Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Where Is Whistler Ski Resort


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Janot Pedigo



Welcome to Whistler Ski Resort, a winter wonderland nestled in the beautiful mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, Whistler has become a premier destination for thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe. With its stunning natural scenery, charming alpine village, and plethora of recreational activities, Whistler offers an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.


With its origins dating back to the 1960s, Whistler Ski Resort has a rich history that has transformed it into the iconic destination it is today. What was once a remote mountain range has now evolved into a vibrant hub for adventure and relaxation.


Located just a two-hour drive from Vancouver, Whistler Ski Resort is known for its accessibility. As you make your way up the Sea-to-Sky Highway, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of towering peaks and dense forests. This picturesque journey sets the stage for the incredible experiences that await you in Whistler.


When it comes to skiing and snowboarding, Whistler Ski Resort offers a unique blend of terrain that caters to all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner eager to hit the slopes for the first time, Whistler has it all. With over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain, you’ll find a variety of runs, from gentle groomers to challenging backcountry trails.


But Whistler is not just about skiing and snowboarding. The resort boasts a wide range of activities and attractions that cater to every interest. From snowshoeing and ice climbing to snowmobiling and heli-skiing, adventure awaits around every corner. And when you’re ready to take a break from the slopes, you can explore the vibrant village, indulge in world-class dining, or simply relax and rejuvenate at one of the resort’s luxury spas.


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history of Whistler Ski Resort, explore its location and geography, provide tips on how to get there, and highlight the various accommodation options available. We’ll also take a closer look at the facilities and amenities offered at the resort, as well as the exciting skiing and snowboarding options that await you. Additionally, we’ll showcase some of the other activities and attractions that make Whistler a year-round destination. Whether you’re planning your first trip to Whistler or you’re a seasoned veteran, this guide will provide you with all the information you need to make the most of your visit.


History of Whistler Ski Resort

The history of Whistler Ski Resort is a fascinating tale of transformation and perseverance. It all began in the 1960s when a small group of Vancouver businessmen had a vision to transform the vast mountains of Whistler into a world-class ski destination.


In 1966, the resort officially opened as Whistler Mountain Ski Resort, with just two lifts and a handful of trails. Despite its humble beginnings, Whistler quickly gained attention for its challenging terrain and pristine snow conditions. The resort’s reputation spread, attracting avid skiers from around the world.


In 1980, Whistler Mountain merged with the neighboring Blackcomb Mountain, forming what is now known as Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort in North America. This merger catapulted Whistler into the international spotlight and solidified its status as a premier destination for winter sports.


Since then, Whistler has continually evolved and expanded to meet the demands of its growing popularity. The resort has hosted numerous major events, including the 2010 Winter Olympics, which showcased Whistler’s world-class facilities and breathtaking natural beauty to a global audience.


Today, Whistler Ski Resort stands as a testament to the dedication and vision of its founders. With a vast network of lifts, over 200 trails, and a vertical drop of more than 5,000 feet, the resort offers unparalleled skiing and snowboarding opportunities. It has also become a year-round destination, with activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and golf drawing visitors during the summer months.


Whistler’s success is not solely due to its top-notch facilities and diverse terrain. The resort’s commitment to preserving the environment and embracing sustainability has earned it numerous accolades, including being named one of the top eco-friendly ski resorts in the world.


Whistler Ski Resort continues to innovate and improve, with ongoing investments in infrastructure, amenities, and guest experiences. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventure, a relaxing getaway, or a combination of both, Whistler has something to offer every visitor. Its rich history and dedication to providing an exceptional experience ensure that Whistler Ski Resort will remain a cherished destination for generations to come.


Location and Geography of Whistler Ski Resort

Whistler Ski Resort is located in the breathtaking Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Situated just 121 kilometers (75 miles) north of Vancouver, the resort is easily accessible and offers a stunning escape into nature.


