At The Top of the World: Whistler’s Suspension Bridge Updated 2019
UPDATE: Whistler Blackcomb Suspension Bridge to reopen Summer 2020, Dates Pending.
In July one of Whistler’s newest attractions will reopen to the public. It’s extremely high up (sky high), has majestic views, is a world-class feat of engineering, and might push you past your comfort zone. Any guess as to what it is? It’s the Whistler Suspension Bridge and it is awesome. In our opinion it also has the most awesome name on Whistler Blackcomb too: the Cloudraker Skybridge (cue Game of Thrones theme tune).
Quick Review of What You Need to Know:
Access to the suspension bridge is complimentary with the purchase of a Peak 2 Peak 360 ticket. This ticket gives you access to the Guinness World Record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola, the 50+ km of hiking trails in this area, two mountains, and the various vistas to visit. Both free and custom guided tours are available in all directions out from these mountain peaks.
Summer ticket prices are as follows:
- Adult (19-64): $64 online | $69 on-site
- Teen: (13-18): $62 online | $57 on-site
- Child (7-12): $35 online | $32 on-site
- Senior (65+): $62 online | $57 on-site
Whilst the peak chair lift’s opening times are subject to weather, the dates and times currently set are as follows:
- July 1st- September 3rd:
- 10am-4pm Monday through Thursday
- 10am-5.30pm Friday through Sunday
- September 4th-September 16th
- 11am-4pm Monday through Thursday
- TBA Friday & Sunday
Why Did Whistler Blackcomb Build a Ginormous Suspension Bridge?
In 2016 Whistler Blackcomb resort began a huge development project called the Renaissance revitalization program. It incorporates real estate development as well as improvements to tourist infrastructure.
It’s a massive project expected to cost $345 million and whilst that seems an absurd amount of money, the vision is bold: to reinforce the viability of Whistler Blackcomb resort whatever the weather. In other words, the climate is changing and therefore the future of a ski resort is shakey- Whistler and other ski resorts have to diversify in order to survive the future!
Whistler Suspension Bridge – The Features?
The Whistler Suspension bridge was five years in the works but it’s now open to the public, spanning from Whistler Peak to the West Ridge, crossing well above the Whistler Bowl.
The suspension bridge is open as well as the cantilever viewing platform called the Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk. These structures allow visitors to lean out 12.5 meters from the cliff face down towards the valley below. Sounds a bit sketchy? This platform is the product of world-class engineering and construction minds.
Large rock anchors set eight meters into the bedrock below ensure that the platform is confidently set into place. That said, it’s designed to allow a level of bounce. This platform has 360 degree views of beautiful Whistler Blackcomb and the Whistler Bowl below and is well worth the visit, and the bounce.
Whilst it hasn’t been confirmed yet, this suspension bridge in Whistler is touted to be the highest in North America at 7,200 feet above sea level, that’s around 2,200 meters. It spans 427 feet, or 130 meters, giving visitors enough time to feel the wobble – yes it really does in fact wobble(!) – as they traverse the bridge, suspended across the huge drop below them.
If you’ve visited the Sea to Sky Gondala Suspension Bridge, which we also recommend for both it’s beautiful views of Howe Sound and access to some awesome hikes (and to nearby beer!), than the Whistler Peak Suspension Bridge is well worth a visit since it’s a whopping 98 feet, or 30 meters, longer than the Sea to Sky bridge.
Where is it Located?
To get to the Cloudraker, visitors need to find their way to the Roundhouse Lodge located on Whistler Mountain (and already 6,000 feet or 1,800 meters above sea level). It’s accessible via the Whistler Village Gondola or from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
Once up there it’s a short walk, called the Peak Express Traverse, to the Peak Express Chair. This walk should take between ten to 20 minutes. The Peak Express Chair will then take you to the Top of the World Summit and it’s there that you can step foot onto Whistler’s suspension bridge.
Who is the Bridge For?
This Whistler suspension bridge was created with non-skiers and non-mountain bikers in mind. That’s not to say those people aren’t welcomed or won’t enjoy this epic piece of infrastructure, but it’s a thoughtful response to the desire for people who aren’t super talented snow bunnies or downhill adrenaline seekers, to get the chance to experience this part of the Whistler Blackcomb mountain range.
All ages will get a thrill as well as incredible views from this suspension bridge- we think it’s a huge asset for Whistler Blackcomb. For more information about what to do in Whistler if you’re a non-skier read our guide here.
Hot Tips for Your Visit to the Suspension Bridge
Avoid crowds and get that Instagram worthy solo snap on the breath-taking and thrilling bridge by getting to the bridge as soon as it opens. This bridge is already getting rave reviews across travel blogs and media channels. Its accessibility means it’s going to be a popular destination for Whistler visitors. It’s well worth the visit (as we’ll explain below), and we recommend trying to get there early.
There are a number of trails around the suspension bridge area. These are some top picks, and represent a range of abilities.
- The Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk: this 1.6km walk should last about 60 minutes (you’ll want to take in the stunning views) with an elevation gain of 30 meters. Local history storyboards on the trail are fun and interesting to read. This is more of a walk than a hike, and is suitable to many ability levels.
- Mathew’s Traverse Road: this is a very short but advanced hike at 0.9km and usually taking hikers 45 minutes. Elevation change is 82 meters and panoramic views are a reward. There are glacier areas around this hike and hikers mustn’t enter them. You’ll be walking through a cut-out snow wall if you walk it through winter- it’s an awesome landscape.
- High Note Trail: this is an advanced hike which takes around four hours. It’s length is 9.4km and elevation change is 420 meters. Hikers can expect incredible views of Black Tusk and Cheakamus Lake.
Forged’s Experience On the Whistler Suspension Bridge
So, of course, we visited the Cloudraker Skybridge (with a name like that, who could resist?). We’ll be the first to admit we were a little sceptical at first. With all the talk of changes going on with Whistler Blackcomb’s development we were apprehensive of this massive piece of infrastructure being placed over the mountain peaks which we know and love.
We turned up to the bridge on a beautifully clear and sunny day, ready with our scepticism and intrigue.
Well… We gotta say…
… It’s pretty epic! The views are PHENOMENAL from the bridge and we absolutely loved the wobble of the bridge (that some of the other visitors were loving just a touch less). The view of the Whistler Bowl below is beautiful and made us feel sentimental for all our joyous Winter rides we’ve had down there.
The engineering is incredible. As people who know a thing or two about construction, our jaws were firmly dropped looking at the technical details that have been required to create this thrilling, very tall and very safe Whistler suspension bridge.
It’s also a great excuse to take a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. As locals, it’s easy to not take a ride on things like the gondola which are perceived as only a tourist thing to do. But these things can be appreciated by all. They give the rider some of the most epic views to be found in Whistler. We came back from our trip to the Cloudraker Skybridge with fresh eyes for the mountain town which we live in and which we love.
So, Are You Going For a Walk in the Clouds?
As you can tell, we highly recommend a trip to this accessible and fantastic suspension bridge in Whistler. You’ll have phenomenal views and amazing memories to take back down to sea level with you.