The Big List of Whistler’s Summer Adventures
As the locals say, people come to Whistler for the winters but stay for the summers. Even the most avid snow enthusiasts around town won’t deny that summer here is something pretty special. With its long, hot days, spectacular scenery and an outrageous number of whistler based activities on offer, Whistler truly is an outdoor adventure mecca during those warm months of June, July, August and early September.
The list of things to do in Whistler during the summer is almost infinite! So to give you a start, we’ve created a list of our favourite Whistler activities. Don your sun cream and get ready for your next adventure!
Whistler Adventures for the Family
- Vallea Lumina
Last summer, a new attraction came to town and it’s proved to be one of the most popular Whistler activities. Vallea Lumina is a multimedia night walk that takes you on a magical story through the forests of Cougar Mountain. The 1.5km trail is a spectacular evening activity for the whole family (although do note that strollers are not permitted). Prices below:
- Adult (16+): $39.99
- Youth (6-15): $34.99
- Child (5 & Under): Free
- Mountain Biking
Summer in Whistler means only one thing to many people at this time of year – biking. We have one of the best bike parks in the world right on our doorstep. But just because you don’t fancy throwing yourself down the black runs in the downhill bike park, don’t think you can’t enjoy Whistler from two wheels. Hire bikes for the day and leisurely meander your way around the area.
- 200+ trails to explore in the valley, many of which are entry-level
- Best place for beginner trails: Lost Lake
- ZipLine Through Ancient Forests
Ziplining is an ideal way to lap in the outstanding beauty of Whistler, whilst also getting your blood pumping. You might be more apprehensive than your fearless kids, but if you’re up for an exhilarating activity for the whole gang then squash those nerves because this is a perfect family adventure. Superfly operates out of Cougar Mountain (a short 15-minute ride from the village on a complimentary shuttle bus), and the tour features four different ziplines.
- Zoom up to 100 kilometres an hour, 600 feet off the ground!
- Duration: 3 hours (round trip)
- Departure: Every 30 minutes from 9am to 7pm in peak summer
- Price: $159.99 (Adult) $109.99 (Child, 12 and under) – note that kids must be at least seven years old and all guests have to weigh between 60 and 250 pounds
- Black Bear Adventure Tour
There’s something extremely special about observing any large wild animal in its natural habitat. Venture out on a guided bear tour in search of Whistler’s magnificent black bears. From the safety of a Land Rover, you’ll travel through BC’s forests, keeping a beady eye out for signs of wildlife.
- Primetime for bear spotting: between early May and early August
- While you’re not guaranteed to see a bear, your chances during this time are high at 80% to 95%.
- Tree Top Course for Kids
Run out of the same basecamp as Superfly ziplines is The Adventure Group’s Treetop Adventure Course nestled in BC’s beautiful coastal rainforest. This ultimate aerial course features 70 different obstacles, ranging from rope swings to balance beams, and gets progressively more difficult as you advance through it. Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is kids play – it’s a real workout and you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when you reach the end… if you do!
- Full Course ($69.99 for adults and kids): Must be at least 7 years old and able to reach 180cm
- If your little’ns can’t reach this high, they can try out the Kids Course (ages 7-13, priced at $39.99), but note that a parent has to supervise them from the ground
Whistler adventures to Get Outside
- Take a Hike
What better way to explore BC’s beautiful Coast Mountains that by hiking. Late summer will give you the greatest variety of accessible routes when the majority of the snow has melted away, but even in the earlier warm months, there are still many possibilities on your doorstep. Here are some of our favourite Whistler hikes:
- Easy: The Train Wreck in Cheakamus
- Intermediate: Overlord Trail to Lakeside Loop on Blackcomb Mountain
- Advanced (30km!): Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Park
- If you don’t feel comfortable venturing out into the wilderness alone, head out on a guided hike and let the locals take the lead!
- Spend the Weekend in a Tent
If the hustle and bustle of the village is just a bit too much for you, why not experience the true Canadian wilderness and camp under the stars for a night. There are many camping spots close to Whistler:
- Cat Lake: A popular spot for young campers, with a very warm lake, perfect for swimming!
- Alice Lake: Great for families, with brilliant shower and washroom facilities
- Or venture a little further afield in the opposite direction and camp at the insanely beautiful Strawberry Point, located on the edge of the immense Lillooet Lake
- A Round of Golf Anyone?
A pretty good way to fully appreciate the landscape around you is with a spot of golf. At the Fairmont Whistler Golf Course enjoy the sport while marvelling at the rugged mountains and endless forests stretching as far as the eye can see. The courses all vary in difficulty, and if you want some pro tips why not pop into the Fairmont Hot Springs Golf Learning Centre. Choose from 3 premier golf courses:
- Riverside Course (18 Holes)
- Mountainside Course (18 Holes)
- Creekside Course (9 Holes)
- A Little White Water Adventure
One of our favourite Whistler activities in the summer is whitewater rafting. On a boiling hot day let the freezing cold water of the Green River take your breath away. The Adventure Group’s Green River Raft Tour will take you down Class 2 and 3 rapids – it’s an exhilarating and bumpy ride! Or if you’re up for a whole day of whitewater excitement why not join the Elaho-Squamish River Raft Tour – an eight-hour round trip which includes a BBQ lunch. The scenery and sense of wilderness on this day trip will astound you!
