“Whistler is getting so boring. I wish they’d have some interesting new attractions” said no one ever.
Despite no one clamoring for it, pretty much everything thrill-seeker in the area was thrilled when Whistler announced a new adrenaline-inducing attraction: one of the highest suspension bridges in North America.
The Cloudraker Skybridge spans 427 feet over the whistler bowl at a dizzying elevation of 6,562 feet. If you are brave enough to visit you are able to take a lift (or hike) to the top and make the journey from Whistler Peak to West Ridge with the bridge swaying slightly under your feet.
Sound like a trip for the brave of heart? Yep. Luckily my wife had enough courage for both of us.
What Do Expect When Visiting The Cloudrake Skybridge
If you’re a bit fearful or intimidated let me lay your fears to rest right off the bat. The construction of the bridge feels very sturdy and safe. It is an open-air bridge but the railings are substantial and there have been no reported injuries on the bridge.
So let’s get you there!
The bridge itself was once open year-round but no longer offers winter access. This is totally fine in my opinion as the best time for most people to visit has always been during the summer months.
For everyone else, the trip will be easier and more enjoyable when it’s warm.
Heading just 90 miles north from Vancouver to Whistler will get you a heck of a lot more than just world-class skiing. There is an incredible array of outdoor activities as well as shopping, sightseeing, luxury accommodations, and more. Just a visit to Whistler Village is worth the drive in my opinion.
Getting To Whistler’s Skybridge – Peak Express Chairlift
If you are planning to visit the Skybridge, know that it’s pretty much at the top of the resort. It’s not simply something you can drive up and walk across.
The easiest and most direct way to get to the Cloudraker Skybridge is to the Whistler’s Peak Express Chairlift.
The Peak Express is a quick ride of 1,015 meters which helps you climb the 401 meters of vertical rise required to get up close to the bridge.
It’s worth noting that, if you have little kids, taking the lift is not an option. Everyone riding the lift must be at least 40″ tall (at least, obviously) and be accompanied by a responsible adult. Little kids or babies are not allowed to ride in any type of carrying system.
This is the quickest and (in my opinion) the most fun way to experience a bit of Whistler and get to the bridge.
However, there will be a bit of walking required. You’ll have about a 15-minute walk across the Peak Express Traverse to get from the Roundhouse to the base of Peak Chair.
One the way back from the Skybridge you can either hike down via some of the available alpine trails or download on Peak Chair. If you choose to take the lift down you’ll be dropped off a bit below the roundhouse and have to walk back up (a bit over .5 kilometers).
Experiencing The Bridge Itself
To experience the bridge, you’ll start off on Whistler Peak. Here, you can also experience the Raven’s Eye which provides an epic 360° view of the surrounding area.
We ended up standing in the Raven’s Eye for about 15 minutes, totally taken aback by the panoramic view of the Coast Mountains. If you are able, get to the bridge early in the morning when the sky is clearer and the light much better for pictures.
The bridge itself will sway a bit as you cross but, if you are mentally prepared, it’s not very daunting. The rails on the side are around 6″ high and the grate on both the sides and bottom are small enough that I wasn’t even worried about the possibility of dropping my phone or glasses.
On the far side of the bridge, you will end up on West Ridge where you can experience another viewpoint: a cantilevered walkway that extends over 40 feet out into the abyss over Whistler Bowl.
Facts & Stats About The Bridge
Since you’ve got a quick chair ride to the top, bust out some of these facts about Whistler, the lift, and the bridge to wow your companions:
- The Peak Express Lift moves at 5.08 m/s and has a capacity of 2800 people per hour.
- Whistler-Blackcomb is considered the largest ski resort in North America and has the greatest uphill lift capacity.
- The bridge was put together using 101 separate steel modules.
- There are over 200 restaurants available in and around Whistler.
Whistler PEAK 2 PEAK 360 Experience
Nothing in the Whistler area is free and very few things are cheap.
While experiencing the bridge isn’t a cheap day-trip I consider it money well spent for the incredible views and experience.
The easiest and most economical way to experience the bridge is with a Peak 2 Peak 360 Experience ticket.
Starting in Upper Village you will take the Blackcomb Gondola and then the Peak 2 Peak Gondola (that has a glass bottom) to Whistler Moutain where you can experience the Skybridge.
The ticket gets you access to both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains which sport over 50 kilometers of summer hiking trails and incredible views.
However and whenever you choose to experience Whistler’s new suspension bridge, there’s no doubt that The Cloudraker Skybridge has been a great addition to the resort’s summer offerings.
I wonder what they’ll come up with next?