Whistler is located on the southern end of a chain of coastal mountains that extend from Vancouver to Alaska.
From the peak of Whistler mountain, far to the west of the skyline, a rock ridge is capped in part by a smooth glacier. This is the edge of the Pemberton icefield, a vast glacial plateau that spills down side valleys. The icefield is truly a remnant of the last ice age, now making its last stand in this high mountain region.
Since the early 1900’s people have been coming to the area to get away from city life and take in the area’s natural surroundings. Back in those days, the mountainous terrain hindered easy access to Alta Lake except for an infrequent railway. Apart from a few small mills and mines, as well as trapping and fishing lodges, the area remained isolated until 1965 when the Sea to Sky highway was completed and Whistler Mountain opened for skiing. The tourism industry has been strong here ever since.
Whistler’s appeal has always been its natural heritage. Alpine wildflowers, pristine lakes, glaciers, and black bears provide meaningful connections to nature that can’t be found in urban settings. From the early pioneers to the current community, all have understood the need to protect the environment upon which our success depends.
The RMOW has resumed natural and cultural heritage work which started in the 1990s. At this time, staff are repairing, refurbishing and replacing interpretive signage across the community.