounce.

26. Exploring the great outdoors on snowshoes, snowmobiles, dogsleds and more.

27. Partaking in Whistler’s post-black-diamond ritual with après-ski at Garibaldi Lift Co., Dusty’s or Merlin’s.

28. Going in search of untouched powder with Whistler Heli-Skiing.

29. Giving credit cards a workout at the shops.

30. Snapping photos by the Olympic Rings  and the Inukshuks in the Village and at the top of Whistler Mountain.

Backroads Whistler: Dreamboat


Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Paddlers test the waters on the idyllic River of Golden Dreams

Only a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams can fully explain its idyllic moniker. Soak up the beauty of this slow-moving waterway as you glide through old-growth forests and wetlands with Backroads Whistler. Choose from guided or unguided canoe and kayak tours, or watch for cute critters on the twilight wildlife tour. Some stick close to scenic Alta Lake on paddle boards and pedal boats—certain to make a splash with the whole family.

Make a Splash This Summer


From relaxing lakeside to tackling white water on a rafting tour, here’s how to test Whistler’s waters

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Playtime on the beach at Lost Lake Park. (Photo: Robin O’Neill/Tourism Whistler)

Best way to beat the heat? By soaking up the area’s spectacular scenery at one of the many lakes surrounding Whistler. Some folks lay their towels on the shore, but others prefer to make a splash at secluded Lost Lake and bustling Rainbow Park—furry companions included. These areas come equipped with concessions, kids’ play areas and gorgeous mountain views. Bonus: the sandy beaches are perfect for both sandcastle building and lakeside lounging. (more…)

2014 Where to Dine Awards: Whistler


Polderside Farms duck at Araxi. (Photo: Steve Li/Araxi)

Polderside Farms duck at Araxi. (Photo: Steve Li/Araxi)

From casual pubs to hip après-ski spots to white-linen dining rooms, Whistler’s restaurant scene has everything taste buds could desire. Where’s well-travelled readers weigh in with their flavourful finds in our annual Where to Dine awards. (more…)