From Whistler’s unmatched alpine landscape, breathtaking glacier-fed lakes and lush forests of towering trees to the world’s premier mountain bike park and the valley’s endless network of trails, Whistler’s rugged, West Coast beauty inspires a whole summer’s worth of adventure.
You can easily spend a whole weekend or more exploring Whistler Blackcomb, with its 50+ kilometres of hiking trails for all levels and over 4,900 vertical feet of lift-serviced trails for mountain bikers. There’s also the Cloudraker Skybridge & Raven’s Eye and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola to experience, and you could always add a mountain-based activity tour into the mix like ziplining, ATVing or climbing. Then, to celebrate a day well spent, you can enjoy a picnic at altitude at sunset, indulge in a Summer Feast, or raise a glass at the Umbrella Bar with its incredible views (and great Caesars).
Here’s what you need to know before you embark on your adventure to Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain Bike Park this summer, including what construction on the Fitzsimmons Express means for bikers and sightseers.
When Do Things Open at Whistler Blackcomb this Summer?
The iconic Whistler Mountain Bike Park is set to open on May 19, with hiking and sightseeing launching on June 10. The Peak Express Chairlift, which gets you access to the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye is slated for June 17. Please take a look at the Mountain Hours of Operation page before you make your plan as the weather plays a huge role in mountain operations and sometimes that can’t be planned for!
A quick note on spring hours. From April 17 to May 22 the Blackcomb Gondola is open for sightseeing on weekends and holidays only with Excalibur Gondola open during weekdays (not weekends). There is no access to the Whistler Village Gondola or PEAK 2 PEAK until June 10 for sightseeing.
General Information for Whistler Blackcomb Adventures
- Although Summer Sightsee 360 Experience tickets never sell out, it can’t help to get them early so all you need to do is pick them up when you get here. You can book them via Whistler.com or by calling 1-800-944-7853. In resort, you can grab PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola tickets from the Whistler Visitor Centre or Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations.
- It’s best to purchase bike park tickets online, ahead of time.
- It’s cashless transactions only at Whistler Blackcomb.
- If you have purchased or put a deposit down for a winter season pass for 2023 / 24, then summer sightseeing on Whistler Blackcomb is included.
- You are not required to wear a mask.
- There is no reservation system for sightseeing, hiking, or the bike park.
Sightseeing and Hiking on Whistler Blackcomb
The Summer Sightsee 360 Experience Ticket includes access to the Whistler Village Gondola, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and the Blackcomb Gondola. This experience starts June 10, although you should note that the Blackcomb Gondola doesn’t start running until June 17.
Once the Blackcomb Gondola starts running on June 17, that’s the way sightseers are being directed to go up Whistler Blackcomb. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park riders will be using the Whistler Village Gondola as their way of getting up the hill as the Fitzsimmons Express is undergoing an upgrade this year and is under construction. Seeing as the bikers use gravity to get down the hill, sightseers can download via the Whistler Village Gondola if they’ve headed across the PEAK 2 PEAK.
All three gondolas operate until September 4, and then it switches to Blackcomb Gondola and the PEAK 2 PEAK only until September 24 (Whistler Gondola closes on September 4, 2023). The Peak Express Chairlift, which gives you access to the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Lookout, is open until September 10, although you’ll need to access it via the Blackcomb Gondola and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola from September 5 to 10.
The last day of sightseeing and hiking for summer 2023 on Whistler Blackcomb is September 24, 2023, but always check the hours of operation page for up-to-date information.
Many of the high alpine trails will have snow on them until mid-July so if there’s a certain trail you’re wanting to do, make sure you check it’s open.
Snow Walls on Whistler Blackcomb
Early season sightseeing means the alpine hiking trails are still covered, but Whistler Blackcomb clears the access road to the Peak Chair on Whistler Mountain (typically in early to mid-June), leaving canyons of snow for you to explore on your walk to the Peak.
This unique sightseeing experience won’t last long, so check out our blog for tips and get up to Whistler to see the snow walls for yourself before they’re gone!
Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Lookout
A trip to Whistler isn’t complete without a walk along the Cloudraker Skybridge, a 130-metre alpine suspension bridge that gives you incredible views out over the Coast Mountains. At one end you’ll find the Raven’s Eye Lookout, a phenomenal viewing platform that gives you 360-degree mountain vistas. Make sure you check what’s open before you book your tickets.
The Peak Express Chairlift, which gets you access to the Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye is slated to open on June 17, with the last day of operations being September 10. If you’re travelling with kids, note that there’s a height requirement of 40 inches (3.3 feet / one metre) to ride the Peak Chair and that you can’t ride the chair with a child in any form of carrier. To experience the bridge with your little one you will have to hike there and back versus taking the Peak Chair.
Mountain operations are affected by the weather, so please check the hours of operation before you plan your trip. Read more about Whistler’s suspension bridge in our Insider’s Guide to the Whistler Peak Suspension Bridge.
