This article is part of an ongoing series in partnership with Tourism Whistler to raise awareness of how the destination is opening safely to welcome guests this summer.
A couple of months ago, we imagined the summer season would be more or less cancelled due to COVID-19.
But here in BC, the province is moving into the next phase of its gradual reopening plan, and we’re able to safely enjoy many treasures across the province once again. With local travel now an option, we’re ready to hit the road for Whistler this summer.
The resort town is a wonderland for anyone who appreciates sports, culture, and the awe-inspiring natural environment. This summer, guests are invited to return to Whistler to experience action-packed tours and activities that are operating with new safety precautions like limited capacity, private tours, personal protective equipment (PPE), and enhanced sanitization.
As you start planning a post-pandemic adventure to Whistler, here are 29 activities to consider.
Play a round of golf
Whistler is a golfer’s paradise for experts and amateurs alike. Average summer temperatures of between 17°C to 27°C coupled with fresh mountain air offer marvellous playing conditions. You can even tee off on championship courses (created by the world’s top designers) when you play at Nicklaus North Golf Course, Big Sky Golf Club, Whistler Golf Club, or Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club.
To ensure the safety of visitors, Whistler golf clubs are offering contactless check-in and increasing the sanitization of rental carts. Service staff working at the clubs now wear PPE, and guests can visit onsite sanitation stations as needed. Plus, if you visit midweek, you can enjoy better value while it’s not as busy.
Hike expansive terrain
There’s nothing quite like exploring a destination on foot and taking in unforgettable views along the way. This summer, rediscover nature in Whistler and go hiking through the alpine and valley at your own pace.
Make your way through the lush forested trails around Lost Lake Park or drive to the Interpretive Forest parking area off Cheakamus Lake Road and embark on the Train Wreck Hike from there. Take the Rainbow Lake Trail to the beautiful Rainbow Falls, or discover trees over 900 years old during Whistler’s Ancient Cedar Hike. To develop or advance your skills, join a guided hiking adventure.
Get out on the water
As temperatures rise throughout the summer, water-based activities capture our focus. A day out in Whistler can include everything from relaxing on the beach by Alpha Lake, to gliding along Alta Lake on a standup paddleboard, to dipping your toes in the water at Lost Lake while admiring the mountains.
Paddle along the River of Golden Dreams during a limited capacity adventure tour or embark on a half-day fishing trip to catch local salmon. To try fly fishing, reserve a private excursion and travel with knowledgeable guides to local rivers, remote alpine lakes, and hidden fishing holes. PPE is provided for all tours, and rental equipment is sanitized frequently between use.
Feel the adrenaline rush
If you feel like your life needs more excitement after months of quarantine, Whistler has a lineup of adrenaline-pumping activities to get your heart racing while adventuring responsibly. Take part in a beginner-friendly rafting tour for small groups that make big moves on some of North America’s most notable rapids.
Jet Boat through the majestic Nairn Falls Provincial Park and past cascading waterfalls. For an equally epic thrill ride, bungee jump 300 ft over the Cheakamus River. To discover the backcountry, don’t miss the fast-paced ATV and Jeep tours. Hit the sanitizing stations and washroom facilities at your tour provider’s base before departure if needed.
Discover new bike trails
Biking in Whistler brings about endless possibilities for adventure seekers. The resort is a mecca for riders with wide-open spaces and renowned technical trails.
Choose your own adventure with a private sightseeing tour, or join a pro-led single-track mountain bike tour. For responsible self-guided fun, there are iconic trails like Howler and Danimal North, and easier options along the Valley Trail and Lost Lake trail network.
Get the latest trail updates and connect with the biking community before your visit through Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA). Hundreds of hours go into building and maintaining Whistler’s biking trails each year, and you can support this work via WORCA.
Immerse yourself in culture
A vacation in Whistler doesn’t have to be based entirely on outdoor adventures. The resort has a bunch of options for visitors to recharge with quieter activities. Experience the vibrancy of the local arts scene and learn about Whistler’s cultural evolution as you stroll along the picturesque Cultural Connector pathway.
Stop by the Audain Art Museum to see one of the world’s best collections of First Nations masks, works by Emily Carr, and roving exhibitions. Learn about Indigenous culture at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and join one of the daily guided forest walks. Washroom facilities and high-touch surfaces are being cleaned thoroughly at both cultural institutions, and physical distance markers are also in place.
It’s now possible to stay longer in Whistler and save when you do. To secure the best rates, plan a three-night stay or longer, or look out for summer midweek dates with rooms starting from $93 per night.
When you reserve three nights or more, you’ll receive a $50 Adventure Voucher to be used towards adventure activities booked through whistler.com. And since these are such uncertain times, you’ll also have peace of mind knowing you can take advantage of the new flexible cancellation policy if you need to.
As a BC resident, you can join Whistler Rewards to get exclusive access to deals on everything from accommodation to activities and more. Locals who sign up can get a $50 credit for every fifth night of hotel bookings accumulated through whistler.com.
For more information on the post-COVID-19 Whistler experience before your trip, and to see the full list of activity providers currently open for business, visit the Whistler Doors Open Directory.