Whistler Blog

5 Ways to Enjoy Pemberton’s Backcountry

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In Pemberton, it doesn’t matter what size the yard behind your house is. That’s because we all have ahuge backyard to play in: the glorious Pemberton backcountry.

What, exactly, is the backcountry? By definition, backcountry means “sparsely inhabited rural areas” or, put even more succinctly, “wilderness”.  We are lucky enough to be surrounded by wilderness as far as the eye can see, and we’ve found plenty of fun ways to make the most of the surrounding backcountry.

Before we share some of our favourite ways to enjoy the mountains, valleys, trails, and forests in our area, a note of caution: heading out into the backcountry comes with a considerable amount of risk.

The standard precautions apply – plan your adventure carefully and share an itinerary with someone staying behind; have the tools, knowledge, and experience necessary to safely enjoy your activity of choice; know exactly what to do in case of an emergency; and be prepared for anything!

Put in the legwork ahead of time, and you’ll be rewarded with some unforgettable moments in Pemberton’s great outdoors. Here are five of our favourite ways to play in the Pemberton backcountry in the snowy winter months.

Ski and Snowboard Touring

Once you’ve experienced ski touring, you may never want to go back to resort skiing (or snowboarding). Self-propelled ski and snowboard trips involve hiking through the snowy backcountry and learning what it’s like to truly earn your turns.

Untouched snow and zero crowds? Sounds pretty good to us! Grab your skins, your skis, and your avalanche gear, and get ready for a ski trip like no other.

pemberton backcountry


For those with a huge appetite for adventure, Pemberton is the place to be. Case in point: situated north of Pemberton, Mount Matier is a mountaineer’s mecca. With an elevation of 9,130 feet (or 2,783 metres), Matier is the highest peak in the Joffre group of mountains. The trek to the top may just be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life!


It’s no secret that residents of Pemberton love their sleds. Ripping through the backcountry atop a powerful snowmobile is an exhilarating feeling like no other. More than just a mode of transportation, sledding is a sport in and of itself – and Pemberton just happens to be one of the best places in the world to do it.

The local snowmobiling community is very active, so join in on the fun to get to know Pemberton on a whole new level.

backcountry pemberton

Cross Country Skiing

You don’t need to ascend mountains in order to enjoy the Pemberton backcountry. Strap on a pair of cross-country skis and enjoy the area’s skiing trails. Cross-country skiing is a great way to spend time enjoying the fresh air, and it gets your heart seriously pumping.

Check out trails at the north end of Pemberton Meadows Road or around the Nairn Falls campground to get started.


Swap your hiking boots for a pair of snowshoes to enjoy Pemberton’s trails year round. Whether you’re trekking up mountains or sticking to the trails down in the valley, snowshoeing is an awesome way to spend a day exploring with your family.