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Snowmobiling Tours in a Backcountry Paradise: Explore Whistler by Sled

a man riding a snowboard down a snow covered slope

Thinking of checking out snowmobile tours in Whistler? You got it. Here is a sneak peek of what to expect:

  • A pristine, untouched blanket of snow
  • A vastness that is hard to comprehend
  • The shimmer of the sun on freshly fallen flakes
  • Crisp, breathtaking mountain air
  • Seemingly infinite opportunity, terrain, and adventure. 

If you are ready for an epic backcountry snowmobile tour in Whistler, BC — You’ve come to the right place.

Whistler is the kickoff point to any number of epic terrains, mountain trails, and vistas. For skiers, snowmobilers, motorheads, and outdoor adventurers, sledding Whistler’s backcountry is a bucket list experience.

Whistler’s Backcountry and Snowmobiling: Heavenly Combination 

In Whistler, we are fortunate to be able to access the backcountry relatively easily. The Callaghan Valley is 15 minutes south of Whistler and Cougar Mountain 15 minutes north. And let’s not forget Pemberton, a sledder’s dream.

With several tour companies to choose from, there is a backcountry adventure for just about every level of experience. Rentals, guides, lodging, and on-the-mountain snacks can all be arranged. Whistler is a snowmobilers paradise. 

Check out calm Sunday family tours, suitable for even a total novice rider. Or, kickoff before dawn for deep pockets of powder on a fresh tracks tour.

Many snowmobile tour operators also offer completely custom private tours, rentals included, to get you high marking in surreal mountain peaks.

Just imagine unlimited powder that you don’t have to fight for. You won’t believe that the mountains could get even more magical.

Once you try it, you’ll never want to wait in lift lines again.

What to Bring Snowmobiling in Whistler’s Backcountry

Get dressed like you’re going skiing, but wear normal winter boots. Dress in layers and be prepared for the cold. 

Remember, it can get very chilly in the backcountry, especially at speed. You may want to stuff your mittens and boots with warmers or invest in a pair of heated socks. 

Companies will provide approved helmets for your use. 

  • Ski jacket
  • Ski pants
  • Thermal layers
  • Down layers
  • Balaclava
  • Thin but warm hat
  • Mittens or gloves
  • Hand warmers
  • Warm boots
  • Ski goggles
  • Optional: camera, GoPro, selfie stick

Requirements, Training, and Eligibility 

Minimum Age Requirement: Most Whistler snowmobile tour operators require drivers to be at least 19 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. While kids can take over on the Mini Track and Mini Snowmobiles, they’ll have to stick with riding as a passenger for most of the tours.

Passengers: Most beginners to intermediate tours allow for passengers (which means a slightly lower rate for the second person). Advanced tours often have a strict single rider rule for safety reasons.

Weight Restrictions: The snowmobiles used by most operators have a weight limit of 350 lbs. You may need to do some quick calculations if you plan on taking a passenger.

Avalanche Safety Training: Advanced and experienced riders should already know this. If you are pushing deep into the backcountry and off groomers, then you’ll need your AST.  Avalanche risk exponentially rises as you venture into the backcountry, but preparation can mitigate risks. Avalanche training courses are great for everyone but a must for backcountry explorers. Your snowmobile guide will inform you what’s required for the tour, but generally, AST is not required for beginners and intermediate tours.

What to Expect Snowmobiling Around Whistler

A group of people rest at the top of Whistler on snowmobiles.

Head to the top of the mountain on the back of a sled this winter.

Regardless of what tour you choose, a professional guide will get you suited up (helmet, avalanche gear if needed, and anything you’ve forgotten to stay warm).

Depending on experience level, you can also expect them to teach you how to turn your machine on and off, steer and stop. They’ll demonstrate signals that they’ll use throughout the ride and how to communicate once riding.

Their job is to make sure you are 100% comfortable and confident. It’s your tour to enjoy. 

Keep in mind; snowmobiling is not easy for everyone. Often likened to ATVing or off-roading, many find the machinery to be a bit more challenging to handle. 

A typical snowmobile weighs about 500 pounds and can reflect this weight when you’re steering. Maneuvering may not be effortless, so a basic level of fitness and confidence is an asset. 

Whistler Snowmobile Tour Operators

The good news about booking a snowmobile tour in Whistler? You’ll only get the best. This internationally renowned ski and snowboard destination has attracted the best-of-the-best when it comes to backcountry enthusiasts and guides. 

Whistler is the gold standard backcountry sledding experience.

