If there’s one thing you shouldn’t leave at home when visiting Whistler in the summer, it’s your camera. There are hundreds of unique spots in the Whistler Valley to take that ‘gram-worthy shot, but it’s best to gain some elevation to get the best view of the beautiful Coast Mountain landscape. A 20-minute ride on the Whistler Village Gondola will springboard you up to 1,850m above sea level for a hike along the various trails in Whistler Blackcomb’s alpine. While there’s plenty more spots to stop for snaps during your day of sightseeing, we’ve curated our top 5 photo locations for you right here.
This is the highest and easiest photo location to access. From the Roundhouse Lodge (at the top of the Whistler Village Gondola) it’s a short walk down to the Peak Express chairlift which will whisk you up to the Whistler Summit, known as Top of the World. Beautiful mountains and glaciers stretch in every direction, so get your shots by strolling around the Whistler Summit Interpretative Walk. That way you’ll get the best angles on the various terrain features like the iconic Black Tusk, an ancient and extinct volcano. You’ll also learn a bit about the geological history of Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.P: Paul Morrison
One gem you can’t see from the summit is Cheakamus Lake. Beginning your hike from the Top of World Summit, High Note Trail traverses the south side of Whistler Mountain. Along this world class alpine trail, you’ll find some great view points of this turquoise, glacier-fed lake that feeds the mighty Cheakamus River. P: Paul Morrison
The two to three-hour hike to the summit of Flute along the Musical Bumps Trail reaches the very edge of the resort area on the boundary of Garibaldi Provincial Park. While not as high in elevation as the Whistler Summit or the top of 7th Heaven on Blackcomb Mountain, Flute Summit provides the best views of the rolling Musical Bumps and the pyramidal Fissile Mountain. The hike back to the Roundhouse along the High Note Trail also reveals some colourful rock formations. P: Paul Morrison
Access the Blackcomb Mountain alpine by riding the open-air chair lifts Wizard Express and Solar Coaster Express. Head out on Alpine Walk Trail followed by Overlord Trail. After a few kilometres, you’ll see the Decker Loop Trail fork off and begin to climb a steep ridge. At the top of Decker Loop Trail, you’ll have views up to the summits of Blackcomb and Decker Mountain and across the valley to the Musical Bumps, the vast Overlord Glacier and Fissile Mountain. This chain of peaks and glaciers forms the fabled Spearhead Traverse which links Blackcomb and Whistler mountains. It was first completed on skis in 1964. P: Paul Morrison
This is a special zone only open during the summer glacier skiing season from June 10 – July 16, 2017, but sightseers are also welcome! From the Rendezvous Lodge, board the free shuttle bus to the bottom of the 7th Heaven Express chairlift. Ride the chair, and you’ll soon alight with a full 360-degree view of both 7th Heaven and the Horstman Glacier. Walk along the ridge, and you can look down the Couloir Extreme, one of the steepest ski runs in North America. The deck of the Horstman Hut is one of the most beautiful lunch spots in Whistler. P: Paul Morrison
In the early summer months, operations staff plow the road to the top of Whistler Mountain leaving towering snow walls. Best seen during May and early June.P: Paul Morrison
Blooming shortly after the spring snow melt, swathes of colourful flowers grow on certain aspects of the mountains (look for the flower symbol on your hiking map). Best viewed in June and July but timing can vary according to the season.P: Robin O’Neill
Being suspended 436 metres above the valley floor gives you a unique viewpoint of the Fitzsimmons Valley and the peaks and glaciers in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Ride the glass-bottom cabin for a bird’s eye view of the creek and forests below.
There’s certainly more than one day of great landscape photography to be had in the Whistler Blackcomb alpine, well beyond this Top 5 list. Make sure pick up your PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Pass so you can revisit this beautiful mountain amphitheatre as many times as you like this summer. Just don’t forget your camera.