A Travel Guide | 365 Days of Whistler
Whistler is so much more than a winter hot spot – there’s something to do year-round at this amazing resort town. Discover why summers in Whistler make seasonal workers stay year-round and why the locals love Whistler’s shoulder seasons.
What to Expect – Weather
In BC we have a saying – if you don’t like the weather, wait an hour. Compared to our friends in the east, winters are relatively mild in Whistler with the snowiest months being December to February.
Once the spring melt starts, the local lakes unfreeze and trails clear for endless outdoor endeavours. Summers can bring hot, beautiful days that cool down in the evening and sunny crisp days as the leaves change in the fall.
Regardless of the season, always bring layers of clothing in your suitcase when visiting Whistler. The temperature in the mountains has a difference of about 10 degrees Celsius compared to the valley temperature, so you’ll be glad to pack along some warmer layers! A waterproof layer is also handy for any outdoor adventures, and you’ll be glad to have brought sturdy shoes for exploring.
Weather Averages in Whistler, BC:
High Season vs. Low Season in Whistler
High season in Whistler is from December to March in the winter, and June to the first week of September in the summer. Visitors can expect to pay premiums for accommodation in the high season, especially over holidays such as Christmas, New Years, and Easter. American holidays such as President’s Week and Martin Luther King Day are also popular, busy, and expensive as our friends from the South come to visit.
Low season is getting smaller and smaller and is now found in small pockets throughout the year between events and holidays in our “Shoulder Season”
“Shoulder Season” is the new term and takes place after Easter (April) to early June, and September to mid-November. Shoulder season is less busy, less expensive, and offers value to guests who travel during this time of the year.
5 Things To Do In Winter
Winter in Whistler runs from November to mid-March, with the snowiest months being December through to February. Mother Nature may have other plans, but locals are always praying for a storm to roll through and deliver the goods – soft, fluffy, West Coast pow.
- Helicopter Tour
Get a bird’s eye view of the WhistlerBlackcomb resort, fly over mountain peaks, glacial lakes, and crevasses and even land on a 12,000-year-old glacier on Rainbow Mountain. Taking a Helicopter Tour in the winter is the perfect rest day and a great way to orient yourself with the surrounding area – there’s a lot more to see than just the Village Stroll!
- Fresh Tracks Breakfast
Start off the day with a mountain-sized breakfast and beat the crowds by purchasing a ticket for Fresh Tracks breakfast on Whistler Mountain. Fresh Tracks runs from mid-December to the end of March and offers a buffet style breakfast sure to fuel your ski day. Await the toll of the bell before racing to get fresh powder laps or smooth groomers before anyone else.
Tickets can be purchased from WhistlerBlackcomb Guest Services ahead of time or on the morning and are not date specific, though is subject to capacity (the first 650 people)
- Whistler Film Festival
The Whistler Film Festival takes place at the beginning of December and is five action-packed days of films, events, and industry connections. Rub shoulders with directors, actors, and other film buffs as you partake in screenings, director Q&A’s, and keynote speakers.
- Cross Country Skiing
Strap on skinny skis and explore Whistler’s cross country skiing trails in the Callaghan Valley at the Whistler Olympic Park or Callaghan Country and at Lost Lake Park close to Whistler Village. The season runs from December to the end of March/early April and offers magnificent scenery amongst Olympic-level trails. Bring the kids or the dog – both parks rent chariots for children and there are trails at the Whistler Olympic Park that are dog-friendly
Enjoying a cold one after a long day on the mountain is a time-honoured tradition here in Whistler, and we do it well! Apres is the time to refresh, refuel, and reconnect with friends whilst swapping stories from the day’s adventures.
With bars, pubs, and restaurants lining the base of the mountain and surrounding the stroll, there’s no shortage of spots to enjoy a snack and a beverage before dinner. It makes for a fantastic primer before resting your weary bones in your hotel’s hot tub.
5 Things To Do In Spring
Spring in Whistler is from mid-March to early June and the resort is busy with change – birds are chirping, our resident black bears are waking up, and the melt is on. It’s a mixed bag of weather – some days can pour with rain, we could get a random powder day, or it’ll be so warm we’ll be wearing shorts.
- RZR Tour
The snow has melted and the trails are mucky – a perfect time to book an RZR Tour and rip through puddles! The two and four-seater Polaris RZR’s take guests deep into the backcountry and up old logging roads for incredible views of mountain lakes and old growth forests. Inclement weather makes for prime RZR conditions – you’ll end up seeking out puddles on the trail much to your riding buddy’s content.
- Bear Watching Tour
Spring is the best time to view bears in Whistler as they come out of their winter hibernation in search of food. Bear Watching Tours will take you into the bear’s habitat in a way that is safe for both you and the bears – keeping them wild but still allowing you to take once-in-a-lifetime photos of the furry bruins. The tour takes place in a comfortable Land Rover so it’s perfect for all weather conditions, ages, and abilities.
- Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival
Every year at the beginning of April, the Whistler Ski & Snowboard Festival takes over Whistler for five days of competition, concerts, arts, and mountain culture. Watch Big Air competitions with some of the world’s top athletes, rub shoulders with artists at the Swatch Art & Soul exhibition, or jam to bands and DJs from around the globe.
