The Summer Side of Whistler

The Summer Side of Whistler

By Rebecca Wood Barrett / Images By Joern Rohde

Whistler Olympic Plaza, summer concerts.
Summertime in Whistler offers an embarrassment of riches: endless exciting activities; an abundance of freshly picked, locally grown fruit and vegetables; multiple freshwater lakes ideal for dock diving, swimming and paddling; alpine hikes amongst wildflowers and wildlife. But can you really have too much of a good thing? In a word — yes. If you schedule your holiday too tightly, you may come away feeling like you haven’t had a real break.

Our suggestion? Combat the curse of busyness by scheduling some strategic “timeouts” between the fun-fuelled adventures. You’ll enjoy your summer days and nights in Whistler much more when you’re well rested and aren’t racing from one activity to the next. The good news is that most summer activities take place outdoors, which offers a natural balm to your soul and an antidote for too much screen time. Consider a breathtaking ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola; an educational tour to view Whistler’s black bears; a thrilling zipline or enlightening tree-top ecotour; or a paddle on one of the area’s waterways via kayak, canoe, stand-up paddleboard or whitewater raft. In addition, the valley’s extensive trail network and Whistler Blackcomb’s alpine trails offer hiking, trail running and mountain biking possibilities for those of all abilities.

Any itinerary should include visits to one or more of Whistler’s excellent parks. Rainbow Park, for more than 30 years one of Whistler’s favourite summertime hangouts, is scheduled to reopen in June 2024 after a three-year, $4.1 million “rejuvenation” of the park that affords spectacular views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains from the shore of Alta Lake. The upgrades were meant to result in a larger beach, the addition of a beach promenade, a wider Valley Trail, relocation of the volleyball and seating areas, increased visitor capacity and improved drainage.

If you’re a golfer, sign up for 18 holes at one of Whistler or Pemberton’s courses, and admire the views of pristine lakes and the towering peaks of Whistler’s “other mountains,” Armchair, Wedge, Rainbow and Sproatt. The four championship courses were designed by Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Arnold Palmer and Robert Cupp, respectively, to challenge your abilities against natural water features and terrain.

Whistler Farmers Market, summer.Whistler Farmers Market, summer.
Whistler Black Bear.Whistler Black Bear.

Whistler has a full calendar of high-energy summertime activities and sporting events to test your physical abilities and jump-start the adrenaline. But don’t forget to balance out the buzz of pushing your limits. Plan to sleep in one morning. Chill out at the end of the day on a patio with a craft beer. Enjoy a massage or watch a sunset. By mixing it up, you’ll be ready to launch yourself into every adventure.

Downhill mountain biking on Whistler Mountain is summer’s gravity-fed answer to winter’s need for speed. The latest technology in downhill bikes, protective armour, and starter-level trails make it possible for everyone to try it. For the summer of 2024, the completion of a replacement of the old Fitzsimmons quad chair with an “eight-pack” high-speed chair is expected to increase Bike Park upload capacity by 50 per cent.

Throughout the summer, Whistler hosts a variety of popular events that embrace its mountainous terrain, such as the rolling Whistler Half Marathon (, the challenge of varying mountain bike terrain in the XFONDO ( and the uphill climb of the RBC GranFondo Whistler road bike ride (

When planning your visit, be sure to consider dates for the Whistler Summer Concert Series, which showcases live bands and orchestral music at Whistler Olympic Plaza ( Pack a picnic and lounge on the lush lawn of the plaza. For a memorable weekend for the whole family, don’t miss the Whistler Children’s Festival, packed with hands-on art workshops, music, theatre and dance.

Alexander Falls. Callaghan Valley.Alexander Falls. Callaghan Valley.

One of the most pleasurable ways to slow down in summer is to linger over a delectable meal. Many of Whistler’s chefs pride themselves on sourcing produce and meat from local farms and seafood from nearby Pacific coastal waters. So make the most of “patio season” and grab a seat at a local eatery to indulge in the season’s bounty ( If you crave artisanal foodie favourites such as gelato, kettle corn, roasted coffee, cordials, craft beer, wine and vodka from local producers, stroll the Whistler Farmers Market in the Upper Village by the base of Blackcomb. Here, you’ll find a cornucopia of fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, tasty treats and one-of-a-kind gifts handcrafted by local artisans.

It’s not too early to start thinking about summer. With some research and organization, you can book all your exciting activities and plan for those quiet moments of rest that are vital to enjoying your stay. So breathe in, then slowly exhale: Summer is only a few months away.

Please visit the respective websites for the latest updates. All events are subject to change. |