If you are looking for the best things to do in Whistler in Summer then you are in the right place! Whistler is one of the best resorts in North America and the number one resort in Canada. But it is not just a ski resort. It actually receives more visitors in the summer months than in the ski season in the winter! In the summer, visitors take advantage of dozens of Whistler summer activities. They hike, bike, paddle, golf, swim, and take advantage of world class dining, a pedestrian-friendly village and a ski resort vibe!
Whistler offers stunning glacier-fed lakes, its old-growth forest walking, hiking and biking trails, golf courses, West Coast beauty, as well as the jagged mountain alpine on two side by side mountains, Whistler and Blackcomb. These are connected at mid-mountain by the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and meet at the bottom in Whistler village.
I have visited Whistler at all times of the year and I still cannot decide if I like it more in the winter or the summer. But I am honestly leaning towards summer. There is nothing better than being able to bike all over town, enjoy the alpine lakes and take in the European vibe of this wonderful place.
Whether it is your first visit to Whistler or you come back year after year, by the time you get to the bottom of this post, your itinerary will be packed full of epic things to do in Whistler in the summer!
Whistler things to do summer
Whistler Summer Activities
In This Article
- 1 Whistler Summer Activities
- 2 More Whistler Travel Resources
Experience Vallea Lumina
Legends speak of a long-lost trail that leads to a secret valley. Join a twilight expedition to explore its mysterious beauty. Just 10 minutes drive north of Whistler village, experience a range of activities from TAG Whistler. Vallea Lumina is a sound and light experience that takes you through the forest, telling a story along the way It is one of the popular Whistler summer activities that every visitor should do!.
What to Bring / Wear: Brig your camera and a sense of wonder. Bug spray is recommended. Dress in layers, the experience is in the forest. If rain is in the forecast, bring a rain jacket as umbrellas are not permitted.
Things to note: Strollers are not permitted. There are stairs to walk down at the beginning and a bridge to cross. Those with young children should wear them in a carrier. Those with mobility issues may not be able to complete the trail as there are uneven surfaces as well as small up and downs along the trThe walk is about 30 minutes but you can go as fast or as slow as you want. Pets are not permitted. Umbrellas are not permitted.
Pricing: Adult $34.99 Child (6 years to 15 years) $29.99 (5 and under are free)
Hours: Shows begin at sundown, so showtimes vary throughout the season.
Ride the Peak to Peak Gondola
Whistler Blackcomb’s world record-setting PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola transforms the high alpine experience with new, awe-inspiring vistas as it bridges the gap between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. After opening on December 12, 2008 the massive gondola revolutionized the way skiers, riders and hikers experienced the mountains.
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, as part of the world’s longest continuous lift system, introduces summer guests to unprecedented access to Whistler Blackcomb’s high alpine for sightseeing, hiking and mountain-top dining. The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola travels a span of 4.4 kilometres/2.73 miles in about 10 minutes.
While on Whistler or Blackcomb, there are dozens of alpine hikes to take advantage of. Plan for at least two hours just to get up the mountain, ride across and ride back down. I suggest while you are on one of the mountains, grab something to eat or take a short hike.
Location: On Whistler or Blackcomb. Access via Blackcomb Gondola or Whistler Village Gondola.
Tickets: Adults $78-$83, Teen (13-18) $69-74, Child (7-12) $40-42, Tot (3-6) FREE, Seniors (65+) $69-$74,
Bike the Valley Trail in Whistler
One of the most popular free things to do in Whistler (if you are driving here locally) is to bike. There are bike-friendly paths all over town, making it one of the easiest ways to get around! If you are not local, there are bike rental shops all over! The network of paved bike paths connect all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, lakes, and local forest.
Make sure to head over to the Fitzsimons Bike Skills Park that has jumps and bumps for all skill levels (yes you beginners too). It is located next to Daylot #2 between the upper village and the main village. You will find all ages and abilities, from the littlest riders to those who have years of experience! There are two pump tracks and a variety of straight tracks! This is a popular place to bring kids of all ages if you are visiting whistler with kids. There is also a skate and scooter park right next door if they prefer those kinds of wheels!
Make sure you bring a bike lock and a refillable bottle of water! There are bike racks everywhere! If you do not have one, there are bike shops all over the place in Whistler in summer, you can easily grab one!
Whistler Train Wreck Hike
Hiking in whistler in the summer is another one of the popular outdoor activities you can do. There are dozens of hikes taking you around the village, to alpine meadows, waterfalls, snow walls, lakes, gorgeous views, and all levels and abilities are welcome. One of the easier hikes (or some like to call it a walk) is the Whistler Train Wreck Hike. It is just south of the Village, at Function Junction.
Beautifully colored graffiti covers up rusty train car boxes that have been lying among the trees in the forest for close to 70 years. Over time this train wreck became more than a locals’ secret and just a few years ago a path was built, along with a suspension bridge, to give visitors access to the site (without having to illegally walk on the train tracks to get there).
The trail is suitable for all ages and is even stroller-friendly until you get up to the train car area. It is well worth a trip to the train wreck to learn about the 1950s derailment and how the box cars came to lie wedged between towering cedars and fir trees.