The resort is nestled in a valley between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, creating a dramatic backdrop of towering peaks and rugged terrain. With elevations reaching up to 2,182 meters (7,160 feet) on Whistler Mountain and 2,436 meters (7,992 feet) on Blackcomb Mountain, visitors are treated to awe-inspiring panoramic views at every turn.


Whistler’s location in the Coast Mountains gives it a unique and favorable climate for winter sports. The region experiences a high amount of annual snowfall, with an average of 10 meters (33 feet) of snow blanketing the slopes each season. This abundance of natural snow, coupled with advanced snow-making capabilities, ensures excellent skiing and snowboarding conditions throughout the winter months.


Aside from its winter allure, Whistler’s mountainous terrain and lush forests make it an ideal destination for summer activities as well. The resort offers a plethora of outdoor adventures, including mountain biking, hiking, golfing, zip-lining, and much more. The alpine meadows burst with colorful wildflowers, providing a picturesque backdrop for exploration and relaxation.


The resort’s location within the Coast Mountains also provides a unique blend of coastal and alpine climates. This creates a microclimate that can vary from the lower elevations to the higher alpine areas. Visitors may experience cooler temperatures and increased rainfall in the lower parts of the resort, while higher elevations tend to be cooler and drier.


One of the highlights of Whistler’s geography is the Whistler Valley Trail, a network of paved and gravel paths that spans over 40 kilometers (25 miles) throughout the area. This trail not only offers stunning views and access to various recreational activities but also serves as a convenient means of transportation and exploration within the resort.


With its strategic location in the Coast Mountains and its unique blend of climates, Whistler Ski Resort provides an unparalleled natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re seeking winter sports excitement or summer adventures, the resort’s location and geography offer a diverse range of possibilities for every visitor to enjoy.


How to Get to Whistler Ski Resort

Getting to Whistler Ski Resort is a breeze, thanks to its convenient location and various transportation options. Whether you’re arriving from Vancouver, another Canadian city, or even from overseas, there are several ways to reach this winter paradise.


By Car: Driving to Whistler from Vancouver is a popular option, as it allows you the flexibility to explore at your own pace and provides easy access to all the resort has to offer. The Sea-to-Sky Highway (Highway 99) connects Vancouver to Whistler and offers breathtaking views of the coastal mountains and Howe Sound. The drive takes approximately two hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. It is recommended to equip your vehicle with winter tires or carry chains during the winter months.


By Shuttle: If you prefer to sit back and relax, there are several shuttle services that operate between Vancouver and Whistler. These comfortable and convenient shuttles offer regular departures from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and downtown Vancouver. The journey takes around two to three hours, depending on traffic. It is advisable to book your shuttle in advance to secure your seat.


By Train: Another scenic option is to take the train to Whistler. The Rocky Mountaineer offers a luxurious train journey from Vancouver to Whistler, allowing you to soak in the stunning vistas along the way. This option is ideal for those seeking a leisurely and indulgent travel experience.


By Bus: Greyhound and Pacific Coach Lines operate bus services between Vancouver and Whistler. These buses offer a cost-effective transportation option, with multiple daily departures. The bus ride takes around two and a half hours and provides a comfortable journey for travelers.


By Air: For those coming from afar, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the nearest major airport to Whistler Ski Resort. From the airport, you have the option to rent a car, take a shuttle, or arrange private transportation to reach the resort. Whistler also has a small private airport, Whistler Heliport, that caters to private planes and helicopter transfers for a more exclusive and efficient travel experience.


Once you arrive in Whistler, the resort’s pedestrian-friendly layout makes it easy to get around on foot. The village offers a free shuttle service, known as the Whistler Village Shuttle, which traverses the village area and provides convenient access to the ski lifts and various attractions within the resort.


Whether you choose to drive, take a shuttle or bus, hop on a train, or fly to Whistler, you can rest assured that the journey to this winter paradise will be as enjoyable as the destination itself.


Accommodation Options in Whistler Ski Resort

Whistler Ski Resort offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From luxurious hotels to cozy cabins and everything in between, you’ll find the perfect place to rest and rejuvenate after a day on the slopes.


