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Seeing snow for the first time

Brisbane, Australia
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Seeing snow for the first time

Hello, 3 adults travelling from Australia will be in Seattle for 10 days in late October.

We very much would like to see some snow and a tiny taste of Canada, so we were thinking of coming up for 3 days....Not to ski or hike, just see it and experience it.

Any suggestions on where to stay, how best to travel there and anything else we need to know would be great .

Thanks Trish

Vancouver, Canada
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for Vancouver
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1. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

You could take Amtrak Cascades from Seattle to Vancouver (4 hours) and transfer to a coach to Whistler (2.5 hours) all in the same day. The train does not encounter delays or line ups at the US/Canada border.

3 nights would be about right.

For a hotel, you might start by browsing the Whistler Hotels in the sidebar to the right. Above the hotel listings is a slider bar for setting a max rate, before taxes. Or you could sort by "very good" or "excellent" hotels, etc. Then post a couple of choices for comment from this end.

Also have a look at the Things to Do, again in the sidebar, to prioritize activities for your time.


It would be fair to say that October is early in the season for snow. Although I must say that last winter's snowfall was so huge that they are still skiing/snowboarding there today, mid-July!!! Of course we haven't had summer yet, just 11 weeks of early spring - wet and cool, so the snow pack has been quite happy to stick around. If it keeps up, you will likely see the same snow we're seeing up at Whistler today! It's July 22!!! and only 16°C out there, cloudy, breezy and trying hard not to rain.

The Whistler Forum Top Questions (top right of the page) has this info about hotels location.


This might get you started.

Edit: it wouldn't hurt to open other questions on the Whistler forum to see what others have asked about hotels and the advice given.

Edited: 22 July 2011, 21:27
Whistler, Canada
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2. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

Hi Trish,

You are a bit early for snow, even in Canada! It will be snowing up at the top of the mountain in Whistler, but the lifts won't be open until mid November, so you can't get there- Whistler is a great place to come anytime of the year, but late October is the off-season- it will be cheap, but you are unlikely to see snow- sorry! I'm Whistler's biggest fan, but I would recommend heading to Vancouver Island instead at that time of year or going on a Cruise up towards Alaska- any other time Whistler is the place to be though!

Ben :)

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698 posts
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3. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

hi trishbee

Thasts such a shame for you, I lived in Adelaide 20 odd years ago and remember how much my neighbours kids were facinated by out stories of snow up yo your waste in the Uk...when I was a kid..

we were out one day playing tennis in Glenelg in the early fall and this odd colour came in the sky...then this strange rumble in the distance..the next thing you know there was hailstones the size of my fist fall from the sky and denting cars and injuring people.We sheltererd from injuty and as the hail stopped it was like a fairy tale white for the kids for a few minutes. Ben my friends son frantically collected the psudo snow to take home for the icebox...

Why am I telling you this story, i guess because I had always taken snow for granted until i saw the magic on the kids faces.

Hope you get to see snow nice deep fkuffy stuff. If you ever travel to the uk Feb is your best chance of deep stuff and travel to snowdon you are guaranteed,...but its blooming cold

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

Old post, but since your not here yet I figured it might not be too late to suggest visiting Mount Rainier from Seattle. Even though it's less cold than Canada, b/c the elevation of the mountain, and the fact that these large mountains make their own weather, it's actually more snowy there than in Whistler.

It's not likely to be actively snowing at Rainier in late Oct, but since the mountain has glaciers, there is always some snow/ice, and there is a chance of an active snowstorm that time of year. If the mountain isn't shrouded in clouds it's beautiful without any hiking at all, if you are interested in hiking a bit, there are some nice short (and long) hikes in the Paradise area that would give some closer views of the glaciers, again weather cooperating. But the view from the Paradise parking lot is quite beautiful if its clear. There are some tours that run out there from Seattle so you don't have to drive yourself, not sure if they're still running in October. If you drive yourself be prepared to take it slow if there is any winter weather, and be aware you are required to carry chains in the car from Nov 1st onward.

Kootenays, British...
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5. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

Ranier - or Baker?

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

My thoughts as well. We would love for you to come to Canada. It is different to the US and there's lots to see here, but lets separate the desire to come to Canada from the desire to see snow, because those are two different objectives.

In BC we have more mountains, but they are not generally as high (at least, not the one's around Vancouver) as the peaks you can reach from Seattle. Mt. Rainer is def. a good option, as is Baker. I'd post on the WA state forum for specifics, but I think you'll find that you should be able to get close to some snow right through the year on those peaks.

Seattle, Wa
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7. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

There's snow at the Roundhouse at Whistler! (I check the webcam every day since I'm excited for my American thanksgiving weekend trip in November, on Whistler's opening weekend). But, gondola operations aren't continuous this month, and you'd need to use the gondola to get to the Roundhouse. So, if you're still planning on heading up, check the website for operating schedules.

8. Re: Seeing snow for the first time

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