The Big List of Whistler’s Fall Adventures
Fall is the best time to visit Whistler – there, I said it! The crowds die down, the days are warm, and there’s so much to do in town with Whistler fall activities. Not to mention, there are so many great deals to be had on everything from accommodation to activities and restaurants. Come discover why fall in Whistler is the best season of all.
Why Visit Whistler in the Fall?
Fall in Whistler is defined as September to early November and is considered a “shoulder season.” Post-Labour Day weekend locals breathe a sigh of relief and celebration that we got through another amazing Whistler summer, and it’s now time to reclaim the trails and prepare for the upcoming winter season.
1. Fewer Crowds
In Canada, school is back in session after the Labour Day long weekend in September and parents are ready to settle back into a routine at home. University students also start back up in September, and you can definitely notice a difference in Whistler Village – it feels a little bit empty without all our friends here! Enjoy a gondola to yourself, a quiet day at the beach, or riding in the Whistler Bike Park without waiting in line.
2. Cooler Weather
September feels like an extra summer month in Whistler, with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius in the day and cooling off to around 7 degrees Celcius at night. This cooler weather is the perfect time to break out the hiking boots and camping gear and hit some of the spots that were all booked up in the height of summer.
October and November bring the rain and chilly days, but nothing that a few layers and a raincoat can’t beat! It also means that the trails are nice and tacky for biking and hiking and that a few flakes are falling in the alpine to coat the mountains for winter.
3. Cheaper Rates
Especially during the week, accommodation rates drop drastically in the fall after a busy and expensive peak summer season. With so many great events happening in the fall in Whistler, it’s the perfect excuse to come up and stay for an extended weekend.
4. Fall-Only Events
There are so many fun events in Whistler in the fall that it’s hard to choose just one. Whistler Village Beer Festival runs from September 10 – 15 and showcases British Columbia’s exploding craft beer scene with workshops, cask nights, and the main event in Whistler’s Olympic Plaza.
Cornucopia takes over for ten days of food, wine, workshops, and more in Whistler in November. Choose from many intimate dinners, parties, workshops, and seminars during one of the most sought after events of the year.
5. Big Fall Deals
Once in Whistler, grab a Pique Newsmagazine and flip through to find some amazing deals on restaurants and activities. Whistler’s restaurants, cafes, and bars roll out some fantastic specials from anything between pizza to fine dining restaurants. Many of the restaurants in town take part, and it’s a great excuse to dine at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try or to treat yourself to a favourite, for less.
Whistler in the Fall – What to Expect
Expect the local beers to be darker, the leaves to change colour, and the vibe to be relaxed. It’s the time between September and snow where the weather can still feel like summer or can be drizzly and cold – the perfect time to grab a book and enjoy a latte at one of the many cafes in town. It’s also the perfect time to get adventurous on the many tours and experience that are still open and in prime condition at this time of year!
What’s the Weather Like in Fall?
The temperature in Whistler in the fall ranges from a high of 19 degrees Celcius in September to a low of around 0 degrees Celcius in November. October and November have the highest number of rainy days, but it’s not all doom and gloom – locals know it’s to prepare a solid foundation of snow in the alpine for a longer ski season.
Packing layers is the best plan of attack against adverse weather – merino wool makes for a good base that wicks away moisture while keeping you warm, fleece, a waterproof jacket, and waterproof shoes or boots paired with an umbrella and a toque will keep you warm, dry, and comfortable.
What’s Open in Whistler?
The Peak 2 Peak 360 Experience is open on the weekends between September 16 – October 14 where the Blackcomb Gondola and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola are running. During weekdays, only the Blackcomb Gondola is running but still provide that instant lift into the alpine to enjoy beautiful hiking and views. They also offer a Mountaintop Feast on Saturdays between September 14 – October 12 where you can enjoy a lovely buffet at 6000 feet!
