Four Seasons Whistler takes their recreation very seriously, asking families to fill out an Adventure Profile before you arrive. That way, a Base Camp Activity Consultant can help set up a schedule for your stay. The list of activities is mind-boggling.
In summer, you can learn to ride an ATV on a hidden valley between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain, go on a bear viewing tour in the expansive hemlock-cedar forest that rises above Whistler Village, try your luck glacial hiking with ax and crampons, horseback ride on shaded paths around hidden lakes, rock climb in nearby Cal-Cheak, raft down a river, even ski and snowboard at Horstman Glacier, open June through August.
Families can spend time hiking, ziplining and paddling. Take a gondola ride to the mountain's Roundhouse Grill, where you can enjoy lunch on a patio surrounded by the snowcapped peaks. Mountain bikers zip by, dressed in helmets, knee and elbow pads, ready to do battle with the trails. Another chairlift, the Peak Adventure, takes families to the summit, where you walk on a rocky path down 1,000 feet back to the restaurant. It was mid-August and snow was still on the ground when we visited, so we had a snowball fight.
Try the longest zipline on the continent or canoe the River of Golden Dreams, where you may spot a bald eagle overhead as you let the current take you down the eastern end of Alta Lake with Whistler standing tall in the backdrop.
It is nice to relax in the large heated outdoor pool and soak muscles in the Jacuzzi after a long day of exploring.
Most of us think of this British Columbian resort as a skiing destination, so let's talk about winter. First there's the Ski Lite program, where guests need not worry if they forget to pack their parka and skies. Pick the latest designer wear from Prada and Spyder at the Whistler Blackcomb Mountain Products store located on the lower level of the lobby. Your waxed skis and pre-warmed boots will be waiting at the hotel's Ski Concierge Shop at the base of Blackcomb each morning.
The sophisticated hotel also features a Ski Elite Program with one-on-one instruction for skiers. There's also a teenage concierge who grew up on the mountain catering solely to teenagers. He'll set your child up on a dogsledding trip with Alaskan Huskies through the Soo Valley Wildlife Preserve, book a spot on the zipline trek, which is open year-round, and, of course, give the goods on the best ski trails the mountain offers for your ability. Be sure to ask about the Fresh Tracks Breakfast. For an additional fee, you get to head up the mountain an hour before it officially opens, grab breakfast at the summit lodge, and get two to three good runs in before the masses arrive.