Rainbow Park is one of Whistler’s most popular parks in the summer. Its shallow entry on sand and large grass area are just a few reasons why so many visit! It is also accessible by bike on the Valley trail, by road and in the summertime, has a shuttle from Whistler Village.
Rainbow Park in Whistler is on Alta Lake and offers stunning views of Wedge Mountain, Blackcomb and a bit of Whistler as well as the Peak2Peak gondola. The views are just one of reasons it is one of the best things to do in Whistler in August. While the lake is located right next to Highway 99, Rainbow park is on the opposite side of the lake and about 10 minutes from Whistler Village by car. Rainbow park is located on the traditional unceded territory of the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations.
Activities at Rainbow Park:
- 4 Beach Volleyball courts
- Swimming docks
- Swimming area (no lifeguard)
- picnic tables
- Slackline posts
- BBQ Stands (bring your own BBQ)
- Seperate off leash dog area, beach and dock
How to get to Rainbow Park
By Car: It is about 10-15 minutes by car from Whistler Village to Rainbow Park. While Alta Lake sits right next to highway 99, the park is located on quiet mountain roads on the opposite side of the lake! Limited parking is available at Rainbow Park. From May 15 to Sep 15, pay parking is in effect daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at an hourly rate of $2 (plus a .25 service charge). Accessible parking is free. Download the Pay by Phone app and easily add more parking as it expires!
By Shuttle: A free Rainbow Park Shuttle is scheduled from June 29 through Labour Day on Weekends and holidays (Canada Day, BC Day and Labour Day). It runs every 20 minutes approx on the hour and then 20 minutes and 40 minutes past every hour. The free shuttle to Rainbow Park has the following stops: Whistler Village at Blackcomb Way at Whistler Olympic Plaza across from Day Lot 4, Meadow Water Park/ball diamonds off Camino Drive, Rainbow Falls/Lake Trail head and Rainbow Park.
By Bike: Whistler’s Rainbow Park is located on the Valley Trail and easily accessed by bike. There are bike racks near the beach and a secure bike valet available on the weekends. Rainbow Park is also home to one of the E-bike share Evolve bike racks (Pilot Project Aug – Oct). If you have not tried this out, I suggest you at least give it a whirl!
History of Rainbow Park
Rainbow Park gets its name from Rainbow Lodge, a popular stop along the train line from 1914 to 1974. The lodge accommodation was operated by one of the pioneers of Whistler, Myrtle Philip. It was once the main destination accommodations for honeymooners on the west coast. The original lodge burtn down in 1977. Today, just across the small rainbow bridge, there are heritage buildings on the site telling the story of its history.
Important Things to Note at Rainbow Park
DOGS: Dogs must be leashed at all times, except in the off leash area. There is a great off leash beach and dock right next to the park for those with dogs.
FIRE DANGER RATING: When Whistler’s fire danger rating is high, the use briquette barbeques are prohibited at Whistler parks and open spaces. (There will be signs posted at the park). Pack propane to be safe.
WATER SAFETY: Canadian law requires anyone paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking or using an inflatable boat to have the right safety gear (which includes a life jacket and a whistle). Ensure you have one handy.
ACCESSIBILITY: Rainbow Park has 2 Accessible parking stalls, 1 Accessible washroom, 1 Accessible floating dock and 3 Accessible picnic tables.
WATER FOUNTAIN: there is a water fountain and water bottle filling station at Rainbow Park.
SUN AND SHADE: Rainbow Park has some trees providing shade on hot days.
WASHROOMS: There are washrooms with flugh toilets at Rainbow Park
Things to bring to Rainbow Park
- canoe / kayak
- wagon to bring everything from the parking lot
More Whistler Travel Resources for 2022
If you are still in the planning stages, this information will help you plan your visit to Whistler.
Start with how to get from Vancouver to Whistler. If you are from out of town, there are ways to get to Whistler without a car.
If you are planning a visit to Whistler with kids, his post has all of the best things to do in Whistler with kids! It has things for all seasons! I also have a post on the top family-friendly hotels in Whistler village.
Shopping? Whistler Village has plenty of shopping options from clothing, to gear to souvenirs. Make sure you read this post on Whistler souvenirs before your trip!
Looking for photo inspiration, check out Whistler’s top photo spots. You can also book a family photoshoot while in town. If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot in Whistler.
Some things you may be forgetting to pack on your Whistler vacation:
- Sunscreen and hat: With plenty of beach and pool time (and hiking time too), make sure you have a hat and sunscreen.
- Bug Spray: depending where you are, the bugs can be bad. If you are headed to the alpine lakes, you will need it for sure. At dusk it is bad on the trails around Whistler village, as well as at the skate park.
- Bathing Suit: Do not forget your bathing suit. Pools and lakes are what make Whistler so great in the warmer months
- Comfortable shoes: Even if you are not a hiker, there are plenty of walking trails in the village. Whistler Village is such a walkable area and with a focus on eco-experiences, park the car and walk as much as you can.
- Bikes: If you are a local, consider bringing a bike! The village trails are perfect to bike to the lakes, and all over the village. Most people will bike to dinner and places like the farmer’s market. This helps limit your car use as well! ALl hotels offer bike valet or bike storage for visitors.
That is far from all, read my Guide to What to wear in Whistler which has a complete packing list for visiting at any time of the year.
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!