Shoulder Season Deals in Whistler | Why it Pays to Wait
Whistler is most famous as a winter skiing and summer mountain biking destination — but did you know it’s all an epic holiday destination in the shoulder seasons too? During Spring and Fall, local businesses offer deals in Whistler to bring in people like you who are seeking a crowd-free and more affordable holiday.
If you want a cheaper Whistler vacation and one that still hits all the skiing and biking high notes, why not consider visiting in Spring or Fall? We’ve put this guide together to help you make the most of everything Whistler’s shoulder seasons have to offer.
When is the Shoulder Season in Whistler?
There are two shoulder seasons in Whistler – from mid-April to mid-June and from late September to late November. Expect quieter streets, Whistler best accommodation deals, and still tons of outdoor adventure opportunities during these two slower seasons.
It’s travelling during these slower months that you’ll get the best whistler deals and accommodation availability.
What is Shoulder Season Weather Like?
For those visiting in Spring and Fall, the weather is usually very agreeable, not too hot or cold. Will it rain? Probably. Prepare for the odd downpour – we are in the rainforest after all).
Here are the average temperatures to expect in shoulder season:
- April: High 11° | Low 0° plus 9 days of rain
- May: High 18° | Low 4° plus 6 days of rain
- June: High 20° | Low 8° plus 8 days of rain
- September: High 19° | Low 7° plus 8 days of rain
- October: High 11° | Low 3°plus 13 days of rain
- November: High 4° | Low -1°plus 17 days of rain
5 Great Reasons to Visit Whistler in the Shoulder Season
Not convinced there are reasons to visit off-season? Let’s try to paint a picture for you of what you’ll appreciate when visiting in May, June, October or November.
1. Save Big on Whistler Accommodation Deals
Being the biggest (and best) year-round mountain resort in North America, we know Whistler can get a little pricey at times. This is why visiting Whistler in the shoulder season is such a great idea!
There are some killer Whistler accommodation deals available. So do your research, book in advance, and you’ll feel pretty smug when you get to enjoy the adventure holiday of a lifetime – on the cheap.
Keep reading to find out about some of our favourite shoulder seasons to take advantage of.
2. Deals on Whistler Activities and Restaurants
Speaking of deals in Whistler, you’ll find much more than just cheap hotels. You’ll also notice all the best whistler activities and restaurants put their best foot forward with very attractive discounts.
Think of a three-course meal for two at a gourmet restaurant for a pub-like price. Or, last-minute deals on sightseeing, bike rentals, and more, just because you are visiting in the slow season.
3. Avoid Peak Season Crowds
It seems like the world is catching on to how awesome Whistler is. And we can hardly blame them. Few places combine adventure with luxury and comfort so well.
The only downside is that it means our little town can get pretty busy at times. But not so in the shoulder season! Visit us in late September or early May, and you’ll be surprised by the chilled-out vibes in the village and how few people you’ll see on a hike in the surrounding mountains.
If peace and quiet are your thing, shoulder season is the time to be here.
4. Epic Festivals and Events
The shoulder seasons are totally packed with festivals and events that are sure to please everyone. Yet, the COVID-19 may have placed some of these on hold, but they will be starting back up again soon. Most importantly, many of the festivals in Whistler have found innovative ways to keep going!.
We’ve got the infamous World Ski and Snowboard Festival (WSSF) and the all-adventures GO Fest in Spring.
In the Fall, sample the best craft beer in BC at the Whistler Beer Festival, the Whistler Craft Beer Month, and mix it all up with Whistler Writers Festival.
In November, it’s time to indulge in the delicious food and wine available at Cornucopia, then catch some of the best films of the year at the Whistler Film Festival.
For even more festivals throughout the year, check out our rundown of the best Whistler events.
5. Experience 4 Seasons in 1 Day
One of the coolest things about the shoulder seasons in Whistler is that you can experience every season in a single day.
In May, why not spend your morning skiing in the alpine in a sweater, then head down to the village, switch your gear and head back up Whistler with your mountain bike.
Another option: fit in an early evening round of golf, a quick ATV trip, and enjoy fishing at one of our stunning lakes.
Likewise, in the Fall, you can expect stunning alpine hikes, the first snowfall of the winter, all the while people are still swimming in the Valley lakes or drinking craft beers on patios.
Just make sure you bring all your outdoor adventure gear and be prepared for any possibility.
Hiking? Biking? Skiing? What’s the Best Time to Go to Whistler?
If you’re planning to head up Whistler Blackcomb – for skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, or hiking, it’s best to check their opening hours ahead.
You can access the mountain most days of the year, but there are times when things close up to get ready for the next season.