Hotels and Resorts: Whistler is home to a variety of hotels and resorts, ranging from boutique properties to internationally renowned brands. These accommodations offer a range of amenities, including spas, fitness centers, restaurants, and concierge services. Many of these establishments are located in the heart of the village, providing convenient access to the ski lifts and vibrant nightlife.


Condo Rentals: Condo rentals are a popular choice for families or larger groups looking for a home-away-from-home experience. These self-contained units typically feature a kitchen, living area, and multiple bedrooms, giving you the flexibility to cook your own meals and enjoy a comfortable stay. Condo rentals can be found throughout the resort, with options ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious.


Chalets: For those seeking a more private and exclusive experience, there are plenty of chalets available for rent in Whistler. These standalone properties offer spacious accommodations, often with multiple bedrooms, private hot tubs, and stunning mountain views. Chalets are ideal for families or groups who want to unwind in a secluded and luxurious setting.


Hostels and Budget Accommodations: Whistler also offers a range of budget-friendly accommodations, including hostels and budget hotels. These options provide affordable and comfortable lodging without compromising on quality. Hostels are a popular choice for solo travelers or those looking to meet fellow adventurers and share experiences.


Bed and Breakfasts: If you prefer a more personalized and intimate experience, consider staying at one of Whistler’s bed and breakfasts. These charming properties offer a cozy atmosphere, homestyle breakfasts, and the opportunity to connect with local hosts who can provide insider tips and recommendations for your stay.


When choosing your accommodation in Whistler, consider factors such as location, amenities, and budget. Some properties offer ski-in/ski-out access, while others may be closer to the village center or specific attractions. It’s also worth noting that Whistler Ski Resort offers a variety of packages and deals, so be sure to check for any special offers that may enhance your stay.


With its diverse range of accommodation options, Whistler Ski Resort ensures that every visitor can find a comfortable and convenient place to call home during their mountain getaway.


Facilities and Amenities at Whistler Ski Resort

Whistler Ski Resort is renowned for its top-notch facilities and amenities, ensuring that visitors have everything they need for a memorable and enjoyable stay. Here are just a few of the outstanding features you can expect when visiting this world-class destination.


Ski Schools and Rental Shops: Whistler Ski Resort offers exceptional ski and snowboard instruction through its reputable ski schools. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced rider wanting to refine your technique, certified instructors are available to guide you. The resort also has several rental shops where you can conveniently rent or purchase ski or snowboard equipment.


Ski Lifts: Whistler boasts an extensive network of ski lifts to ensure efficient transportation throughout the resort. High-speed gondolas, chairlifts, and magic carpets provide quick and easy access to the expansive ski terrain, minimizing wait times and maximizing your time on the slopes.


Village Center: The heart of Whistler Ski Resort is its charming pedestrian village. Here, you’ll find a multitude of shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and bars. Stroll through the cobblestone streets, browse unique stores, and indulge in delicious cuisine from around the world. The village also features various services such as grocery stores, pharmacies, and medical clinics.


Snow Parks and Terrain Parks: Whistler Ski Resort is famous for its world-class terrain parks, catering to snowboarders and freestyle skiers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner hitting your first jumps or an expert honing your tricks, the resort’s terrain parks provide an exciting and challenging playground


Spas and Wellness Facilities: After a day on the slopes, treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation and pampering at one of the resort’s luxurious spas. Enjoy a soothing massage, rejuvenating facial, or unwind in serene hot tubs while taking in the stunning mountain views.


On-Mountain Dining: Whistler Ski Resort offers a variety of dining options to satisfy every palate. From casual slopeside cafes to gourmet mountain enclaves, you’ll discover a range of delicious cuisine, including international dishes and local favorites. Whether you’re seeking a quick bite or a leisurely dining experience, the resort has you covered.