- Green River Raft Tour: Adult $119.99, Child $79.99 (10-16 years old & 80 lbs. in low water / 90 lbs. in high water)
- Elaho-Squamish River Raft Tour: Adult $199.99, Child $179.99 (12-16 years old & 90 lbs. minimum)
- Reel in Dinner – Salmon Fishing
Did you know that you can fish in Whistler every month of the year? Because this area has so many habitats for fish, from alpine lakes to coastal rivers, there’s a huge variety of fishing opportunities. And you don’t need to be a pro angler to give it a go! Head out with an experienced guide and try your hand at a big catch!
- Three, five or eight-hour tours available
- Some of the species you might catch: Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Kokanee, Steelhead, and three species of Pacific Salmon
- If it’s specifically salmon you’re after, check out our detailed guide on when, where and how to catch them in Whistler
- Note that a license required for fishing in BC, get one here
Instagram-able Whistler Adventures
- Bungee Jumping #whistlerbungee
Often named as this town’s most extreme activity, Whistler Bungee is the ultimate adrenaline rush. Take a leap off of the bungee bridge, soar 160ft towards the ice-cold Cheakamus River, and attempt to take in the spectacularly beautiful surroundings. We’d definitely recommend purchasing the professional photos of your descent. Do you have the nerve?
- Price: $140 per person (or $80 if you’ve jumped before!)
- Jump tandem with a friend if you don’t have the courage to jump alone!
- Jump in any weather, except lightning
- Summer Time Glacier Adventure #hortsmanglacie
Yes, the temperature might be in the high 20’s in the village, but up on Hortsman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain the snow persists and skiing is still very much an option! There’s nothing quite like being able to ski or snowboard in the morning and plunge into a warm lake in the afternoon. Be sure to get some snaps of your goggle tan at the end of the day!
- Open June 8th until July 14th
- 11 am to 3 pm daily
- See the Mountains by Air #blackcombhelicopters
In terms of witnessing Whistler’s outstanding natural beauty, we don’t think anything tops the view that you get from the window of a helicopter. It’s got to be one of the most magnificent Whistler activities. Blackcomb Helicopters will take you on an adventure of a lifetime. For an out of this world experience, why not join their 24-minute BC Experience Tour:
- $294 per person (kids under 2 go free!)
- Blackcomb Helicopters most popular tour
- Fly over Whistler village, Cheakamus Glacier and Garibaldi Provincial Park
- Highlight: landing on Rainbow Mountain, where you’ll have the incredible opportunity to set foot on a 12,000-year-old glacier!
- RZR Tour
Another of our favourite things to do in Whistler in summer is to race through Cougar Mountain’s ancient rainforests and drive deep into the backcountry on a side-by-side RZR tour. These off-road specialists bounce over treacherous terrain and take you where few vehicles can.
If you’re unlucky to experience some rainfall on your summer trip to Whistler fear not, because RZRs combined with puddles makes for a very exciting ride! Along the way, you’ll stop at some picturesque viewpoints so there are ample opportunities for you to get that steezy selfie in your full-face helmet!
- Choose between a 2-seater or 4-seater vehicle
- Three tour types: Alpine Sunrise, Wilderness, BC Tours
- You’re given the option of beginner or intermediate tour levels
- Prices start at $229 per vehicle for the Alpine Sunrise Tour
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Too Much Adventure? Chill out with these Activities
- Chill Out at an Outdoor Spa
Arguably the most tranquil place in Whistler is the Scandinave Spa. Rejuvenate your mind and body after an activity-packed few days and experience the benefits of hydrotherapy. You’re advised to repeat the cycle of hot-cold-relax a few times, but can you bear to take a dip in the bitterly cold plunge pools?
- Price: $79 (gives you access to the baths for as long as you like)
- Open from 10 am – 9 pm dail
- Its Lake Season!
You’ll undoubtedly want to cool off after an adventure-filled, hot, sunny day and in Whistler there’s no shortage of places to do that! Alta Lake, Alpha Lake, Nita Lake, Lost Lake and the bitterly cold Green Lake are all on your doorstep. Go take a plunge!
- Alta Lake: The perfect location for renting canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards
- Lost Lake: Great if you want a grassy area, mild water or a dog-friendly beach
- Both Alta and Lost Lake are short walks away from the heart of the village, whilst the other three are all accessible by public transport or a cycle ride.
- Summer Time is Patio Time
Whistler is known for its extreme adventures but at the end of an exhausting day we like a beer just as much as the next person. In summer, take advantage of Whistler’s many outdoor patios and relax with a cold, refreshing beverage. Here are our top picks for patio beers:
- Milestone’s in the Upper Village
- Earls Kitchen and Bar in the heart of the village
- Hunter Gather near Market Place
- Dubh Linn Gate at the base of Whistler Mountain
- Brewhouse by Whistler’s Olympic Plaza
- Peak to Peak Gondola
Jump aboard the Guinness World Record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola (which connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains) and marvel at the views below. If you don’t have the nerve to observe the incredible landscape of the Coast Mountains from a zipline or helicopter, boarding a cable car is an alternative, more relaxing way to experience them.
- From the village, head up Whistler gondola and from there you can get on the PEAK 2 PEAK
- It’s the world’s longest unsupported span for a lift of this kind, world’s highest lift of its kind, and world’s longest continuous lift system
So as you can see, you’ll never be short of things to do in Whistler in the summer! The scope of Whistler activities on offer is immense, and whether you’re here for a family vacation, your annual weekend away with the boys, or a full-on adventure getaway, you’ll have a hard time squeezing everything that you want to do into your holiday. So go seize the day and plan your next adventure!