Why You Need to Stay in Whistler Creekside
Believe it or not, Creekside Whistler was once just a six-person gondola, two T-bars, a single chairlift, a handful of ski runs, and a day lodge.
This little neighbourhood was as essential as they come, but as word got out that this ski mountain had some of the best terrain in the country, it soon began to thrive.
Eventually, the town saw a gas station, a pub, and some shops pop up. This neighbourhood soon became a little ski town, and it was named Creekside.
No Peak to Peak, no Garfinkle’s, not even a Forged Axe Throwing!
Fast forward 50-odd years, and Creekside now has so much more to offer, from fancy hotels to luxurious dining options, all built on a rich history.
Staying in Creekside is an obligation—at least, we think so. If you’re not convinced, let us tell you more.
Q: How to Get to Creekside Whistler?
If you are driving from Vancouver, Creekside is only 90 minutes away.
From the city, make your way to Highway 99. The easiest route is to take West Georgia over the Lions Gate Bridge, and to the Taylor Way exit onto Highway 99.
Then stay on the highway for 112km until you reach Creekside.
If you are driving south from Lillooet, you only have to make one turn: a left at the Mt Currie Chevron gas station. Continue through Pemberton, past Whistler, and into Creekside. This trip from Lillooet is 135km and will take about two and a quarter hours. It’s slow going, though, with a lot of corners.
Q: How Far to the Village?
Creekside is about a five-minute drive to the village, a 10-minute bus ride, a 20-minute bike ride, or about an hour’s walk on the valley trail.
The valley trail is super popular in summer, and many locals hit the pavement with their bikes and skateboards, or walk it.
The BC Transit buses are the most popular mode of transport in Whistler, running from Creekside approximately every 20 minutes from 5:30 am to 3:30 am.
The bus fare is $2.50; however, free buses run on weekends and statutory holidays in summer.
Q: What’s in the Neighbourhood?
Whistler Creekside has everything you need – hotels, restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, liquor stores, a market, a bank, a gas station, gyms, spas, an outdoor fire pit, and more.
In terms of activities, lakes and parks have swimming and fishing access, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, playgrounds, and off-leash dog areas.
Creekside also has a gondola, a Whistler Blackcomb guest service desk, a rental shop, a tuning centre, and a Snow School desk to purchase lessons in winter.
Oh, and did we mention free underground parking in winter and summer?
5 Arguments for Staying in Whistler Creekside
1.The Real O.W. (Original Whistler)
Creekside Whistler is seen as a local hub. A lot of the locals prefer to live here as it still embodies many of the characteristics of early Whistler times.
It oozes Canada feels – the old-school, cabin-style buildings, fairy lights at night. Sprinkle some snow on top and you’ve got a magical movie setting.
Creekside was the Whistler base of the 2010 Olympics, and if you look up the mountain, you’ll see the green Olympics rings on the Dave Murray Downhill.
2. Fewer People, Smaller Crowds
Staying outside the central village comes with its perks – fewer tourists are floating around, and if you’ve never been to Whistler Village on a pow day, you’ll understand.
Usually, Creekside has shorter wait times for the gondola, for tickets, for coffee, and, most importantly, for BEER! (Looking for an insider’s guide to Whistler’s craft beer scene?)
3. Gondi Access
Creekside is serviced by its gondola, which usually has less queue than the Village or Blackcomb gondola.
Most locals will pass the Village to upload from Creekside because less wait time means more bike, ski, and apre time.
The Creekside and Big Red Express are upgraded for the 2022 winter, so once you hop off the gondola, hop onto the big red express to access the peak and the Roundhouse Lodge.
From top to bottom, you’re looking at about a 25-minute scenic ride up.
4. Fully Sick Terrain
Creekside has arguably some of the best intermediate and advanced terrain on Whistler mountain for biking, skiing, and snowboarding.
It’s also home to one of the longest ski runs in North America. The Peak-to-Creek is just shy of 11kms long and brings a whole new meaning to thigh burn.
5. Local Vibe
Creekside is home to many locals and has a more chilled-out vibe than Whistler Village if you’re after more peace and quiet and an authentic ski town experience.
Whistler Village can get super busy, which isn’t for everyone. So if you want some nightlife action, hit the Village and then escape to Creekside to avoid the late-night noise.
Where To Stay in Creekside
We’ve narrowed down our favourite places to lay our heads in Creekside, although there are many more great options.