Childcare and Family-Friendly Activities: Whistler is a fantastic family destination, and the resort provides excellent childcare services, kids’ camps, and programs designed to entertain and educate young ones. Families can partake in tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and numerous other activities suitable for all ages.


In addition to these amenities, Whistler Ski Resort offers a range of other services, including ski storage, ticket offices, public transportation, and more. The resort’s commitment to providing exceptional facilities ensures that your experience at Whistler is comfortable, convenient, and unforgettable.


Skiing and Snowboarding Options in Whistler Ski Resort

Whistler Ski Resort is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, offering an incredible array of terrain and diverse options for all levels of experience. With over 8,000 acres of skiable terrain and more than 200 marked trails, the resort provides endless opportunities for exhilarating adventures on the slopes.


Beginner Terrain: Whistler has a variety of gentle slopes and wide-open spaces perfect for those just starting their skiing or snowboarding journey. Novice skiers and riders can build confidence on designated green runs, which provide a comfortable and relaxed environment to practice and improve their skills.


Intermediate Runs: Whistler’s intermediate terrain is vast, offering a mix of groomed cruisers and more challenging runs. These slopes provide the perfect opportunity for intermediate skiers and snowboarders to refine their techniques while enjoying breathtaking mountain views.


Advanced and Expert Terrain: For thrill-seekers and advanced riders, Whistler Ski Resort is a dream come true. The resort boasts a plethora of challenging terrain, including steep chutes, moguls, glades, and powder-filled bowls. Experienced skiers and riders can push their limits and search for adrenaline-pumping adventures on the expert-level runs.


Backcountry and Heli-Skiing: Whistler is also renowned for its vast backcountry terrain, which offers endless possibilities for off-piste skiing and snowboarding. Venture into untracked powder fields, explore hidden stashes of fresh snow, and immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the surrounding mountains. For those seeking the ultimate adventure, heli-skiing and snowboarding experiences are available, allowing you to access untouched slopes via helicopter.


Terrain Parks: Whistler Ski Resort is famous for its world-class terrain parks, designed to cater to freestyle enthusiasts. From beginners to seasoned pros, the resort offers terrain parks with features such as jumps, rails, boxes, and halfpipes. The parks are meticulously maintained, ensuring optimal conditions for those wanting to showcase their tricks and skills.


Cat Skiing and Snowcat Tours: For a unique and unforgettable skiing or snowboarding experience, consider cat skiing or snowcat tours. These guided excursions take you off the beaten path and deep into the backcountry, allowing you to access pristine slopes with the assistance of a snowcat, ensuring fresh tracks and thrilling descents.


Whistler Ski Resort’s commitment to maintaining excellent snow conditions and varied terrain ensures that every skier and snowboarder, regardless of their level of experience, can find their perfect run. The resort’s dedication to providing a world-class skiing and snowboarding experience has earned it recognition as one of the top destinations for winter sports in the world.


Other Activities and Attractions in Whistler Ski Resort

While Whistler Ski Resort is renowned for its exceptional skiing and snowboarding, there is a multitude of other activities and attractions that make this destination a year-round haven for adventure enthusiasts. From thrilling outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and relaxing spa treatments, Whistler offers something for everyone.


Winter Activities: Beyond the slopes, Whistler offers a variety of winter activities to keep you entertained. Explore the stunning backcountry on a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing excursion, or experience the thrill of snowmobiling through powdery trails. For a unique experience, try ice climbing on frozen waterfalls or embark on a scenic helicopter tour to admire the winter wonderland from above.


Summer Activities: When the snow melts, Whistler transforms into a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Enjoy world-class mountain biking on the extensive trail network, which caters to all skill levels. Hiking, zip-lining, and golfing are also popular activities in the warmer months. Take a scenic gondola ride to the mountaintop, where you can soak in breathtaking views, explore alpine meadows, and even spot wildlife.


Peak 2 Peak Gondola: The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a must-do experience for visitors to Whistler. This engineering marvel connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, offering unparalleled views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. As you soar through the air, keep an eye out for wildlife and enjoy the breathtaking panorama below.


