Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, both part of the Whistler Resort, are the two largest ski mountains in North America and are consistently ranked as the No. 1 or 2 ski destinations on the continent. They offer winter and summer glacier skiing, the longest vertical drop in North America, and one of the most advanced lift systems in the world. Some 32 high speed lifts, 200 trails, and 12 alpine bowls cover more than 7,000 acres. Whistler has also grown in popularity as a summer destination, with a range of family oriented outdoor activities and events.
At the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are Whistler Village, Village North (also called Marketplace), and Upper Village, a rapidly expanding, interconnected community of lodgings, restaurants, pubs, gift shops, art galleries, and boutiques. Local residents refer to the entire area as Whistler Village. With dozens of hotels and condos within a five-minute walk of the mountains, the site is filled with activity. Culinary options in the resort range from burgers to French food; Japanese fare to deli cuisine.
Whistler Village is a pedestrian only community. Anywhere you want to go within the resort is at most five minutes away, and parking lots are just outside the village. The bases of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are also just at the village edge. In fact, you can ski right into the lower level of the Chateau Whistler Hotel.
In winter, the village is populated with skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. In summer, the pace is more relaxed, as the focus shifts to cycling, hiking, and boating at various spots around the Whistler Valley. The Valley Trail is available for roller blading, cycling, and walking. There are ample opportunities for golf, tennis, and horseback riding, and the Whistler River is known for its excellent white-water rafting.
The marvels of Whistler are just ninety miles from Vancouver. Narrow, winding Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, passes Shannon Falls and the Tantalus Range glaciers enroute to the Whistler resorts.
When planning a trip to Whistler, consider extending it to include the Coast Mountain Circle, which links Vancouver to the Cariboo Region. This 435-mile route takes in spectacular Howe Sound, the deep-water port of Squamish, Whistler Resort, and the Pemberton Valley before heading back to Vancouver through scenic Fraser Canyon and Harrison Hot Springs. This loop can be comfortably completed in two to three days, with time to stop and enjoy points of interest along the way.