Covering over 3,280 hectares and home to three glaciers, 16 alpine bowls and over 200 trails, North America’s most extensive ski resort is packed with things to see and do, whatever the weather. One of Canada’s most popular ski resorts, the beautiful natural scenery of Blackcomb offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing opportunities in winter, and beautiful hiking or cycling trails in the summer.
Opened in the 1960s, Blackcomb was originally built with the Olympics in mind, but missed out on hosting the Winter Olympics at that time. After expanding and joining forces with the Blackcomb Peak ski resort in the late 1990s, Whistler was finally granted the honour of hosting some of the events of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. The ski resort now plays host to over 2 million visitors a year.
You can hone your skiing skills by taking private or group lessons, but bear in mind that they should be booked in advance. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola and a number of different lifts will take you up to the slopes, although you can give heliskiing (starting from a helicopter) a go if you think you’re brave enough! The tube park is great for kids, although they must be over 3 years old and more than 91 cm tall to participate.
There’s still plenty to do at the resort even when the snow has gone. The alpine trails become great places to cycle or trek in the summer, and a guided bear-viewing tour is a good way to see the local wildlife. If you want something a bit more exciting, you can go zip lining, glacier trekking or rent ATVs (all-terrain vehicles).
Whistler Blackcomb Resort is situated 125 kilometres north of Vancouver and is easily reached by car. Free parking is available at the resort. Alternatively, you can take a bus or train from Vancouver. Have a look at the resort’s official website beforehand to download trail maps.