LOOKING FOR AN ADVENTURE? 16 ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITIES IN WHISTLER BC
June 21, 2021
Gliding down Whistler’s pristine slopes is an incredible experience but there is so much more to this stunning mountain town in the Sea to Sky Corridor than just skiing. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or prefer to relax and take in your surroundings, there’s an activity for everyone in Whistler BC.
After living in this beautiful area of the Coast Mountains for the past few years, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to explore and make the most of all that Whistler has to offer (although there is always more to seek out for the adventurous, it’s a destination that just keeps giving).
From ecotourism activities to extreme sports, free events, paid experiences, festivals, and a thriving vegan food and retail scene, we’ve listed some of our favourite things that Whistler has to offer!
The mountainous landscape lends itself to extreme sports, making Whistler the perfect place to seek some thrills! Aside from skiing and snowboarding, here are some of the other exhilarating activities you can participate in:
Whistler is home to The Sasquatch®, the longest zipline in all of Canada and the US! And that’s not all, this is just 1 out of 11 individual zip lines that make up the Whistler-based zipline tours managed by Ziptrek Ecotours. Take a lift to the top and fly through the canopies, taking in the stunning scenery whilst experiencing the adrenaline rush that comes with it! Oh, and the guides will deliver knowledge bombs about sustainability and Whistler’s beautiful ecosystem as you work your way around the ziplines.
2. SUPERFLY ZIPLINES
Fancy adding a 4x4 ride to your ziplining itinerary? Do just that with Superfly Ziplining to off-road climb to the top of Rainbow Mountain and reward yourself with panoramic views as you zoom from summit to summit. Elevated boardwalks and forest paths connect the rest of the thrilling zip lines, giving you a bird’s eye view of Whistler’s breathtaking landscape!
3. MOUNTAIN BIKING
Home to the world’s biggest and best downhill bike park, Whistler BC has a huge selection of mountain bike trails ranging from moderate to advanced in difficulty level. Riders come from all over the world to experience breathtaking views as they traverse the twists and turns of Whistler’s slopes.
4. WHITE WATER RAFTING
Thrill-seekers rejoice! Thanks to the heart-pounding rapids and hair-raising bends, Whistler is the perfect destination for adrenaline junkies. White water rafting gives you access to some of Canada’s most inspiring wilderness, including dormant volcanoes, colossal glaciers, cascading waterfalls, ancient forests, and the local flora and fauna. If you’re looking for something more gentle, then you can also opt for a more family-friendly boat ride along the calmer waters of Cheakamus.
whistler’s alternative activities (family-friendly)
The above activities are not for the faint of heart, are not always suitable for families, and can also be weather-dependent. Luckily, there are plenty of other options to choose from:
Take a black bear viewing excursion or explore the Coastal Temperate Rainforest in a luxury “air suspension” Land Rover. Ride an eBike around the glacier-fed alpine lakes, check out an active bear den, and visit the local bird sanctuaries and beaver lodges.
2. WHISTLER FARMERS’ MARKET (SUNDAY MAY - OCTOBER)
A fantastic showcase of Canadian vendors, the Whistler Farmers’ Market is packed full of artisanal foods and drinks, arts and crafts, liquors and pet treats. Around 100 vendors rotate throughout the season, so there’s always something new to see, try, and buy and you’ll be supporting local businesses!
There are 3 championship golf courses to choose from in Whistler, with another course 25 miles to the north. The rolling terrain, undulating hills, crystal lakes, and diverse woodlands all set against a backdrop of glistening snow-capped mountains offers a unique experience for the avid golfer; it’s no wonder Whistler is ranked consistently as the best premier golf destination in Canada.
There are more hiking trails than you can shake a stick at! You can go off on an adventure on your own or stick with a tour company. Here are a few of the hikes you could try:
Ancient Cedars (shorter-easy)
Crater Rim Trail (moderate)
Blackcomb Burn (short but hard)
Skywalk North and South (moderate, but if you do both then it's advanced)
Garibaldi Black Tusk (overnight-hard)
5. GENTLE WATER SPORTS (KAYAKING, PADDLE BOARDING, ETC.)
Rent a kayak for the Golden River of Dreams or a paddleboard on Alta Lake...you can even try a spot of stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga whilst you take in the dramatic mountain views!
6. RACKET CLUB (TENNIS, PICKLEBALL, AXE THROWING, ETC.)
Whistler’s Racket Club is a multi-purpose country club with indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. From snowball fights to axe throwing, pickleball, tennis, roller disco, and live music, it’s a hub of entertainment. It’s even the new location of Whistler’s famous Farmers’ Market (mentioned above).
7. SPORTS ACTIVITIES BY THE LAKES
If you’re a fan of sports but looking for something a bit closer to the ground than the ziplining, head to the lakes! You can go swimming, play volleyball, or slackline next to the shores.
Whistler is home to all sorts of festivals and events, showcasing various sports, cultures, and hobbies. Here are a few of our favourite festivals:
Many of the experiences mentioned above are available in the summertime, but what about the winter? The Sea to Sky Corridor does not disappoint in the colder seasons either! Here are some of the best winter activities:
You don’t have to stop hiking just because there’s a little snow on the ground; instead, strap on a pair of snowshoes and venture out into the winter wonderland.
2. ICE SKATING
When conditions get cold enough, the lakes freeze up and ice skating outdoors becomes possible. If the lakes aren’t frozen, you could also check out the indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks at the Meadow Park Sports Centre and Whistler Olympic Plaza.
3. SCANDINAVE SPA
Completely relax and take some time to recuperate at Scandinave Spa, surrounded by the peace and quiet of the forests and mountains.
4. SKIING AND SNOWBOARDING
And of course, there’s always the option to go skiing and/or snowboarding!