While there’s no doubting Whistler’s credentials as a leading ski destination, this mountain resort in the heart of British Columbia is as awesome in summer as it is in winter. The harsh days of winter are a distant memory and the long sunny days provide plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. From hurling axes to biking the famous Valley Trail, here’s the lowdown on the best things to do in Whistler over the summer.
Got a need for speed? If so, you’ll love an RZR tour in Whistler’s backcountry. Opt for a 2-seat or 4-seat off-roading vehicle and tackle some of this region’s toughest terrain. RZR vehicles are tough, fast and extremely agile, and you’ll take in incredible scenery on this dirt-filled adventure. You’ll be escorted by a local guide and be kitted out with all the necessary safety gear including full face helmet and goggles.
The Canadian pastime of axe throwing has exploded in popularity around the world both as a bona fide sport and fun party idea. Head to Function Junction where you’ll find award-winning Forged Axe Throwing. Compete against your friends, hurling hatchets at a target in the hope of sinking a satisfying bullseye. The friendly team of axe throwing aficionados have everything you need to get started and they’ll keep track of the score and even teach you a few trick shots along the way.
Mountain biking is arguably one of the most popular summer activities in Whistler. Each August, the Crankworx Festival returns home to showcase some of the world’s best riders who perform stunts, tricks and displays for an excited crowd. The trails in Whistler are perfect for a mountain biking adventure, and there’s a trail for every skill and fitness level.
Local guides will help you hire the right bike for you and enjoy the best Whistler scenery in the safest and most exhilarating way possible. Alternatively, feel the gravity-fueled rush as you race down the trails at the Whistler Bike Park, or experience the technical thrill of jumps and drops found in the Whistler Valley Trails. Keen to know what’s going on in Whistler during Crankworx?
A white water rafting experience on one of Whistler’s wild waterways is definitely a bucket list activity for true adventure-seekers. While there are a number of places to ride the rapids, the Cheakamus River has to be one of the best. Glacier fed, the river runs a stunning turquoise colour, winding its way below an imposing backdrop of mountains and old-growth forests.
With the snow melted away, Whistler’s labyrinth of trails invite hikers of all levels to explore them. From paved, valley trails to high alpine scrambles, no two Whistler hiking trails are the same. The Train Wreck Trail has to be one of the most popular hiking choices and is great for kids too. Located slightly south of Whistler Creekside, the trailhead can be found in an area known as Cheakamus, close to Function Junction.
The trail itself is very straightforward with minimal elevation gain but lots of interesting things to see. This includes a fun suspension bridge and, of course, the infamous train wreck itself. Be sure to take a camera on this one. Explorers are able to get up close to the abandoned wreck, and local artists have left their mark on the site with colourful murals applied to each of the carriages.
Whistler is home to three world-class golf courses and all are very easily accessible offering plenty of car parking as well as rentals, retail and dining. Golfers with a low handicap will find challenging terrain at the award-winning Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Course, which is home to some uphill tees and narrower fairways. For beginner golfers, the Nicklaus North Golf Course offers slightly easier wide-open spaces and lots of level greens.
Whistler’s most popular ziplining experience also teams up as one of the best ways to see the sights during summer, Explore a network of trails and boardwalks that connect the top and bottom of this ziplining adventure before hurtling down Cougar Mountain strapped into a unique harness.
Bring a camera with a wrist strap and take some of the most breathtaking photos as you swing and swoop high above the valley floor.
One of Whistler’s original summer activities, the River Of Golden Dreams takes you from Alta Lake to Green Lake bypassing forest, neighbourhoods, and an abundance of flora and fauna.
One way to complete the course is to commandeer a dinghy or a tube to float your way down with minimal effort and enjoy the summer sun. Alternatively, navigate your way in a kayak or canoe, which can be rented from Backroads Whistler.
Take to the skies and enjoy a spectacular aerial view of the Coast Mountains with a helicopter trip sure to live long in the memory. Come see the famous backcountry of Whistler soaring over lakes, mountains, and volcanoes snapping loads of Instagrammable pics as you fly.
There’s even the opportunity to try a glacier landing for those feeling extra brave and adventurous.
Another top bucket list activity, Whistler’s bungee jumping experience is legendary.
Take the plunge over the glacial-fed Cheakamus River from a 160 ft (53 m) bridge, 300 ft (91 m) above some of the coldest river waters in this region. If you’re an adrenaline thrill-seeker ready for a heart racing and exhilarating experience, book your jump no matter the weather and any time of the year.
The Whistler summer runs from late May through to mid September and flights operate daily to Vancouver from most major airports. Whistler is located just two hours from Vancouver Airport and frequent shuttles are available direct from the terminal building. For more information, see Whistler Tourism.
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