Nita Lake Lodge
- 2131 Lake Placid Rd, Whistler, BC V8E 0B2 | $$$
Nita Lake Lodge is the only lakeside hotel in Whistler, ranking as the third best hotel in town, and there’s no wondering why.
Not only is it perched on the beautiful lake with big spacious rooms, but they have an all-year-round plunge pool and hot tub, as well as adults-only rooftop hot tubs with mountain views.
For an early morning pick-me-up, the Fix Cafe coffee shop offers a great menu and tasty sweet treats. But, of course, you can also bring your doggo!!
First Tracks Lodge
- 2036 London Ln, Whistler, BC V0N 1B2 | $$
With one of the best locations in Creekside Whistler, First Tracks Lodge offers ski-in, ski-out access to the mountain.
It has outdoor hot tubs and barbecues, a fitness room, a heated outdoor pool, and a steam room to soak those ski legs.
They have many different lodging options, from a one-bedroom to a four-bedroom suite, and their kitchen facilities allow you to cook rather than eat out every night.
- 2036 London Ln, Whistler, BC V0N 1B2 | $$$
Evolution is conveniently located a short walk from the lifts and slopes.
They’ve got a games room, eucalyptus steam room, fitness room, outdoor BBQ, hot tubs, and a heated pool.
The accommodations range from one-bedroom to three-bedroom suites, all open plan and great for friends and families alike.
Lake Place Lodge
- 2050 Lake Placid Rd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B2 | $$
With newly renovated condos, Lake Placid Lodge has the perfect balance of mountain access and accessibility to Creekside Village.
The condos and townhouses range from one to two bedrooms, perfect for small parties or families.
They also offer a full kitchen for those looking to save money on eating out every night, although Samurai Sushi is conveniently located next door.
- 2102 Lake Placid Rd, Whistler, BC V8E 0N6 | $
Easy to get to and still only 400m from the Creekside Gondola, Southside Lodge is perfect for those on a budget.
Located above the infamous Southside Diner, you will be stoked with what this lodge has to offer if you are looking for the essentials.
With seven private rooms, all with ensuites, free high-speed WiFi, and access to a communal kitchen, you can have that hostel experience and still keep to yourself.
- 2036 London Ln, Whistler, BC V0N 1B2 | $$$
Legends is a ski-in, ski-out, condominium-style lodge that backs the Creekside gondola. When we say you are just steps away, we mean it.
You can choose from either one-bedroom, two-bedroom, or three-bedroom suites. Unfortunately, some overlook the famous “Dave Murray” ski run, which was the course for the 2010 Olympic downhill ski race.
There is also a bus stop and a famous taxi rink right out front, so getting to and from the village is extremely easy.
Whistler Lodge Hostel
- 2124 Nordic Dr, Whistler, BC V8E 0A6 | $
Technically in Nordic but close enough to Creekside that we will add it to our list, the Whistler Lodge Hostel is a hidden gem many people don’t know about.
Voted as Whistler’s favourite hotel time and again, the backpacker’s hostel offers bunks in dorm-style rooms, and private and semi-private rooms.
Nordic is a popular area for locals because of the bus system and closeness to Creekside and the Village. You will feel like a true Whistler local here.
Where To Eat in Creekside
If you haven’t noticed, we know where to find good food in Whistler. Whistler Creekside restaurants are some of the best, and we’ve got a selection of favourites.
Our go-to Creekside restaurants have fantastic service, fresh and authentic food, quality drink options, and an intimate ambiance, showcasing why this area is a local favourite.
Rim Rock is a small niche restaurant specialising in game and seafood. We love the lobster mash and their incredible sticky toffee pudding.
If you’re going to go in peak season, make sure you reserve a table, as it books out regularly.
Red Door Bistro
For an intimate dining experience in a cosy restaurant with high-end service and food, Red Door is the place.
This small restaurant is renowned for its phenomenal food and next-level service, so if you fall in love with the menu, make sure you book ahead.
Red Door accepts reservations up to three months in advance, so if you’ve got a date in mind, get in early.
Rolands is a sports bar/pub next to Red Door Bistro and offers a much more casual dining experience.
Don’t let that put you off, though — the food is still fantastic, and they dish up some of the best pub grub in town.
You’ll find many locals hanging out here to watch sports, play some darts, and sink some beer after a good feed.
They also do all of their menu takeout if you’re looking for a decent meal and can’t be bothered with cooking or eating out either.
