Are you looking for the best things to do in Whistler this summer? 

As a British Columbia resident who’s been visiting Whistler for the past 20 years, I have a lot of expertise and advice to share with you on how to plan the best summer adventures in Whistler. Whether you’re looking for some of the most iconic and well-known adventures, looking for something off the beaten path, or looking for something new to do in Whistler this summer, I’ve put together this guide to help ensure your next summer trip to Whistler is stacked full of adventures. 

And yes, I’ve tried all of the things that I have provided in this adventure guide, so know they are mom and adventure-seeker-approved! I’m excited to share my recommendations from a local perspective to help you plan the best things to do in Whistler in the summer.

How To Plan The Perfect Day In Whistler 

Before you head out on your adventure day in Whistler let me share some of my best tips for how to make it a perfect day. I find that the recipe for a perfect Whistler day is to start with a big morning adventure (don’t worry I’ve got the full list below), head into the village for lunch and a short stroll, then find a more leisurely afternoon activity, like hanging out at the lake. Round out your day with dinner in the village and then finish off with some quality downtime at your hotel. Depending on how many days you are spending in Whistler, you can do this every day (and have an action-packed vacation) or you can alternate scheduled days with unscheduled days, and let the adventures find you!  

Guided Adventures In Whistler 

Let’s start with the big adventures, those guided experiences in Whistler that will take you to places that can only be explored with a local and professional guide. 

ATV Tour on Cougar Mountain 

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - ATV Tour

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits

Some call them RZRs or ATVs but you’ll be calling them Side by Sides when you claim the driver’s seat with The Adventure Group (TAG) ATV Tour. TAG will pick you up in Whistler Village and take you on a short 10-minute drive to their base camp on Cougar Mountain. After an interactive hands-on safety briefing and driving lesson, you will load up onto your two or four-person Side by Side and head out with your guide on the trails. 

Our family loved being in the 4 seater Side by Side and the kids loved that they were allowed to sit in the front (yup, that meant I was stuck in the back!). Dad took the spot behind the wheel, which had us going through big mud puddles, carving around corners on the trail, and eventually coming out to a big wide opening that looked out over the mountain ranges of Whistler’s Backcountry.

This is the perfect adventure for families or groups that are looking to do something together, explore an area outside of Whistler Village, and get into the backcountry and explore. Book this in advance. 

Ziplining in the Village or Cougar Mountain

Best Things to do in Whistler this Summer (zipline)- Photo Credit Tourism WhistlerJusta Jeskova

Photo Credit Tourism Whistler Justa Jeskova

There’s nothing like flying through the air, traveling through old-growth forests, and being a part of the tree-top canopy. Or soaring like an eagle through the canyon on the longest zipline in Whistler. Two different companies in Whistler offer ziplining, including Ziptrek Ecotours and The Adventure Group (TAG).

Send your family flying through the trees as they experience ziplining in Whistler with Ziptrek Ecotours! The combination of ecotourism and adventure is perfect for not only adults but the whole family. The variety of the tour keeps everyone moving and engaged. Each line also offers a variety for each rider. The instructors encourage you to go forward, backward, faster, and even “freestyle” where you can go upside down (which is harder than it looks!).

TAG offers a high ropes and zipline course out of their Cougar Mountain base camp. My kids loved the high ropes course as it was self-directed but quite challenging (and designed for all ages). Once up in the sky, the ziplining is an incredible way to experience the unique ecosystem that makes up the Whistler area, and I love that it’s a respectful and eco-friendly way to traverse through the trees. Book this in advance!

Self Guided Experinces In Whistler 

If you like to take the lead on your adventures and travel at your own pace, then perhaps check out some of my favourite self-guided experiences in Whistler which are equally amazing and not to be missed.

Vallea Lumina Whistler

Best Things to do in Whistler this Summer (Vallea Lumina)- Photo Credit Moment FactoryVallea Lumina

Photo Credit Moment Factory/Vallea Lumina

Whether you are 6 years old or 65 years old, a visit to Vallea Lumina will bring out your childlike wonder and have you believing in magic within the first 10 minutes of the walk. This experience is hosted by The Adventure Group (TAG) and after checking in at base camp, you’ll be invited onto a trail that is lit by lanterns. As you wander down the trail you’ll learn of two “lost” hikers, and learn more about their story as you follow their journey through the enchanted forest as they make their way home. 