Whistler’s Farmers Market
Farmer’s Markets attract more than just locals. If you are spending the summer at Whistler, pop into the Whistler Farmers Market happening every Sunday! In 2021 it is being held at the Racket Club. The market showcases a wide variety of products including fruit, produce, meat, seafood, and honey, as well as hot and artisan foods, cold drinks, liquor, and a wide range of artistic creators. If you are looking for one of the free things to do in Whistler in summer, this is a great option!
One of the benefits of being at the Whistler Raquet club this year is that you can grab a drink, or enjoy axe throwing, pickleball or plenty of games for kids. There are lots of bike racks if you are bringing a bike. We bought the $10 pass which gave us a round of axe throwing and as much pickleball and tennis as we wanted to play!
Dates: Sunday’s May 23rd to Oct 11th, 2021
Location: Whistler Racket Club, 4500 Northlands Blvd, Whistler.
Paddle Board Alta Lake
There are plenty of lakes to paddle board while in Whistler, but if you do not own your own board, head over to Wayside park (off Highway 99) between Whistler Village and Whistler Creekside and grab a SUP (or kayak or canoe) rental from Whistler Eco Tours (WET). You can read more about paddle boarding Alta Lake and my experience with Whistler Eco Tours in my post here
They offer hourly, half-day and daily rentals. The parking lot off Hwy 99 is quite small. But there is parking alongside the highway and there is an easy bike trail to ride from Whistler Creekside of Whistler Village if you have a bike.
Rental Costs for a Stand Up Paddleboard at Wayside Park: $42 / Hour $126 / Half Day (4 Hours) $210 / Full Day
Paddle the River of Golden Dreams
The Whistler River of Golden Dreams is a 5 kilometre river that flows from Alta Lake to Green Lake. The river takes at least a couple of hours to complete and can be done in a canoe, kayak or stand up paddleboard. Some also attempt to float the river, but the current does make it a bit tricky as branches overhang the river most of the way. Taking a tour is a popular way to traverse the river.
If you are looking for the perfect eco-experience in Whistler in the summer, a paddle down the River of Golden Dreams is the perfect activity. Rent a canoe or kayak from Whistler Eco Tours or book a tour guide to take you on your journey!
Location: Alta Lake to Green Lake
Rentals: Whistler Eco Tours
Prices: Vary depending on rental
SLCC Squamish Li’wat Cultural Centre
Open year-round, the SLCC brings together the vibrant cultures of two local Indigenous groups in one beautiful space. It offers a glimpse into the traditional life of the Indigenous people (the Squamish and the Li-wat people) who inhabited the region that Whistler is part of.
There is an hourly guided tour that gives you a glimpse into the Squamish and the Li-wat people who lived in this region! On the main level you can find a gift shop, perfect for local souvenir shopping, as well as a cafe.
Plan for about 1 hour here.
Location: 4584 Blackcomb Way
Hours: 10am to 5pm. Tours are hourly on the hour from 10am-4pm
Prices: Adults $20.00 Students (13-18) $7.00 Children (6-12) $5.00 Family Pass $45.00 (up to 2 adults and 2 youth under 18)
Go Rafting on the Green River
This whitewater rafting trip takes you just north of Whistler Village to the Green River, which provides the perfect combination of fun bouncy rapids and spectacular scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains. It is the perfect choice for first-timers or for those who want a bit of excitement but not too much! The Class 2 and 3 rapids is fun and exciting for everyone and the views on Green Lake and along the Green river make for a stunning day.
This takes about 3 hours and is a ton of fun.
Location: Leaves from Cougar Mountain Base Camp, home of TAG Whistler
Prices: $129.99/adult (children prices are lower but the minimum age is 10 and 80-90 lbs depending on the conditions)
More Whistler Travel Resources
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.
Traveling with Kids? This post has all of the best things to do in Whistler with kids! It has things for all seasons!
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!
5 Things to pack for a Summer Whistler Trip
Make sure you have these things packed for your trip to Whistler
- 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.
Where to Stay in Whistler
Below I have listed some popular properties in Whistler to stay.
Four Seasons Whistler – The Four Seasons is one of Whistler’s luxury 5 star properties. The Four Seasons Whistler has a swimming pool and hot tub. They offer a bike valet that is convenient and safe. In the winter, I love the ski valet option where you can leave your skis at the ski hill instead of having to bring them back to the hotel. Four Seasons is located in the Upper Village near the Blackcomb Gondola. If you are visiting as a family, they offer playpens or cribs and high chairs for guests. They also offer childproofing items, art class, a seasonal playroom, and little luxuries like kids bath robes.
Delta Hotel Whistler – The Delta offers rooms with full kitchens. This is ideal for those who like condo style accommodation but want the convenience of a hotel. There is coin laundry on site which may be needed to dry out wet ski gear. The Delta offers babysitting services as well. There is a heated indoor/outdoor pool as well as a hot tub. The Delta is in Whistler Village close to everything.
AirBNB‘s are another great option as they offer more space. Most are designed for 4 or more people making them perfect for families or trips with friends. You can read more about Whistler AirBNB’s or check out my go-to favorite here. One downside to AirBNB’s is that they are not all in the village.
Header Image Courtesy of Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova
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!