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WHISTLER

The 75-mile (120-km) drive to Whistler from Vancouver showcases stunning scenery, a combination of Howe Sound’s sparkling blue waters and the majestic snow-covered Coast Mountain range. The magnificent side-by-side peaks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains welcome more than two million visitors every year. A year-round resort, Whistler has hosted both the Olympic and the Paralympic Winter Games. While the resort is known for its hotels, restaurants, and shops, it still preserves five lakes and beautiful natural enclaves of forests.

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Map of Whistler

NEED TO KNOW

prac_info Whistler Visitor Centre: 4230 Gateway Dr; 604 935 3357; www.whistler.com

prac_info Fairmont Chateau Whistler: 4599 Chateau Blvd; 604 938 8000; www.fairmont.com

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  • Take warm and waterproof clothing up the mountains, even during the summer.
  • Horstman Hut is the highest eatery in the area, sitting at 7,494 ft (2,284 m).
  • Watch out for black bears on the Valley Trail, especially in the early morning or evening. If you spot one, keep your distance and back away.
  • Ride PEAK 2 PEAK from Whistler to Blackcomb Mountains on one of the highest and longest gondolas in the world.

1. Blackcomb Mountain

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Nicknamed the “Mile High Mountain,” Blackcomb towers over Whistler resort at an elevation of 7,992 ft (2,436 m). Skiers can choose from more than 100 marked runs. In summer, Horstman Glacier is unmissable.

2. Fairmont Chateau Whistler

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Whistler’s grand dame reigns over the valley from the Upper Village. The antique furnishings, gold-leaf ceiling, and Canadian art in the lobby of this chateau-style hotel make it well worth a visit. The opulent Mallard Lounge has a popular heated patio.

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The beautiful Fairmont Chateau Whistler

3. Whistler Mountain

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Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy 7.4 sq miles (19.3 sq km) of thrilling terrain with more than 100 marked trails. Whistler Village Gondola offers superb views of Whistler Valley during the 20-minute ride to the top. Mountain biking and alpine hiking are great summer activities.

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Breathtaking mountain views from the Whistler Mountain Valley

4. Whistler Village

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This pedestrian-only Alpine-style enclave, ringed by shops, hotels, and restaurants, provides ski-in, ski-out access to Whistler Mountain. It’s busy round the clock.

5. Alta Lake

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This area was once home to Rainbow Lodge, Whistler’s first resort. Traces of it remain at Rainbow Park. Explore the lake’s perimeter on the paved Valley. You can trail, or, swim, wind surf, or canoe here.

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People relaxing and sun-bathing at the lakeside park adjecent to Alta Lake

6. Valley Trail

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The lovely 25-mile (40-km) Valley Trail attracts walkers, cyclists, and in-line skaters. It leads past Lost Lake, Rainbow Park, and Alta, Nita, and Alpha lakes, through stands of trees that fringe residential areas. In winter, the Lost Lake loop is dedicated to cross-country skiing.

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Cyclists riding through the lush-green Valley Trail at Whistler

7. Creekside

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An investment of several million dollars has transformed this activity center, providing chic hotels and a mini-mall. Skiers can access Whistler Mountain from this historic base at the Creekside Gondola.

8. Upper Village

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Nestled at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, the Upper Village offers easy access to the slopes. The ski-in, ski-out luxury hotels, restaurants, and shops are unsurpassed. In summer, Adventure Zone is great for kids.

9. Village North

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Construction of Village North followed that of Upper Village, with the added attractions of vehicle access, a shopping mall, cafés, restaurants, and lifestyle shops.

10. Green Lake

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A glacial gem with crystal-clear water thanks to mountain melt, Green Lake is spectacularly situated between some of the area’s highest peaks, including massive Mount Currie.

WHISTLER TRANSIT

A free shuttle travels every 20 to 30 minutes between village hotels and condos to the ski slopes. BC Transit buses take guests to and from the villages and around the town. Alternatively, call Whistler Taxi (604 932 3333) or use their smartphone app.

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