5 Best Photo Opportunities in Whistler

Photo Opportunities Whistler

Lee Van Grack

Perhaps it sounds a bit cliche to say so, but everywhere is a best photo op in Whistler. You don't even have to be on top of the mountain to catch extraordinary beauty. There is the river, the lakes, the trails, the village, the whacky colors of the boarders and the skiers. So while the little town of Whistler may be man-made to attract the tourists, especially since it hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, all the natural beauty around you is worth documenting. Take advantage of photo opportunities Whistler offers – and shoot wide.

1. Romantic Spot: The Fairmont Chateau Whistler

Grandiose, palatial, old-world – there are 100 ways to describe The Fairmont Chateau Whistler landmark hotel, and it makes for spectacular photographs. While the hotel is located at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, with an ideal Whistler photography landscape, it is really the interior space that makes this the most romantic spot to shoot. There are sophisticated wine rooms and cozy lounges with fireplaces, a wellness spa and markets, stone pillars and grand dining rooms. It's one of the most beautiful locations on the planet, and you don't even have to step outside to capture it. Ideal if you can stay here and photograph the hotel as people from the world over pass on by.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler
4599 Chateau Blvd
Whistler, BC V0N 1B4 Canada

2. Quirky Spot: Bear Tour

Yes. You read right. A bear tour. As in black furry things that can eat you and your camera in a blink of an eye. However, if you take one of the organized tours here, chances are pretty good you will not be eaten and you will come home with some rather original photographs. There is no walking or hiking involved, for obvious reasons. On this tour you sit in a truck and are driven on trails where you are likely to find bears. If Yogi doesn't happen to make an appearance, there are plenty of other creatures to shoot, including coyotes, hawks and deer. Organized tours are offered between May and October. Before and after, you are on your own.

3. Fun Family Spot: Rainbow Park

Rainbow Park is one of those places that make you sigh when you arrive. It is lakeside, surrounded by mountain peaks, on a well-marked hiking/biking trail system, with all the facilities you and your family would want for a fun, safe day out. Make sure you have enough memory in your camera because you will want to shoot your kids running on the beach, splashing in the water, in a canoe and enjoying a picnic. So unleash the young and let them explore. There are washrooms and changing rooms, so the family can bring swimwear and beachwear. This is Whistler travel photography at its best!

4. Scenic Spot

Of course the most scenic spot in the Whistler area is from atop the mountains themselves. There are more than 30 ways to get to the tops of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. While a few hundred feet won't make much difference in your photographs, the spectacular, expansive views of the region will be wonderful. Try to get as high up as possible, just to say you did. Take the Peak Express to the top of Whistler, where there are 360-degree views. It is quite literally hard to know where to shoot first. If you have never tried panorama shooting on your camera, this is the place to give it a go.

5. Classic Spot

While the most scenic spot to take photographs is atop Whistler-Blackcomb, the classic place to shoot is on the way up and on the way down from the peaks. Take the relatively short Peak 2 Peak ride between the sister mountains for 360-degree views all around. Shoot from one of the 30-plus lifts, using your feet as the foreground for your mountain range backdrop photos. (Don't be shy. We all do it.) There is something otherworldly about being transported hundreds of meters above the ground, zipping from peak to peak and place to place, in silence. Spending the day on the mountain can be both intoxicating and overwhelming. Take your time and don't miss any photo opportunities Whistler affords.
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