Run by The Adventure Group (TAG) out in the wilderness, you can explore the Whistler area in style on a snowmobile while being led by experienced guides.
Snowmobiling Tours in Whistler
Whistler is known for its variety of winter sport activities, and snowmobiling is one of them. Whether you’ve done it before or are brand-new, the TAG Whistler tours have options for everyone.
The snowmobile tours are a fast and fun way to explore the Whistler forests and backcountry terrain. The views are spectacular and the feeling of riding the snowmobile itself is exciting on its own. There are various options for different skill levels as well.
While it’s not actually a “car”, you need to have a valid driver’s license if you want to operate one of the snowmobiles. Those who don’t can still ride as passengers. The tours also don’t get postponed due to rain or other inclement weather (unless it’s really serious), so make sure to bundle up!
Location and Operating Dates
The TAG Whistler Basecamp is on Cougar Mountain which is north of Whistler Village. It’s about a 10-minute drive away, just off the Sea to Sky Highway on Cougar Mountain Road. The TAG Basecamp is home to a number of activities throughout the year, from Aerial Obstacle Courses to Ziplines to the Vallea Lumina light walk and more. Whitewater Rafting Tours also leaves from the same venue.
The snowmobile tours are primarily a winter-time activity, although because of Whistler’s climate they’re able to run into the spring. In 2022, weather permitting, the tours are available until April 18th. Some of the tours have quite early starts (e.g., 8:30 am!) while others take place in the late morning or early afternoon.
The Available Tours
There are multiple options available for the tours. Below is a short description of each of them. There are the Fresh Tracks Tours, Wilderness Ride Tours, and BC Tours.
The Fresh Tracks/Family Tours
The Fresh Tracks tour takes riders through the forest and by frozen lakes. There are beginner and intermediate options available, both of which cost around $200 per driver and $120 per passenger.
Children under 13 are free to ride as passengers on the beginner tour (as is the case with all the different beginner options). These tours begin at 8:30 am and last for about 2.5 hours. Approximately 105 minutes of that time is spent riding.
There is also a family version of the Fresh Tracks tour. It’s designed to include a stop at a fun “playground” area where there are mini-snowmobiles available for children to try. In addition to the 8:30 am option there are also 1:00 pm family tours. The afternoon family tour is a little more expensive at $230 per driver and $130 per passenger (with children still free).
The Wilderness Ride Tour
This tour costs the same as the regular Fresh Tracks tour, although it’s a little bit shorter. The ride time is around 75 minutes with a total time of about 2 hours. The Wilderness Ride makes up for that time gap by focusing on stunning mountain views as you overlook the Whistler region.
These tours generally begin at 11:00 am although sometimes later in the afternoon as well. There are both beginner and intermediate options. We’ve done this tour and loved it! See below for more details.
The BC Tour
The BC Tour is a little more expensive than the normal Fresh Tracks and Wilderness Ride tours. It costs $230 per driver and $130 per passenger. The ride time is around 105 minutes out of a total trip of 2.5 hours.
This option is most similar to the Fresh Track tours, but it goes through a few more out-of-the way areas. This tour begins at 1:00 pm with both beginner and intermediate options.
Outdoor Adventure Combos
If you’re looking to combine the snowmobiling with other fun outdoor activities, TAG Whistler offers a couple of different bundle options. For example, there is the Fly & Ride combo which includes a snowmobile tour as well as a trip on the Superfly Ziplines. This costs $250 per person which is around $100 less than what it would be to purchase them both separately.
As well, there is the Triple Play combo which consists of the snowmobiles, ziplines and a snowshoe tour. This costs $290, which is around $180 less than ordering all three activities separately.
Our Snowmobiling Experience
We did the Wilderness Ride snowmobiling tour in February of 2022. We went with our family and we had a blast! There were four of us – Mom, Dad, university-aged son and teenaged daughter. We rented two machines between us and took turns driving. All four of us had turns driving. Because only one of us had any previous snowmobiling experience, we did the beginner tour.
When we arrived at TAG Whistler’s Basecamp we checked in and were given our helmets. Our guide introduced himself and then took us out to the machines. After about 10 minutes of instructions we headed out in single file on our tour.
The first kilometre of the tour was slow and on level ground. This gave everyone a chance to get used to the machines. The snowmobiles are easy to operate. You brake with your left hand. You apply gas with your right hand. There’s a button to start the motor. Steering is a bit like riding a bike, but a really big and heavy one. You pull the handle bar from side to side to turn, and sometimes you have to lean a little bit. It was easy and all of us could do it no problem.
After the first 5 minutes of putting along and getting used to things, the real adventure began! Holy cow was it fun!
On our snowmobiling tour we went up trails, down trails, through the forest and past a frozen lake. At top speed we got up to over 30 km an hour. We stopped a couple of times to admire the views, but most of the time we were travelling. Throughout the tour, people rode in a single file behind the tour guide.
The entire experience took about two hours from start to finish. Minus the time to get our helmets, instructions and breaks to admire the views, we enjoyed about an hour and fifteen minutes of actual riding time.
Last summer we did Tag Whistler’s RZR Tour on all-terrain vehicles. We probably did some of the same trails on our snowmobiling tour, but this time on snow instead of gravel. We aren’t sure which we liked more, the all-terrain vehicles or the ski-doos. They were both so much fun and a great way to create long-lasting memories!
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions and extra information to help you make the most out of your Whistler snowmobiling experience.
TIP #1: The snowmobiling tours stop for a couple of breaks. These are good opportunities for photos of the surrounding scenery and for drivers and passengers to switch positions if they want.
TIP #2: Give yourself lots of time to get to TAG Whistler’s Basecamp, especially if driving straight from Vancouver. You don’t want to miss your tour because of traffic. Also, you’ll want to give yourself time to go to the bathroom before heading out into the wilderness. There are no restrooms in the forest, just trees and bushes!
TIP #3: Pretty much any day is a good day for snowmobiling, except for when it’s raining. The absolute best time though is after a fresh snowfall. The forest looks magical, and snowmobiling on powder is way more fun than on hard-packed or icy trails.
TIP #4: Sunglasses or goggles are a good idea. The wind can be cold on your eyes and face, and bright sun on the snow can be hard on the eyes.
TIP #5: TAG Whistler provides guests with helmets. You don’t have to take your own. You can also borrow a pair of goggles if you want.
TIP #6: There are lockers at Basecamp where you can store belongings. It’s recommended though that you keep valuables locked in your car and out of sight. There are also compartments on the snowmobiles themselves where you can put items including small bags.
TIP #7: Dress warmly! The difference in temperature between Basecamp and the highest point on the tour can be as much as 10 degrees! The handle bars on the snowmobiles are heated, which is awesome! You’ll still want to wear gloves, however, especially if you are a passenger. It’s better to dress too warmly, and then take something off, than to not dress warm enough!
For more information about the snowmobiling opportunities visit the TAG Whistler website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Whistler’s Aerial Obstacle Courses
- Whitewater Rafting Tours
- Superfly Ziplines
- Vallea Lumina
- RZR All-Terrain Vehicle Tours
- Whistler’s Top Attractions