The Top 11 Whistler Winter Outdoor Activities
When you think about Whistler – the snowy mountains, the wintery landscape, flakes falling on the Village – it’s not hard to imagine the amount of outdoor, winter activities that are available to you. Sure, there are always the basics skiing, snowboarding, snowball fights – all exciting and fun options. But did you know there are dozens of other options available to you when you exhaust those on the ski hill?
Whistler is undoubtedly the perfect winter wonderland, packed with activities that cater to not just the most adventurous spirits, but also for mild-mannered travellers and of course children. Do you crave more than just a hot cocoa and snowy views? Whistler is all that, but so much more! Check out our list below of our favourite Whistler winter outdoor activities. We do not doubt that you’ll find the perfect adventure (or multiple adventures) waiting for you.
Winter Tours and Guided Activities
If you’re looking to explore the wintery wonderland of Whistler without the hassle of planning the logistics yourself, sign yourself up for one of the dozens of winter tour options. We’ve outlined a few of our favorites below, carefully crafted by some of our favorite companies.
We know we glazed over the skiing thing in an earlier article, but we’re ready to really get into it now. After-all heli-skiing is the essential part of the Whistler backcountry experience. If the hill is your standard go-to, we encourage you to try a different kind of skiing this winter.
Instead of your usual ride the lift to the top of the slope activity, you’ll hop into a helicopter and be lifted to the highest slopes of the surrounding mountain range. With some backcountry guides, a few close buddies, the entire mountain is yours to explore. What better way to get the lay of the land around Whistler than to fly up to the top of a nearby peak? Plus, you have a great chance of securing untouched white gold from the peak down to the valley.
Ever tried cat skiing? Perhaps a slightly tamer way to witness the miracles of the Canadian backcountry, but still a great way to explore the Whistler backcountry. Just like with heli-skiing, cat-skiing requires a bit of experience before jumping on board. If you’re still committed to the pizza technique, you might need a few more runs before taking a tour of the backcountry via snowcat. Often, you’ll be skiing on un-groomed, blackruns, so make sure you’re ready before you join this fun, unique tour!
Are you hoping to live out your sled-dog dreams now that you are deep in Canadian snow country? You’re in luck. There are plenty of opportunities for dog-sled tours in Whistler every winter. Fly across the snow on a rather comfortable sled pulled by exuberant pups as you explore the beautiful Canadian country.
Want to sit back while someone handles the reigns for you? You can do that. Want to get a bit more hands-on and mush a team yourself? You can do that, too! Learn all about the hard work and psychology that goes into these specially bred Arctic sled dogs through a tour with Blackcomb! Dog-sled tours are a perfect wintertime activity, especially children.
If you want to catch a more romantic glimpse of Whistler, then look into a Whistler sleigh ride option. Picture gently falling snow, Glide through the snow with your special someone perched in a comfy, warm sleigh. Enjoy the views of the mountains, trees, and snow while you admire the strong, gentle, Percheron horses. You won’t want to miss out on this unique, romantic, outdoor tour!
The Adventure Group Activities (TAG)
If you haven’t heard of the TAG group in Whistler, you’re surely missing out. Check out some of our favorite TAG experiences. Their adventures are almost unlimited, for a full range of their activity listings check out their website for the most up to date information.
Are helicopters, snowcats and dog sleds a bit too fast pace? Are you looking for a tour that allows you to slow down, relax and get a bit more physical activity? Snowshoe tours are probably the perfect winter activity for you! What’s great about this type of exploration? It’s simple! Unlike some of the other tour options (we’re looking at you, heli-skiing) anyone can join in the fun. Can you walk? Good! Then you can snowshoe.
It’s fun for all ages and abilities. Don’t be ashamed of the crazy awkward gait, rest assured that it is completely normal. Make sure you rent modern snowshoes, which are much easier to use and get a knowledgeable guide to take you for a deep exploration of the Whistler hinterland. Follow trails, see snow-covered trees, and keep an eye out for the local wildlife animals!
Does zipping through the sky sound like something you’d be interested in? Do you want to get the most breathtaking views while taking an exhilarating ride through the trees? Then ziplining might be the perfect winter adventure for you! In other areas of the world the zip line fun might come to a halt with the snow, but not in Whistler, its only just getting started. TAG takes you flying through the breathtaking environment of Cougar Mountain, snow-capped and all! Unlike other zip-lining experiences, you get to ride side-by-side with a buddy, holding on tight, screaming through the woods.
We’re going to come right out and say it – this activity is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re looking for perhaps the most unique Whistler winter experience, bungee jumping is the go-to-choice. Does free-falling through the air, all while catching glimpses of snow-capped mountains, giant spruce trees, and icy cliffs seem like something you’d be interested in? Join TAG in one of their bungee jumping packages for an exhilarating fall from a 160-foot bridge that spans over the gorgeous, icy, glacial-fed Cheakamus River. Just don’t forget to open your eyes.
For the motor heads in our midst, nothing beats getting on a sled and heading deep into the backcountry, especially after a big snowfall. Let the backcountry guides at TAG take you for an unforgettable ride through the beautiful, rugged hills of Whistler. The Adventure Group boasts the reputation of having some of the most incredible snowmobile tours in the province, with plenty of options catering to experience and courage. You can enjoy a gentle cruise designed for families with kids, or cut loose on brand new, state-of-the-art machines in backcountry powder. Don’t miss out! Bring your camera and an appetite for adventure.
If you’re traveling with the family and want to check out a few outdoorsy activities that are kid-safe and kid-approved, check out a few of our suggestions below!
Tobogganing at Whistler Olympic Park
If your kids lean more toward the adventurous side, then the Whistler Olympic Park is one of the best options available for you and your family. Try your hand at tobogganing in the dedicated toboggan zone, slip and slide down the mountain, and even head into the day lodge to warm up before you hit the slope again!
Family Ski Day
If your kiddos aren’t quite ready to ski down the black diamond slopes, don’t worry! Whistler has plenty of dedicated space for you and your children to explore: the green and blue trails on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. You and your kids can search for secret tree forts, magic castles, and wrap up by heading into the on-mountain restaurant for a cup of cocoa.
There’s nothing quite like climbing onto an inflated tube, looking down the slope, taking a deep breath and pushing off. If you and your family are new to wintertime fun, this is the staple for all Canadian children. It’s definitely time your children experienced this! Luckily, there’s plenty of chances for your kids to tube in Whistler, including spots like Whistler Blackcomb Coca-Cola Tube Park. You can tube all through the day, and into the night (if you can keep up with the kiddos) under the stadium lights. No skills or experience are needed to try out the slopes at the Coca-Cola Tube Park!
For the adrenaline junkies, for the kids, for the romantics, there really is a perfect winter activity for everyone in Whistler. Of course, the mountains are the main destination, but that doesn’t always mean skiing or snowboarding. It might mean tubing, dog-sledding, or snowshoeing. There is plenty of outdoors for everyone, and while the hill might get crowded, the backcountry never does.