This multimedia experience is put on by Moment Factory and uses a combination of lights, music, projection, and other visual effects to create a 4D multimedia immersive experience that will leave you asking “how” all while appreciating the magic as it unfolds before your eyes. Book this in advance. 

Mountain Biking At Whistler Bike Park 

Mountain Biking Whistler

Whistler Bike Park is undoubtedly one of Canada’s best mountain biking parks, featuring 70 marked trails spanning over 80 kilometers and almost 5000 vertical feet. With gondolas and chairlift access, you can spend your day descending through the world-class trails and not wasting time peddling uphill! 

If you’re new to mountain biking please know that you are welcome at Whistler Bike Park. They have a lot of amazing programs both in small groups as well as one-on-one private instruction. I am a huge advocate for lessons and enjoyed taking part in their ladies-only series, which happens a few times a year. 

So whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to hitting the hill, a trip to the Whistler Bike Park in the summer is both filled with adrenaline as well as great memories. On one of my latest mountain biking trips, I came around a corner and found a bear next to the trail. This is a regular sight in Whistler but it still always catches me off guard. The bear didn’t care much about my existence but it was neat to see it on the trail next to us! Book this in advance.

Bike The Valley Trail

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Valley Trail

Photo credit: Adventure Awaits 

The Valley Trail in Whistler is a beautifully paved network of trails that spans over 46 kilometers around the Whistler area. My kids love riding these trails as they are relatively flat, wide, and easy to navigate. I normally pack a daypack filled with essentials (snacks and treats) and spend the day hopping from playgrounds to the waterparks, and from lake to lake, all by pedal power. There are a lot of great rental shops in Whistler to rent your bikes from, and you can choose between pedal bikes or e-bikes for your excursion. 

Leisurely Adventures In Whistler In The Summer

Want to do something spa-mazing or just slow down your pace while exploring Whistler? Here’s a list of my low-key experiences awaiting your exploration. 

Scandinave Spa

Best Things to do in Whistler this Summer (Vallea Lumina)- Photo Credit Tourism WhistlerChad Chomlack

Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler/Chad Chomlack

One of my favorite places in Whistler for some quality adult relaxation is the Scandinave Spa. At this Nordic-inspired spa, you’ll spend your time transitioning between hot and cold pools or hanging out in one of their spa lounge rooms. Their hot experiences include outdoor hot tubs that are surrounded by the forest, piping hot saunas, as well as steam rooms. Their Nordic experiences include cold plunge pools (including a frosty waterfall!). Their relaxation rooms vary from cedar pavilions filled with comfortable lounge chairs to a yoga studio where you can do yoga in the back of the room and then cuddle into an oversized bean bag chair in the front. 

Some of the other amenities that I love are the huge hammocks, where you can zip in all cocoon-like after visiting a hot room and slowly drift off for a nap all while breathing in the deliciously fresh mountain air. In the summer I love hanging around their outdoor firepits, keeping my toes warm while I enjoy robe life and a warm drink. 

You can take your rest to a whole other level by adding a massage treatment to your experience (which is still on my to-do list!). One thing to note though, there is absolutely no talking at Scandinave Spa, as it is meant to be a quiet rejuvenation experience where respect for all guests is non-negotiable. So be sure that you’re comfortable with no talking before you book your reservations for this adult-only experience.  

Spend The Day At The Lake 

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Lost Lake

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

Whistler has a lot of great lakes that make for the perfect place for a beach day. You can walk to Lost Lake from the Village where you’ll find a warm and swimmable lake, a great beach area, food and ice cream truck vendors, as well as amenities like washrooms. Fun fact: depending on when you go, the Western Toads may be migrating and you may get to see hundreds (or thousands) of baby toads migrating through the park. Be sure to watch out for the protected areas and don’t ride your bike or walk through these areas. 

