The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Whistler in Spring
As spring creeps in and the days get longer, Whistler turns into a magical blend of snow-capped mountains, sunshine and budding greenery. Whether taking your family with you for a Whistler spring break or for a Whistler spring skiing adventure, the spring season is a fantastic time to check out it out. Prepare for your very own goggle tan.
Welcome to Spring in Whistler
You can expect steadily increasing temperatures and fewer rainy days over the spring months. In March average highs come it at around 7 C (44 F), in April this increases to 11 C (51 F), and in May up to 17 C (68 F). On the other hand, whilst rainfall is expected to fall over half the days in March, the sun starts to break out as you head into April and June.
If you come in early Spring, you will still need to bring a good quality rainproof jacket as well as some layers to wear underneath, but the number of layers can decrease as spring establishes itself. You’ll also need to consider the fact that it often rains in the village at the base of the mountain, but it’s a balmy, sunny day at the top. Plan ahead!
If you don’t believe how balmy it can get, come to Gaper Day weekend which marks the end of the skiing season in true Whistler fashion: skiers and riders wear hilarious costumes (or lack thereof) as they hurtle down the slopes towards the inevitable apres-ski after-party at the GLC, a house party or impromptu in the parking lots.
What You Need to Know About Whistler Spring Skiing
Whistler has one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In April, as most ski resorts are shutting down for the summer, in Whistler you can still find three meters of base. Bluebird, sunny days lead you down the slopes and into the apres-ski good-times bathing in Vitamin D, for example at GLC at the base of Whistler or at Merlins on Blackcomb. For confident skiers and riders, Glacier skiing is offered until early June.
In 2019 Whistler Mountain is open until May 27th, and Blackcomb Mountain if open until April 22nd. For non-season pass holders, Whistler spring skiing can still be an affordable option with something like the Spring 10-Day Pack. This year for this pack the dates were between April 23rd and May 21st (for Blackcomb use only), and cost $259 for an adult (19-64).
4 Spring Activities Off the Slopes
There’s a whole variety of activities to enhance your Whistler spring break which don’t involve skiing or snowboarding.
- Ziplining: You love Whistler for the views of the landscape, right? Well with zip lining you can make like a bird and fly over the beloved forests and valleys. Ziptrek Ecotours has the longest zip line in North America, spanning over 2 km long, and Superfly offers fantastic trips around Cougar Mountain- and if you mention Forged Axe Throwing when you book directly with Superfly you’ll get a discount.
- Hiking: Now that the snow will have started to melt the trails start to become freed up for hiking and trail running. If you are new to hiking we’d recommend the various guided hiking options found in Whistler, especially if you are headed to higher altitudes where there still may be snow on the ground. We’ve put together a guide for guided hikes here.
- Mountain Biking: Want a more adrenaline fuelled way to tack to the trails? Whistler is a mecca for mountain biking. The Valley trail is well suited for those newer for mountain biking. The Whistler Bike Park opens in May and is fun for both riding in and for viewing.
- Axe-throwing: We may have mentioned it before… but Forged axe-throwing is both indoors (offering shelter from the Spring showers), a great way to bring together friends and family, and only a short walk away from one of the best breweries in town Whistler Brewing.
Whistler Spring Break
During March and April, lots of families head to Whistler for spring break. Whatever the skill level of your family when it comes to skiing or snowboarding, there are many options available across the 200 marked runs. There are even designated family-friendly zones.
There are various Whistler kids ski and snowboard related lessons and camps available. These seasons and camps for kids of various ages can actually work out cheaper during Whistler Spring break.
There are a number of kids’ classes and camps during Spring. For example a three-day ski or snowboard adventure camp and lift ticket for ages seven to 12 was an open, or a five-day ski or snowboard adventure camp and lift ticket for ages seven to 12.
Looking for kids camps that offer something a little different to the ski and snowboard schools? Spring break in Whistler has a variety of alternative camps on offer, including one held by the Audain Art Museum.
The Audain Art Museum kids camp falls in late March for four days. The camps this year were The Artist’s Tool Box and Land, Spaces, and Maps and offered a variety of half-day art camps for children aged six to 13. The different camps involved a variety of art exploratory mediums including drawing, sculpture, painting and mixed media projects. This camp offers a welcoming space for kids to explore their own creative avenues.
