Get Into the Backcountry | Snow Cat Tours
Whistler is known for its epic resort and many people visit from all over the globe just to get a taste of the Whistler powder. But, the resort is only a small percentage of this fantastic mountain landscape. There is so much vast space to explore beyond the bounds of the resort.
Many visitors prepare their skins to traverse and ski in the backcountry. It is highly recommended before your thinking of getting into backcountry skiing or snowboarding to participate in an avalanche safety course and of course go with a more experienced skier or guide.
If you lack experience in the backcountry, there are other amazing and alternative ways to participate in this experience. Snowcat tours are a great way to take in the vast views and avoid those long lift lines.
4 Snow Cat Tours in (and Around) Whistler
Snowcat tours are a wonderful and accessible activity for the whole family. As many of the operators offer everything ranging from family-friendly activities via snowcat, or with a combo of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and/or tobogganing. This can be an awesome group activity.
1. Canadian Wilderness Adventures
- Blackcomb Family Apres by Snowcat (2hr round trip):
- Price: $129 Adult, $89 Kids (12 & under)
- Departs: 4:30 pm
The heated 19 passenger snowcat takes you through the hidden valley between Whistler and Blackcomb. The snowcat will take you to a magical lookout where passengers can enjoy a bonfire, marshmallows, hot chocolate, igloo fun, and tobogganing.
- Crystal Hut Fondue by Snowcat (3.5hr round trip):
- Price: $229/passenger
- Departs: 7:15pm
This is a must-do for the whole gang! Experience the snowcat under the sparkling night sky and make your way to Crystal Hut, which is located 6000ft atop of Blackcomb Mountain where a tasty alpine fondue dinner awaits. There are vegetarian alternatives provided, please inform the tour group if any dietary preferences.
2. Powder Mountain Whistler Catskiing
- Public Cat: The cost is $599 per person to participate in this full-day adventure where you will also have the opportunity to backcountry ski or snowboard in the private 4300- acre area. On average people get in 6-10 runs in a day and on the cat a full day will not be less than 7000 vertical feet.
- Private Cat: $6999 is the cost to rent a vehicle for the day. Gather your family and friends and create your adventure. The world is your oyster with this one and experience the adventures of the mountains. Skiing and snowboarding opportunities available as well.
3. Blackcomb Snowmobile
Private Charter (3.5hr round trip): $1690 for up to 10 passengers that can participate in this tour. The snowcat holds up to 12 passengers and is fully heated. You will be traveling in comfort while taking in the 360 degree panoramic views of the Whistler Backcountry. This tour is ideal for all ages, no experience is required to participate. Your guide will share information about the area.
This tour is ideal for private or family adventures as you can tweak the tour dependant on what you’re after. Kids can stop by the Z track to experience the mini snowmobiles, go tobogganing, snowshoeing, building a snowman and awesome time to capture that family photo you’ve been meaning to get. How fun does that sound?!
Breakfast or lunch is included at the remote log cabin, dietary requirements can be catered to. Extra winter gear is offered but please dress appropriately, and hotel pickups can be arranged.
4. Blackcomb SnowCats
This operator is located on the Hurley pass just south of the Chilcotin Mountains and approximately half an hour north of Whistler. They have loads to offer and if looking for a slightly different location to venture outside of Whistler than their tours is a must-do.
They also offer snowcat and skiing trips that range from one day to four-day trips with their very experienced and trained guides. Be sure to check out their stunning photos to have a glimpse of what you can expect from their offered adventures.
Snow Cat Skiing and know before you go!
As you can see there are a few options with tours to just hop on board the snowcat and venture up the mountain. If you are looking to add in that snowcat skiing or snowboarding then the option offered by Powder Mountain Whistler Heliskiing and Cat Skiing is a great one.
Snowcat skiing tours are a fabulous way to adventure into the backcountry with a group and participate in skiing or snowboarding on a large acre of very secluded land. Here are the things you need to know before you decide to book a snowcat skiing opportunity.
Things to Note:
- It’s advised that skiers and snowboards should have a strong intermediate ability and skill to ski in varied conditions (powder, trees, steep terrain).
