In Whistler, the winter months are all abuzz—the snowy slopes packed with swarms of skiers and boarders. The summer months sizzle too, bringing backcountry hikers and downhill bikers to the scene for a taste of adventure on the outdoor playground. Both seasons are high-traffic and high-energy in the slope-side village where the Winter Olympics once called home. But for those who are looking for a quieter escape, with fewer faces and wide open spaces, Whistler makes for a perfect autumn escape. Here are just some of the ways that families can pass the time with an adventurous weekend in Whistler this Fall.
Take a Hike to the Train Wreck
Whistler’s iconic Train Wreck Hike is the most unique hiking spot in the area, featuring a swinging suspension bridge that hangs over rushing rapids, which leads to a series of rainbow-coloured train boxcars that can be found scattered throughout an opening in the middle of the forest. The result of a train derailment that happened in 1956, the boxcars have become an ever-changing display of public graffiti art, a climbing playground for adventurous travellers and a track for risk-taking mountain bikers. The trek to the train wreck takes less than half an hour (one way), and the sights to be seen are more than worth the walk to the wreckage.
Zipline Over the Valley
Home to the longest zipline in Canada and the US, Whistler wows with treetop adventures fit for all ages. Through Ziptrek Ecotours, families can choose from a range of sky-high activities. The Bear Tour (suitable for families with kids 6+) is the perfect starting point for first-time zipliners—a 2.5 hour tour that takes you whizzing across 4 ziplines, and teetering along 4 treetop bridges and viewing platforms. True thrillseekers will want to take a try at The Sasquatch (suitable for families with kids 10+, participants must weigh 75+ pounds). Spanning a distance of over 2kms, and stretching from peak to peak, this zipline offers the rush of a lifetime.
Spot Wildlife & Wilderness Views on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Journey to the highest peak of the mountain on the Guinness World Record breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, recognized as the longest and highest lift, which takes you from the tip of Whistler Mountain to the top of Blackcomb. Enjoy views of snow-capped mountains, turquoise lakes and sky-high trees, and look for black bears below as you soar through the sky. For an added rush, opt for the glass-bottom gondola and enjoy 360-degree views as you sail across the summits. Once at the top, there are 50 kilometres of hiking trails to explore.
Go For An Adventurous Night Walk At Vallea Lumina
As the sun goes down, and the trees become shadowy silhouettes against the bright night sky, guests step into the darkness of dimly-lit trails and enter a wilderness wonderland, filled with songs, stories and incredible sights. The Vallea Lumina multimedia night walk, which can be found on Cougar Mountain (just outside of Whistler), is part of a multi-city series created by Montreal-based The Moment Factory. This enchanting experience combines the sounds of a Cirque du Soleil soundtrack, with high-tech light and video technology and the magic and wonder of the woods that surround Whistler. As you stroll along the trails, you follow the journey of a father-daughter duo – the legend of two long-ago hikers – and see what they discover in the depths of the forest. Through stunning visuals, soothing songs and curious clues, you’ll uncover the mysteries that surround you.
Where To Stay
After a day filled with alpine adventures, relax and reset at Delta Whistler Village Suites. Located in the heart of Whistler Village, this all-suites, pet-friendly hotel provides the perfect home base for families. With a quiet indoor/outdoor heated swimming pool, kids can cool off and splash around with ease, and the three hot tubs provide ample space for soaking sore muscles at the end of the day. The rooms come fully equipped with stocked kitchens, fireplaces and plush bedding for a cozy night’s sleep.
Where To Eat
For breakfast, head to Crepe Montagne, a cozy French creperie offering sweet and savory breakfast crepe options, made fresh before your eyes. PureBread is the perfect lunch stop, where you can grab a cup of coffee and some freshly-baked goods to enjoy on the go. For dinner, Caramba Restaurant offers a fun dining experience with a variety of food options fit for every palate. Big portions of pasta and pizza make it easy to share. And a stay in Whistler wouldn’t be complete without cooling off with a cone of your favourite flavour from Cows Whistler.