By Blair Kaplan Venables
Some of the most magical Whistler experiences happen on the outskirts of the Village, deep in the forests that surround the town. These out-of-the-ordinary activities will make you feel like you are worlds away from your everyday life. They’re perfect for families and those who perhaps don’t ski or snowboard. These stand-out activities will help create awesome memories and give you some epic, brag-worthy stories.
If you are looking for an immersive and interactive family activity to enjoy after a day on the mountain, Vallea Lumina is for you. Located 10 minutes north of Whistler Village, you will arrive at Cougar Mountain via their complimentary shuttle to the must-see inaugural winter spectacle. This activity, created by Montreal-based Moment Factory, is powered by a local company, The Adventure Group.
“Vallea Lumina, the winter journey offers visitors a unique after-hours show that welcomes all ages,” says Karen Ollier, marketing manager at The Adventure Group. “Set in the dense forest of Cougar Mountain under snow-covered trees, the winter experience will truly be a magical winter wonderland, filled with dazzling lights, emotive soundscapes and stunning scenography.”
Before you embark on the 60-minute adventure, you can enjoy non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks around the fire pits at base camp. Vallea Lumina will run nightly until April 2020.
Visit vallealumina.com, or call 1-833-800-8480.
Ziptrek Ecotours’ Peak 2 Peak Combo offers great value and is a way to embrace both Whistler’s lush forest and iconic mountain views. Guests on Ziptrek’s TreeTrek tour will visit the grandeur of the old-growth rainforest in the valley between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, where they travel along boardwalks, suspension bridges and trails, taking in the views from decks overlooking Fitzsimmons Creek. With nine treetop bridges, this 1.5- to two-hour guided, interpretive canopy walk is suitable for all ages. You can book TreeTrek separately, or combine it with a trip on Whistler Blackcomb’s famed Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
“Realizing not all visitors skew towards the extreme adventure end, we love that our TreeTrek and Peak 2 Peak Combo allows outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes to see and experience two distinct aspects of our legendary dual mountains,” says Warrick Hubbard, director of marketing at Ziptrek Ecotours.
The combo is also perfect for both families and non-skiers looking for an activity to enjoy while their friends or family ski or snowboard. A great option is to meet them on the mountain for coffee or lunch, before or after your TreeTrek tour.
Visit whistler.ziptrek.com, or call 1-800-935-0001.
There is nothing quite like the experience of dogsledding. Away from the bustle of the Village and south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley, the “Trapper’s Run” tour with Canadian Wilderness Adventures allows you to check this one off your “bucket list.” Imagine exploring the majestic old-growth forest while being led by a team of enthusiastic dogs. If you choose, you can help your musher harness and prepare the team and then learn the commands and techniques to navigate the sled. Feel the rush of taking control with an opportunity to drive the sled. Alternatively, you can sit back, relax, cozy up to a loved one or share the excitement with a friend and enjoy the ride and the views, as the sled glides through the snow on a variety of both open and winding trails.
This relaxing and distinctive journey offers breathtaking backcountry scenery with many opportunities to capture memorable, instagrammable photos along with some exceptional stories to share with friends and family at après-ski.
There are three departure times daily, and the tour is 2.5 to three hours round trip. Each sled can accommodate up to two adults and one small child (4-12).
Visit canadianwilderness.com, or call 1-877-938-1616.