Year-round sightseeing on both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains offers access to the record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, Whistler Mountain Peak Express Chairlift, viewpoints and interpretive loops.
PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola Access Via:
- The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola can be accessed by either Whistler or Blackcomb Mountain. From the Whistler Village Base, guests can take the 25 minute ride up Whistler Mountain in the covered Whistler Village Gondola to the Roundhouse Lodge and the Whistler PEAK 2 PEAK Terminal. From the base of Blackcomb Mountain (the Upper Village), guests can take the 25 minute open-air chairlift ride on the Wizard Express and Solar Coaster Express to the Rendezvous Lodge and the Blackcomb PEAK 2 PEAK Terminal.
- Roundhouse Lodge (Whistler) and Rendezvous Lodge (Blackcomb) 6,000 feet (1,850 metres).
- Whistler Mountain Summit (accessed via Peak Express) 7,160 feet, (2,182 metres).
- Starting from the Whistler Village Base, taking the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and ending at Blackcomb Base (or vice versa) will take a total time of approximately 90 minutes. Food and beverage options are available on either side of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola.
Dates of Operation:
- Whistler Blackcomb opens for the winter season American Thanksgiving weekend (third week in November) or earlier if Mother Nature cooperates! Sightseeing operations run throughout the winter and continue throughout the spring and summer, closing after Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (second week in October) to prepare for the winter.
- The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola closes for a month every spring for maintenance.
Whistler Mountain Peak:
- Summer months provide the opportunity for sightseers to travel by open-air chairlift to the Peak of Whistler Mountain. Operations and opening dates depend on the snowpack and how quickly it melts. Access to the Peak Chair is via a short walk downhill from the Roundhouse Lodge. From the top of the Peak Express Chair, an interpretive loop and lookouts offer 360-dgree views of stunning scenery, including the famed Black Tusk. Multiple day hikes are also accessible from this point.
Blackcomb Mountain High Alpine:
- Access to the top of 7th Heaven on Blackcomb Mountain is available to sightseers while Glacier Skiing is in operation (approximately mid May to late July, weather permitting). Access to 7th Heaven is via a short bus ride from the Rendezvous Lodge to the base of the 7th Heaven chair, followed by an open-air chairlift ride to the top. The top of 7th Heaven provides stunning views across Fitzsimmons Valley to Whistler Mountain’s alpine bowls. The Horstman Hut is also open for light refreshments or a BBQ lunch with a view.
- The Roundhouse Lodge and Rendezvous Lodge offer a variety of food and beverage options from casual marketplace meal items, to outdoor BBQ, to full service fine dining, including high tea and wine tastings:
- Mountain Top BBQ Series – Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening (late June- early September) the chefs on Whistler Mountain welcome guests to enjoy mouth-watering BBQ, fresh salads and delicious desserts while taking in the views of the valley from the Roundhouse Lodge patio at 1800m.
- Steeps Grill, located in the Roundhouse Lodge, offers full service restaurant featuring locally sourced seasonal offerings and fine local wines. Steeps is also home to the ever popular Winemaker’s Après and Dinner series features multicourse food and wine pairings.
- Roundhouse Lodge is Whistler Blackcomb’s biggest restaurant with three open food courts; Pika’s, the Mountain Market, and Expressway, featuring a great variety of traditional and international flavors and menu items. The Roundhouse is also home to Fresh Tracks Mountain Top breakfast in the winter, allowing guests to enjoy an early buffet breakfast on the mountain before getting access to the slopes before the public arrives.
- The Rendezvous Lodge is available to sightseers on Blackcomb Mountain. Home to the casual fine dining restaurant, Christine’s as well as the Rendezvous Food Court, the Rendezvous offers up a wide array of locally sourced menu items to suit all taste preferences. The Rendezvous and Christine’s underwent a massive renovation and is open for the 2015.2016 season with improved functionality and expanded capacity.
- A Whistler Blackcomb sightseeing ticket provides foot passengers with full access to the lift system including: Whistler Village Gondola, Peak Express, PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, 7th Heaven Express, Solar Coaster Express, and Wizard Express. This also includes access to the PEAK 2 PEAK Viewing Gallery and the Samsung Alpine Theatre on Whistler Mountain.
A truly top-of-the-world experience awaits sightseers year-round on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Winter, spring, summer and fall each bring their own unique flavour to the mountaintop, and sightseers do not need a snowboard or skis to create their own high alpine moment.
PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola Gets Up Close And Personal In The Alpine
Spanning the distance between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is a breathtaking, 4.4-kilometre sightseeing journey delivering jaw-dropping views of dramatic peaks, ancient glaciers, and the Whistler valley far below. Truly establishing itself as one of Canada’s iconic attractions, the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola redefines the coastal alpine experience by creating limitless ways to get up-close-and-personal with the mountains.
This engineering marvel breaks three world records, two of which are recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records:
- Longest unsupported span of 3.024 kilometres **Guinness World Record**
- Highest lift of its kind at 436 metres above the valley floor **Guinness World Record**
- Completes the longest continuous lift system on the globe
And while the record-setting statistics are impressive, nothing compares to the PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Experience. The journey between the two Mountains provides a 360-degree window into Whistler Blackcomb’s alpine environment, its surrounding peaks, changing seasons and wildlife habitat. And on either side of the Gondola, a variety of dining options abound from casual marketplace meal items, to outdoor BBQ, to full service fine dining, including high tea and wine tastings. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is easily accessible via a 25-minute ride up Whistler Mountain in the covered Whistler Village Gondola, or via The Wizard Express and Solar Coaster Express, both open-air chairlifts, on Blackcomb Mountain. One sightseeing ticket provides an entire day’s access to Whistler Blackcomb’s lift system as well as the PEAK 2 PEAK Viewing Gallery and the Samsung Alpine Theatre on Whistler Mountain.
Sightseeing And Nature Lessons For Every Season
Wildflowers, wildlife, summer heat, fall hues and the ever-present snowpack ensure a sightseeing trip into the Whistler Blackcomb alpine will deliver an inspiring and educational experience whatever the season. Even in the summer, visitors flock to the gondola in search of snow – sometimes to experience it for the first time ever, or to escape the summer heat in the valley below. Unmatched views and nature lessons abound year-round for visitors from around the world looking to immerse themselves in BC’s spectacular Coast Mountains.
Whistler Blackcomb's alpine wildflowers bloom all around the extensive trail network, painting the alpine with a tapestry of vibrant colour. Prime viewing months are July and August (dependent upon snow melt).
40-60 black bears, from approximately 8 resident families, call these Mountains home. Their diet consists primarily of berries that are plentiful in the ski runs and forested areas on Whistler Blackcomb. Bears can be spotted from the chairlifts and gondolas or via a guided bear tour from the comfort and safety of a 4X4 vehicle.
One of Whistler Blackcomb’s most famous residents is the Whistling Marmot. Found in high alpine areas, this giant squirrel-like character feeds on grass, berries, lichens, mosses, flowers and roots. While it hibernates in winter, its shrill summer-time whistle was the inspiration for Whistler Mountain’s name.
Black Tailed Deer
These majestic 100-200lb (45-90kg) animals take shelter in the old growth forests throughout summer and winter, but can be spotted at the tree line and in open spaces that offer grassy areas for grazing. The larger males have small fork-like antlers.
With over 30 feet of snow annually, Whistler residents take snow for granted but snow in the winter OR summer is an exciting experience for many. And as Whistler Village heats up in the summertime, the refreshing alpine snow keeps everyone cool.
Refreshments and Dining
Various options abound year-round for alpine refreshments on either side of the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, with mouth-watering BBQs, cold beverages served on a sunny patio, or hot lunches in a cozy full-service restaurant.
A Sightsee Trip To The Top Of The World
An exciting way to access Whistler Mountain's highest elevation and some of the most iconic hiking trails on either mountain, is via the Peak Express Chairlift for a truly top of the world experience. Open to sightseers throughout the summer and fall, the Peak Express offers an open-air chairlift ride over a snowy glacier to the Whistler Mountain summit, and incredible views of landscape that cannot be seen from Whistler Village. At the top, easy interpretive walking trails provide a chance to take in the unique high alpine topography, climate, soil and vegetation, outstanding 360-degree views of the Coast Mountains, including unmatched views of the legendary Black Tusk, the lava core of an ancient volcano in Garibaldi Provincial Park.
THE SIX SEASONS OF SUMMER
From May through October, the Whistler Blackcomb alpine always has something in season. The scene atop the PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Experience changes daily, from snow walls to wildflowers, to riding the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola or hiking to a hidden glacier. Whistler Blackcombís six seasons within summer definitely require more than one visit to the alpine to experience it all.