Every company must adhere to strict safety protocols. They’ll be licensed, insured, and only work with experienced and highly trained snowmobile guides. So even for those hitting a family tour, you’ll always have an expert with backcountry and avalanche safety training — just in case. 

The Adventure Group Tours

The Adventure Group sits at the base of Cougar mountain. Right next to the world’s greatest zipline and Vallea Lumina. This tour company knows how to host, especially when it comes to the backcountry. 

They offer a wide variety of tours to suit everyone’s needs:

Family Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $199.99 per adult
  • Duration: 2.5 hours

Get the whole family in on the fun! You need to be at least 16 years old with a driver’s license to drive, but kids (over 4 feet tall) will get a chance to try out mini snowmobiles on the family tours. This tour is designed to be fun, easy, and educational, suitable for everyone in your crew.

Fresh Tracks Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $199.99 per adult
  • Duration: 2.5 hours

Are you tired of the lift lines? Who isn’t! Skip the hassle of lineups and lifts by booking a fresh tracks snowmobiling tour. Head up into the mountains in the early morning to find fresh stashes of powder and truly untapped areas to ski and snowboard in. There are several tour options available, including Family, Beginner, and Intermediate options.

Wilderness Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $199.99 per adult
  • Duration: 2 hours

A tour to take you to the most magical places hidden in Whistler’s backcountry. You can choose a beginner tour, specifically for those who’ve never done it before, or intermediate. The terrain will be curated to the level of the tour, so everyone is comfortable. 

BC Snowmobile Tour (Beginner and Intermediate Options)

  • Price: $229.99 per adult
  • Duration: 2.5 hours

Hit all the highlights of our beautiful province on this epic BC sled tour. Choose between total beginner and intermediate tours, and create a highlight reel of your trip to Whistler. This is designed as a scenic trip, traveling through old-growth forests, glacial lakes, and big mountain views. 

Want to experience the ultimate day in Whistler? TAG also offers discounted packages that let you do it all. You can choose three epic activities (including snowmobiling), or stick with two major adrenaline picks by pairing ziplining and snowmobiling with the fly and ride combo.

Blackcomb Snowmobile Tours

Family-owned and operated, Blackcomb Snowmobiles wants to make sure you love Whistler’s backcountry as much as they do.

Scenic Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $179 per adult
  • Duration: 2 hours

A slower pace, this tour is great for the beginner, the photographer, or someone who just likes to take it slow and appreciate the mountain vistas. If you have never driven any outdoor motorized vehicle, this tour is the perfect option. And it includes lots of time for snacks, hot chocolate, and photos.

Wilderness Adventure Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $179 per adult
  • Duration: 2 hours

Blackcomb’s most popular tour, this is hands down one for the lifelong memory bank. The tour gives you nearly 1.5 hours of ride time to explore the beautiful backcountry, from frozen glacial lakes to alpine bowls. 

Catered specifically to the pace of the group, this is suitable for all ability levels. It is also available as a three-hour option ($239.99 per adult).

Family Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $179 per adult (kids 5 to 12 ride free)
  • Duration: 2 hours

Bring mom, dad, and all the kids on this family snowmobile adventure. Sticking with groomed trails and safe routes, this tour still heads into incredible terrain. Plus, halfway through, all the kids get a chance to hit the Mini-Z track! That means tiny tikes on tiny sleds. A three-hour option is also available for $239 per adult driver.

Private Sled Tour

  • Price: $179 /$279 per adult 
  • Duration: 2 hours or 3 hours

Want to do what you want, go at exactly your pace, and have the entire tour tailored to you and your crew? A private tour will do just that. Perfect for a family, a special event, or a gift experience. Available in both two and three-hour options, with an optional hot lunch.

Backcountry X (Advanced) Tour

  • Price: $379 per adult 
  • Duration: 3 hours

Not for the first-timers. This tour requires experience. For advanced riders only, it’s a guided trip into the backcountry that goes well beyond the groomers. It’s a tip for those who live and breathe snowmobiling and lessons from senior guides. High-performance sleds included!

Canadian Wilderness Tours

snowmobilers surrounded by snow covered trees

Explore deep into the Callaghan Valley with Canadian Wilderness Adventures

Canadian Wilderness Adventures is one of the most established companies operating out of Whistler. If you’ve driven up the Sea to Sky Highway, you’ve likely already seen their big-red adventure rigs on the side of the highway near Callaghan.