Whistler Olympic Park: As the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler is proud of its Olympic heritage. Visit Whistler Olympic Park, where you can explore the Olympic facilities, try out Nordic skiing on the same trails used by the athletes, and even experience the thrill of biathlon shooting.


The Whistler Sliding Centre: For an adrenaline rush, head to the Whistler Sliding Centre, where you can experience the thrill of bobsledding or skeleton firsthand. Take a ride down the iconic track at top speeds, accompanied by a professional pilot, for an unforgettable experience.


Whistler Village: The picturesque Whistler Village is a vibrant hub of activity, offering a multitude of shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bars. Stroll through the pedestrian-friendly streets, browse unique boutiques, and take in the lively atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop by the Olympic rings and monuments to pay homage to the Games held here in 2010.


Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in Whistler’s rich culture and heritage by visiting the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Learn about the traditions and artistry of the indigenous Squamish and Lil’wat Nations through interactive exhibits and guided tours.


Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures or a more relaxed and culturally enriching experience, Whistler Ski Resort has it all. Embrace the natural beauty, immerse yourself in thrilling activities, and indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of this world-class destination.


Dining and Nightlife in Whistler Ski Resort

When it comes to dining and nightlife, Whistler Ski Resort offers a vibrant and diverse scene that caters to all tastes and preferences. From cozy après-ski spots to upscale restaurants and lively bars, you’ll find a wide array of options to satisfy your culinary cravings and enjoy an unforgettable evening in the mountains.


Restaurants and Cafés: Whistler is home to a fantastic culinary scene, with a plethora of restaurants ranging from casual eateries to fine dining establishments. International cuisine is well-represented in the resort, offering a diverse selection of flavors from around the world. Indulge in mouthwatering sushi, hearty Italian dishes, savory seafood, or warming comfort food. Vegetarian and vegan options are also plentiful, ensuring that everyone can find something to tantalize their taste buds. Additionally, the resort boasts numerous charming cafés where you can grab a quick bite or enjoy a leisurely coffee break while taking in the stunning mountain views.


Après-Ski: After a day on the slopes, take part in the cherished tradition of après-ski. Whistler’s vibrant village is dotted with cozy bars and lounges where you can unwind and celebrate your day’s accomplishments. Enjoy live music, sip on craft beers, relish specialty cocktails, or warm up with a glass of mulled wine. Share stories with fellow skiers and riders while enjoying a relaxed and convivial atmosphere that is unique to Whistler.


Nightlife: Whistler’s nightlife offers something for everyone, from those seeking laid-back evenings to those looking for late-night revelry. Dance the night away at one of the resort’s lively clubs, where world-class DJs spin tunes into the early hours. Enjoy live entertainment at cozy pubs and bars, where you can catch a local band or participate in trivia nights. For a more sophisticated experience, indulge in craft cocktails at stylish lounges or enjoy a nightcap in a cozy fireside setting.


Special Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, Whistler hosts a variety of culinary events and festivals that showcase the resort’s gastronomic delights. From food and wine tastings to gourmet dinners prepared by renowned chefs, these events offer unique opportunities to explore Whistler’s culinary landscape and sample exquisite dishes. Be sure to check the events calendar for any happenings during your visit.


Après-Ski Activities: Beyond dining and nightlife, Whistler offers a range of après-ski activities to enhance your mountain experience. Take a relaxing soak in one of the resort’s hot tubs or indulge in a spa treatment to soothe your muscles and relax your mind. Enjoy live performances at the Whistler Olympic Plaza or catch a movie at the cinema. Whistler also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with art galleries and museums showcasing local and international talent.


Whistler Ski Resort is just as captivating off the slopes as it is on them. With its diverse culinary offerings, lively après-ski scene, and vibrant nightlife, visitors are treated to a complete and immersive mountain experience that extends far beyond the thrill of skiing and snowboarding.