The Low Down on Whistler’s Spring Events
World Ski and Snowboard Festival
The World Ski and Snowboard Festival is a huge reason to come to Whistler for spring break or for Whistler spring skiing. Known by locals as WSSF, it consists of six days of events and activities both on and off of the slopes.
The event, which is held mid-april, is always a riot. In 2019 it consisted of ski and snowboard events, music events, culture and art, we imagine 2020 will be the same. Some of the slope related events were big air competitions and, for the first time in many years, the Saudan Couloir Ski Race Extreme returned to Whistler. With this event, skiers and snowboarders were sent down 2500 vertical feet on one of the top ten steepest inbound runs on the planet.
If you enjoy a funky beat- and who doesn’t – the World Ski and Snowboard Festival hosts fantastic live performances. Last year performances from Canada’s very own epic DJ trio A Tribe Called Red, local and loved Smalltown DJs, Mat the Alien and many more high calibre music producers entertained the festival crowds.
This is Whistler’s Great Outdoors Festival and falls in mid to late May during Victoria Day Long Weekend. It blends outdoor activities and adventures with cultural events such as film screenings to get people stoked to get active and creative in the wonderful, wild, outdoor world.
This four-day festival is a great option for families, as many of the activities on the schedule are family friendly. For example this year you could have started off the day right with the GO Fest Pancake Breakfast at the Whistler Public Library, then bonded through competitiveness at the GO Green Scavenger Hunt. The Vans Mini Skate Ramp that takes place at the Whistler Olympic Plaza is a fun option for kids who want to show off their inner-Tony Hawk.
Other activities that you can take part in are stand up paddle board sessions with Back Roads Whistler, canoeing the river of Golden Dreams, yoga classes and sailing clinics.
Celebrating Easter in Whistler
Towards the end of March and the beginning of April, expect Easter celebrations to be popping up around Whistler. Hotels in Whistler host both indoor and outdoor activities for kids and adults to enjoy. Most have their own Easter Brunch, including the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. In the past, other events at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler have included things like a Little Bunny Play Room for kids ages below six, featuring a bouncy castle, toys, and colouring books for the tots.
Even a bunny petting zoo has been a feature.
If you can make it down towards Squamish, the Britannia Mine Museum hosts a Britanniasaurus Rex egg hunt. Gem-filled ‘dinosaur eggs’ are hidden around the museum, and once found they’ve got to be brought to the mineral table to identify the treasure. It’s candy-free and it’s educational- a pretty neat alternative to regular Easter gluttonous activities.
The Nordic Easter Egg Hunt is a fantastic option for an active Easter activity. Bring skis or snowshoes along, and even your pup (it’s a dog-friendly event), and search for eggs around the Alexander Falls Touring Centre. There is also a trailside bonfire, a snowbunny building competition and more outdoor activities. It’s a free event, you just need to purchase regular admission to Ski Callaghan.
It’s a Spring Thing
Spring in Whistler comes with some fantastic dining deals. Many restaurants have three, four or even five-course specials on during the week in this ‘shoulder season’. Want to finally get a chance to eat at those 5-star fine dining establishments without breaking the bank? Spring is your chance.
The It’s a Spring Thing movement gets top restaurants in Whistler to present delicious set-course meals at surprisingly reasonable prices. For example, this year top-rated restaurant Araxi offered a five-course fixed price menu for $36 which involved every-changing fresh pricked menus that taste of Spring. This fell between April 15th and May 31st and ran Monday through Thursday.
Alta Bistro, another top restaurant, offered a three-course menu for $30 which showcased seasonal French cuisine. They only use locally and ethically sourced ingredients which support local farmers, fisheries and distilleries. This deal ran Sunday through Thursday.
Get Ready for Spring in Whistler
Whether you are interested in Whistler spring skiing or heading to Whistler for spring break with the family or with friends, there are plenty of activities to enjoy both on and off of the slopes. It’s a magical time to visit Whistler: you can ski one day, and stand up paddleboard on a different day. Trust us, the goggle tan is worth the visit.