It’s a big call, but we’re going to make it: Southside Diner has the best burgers in Creekside.
It’s also an authentic diner experience, with fun and friendly staff and a great menu (they offer breakfast poutine, and it’s as good as it sounds).
Be careful not to leave your kids unattended, though, as per their rules they’ll be given an espresso shot and a free kitten!
They also do takeout if you’re not in the mood for dining out.
Dusty’s Bar & BBQ
Nestled at the bottom of the mountain, Dusty’s is a local favourite apres spot and is famous for its BBQ.
They’ve got mouth-watering ribs, sticky chicken wings, pulled pork, and BBQ nachos (think ribs on top of your nachos), to name a few.
Dusty’s is a casual indoor/outdoor dining experience, perfect for large groups and families. They also have a fantastic outdoor patio.
Watch your delicious pizzas being cooked in the enormous wood-fired ovens at Creekbread, and try something unconventional as far as toppings go.
Now when we say this, we mean it: Order the Pemby Potato Pie. It is an incredible local favourite made with locally sourced fresh produce.
This pizza joint is one of a kind in Whistler, so of course it’s going to get busy, and they don’t take reservations. But that’s okay because they have a little bar where you can wait.
As mentioned earlier, we like Samurai Sushi. Sushi is trendy in Whistler, and everyone has their favourite go-to restaurant.
Samurai is more than just sushi rolls, though. Their menu includes Korean chicken, bento boxes, ramen, and even wraps. Our go-to is the Donburi Special — it changes daily but never disappoints.
Vegans, this one’s for you. Ed’s is a plant-based bakery with some of the most delicious treats in the Sea to Sky.
They offer organic sourdough by the loaf, perfect for sandwiches. If you want to make pizza at home, their dough is arguably the best in town.
Ed’s also has delicious coffee, which goes down perfectly with their cinnamon rolls.
Where to Rent Gear in Creekside
Unlike the Whistler Village Stroll, Creekside isn’t flooded with rental options. Don’t let that worry you though, because the shops they have are some of the best.
A go-to for locals for bike and snow retail and repairs, Coastal Culture also has one of the best rental selections.
Their shop is located about 400m from the bottom of the Creekside Gondola, making it easy to pick up your gear or return it after a day of shredding the mountain.
Unlike other rental shops in Whistler, they also stock mountain outerwear. So if you are looking for a helmet, goggles, or coats, they are a one-stop shop.
Can-Ski Creekside Whistler
Can-Ski is the Whistler Blackcomb ski shop in town. They offer a variety of equipment for rent in the winter season, perfect for those on a budget.
You will usually see these shops packed in the winter with people lining up to try on boots and pick up skis. The Creekside store is much quieter than its Village counterparts, allowing for more time on the mountain.
What Are the Best Runs on Whistler Mountain from Creekside?
Creekside sits at the base of Whistler Mountain and is home to skiing and biking, similar to the Village access to Whistler Mountain.
The terrain leading down to Creekside is very different and is home to some fantastic runs. Here are our favourites you must check out.
Skiing and Snowboarding
- Dave Murray Downhill: Starting from the top of the Garbanzo lift, this is the 2010 Olympic ski race run. If you like it fast and fun, you will love pointing it down Dave Murray.
- Peak to Creek: This is a classic Whistler top-to-bottom lap that keeps on going and going. Suitable for all levels but be warned, it is very long.
- Million Dollar Ridge: Seen as a locals-only trail, Million Dollar Ridge is a slackcountry (in between resort and out of bounds) section with steeps, deep pow, and tight trees.
- Khybers Pass: A technical and long descent starting halfway down Top of the World. This is for more advanced riders looking to get off the beaten track.
- Moon Circus: The Creeksides version of B-Line, Moon Circus has berms on berms on berms, perfect for the rider looking to enjoy some easy turns or an advanced rider looking to go quick.
- Delayed Fuse: Loam in the park is almost unheard of.But this trail is known for having loamy topsoil that is fun to cruise down or test your speed and bank some of those tight corners.
- Creekside Whistler Is a Different Experience
Creekside Whistler is where all the magic began and is the true heart and soul of Whistler’s mountain culture.
From less-tracked runs to delicious eats and local bars, Creekside captures what i’s like to be a local.
If you want a different and less touristy experience, do yourself a favour and choose Creekside. You won’t regret it!