Tips for Visiting Whistler Ski Resort

Visiting Whistler Ski Resort is an exciting and unforgettable experience. To make the most of your trip and ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind:


Plan Ahead: Whistler is a popular destination, especially during peak winter months. It’s advisable to plan and book your accommodations, ski passes, lessons, and equipment rentals in advance to secure the best options and avoid disappointment.


Check Weather and Snow Conditions: Monitor the weather and snow conditions leading up to your trip. This will help you prepare for the conditions you’ll be skiing or snowboarding in and allow you to pack appropriate clothing and gear.


Arrive Early: Whistler Ski Resort can get busy, especially on weekends and during holidays. Arrive early to maximize your time on the slopes and enjoy shorter lift lines.


Stay Hydrated and Wear Sunscreen: The combination of high altitude and reflection from the snow can intensify the sun’s rays. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and protect your skin by applying sunscreen, wearing a hat, and using goggles or sunglasses with UV protection.


Take Breaks and Pace Yourself: Whistler’s vast terrain can be enticing, but it’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. Pace yourself to avoid fatigue and injuries, especially if you’re not accustomed to skiing or snowboarding regularly.


Follow Mountain Safety Guidelines: Familiarize yourself with the resort’s mountain safety guidelines and respect the signs and markers on the slopes. Stay within your ability level and be aware of other skiers and snowboarders around you.


Try Night Skiing: Whistler offers night skiing on specific days, allowing you to extend your time on the slopes and experience a unique perspective of the mountain under the stars. Check the schedule and take advantage of this exhilarating opportunity.


Explore Beyond the Slopes: Whistler offers a wide range of activities beyond skiing and snowboarding. Take the time to explore the stunning surroundings, enjoy winter activities such as snowshoeing or ice skating, or simply relax and unwind in the village’s cozy cafés and shops.


Use the Whistler Village Shuttle: Utilize the free Whistler Village Shuttle to navigate the village and access the ski lifts. This convenient service runs regularly and will save you time and energy.


Take Advantage of Ski School and Lessons: If you’re a beginner or looking to improve your skiing or snowboarding skills, consider taking lessons or joining a ski school. Whistler Ski Resort offers excellent instruction from certified professionals who can help you build confidence and progress at your own pace.


Stay Safe and Respect the Environment: Lastly, always prioritize safety on and off the slopes. Respect the mountain environment and follow any rules and regulations put in place to protect the delicate ecosystem.


By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared to embrace all that Whistler Ski Resort has to offer. Enjoy your time on the slopes, immerse yourself in the vibrant village, and create lasting memories in this breathtaking winter wonderland.



Whistler Ski Resort is more than just a destination for winter sports. It’s a world-class destination that offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, exhilarating outdoor activities, and a vibrant village atmosphere. Whether you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, or simply looking for a getaway in a picturesque mountain setting, Whistler has something for everyone.


With its rich history, convenient location, and diverse terrain, Whistler has earned its reputation as one of the top ski resorts in the world. The resort’s commitment to providing top-notch facilities, extensive amenities, and a wide range of accommodation options ensures that visitors enjoy a comfortable and unforgettable experience.


Beyond the slopes, Whistler offers a multitude of activities and attractions to suit all interests. From exploring backcountry trails and participating in thrilling adventures to indulging in world-class dining and experiencing the vibrant nightlife, there is never a shortage of options to keep you entertained.


As you plan your visit to Whistler, remember to take advantage of all the resort has to offer. Plan ahead, check weather conditions, and make necessary reservations to ensure a seamless trip. Stay safe, follow mountain guidelines, and respect the natural environment to preserve the beauty that makes Whistler so special.


Whether you’re seeking a thrilling ski or snowboarding experience, a relaxing mountain retreat, or a combination of both, Whistler Ski Resort delivers. It’s a place where breathtaking landscapes meet outstanding facilities, and unforgettable adventures await at every turn. So pack your bags, hit the slopes, and immerse yourself in the magic of Whistler Ski Resort.