- Spring Skiing
Thanks to increased daylight hours and sunny conditions, enjoy extended hours on the mountain skiing soft and slushy snow. Spring Skiing is the perfect time to break out the t-shirt and sunscreen and ride a few laps before parking yourself at the Umbrella Bar or Dusty’s to soak up the sun (and suds) with friends. Lift lines aren’t as long and the vibe is relaxed and playful, so fire up your craziest outfit and hit the slopes this Spring!
Running year-round in Whistler rain, snow, or shine, Ziplining is the perfect activity in the Spring. Ziplining combines the exhilarating feeling of soaring through the air with the breathtaking beauty of Cougar Mountain and the Whistler Valley. No experience is required to zipline, and you’ll love racing your friends on their side-by-side ziplines. Feel the wind in your hair and the peace and tranquillity of the forests that surround you as you make your way to four unique lines that increase in length, steepness, and fun.
5 Things To Do In Summer
Summer in Whistler runs from mid-June to early September and the temperature can fluctuate from five degrees Celsius to up to thirty degrees Celsius! Whistler’s wonderful parks and lakes make for great refuge from the hot sun, and the mountain provides relief in the change in elevation.
Tee off on Whistler’s three world-class Golf Courses and be amazed by the quality of the greens and magnificent beauty that surrounds the courses. These championship courses developed by three of the top designers will appeal to recreational players and professionals looking for a scenic and unique Golf Getaway.
- Mountain Biking
Whistler is a mountain biker’s dream – from the lift accessed Whistler Mountain Bike Park to pedal powered alpine excursions on the Lord of the Squirrels trail, the opportunities are endless for Whistler Mountain Biking Adventures. Seasoned pros will feel challenged on Whistler’s technical single track trails and double black runs in the bike park, but there’s something for everyone in Whistler – even absolute beginners. Come see what it’s all about and understand why most locals came to Whistler for the winter but stayed for the summers.
- Whitewater Rafting
Glacial-fed water is the best respite for hot summer days in Whistler, thrown in with adrenaline and entertaining guides and you’ve got a great day out on the water! There’s no better way to view Whistler’s beautiful surroundings than from a Whitewater Rafting Tour. From the scenic and mild Cheakamus River perfect for families to the fun and bouncy Green River, see why whitewater rafting in Whistler is the best way to cool down in the summer.
- Wanderlust Festival
Slide into some spandex and stretch amongst world-renowned guides of meditation, yoga, speakers, and artists at the beginning of August. Wanderlust Whistler is the perfect place to reflect, recharge, and try something new – such as a new fitness class or silent disco. Dive deep into wellness, gather with like-minded people, and focus in on breathtaking settings.
- Mountain Top Feast
In the summer months on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening at the Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain enjoy an incredible, mountain top dining experience with live music. savour mouthwatering mains, fresh salads and delicious desserts at 1,800m (6,000ft), it’s great for the whole family.
5 Things To Do In Fall
Fall in Whistler is from September to early-November and is a lovely time of year to visit Whistler. The leaves are changing colour and the days are getting shorter, but can still be sunny and warm although a bit crisp in the mornings and evenings. Summer tours are still running in the Fall, so enjoy shoulder season deals on accommodation and save compared to the summer.
- Axe Throwing
Unleash your inner lumberjack and challenge friends and family to the sport of Axe Throwing. Enthusiastic hosts will show you the ropes and lead you on fun challenges and competitions that will have you wondering where the time went. Leave Whistler with a new trick up your sleeve and unique experience with memories that will last a lifetime.
Fall is the best time to go Hiking in Whistler. The weather is still warm and sunny, yet the trails are less crowded as they are in the heat of summer. Find yourself at one with nature and away from the hustle and bustle of the village while enjoying insane views of mountain peaks, ancient forests, and clear rivers and lakes.
- Scandinave Spa
Rest your weary bones and relax at Whistler’s most popular spa – the Scandinave Spa. The spa is open year-round and focuses on the benefits of hydrotherapy – hot (hot tubs, sauna, steam), cold (cold plunge), and relax (solarium, hammocks, fireplaces). Follow this system three times for maximum healing and relaxation. The spa is completely silent and free of electronics, so unplug and rejuvenate yourself for the rest of your holiday.
Cornucopia takes place mid-November and is the ultimate celebration of food and drink. Partake in food and drink seminars, signature tasting events, extravagant luncheons, brunches, and dinners and party until the lights come on. Cornucopia is a foodie’s dream and sommelier’s paradise – sample wines from around the world while tucking into some of BC’s finest fare.
- Vallea Lumina
Escape to another world at Vallea Lumina – a multimedia night walk in pursuit of hidden wonders. Once the sun sets, guests embark on a journey through the forest following lit pathways and magical, musical light shows and delights as you uncover the story of the missing hikers. Vallea Lumina is a perfect evening activity for the entire family.
Regardless of the time of the year that you visit Whistler, there’s no shortage of things to do in this year-round resort town. Enjoy world-class skiing and mountain biking in high season, or take advantage of deals and discounts in the shoulder season. One trick pony no more, Whistler pulls out all the stops and is the Ultimate Canadian Destination 365 days a year.