There are other lakes you can hang out at as well including Green Lake and Nita Lake, but if you’re staying in Whistler Village, then Lost Lake is the most popular and most accessible. 

Train Wreck Hike 

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer -Train Wreck Hike

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

The Whistler Train Wreck trail is more of a stroll but has a big payoff at the end. This forested trail spans 5 kilometers (round trip) and takes you through the old-growth forests before reaching the trail’s most famous feature, an actual train wreck site! In the 1950’s there was a trail derailment and instead of hauling them out they left them. They have since been covered in graffiti by local artists and are now a major tourist attraction and art installation in Whistler. 

This easy trail is suitable for travelers of all physical levels and makes for a great stop on your way to or from Whistler.  Expect to encounter a variety of wildlife along the way, including black bears and deer, so be sure to stay alert and practice safe hiking. 

Go Hiking In Whistler

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Alpine Trails

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, there’s no shortage of hikes in Whistler worth exploring. There are both Alpine Trails, which are accessed by taking the gondola to the top of the mountain and then starting your hike from there, as well as Valley Trails, which can be accessed by either walking or driving from Whistler Village.

The Alpine Trails system consists of both easy green trails (example: Spearhead Loop – 1.2 km, 1 hour, 30 m elevation change) to difficult black diamond trails (example: High Note Trail – 9.4 km, 4 hours, 420 m elevation change). These alpine trails offer stunning views of Black Tusk and Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Valley Trails

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

The Valley Trails system features many loop trails such as the Lost Lake Loop (5 km, green-easy) and Alta Lake Loop (7.4 km, blue-moderate). Both offer stunning lake and forest views and can be accessed by walking from Whistler Village. And if you are looking for something more challenging, the Ancient Cedars Trail requires a 4.5 km drive up a gravel road to the trailhead where this 5 km intermediate trail will take you past Cougar Lake and several massive Cedar trees.

As always, hike safely! Please ensure you have the 10 hiking essentials with you, choose a trail that matches your hiking ability, and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. 

Peak 2 Peak

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Peak 2 Peak

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

If you like big views and scenic settings, then a trip on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola is for you! This adventure is a great way to see Whistler Village from a whole different vantage point. Purchase your tickets in Whistler Village at the base of Whistler Mountain and from there you’ll take the Whistler Village Gondola up to the Roundhouse Lodge where an easy 10-minute walk will take you to where the Peak 2 Peak takes off. Traversing 4.4 km between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, the 11-minute Peak 2 Peak Gondola experience gives you incredible 360-degree views of the village, volcanic peaks, coastal rainforests, and ancient glaciers.

Traveler Tip: Plan to spend a few hours enjoying this adventure and don’t rush it. I find that a lot of the people I recommend this experience to choose to have lunch up at either the Roundhouse Lodge (top of Whistler Mountain) or Rendezview Lodge (top of Blackcomb Mountain) before or after their Peak 2 Peak Gondola experience so that they can spend more time taking in the incredible views (I think this is the third time I’ve said incredible in this section, sorry not sorry. Does it get any more Canadian than that?).

Village / Shopping Stroll 

Best Things To Do In Whistler This Summer - Whistler Village

Photo Credit: Adventure Awaits 

Some people go to Whistler for the village shopping and that’s not a bad thing. With so many wonderful shops and places to explore, there’s a lot to see in such a small area. Some of our family favorites include the Rocky Mountain Chocolate shop, Lululemon (aka adventure clothes), and of course, Cows Ice Cream shop. 

 

In conclusion, Summer is a magical time in Whistler and there are so many fun things to do inside the village but also on the outskirts of town. If you take me up on my advice of doing one big adventure in the morning and being more laid back in the afternoon, you’re sure to have an incredible trip to this mountain village and undoubtedly it’ll leave you with only one problem… a yearning to come back and spend more time. Just ask me… I can’t get enough of my favorite mountain town! 

best-summer-things-to-do-in-Whistler

Guest AuthorJami Savage is a Canadian-based Travel Writer who is passionate about teaching travelers how to use their tourism dollars as a force for positive change. You can learn more about her and find adventure inspiration by visiting www.adventureawaits.ca.

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Choose Activities and Tours

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