You can find the standard scenic, wilderness, and beginner tours with Canadian Wilderness Adventures here, but you can also kick it up a notch (or five).

Callaghan Cruiser Tour

  • Price: $239 per adult 
  • Duration: 3 hours

Are you totally new to the sport of snowmobiling? Welcome to the Cruiser Tour. Designed for new riders and families, this makes it easy—a safe introduction to snowmobiling, all the while taking in the scenic mountain views of Callaghan Valley.

Wilderness Run Tour

  • Price: $239 per adult 
  • Duration: 3 hours

If you’ve ridden before but want to get more snowmobile experience, this tour is for you. Progress your backcountry sled skills with helpful assistance from the guides. Expect rugged BC wilderness, vistas, forests, and frozen lakes. A little experience is required, but the rest is provided.

Mountain Explorer Tour

  • Price: $209 per adult 
  • Duration: 2 hours

Some experience is recommended for this tour through mountain terrain. The dusk tour allows you to savor the fading lights and see the landscape in a whole different light (pun intended).

Already got your turns under control and knew a thing or two about the backcountry? These tours are perfect for improving your skills and meeting like-minded people. 

Yukon Breakfast Tour

  • Price: $259 per adult 
  • Duration: 4 hours

The breakfast tour is designed to get first tracks deep in the Callaghan Valley, designed for beginner and intermediate riders. The first destination is the rustic cabin on Sproatt Mountain, a big Canadian breakfast ready when you arrive! Spend some time exploring the landscape, then head back to the valley floor

Backcountry X Tour

  • Price: $365 per adult 
  • Duration: 4 hours

Let the Canadian Wilderness Adventure guides put your advanced riding skills to the test by conquering the infamous staircase to find yourself in the epic alpine country. Start to gain avalanche awareness and be dazzled by your surroundings. 

The Powderhound Snowmobile Tour

  • Price: $629 per adult 
  • Duration: 6+ hours

The name says it all. Hillside riding, climbing steep terrain, and carving the Callaghan. You know they mean business when an avalanche safety kit comes with you on tour, along with a gourmet packed lunch by the Bearfoot Bistro! Confidence and experience are a must. 

Bralorne Expedition

  • Price: $729 per adult 
  • Duration: 8+ hours

Available by request only. A full day trip, adventure to a completely different world. Formerly one of the most prominent gold rush towns in North America in the ’70s, explore a forgotten town with over 60km of snowmobiling. Epic!

Broken Boundary Adventures

Based in Pemberton, Broken Boundary offers more than just your standard snowmobile tours. Their roster of options includes the usual guided options, plus clinics, courses, and rentals.

Perhaps more suitable for those who already love sledding and backcountry, this Pemby-based operation allows guests to roam over 50,000 aces of coastal mountain landscape freely. All under the careful guidance of an expert.

Guided Snowmobile Adventure

  • Price: $799 per adult 
  • Duration: 6+ hours

Spend an entire day with an experienced guide, riding through some of British Columbia’s most pristine backcountry. As with all their tours, this is a private one that includes lunch, avalanche safety gear, and high-performance snowmobiles.

Solo Guided Adventure

  • Price: $999 per adult 
  • Duration: 6+ hours

So, your friends don’t snowmobile. No worries! The Solo Snowmobile Tour pairs you with an experienced guide for unparalleled access to Pembertons backcountry. Everything you need is included for an epic solo adventure.

Backcountry Clinics

Broken Boundary doesn’t just guide. They teach. Check out one of their backcountry skills courses to up your skills for the next time you head out on a snowmobile into the mountains.

  • Beginner Snowmobile Clinics
  • Intermediate Snowmobile Clinics
  • Advanced Snowmobile Clinics
  • Snowmobile Ski and Snowboarding Clinics
  • Pro Mountain Camp

Head Into the Backcountry to Find Never-ending Opportunities

Are you looking to experience more of the backcountry this winter? Read up on what to know before skiing the backcountry or taking on the backcountry on a snowboard. 

If trekking uphill while wearing skis doesn’t exactly sound fun to you, check out touring the backcountry on a snowcat. Still not convinced? Check out Whistler local’s favourite parts of the backcountry for inspiration.

The backcountry is a special part of Whistler. It’s unlimited possibilities. It can be intimidating to tackle, which is why a snowmobile tour led by experts is a great way to test the (frozen) waters. 

When you decide you’re ready for the backcountry, it will be waiting. When you inevitably fall in love with Whistler and decide to live here, you’ll want to give these winter adventures a try as well.

 

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