- If not comfortable on skis look into snowcat alternatives
- Runs are not like resort runs they are not maintained or groom, just mother nature’s gift
- Listen to your guide, backcountry conditions can change very quickly dependant on weather
- Snow is often very deep!
- Guides will try to match groups level to proper terrain
- Remember to bring a camera to capture the memories
What to Wear:
- Wear what you would wear to normally go skiing or snowboarding
- Waterproof Gloves
- Several thin layers
- Powder specific skis and snowboards recommended, it will be more enjoyable for you
Alternative to Snow Cat Tours
Looking for other means of travel through the backcountry playground, there’s plenty of other options to choose from. Helicopter trips are a memorable way to see the coast mountain views. These aerial journey’s will move through the Whistler Backcountry allowing you to see the mountains, lakes and volcanoes.
Through Blackcomb Helicopters there’s a few different tours to choose from dependant on what experience your after.
- BC Experience Tour
Children Under 2- Free!
This tour takes you on a journey to explore the Whistler-Blackcomb resort and Garibaldi Provincial Park. With stunning views to offer, the helicopter will take guests to land on the 12 000 year old glacier on Rainbow Mountain.
- Ultimate Experience Private
$1850 + GST
Looking for true VIP style of the BC experience tour. This tour offers the exact same fantastic views as the tour above, but of course you get your own private helicopter. Perfect way to treat the family, a group of friends, or if you really want to pull out all the moves this is an opportunity for a fantastic date.
- Heli Picnic
$625/per person for a group of two and $425 for each additional person
Speaking of dates, this tour soars over the backcountry landscape and views of the Rainbow Glacier. It will land in a picture perfect picnic spot at alpine lake. You will be able to experience the seclusion from the crowds, learn about the local wildlife and enjoy a beautiful picnic. Food is catered by portobello and can even throw in a bottle of wine.
$695.00/person half day or $979.00/person full day
Ranging from a 3.5 hour (half-day) and 7 hour (full-day) hiking adventure experience the wonderful landscapes and diverse geography. This tour gives you the best of both worlds while experiencing nature from air and from your own two feet. A lunch is also provides in a lovely area.
It wouldn’t be British Columbia without a bit of a yoga involved. This is a private yoga experience bringing you closer to nature. It will start with a flight to the remote beverley lake located on the backside of Rainbow mountain. A trained yoga instructor will lead a 60min practice and have some time to take in the views.
What About Powder Mountain Whistler Heli-skiing and Cat-skiing
This operator offers packages of single-day Heli-skiing and cat-skiing dependant on your preference. The great thing about this company is that whatever your abilities are they can usually find the terrain to match your level. It is still advised that you feel comfortable on your skis or boards to ensure you have a great time!
Another Option, Blackcomb Snowmobile
Scenic Tour (2hr round trip): $159 Single or $119 Per Person Doubling
Leaving several times throughout the day, this tour is a fantastic introduction to snowmobiling in the backcountry. It’s geared towards people newer to handling these machines so it goes at a learning pace. The tour includes a hot drink and a tasty snack where you can take a moment to admire the mountains.
And there is Always The Adventure Group
Experience Whistler’s diverse backcountry terrain offered by The Adventure Group while you whiz through the trees. Adventure levels and tours range from family friendly to more intermediate, adrenaline induced tours.
They also are known for their excellent zipline tours available. Experience the Superfly Winter Adventure by ziplining Rainbow and Cougar mountain. Here you will be educated about the old growth forests and experience one of Canada’s longest zip lines that is over a kilometre long and 600 feet high. Yes, they operate all year long which means you get the entire family ziplining in the snowy months.
Get into Backcountry | Book your Snowcat Adventure
It’s a no brainer, these experiences are once in a lifetime and a chance to create an everlasting memory. Contact your preferred operator and get booking the ultimate adventure via snowcat into the backcountry.
More importantly, these tours share this beautiful place we live in and how important it is to preserve our environment. All of these tours provide a secluded experience so that you can feel the serene silence of the mountains.
Be safe and happy exploring!