Most activities remain open for as long as they can before the snow comes – RZR Tours, ziplining, bear watching tours, biking, and hiking are great fun in the fall. It’s also the perfect time to enjoy some of Whistler’s indoor activities – axe throwing, Audain Art Museum, the Squamish Lil’ wat Cultural Centre, escape rooms, and spas.
Fall Activities in Whistler Not to Miss
It would be easy and pleasant to curl up with a good book but there’s still so much to do for Whistler fall activities. Indoor or outdoor, most tours and experiences run rain or shine and are fun no matter the weather outside!
1. Axe Throwing
Located in Function Junction, an industrial area south of Whistler Village, is the funky and fun Forged Axe Throwing. Spend an hour with enthusiastic hosts who will teach you how to throw an axe and challenge you to games and showdowns with your friends. Learn trick shots, laugh a lot, and gain a new super Canadian skill.
2. RZR Tour
There’s no better time to do an RZR Tour – put on a weatherproof suit, boots, and goggles (all provided by The Adventure Group) and rip through some massive puddles for a mud wave like no other! Guides will tour you around the backcountry of Cougar Mountain for great views and to experience the power of an RZR off-road vehicle – it’s amazing what they can do!
Fall is one of the best times to fish in and around Whistler – trout fishing is super successful in September and if salmon is what you’re after, heading south to Squamish in the fall will find you chum and coho. Choose from fly or spin fishing on walk and wade tours, and other than dressing appropriately for the weather the guides will typically provide the waders, boots, rod, and reels.
4. Vallea Lumina
Discover one of Whistler’s newest attractions – Vallea Lumina, a multimedia night walk in search of hidden wonders. Starting from the Whistler Gondola Exchange, a bus picks you up and takes you to the mystical world where you spend about an hour walking through the forest amongst lights, interactive displays, and song. You’ll feel like you’ve landed on another planet – it’s a truly magical experience for adults and kids alike and runs until mid-October.
Beat the crowds and enjoy views all to yourself when you hike in Whistler in the fall. Try some of Whistler and Blackcomb’s lift-accessed alpine hiking trails such as the Decker Loop or High Note Trail. Discover alpine lakes like Garibaldi Lake or Iceberg Lake or enjoy local favourites like the Train Wreck Hike or Cheakamus Lake. Pack layers, snacks, lots of water and a sense of adventure – don’t forget your camera!
6. Mountain Biking
The Whistler Bike Park stays open until October 14 which is plenty of time to enjoy the 70+ trails within the park that range from easy to double black diamond difficult. Enjoy lift-accessed biking, beautifully maintained trails, and tricky technical features that will entertain the whole family.
If cross-country is more your style, take to the Lost Lake Trails, ride along the Riverside Trail in Cheakamus Crossing, or conquer the day long Lord of the Squirrels trail. For those looking to stay within the Valley, cruise along the Valley Trail for kilometers of paved pathways that link between all the lakes, communities, and villages. More on mountain biking in Whistler here.
Blow off some steam and try your hand at shooting in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Take an afternoon to try one of their many fantastic packages ranging from The Small Shooter to The Big Boomer. Range officers will show you the ropes and will carefully supervise you – first-timers are also welcome and no license is required. They’ll make you feel comfortable and safe to handle the guns and you’ll leave with a new skill and appreciation of the sport.
All these fun activities surely have you craving some downtime and a bit of rest and relaxation. What better place to do so than the Scandinave Spa in Whistler? This traditional Finnish-style spa has two hot tubs, two saunas, two steam rooms, plunge pools, and solariums for ultimate rejuvenation. Bring along a book for no electronics are allowed, and it is a strictly silent spa. Melt all your worries away by spending a few hours at this tranquil paradise.
Whistler in the fall is beautiful – the leaves are changing into bright vibrant colours that sparkle on sunny days or brighten up a dark gloomy day. The air smells fresh and spicy and there is so much to see and do in Whistler fall activities. Save money on accommodation, at restaurants, and on activities while still living like the King or Queen you are. Experience Whistler in the fall – it may just become your favourite season too.