Skiing and Snowboarding
- Winter Busy Season: December to March
- Shoulder Season for Skiing and Snowboarding: April, early May, late November
Generally, skiing is open from the last week of November until the last week of May, although not all the slopes are open.
This can work to your advantage, though, as there are often cheap lift ticket deals available. There’s also skiing available on the glacier from mid-June to mid-July (Summer skiing on the glacier was closed due to the pandemic, check back in 2022).
- Summer Busy Season: June, July, August
- Shoulder Season for Biking: May, September
They don’t mess around getting the bike park open on Whistler mountain. It’s normally up and running before skiing is finished for the year, making for some epic double-adventure days.
Why not check it out before everyone heads out on Summer vacation? Cheaper tickets, shorter lines, and no one in your way as you bomb down the mountain. The mountain reduces operation hours and lifts at the beginning and end of the season. So keep an eye on their website so you know what to expect.
- Summer Busy Season: June, July, August
- Shoulder Season for Hiking: September, October
Whistler was made for hiking. So whether you are cruising the Valley Trail or planning a multi-day trekking extravaganza, Whistler is one of Canada’s best hiking destinations.
With that said, it can get a bit crowded along some trails during peak hiking season. Why not avoid the foot traffic by planning your Whistler hiking holiday just a little bit later in the season? Technically speaking, most of the peaks and other alpine trails are best in late August and September because the snow has finally melted. So it only makes sense to delay your visit from the summer months. In Spring, you may have to stick with lower elevations, so Fall is best.
Whistler Accommodations Deals for the Shoulder Season (2021 Updates)
There are tons of amazing accommodations in Whistler between both busy seasons. From rustic log cabins to high-end luxury hotels to youth hostels, there are some big savings to be had from travelling here when everyone else goes home.
In fact, if you want to the full low-down on Whistler hotels, we wrote a guide to some of our favourite hotels to help you pick.
Visiting in shoulder season means your Whistler budget will stretch a whole lot further. Our top tip? Get organized and book early. While Whistler is quieter in the shoulder season, deals don’t last forever, and you won’t want to miss out.
Here are a few of the best deals we found with updates for 2021. We compare prices in the middle of the ski season (March 2022) with shoulder season (April 2022). All prices are for two people, one night.
So book them today!
- Westin Resort and Spa | Shoulder Season $259 vs. High Season $439
The award-winning Westin hotel right next to the Whistler gondola (more Whistler Gondola intel) is an absolute steal in the shoulder season. Expect cozy suites with a fireplace and flat-screen tv, a great in-house restaurant and the best views in the village.
- Hilton Whistler Resort and Spa | Shoulder Season $199 vs. High Season $749
Another classic Whistler hotel with a killer location in the heart of the village, the Hilton Whistler, offers luxurious rooms, world-class restaurants and one of the best spas in Whistler. It’s also a stone’s throw from both the mountains and the golf course, making it the perfect base for that all-adventure day you’re planning.
- Summit Lodge | Shoulder Season $155 vs. High Season $399
This boutique hotel is one of our favourites for its quirky decor, modern and comfortable suites, and the treats often on offer in the lobby! But, for something a little different, the Summit Lodge is a perfect choice. It is located close to some of Whistler’s best restaurants and only a few minutes’ walk from the mountains.
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler | Shoulder Season $399 vs. High Season $749
The ultimate in luxury, the Fairmont Chateau, needs little introduction. Live the high-life here for a few days, staying in a beautiful suite, sampling their killer cocktails and relaxing in the outdoor pools. Located in Upper Village, right at the base of Blackcomb mountain, it would be a crime not to take advantage of the amazing shoulder season deals at one of the best hotels in Whistler.
Whistler’s Best Restaurants: Shoulder Season Deals
Once you’ve got your bargain accommodation sorted, it’s time to start planning what you’re going to eat. Most of Whistler’s best restaurants offer shoulder season deals. It’s a chance to sample some of the award-winning menus, for a fraction of the price.
Famous names like Araxi, the Rimrock Cafe and Nagomi Sushi are must-dos. And the deals are too good not to miss.
Where to find Whistler Restaurant Deals?
You can typically find a full list of specials available for the It’s a Spring Thing events online. Most restaurants offer a similar menu in the Fall too, check out Whistler Bites for the latest restaurant deals.
Save Big on Your Next Whistler Holiday by Visiting in the Shoulder Season
A shoulder-season trip to Whistler combines all the best of our outdoor adventures with a chance to live the luxury lifestyle at an affordable price.
So get planning, book your bargain accommodation, throw in a few Whistler deals, and we’ll see you for some axe-throwing in a few month’s time!