Look out for the Cloudraker Interpretive Loop signage featuring Coast Salish art by Squamish Nation artist James Harry and stories from the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and Líl̓wat Nation, on whose unceded territory Whistler sits. There are also explanations of the mountain’s man-made engineering feats and natural magic with detailed descriptions of the flora, fauna and alpine landscape viewpoints.
Dining on Whistler Blackcomb
The Roundhouse Lodge and Umbrella Bar (Whistler Mountain) are opening daily from June 10 until Labour Day, September 4, with the Rendezvous Lodge (Blackcomb Mountain) open until September 17. Christine’s (Blackcomb Mountain) opens on June 23 and the Summer Feasts (at the Roundhouse on Whistler Mountain) start on June 24, yum!
New for this year is that Raven’s Nest will also be opening during the summer, and serving beer! More details to come on that.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park
The Whistler Bike Park opens on May 19, 2023, using the lower line of the Whistler Village Gondola. Park Zones will come into play as the snow melts, so keep your eyes on the hours of operation page and check Whistler Blackcomb’s trail page to see what’s open before you come.
Upgrades are being made to the Fitzsimmons Express this year, so riders will be uploading on the Whistler Village Gondola and Creekside Gondola, with sightseers being asked to use Blackcomb Gondola in the Upper Village to reduce congestion. Keep an eye on the hours of operation page when you make your plans.
Take a look at Whistler.com’s Stay & Bike Park Package for a deal when you book accommodation and Whistler Bike Park tickets together.
Top of the World
The Peak Zone’s Top of the World bike trail is a bucket-list, 1,500-metre descent to the valley below against the breathtaking backdrop of the snowcapped Coast Mountains. Keep your eye on Whistler Blackcomb’s social media and trail page for updates on when it’s opening. To do Top of the World you need a specific ticket. These are limited in number and you must get them from Whistler Blackcomb Guest Relations.
Level up with Lessons
If you’re looking to pick up some new skills and improve your riding this season, taking a lesson with a pro is the way to go. If you’re new to downhill biking, opt for the Intro to Park session, which helps first-time riders develop basic downhill skills. They also offer private clinics for groups of up to four people, so if you’ve got a crew that’s a similar skill level this could be a good option as what you focus on is fully customizable. There are also Men’s Nights and Women’s Nights (Thursdays), for all levels of riders, which are fun and pressure-free.
For the kids, DFX is back with their club and daily group lessons, along with three-day Summer Gravity Camps for tweens, teens and adults. Find out more about Whistler Blackcomb lessons on their website.
New to the Whistler Bike Park?
Any beginners planning to visit the Whistler Bike Park for the first time are strongly encouraged to take a lesson and take it from us, you’re going to want the proper equipment. Check out Whistler Blackcomb Bike Park 101: A First-Timer’s Guide for a full rundown of what you need and what to expect.
Whistler Blackcomb has put up progression signage in the park to allow riders to safely figure out which trails to try next as they improve their skills. The team at the Orientation Centre (located at the top of the Fitzsimmons chairlift) can also help riders navigate the area and get riding tips.
Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival
The Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival has shifted into July this summer and you can catch the gravity-fuelled, two-wheel action from July 21 to 30. Crankworx has confirmed that the Canadian Enduro Championships are back in 2023 and that Red Bull Joyride is happening on Saturday, July 29.
6 Not-to-Miss Summer Experiences on Whistler Blackcomb
The mountains are always a hot stop for a cool summer escape and with all of the signature experiences back, there’s no better time to get into the alpine.
1. Snow Walls
Mid-June is when you can typically experience the snow walls on the way to Peak Chair on Whistler Mountain. They obviously melt, so time is of the essence if you want to feel the coolness of this frozen pathway carved into the snow.
2. Picnics with Altitude
Pack a picnic (have fun visiting Whistler’s take-out dining options, bakeries and grocery stores) and find a secluded and cool spot to dine in the alpine. Read some of our suggested spots in Picnics With Altitude.
3. Alpine Wildflowers
From the end of July until mid-August is when to experience the full bloom of Whistler’s alpine wildflowers. Take a read of Alpine Wildflower Season in Whistler for more info on what you’ll see and where to go.
4. Ascent Trail Challenge
Hike the Ascent Trail, which goes from the base of Blackcomb Mountain all the way to the top, in the shade of the old-growth forest. The full trail is a 6.2-kilometre journey with 1,200 metres of elevation gain, but there are options to break it into two smaller sections. Read about the options in Insider Guide: Summer Hiking in Whistler.
5. Summer Feast up the Mountain
Celebrate your day at The Summer Feast, a buffet-style dinner event that takes over the Roundhouse Lodge in the evenings on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For dates, times and tickets visit whistler.com.
6. Tours on the Mountains
Play in the mountains by taking a guided hike, a bear viewing tour, riding an ATV or climbing on a Via Ferrata tour.
For the best rates on summer accommodation, plan a longer stay or consider staying midweek (discounts of up to 30%). Plus, stay 3+ nights and receive a free, $100 Activity Voucher (stay 5+ nights and that goes up to a $200 voucher). Book in confidence with Whistler.com for Flexible Cancellation and a Price Match Guarantee.