Looking for the best things to do in Whistler in the summer? We got you covered. Known as a skiing destination, this cute mountain town is an amazing visit at all times of the year. In this travel guide, we will cover the must-do Whistler summer activities so that you can have an epic vacation!
25 Things to do in Whistler in the summer
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- Go on PEAK 2 PEAK Sightseeing Gondola
- Embark on Alpine Hiking Trails – Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk
- Spearhead Walk
- Harmony Lake Loop
- Ascent Trails (from Gondola base) – Little Burn
- Big Burn Hike
- Heart Burn Hike
- Whistler Mountain Biking
- Canadian Wilderness Adventures – off road buggy tours
- Blackcomb Jeep 4X4 Safari
- Canoe tours by Canadian Wilderness Adventures
- Fitzsimmons Accessible Nature Trail
- Hiking on the Lost Lake Loop
- Relax at the Scandinave Spa Whistler
- Enjoy an afternoon at the Nita Lake Lodge
- Go on a Village Stroll
- Join Whistler tasting tours
- Go on a Train Wreck hike
- Whistler golf courses
- Go on a Whistler bear viewing tours
- Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
- Audain Art Museum
- Learn history at the Whistler Museum
- Go Water Rafting in Whistler
- Enjoy a scenic road trip from Vancouver to Whistler via Highway 99
Preparing for Whistler summer activities
Whistler is located on the west coast of Canada, in the province of British Columbia. The nearest airport is Vancouver. You can drive or take a bus to arrive in Whistler. Driving takes 2 hours, and buses take 4 hours – one way.
One of the popular ways to get to Whistler from Vancouver is by seaplane or floatplane. On a short flight, you get to soak in panoramic views of Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains from above. You can book a floatplane online here.
Packing items: Even though it is summer we do recommend carrying a lightweight waterproof jacket, preferably like a windbreaker/shell outerwear. It is pretty windy, sometimes chilly at a high elevation. And don’t forget these items
Where to stay in Whistler? Our top pick – Delta Whistler Village Suites
PEAK 2 PEAK Sightseeing Gondola Summer Experience
Whistler Blackcomb’s ground-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola ride is one of the bucket list things to do in Whistler in the summer.
Did you know that on completion, the lift broke a lot of world records, including being the longest continuous lift system on the globe, connecting 3 gondolas? It is the highest lift of its kind at 436 metres (1,427 ft) above the valley floor – so don’t miss this feat!
The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola takes 11 minutes (22 minutes round trip) to reach the mountaintop, with a stop at one peak, and then to the Rendezvous Lodge. From here you can access Whistler Blackcomb’s high alpine for sightseeing, walks, and hiking trails. Don’t forget to stop at the restaurant to grab a bite to eat!
You can also check out wildlife such as marmots, deers, and bears (on alpine trails). Whistler in summer is all green, and pretty – so take a moment to soak in the Blackcomb summer experience!
Whistler Blackcomb: 4545 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V8E 0X9
- Summer sightseeing passes starts at $78 CAD for adults
- Bike passes starts at $78 CAD a day
- Day passes start at $340 CAD, with 1-10 day worth of visit. Check here
Embark on Alpine Hiking Trails (Mountaintop)
Once you reach the Blackcomb Mountaintop, you can embark on Alpine hiking trails. You can view the Fitzsimmons Valley, Garibaldi Provincial Park, and the town of Whistler from above.
Here are some of the hiking trails and walks to enjoy
Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk: This is a nice and easy walk from where you can see Black Tusk, the Tantalus Range, and the Coast Range views. You will find interpretive displays along the way and learn about the history of Whistler.
- Length: 1.6 km (1 mi)
- Elevation Change: 30m (98ft)
Spearhead Walk: Spearhead Walk is an easy walk to enjoy the alpine trails. You can start the walk from the Roundhouse and enjoy the subalpine terrain, and the sight of PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola from below. This trail, although easy, is great as you can take amazing pictures of the Whistler Village and the surrounding lakes from up above.
- Length: 1.2km (.7mi)
- Elevation Change: 20m (66ft)
Harmony Lake Loop: Harmony Lake Loop is another easy hike that takes you from the Roundhouse down towards Harmony Lake. It is perfect for all skill levels. You will see a lake, amazing views and will also find time to relax.
- Length: 1.9km (1.2mi)
- Elevation Change: 120m (394 ft)
Ascent Trails – Hiking Routes (Gondola Base)
Hiking in Whistler in summer is amazing as you wander through the valley, check out wildflowers, and mountain views. The Blackcomb Ascent Trails are a popular route in Whistler. They are three interconnected uphill hiking trails, with an easy, moderate, and difficult route.
This trail starts at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and takes you through beautiful coastal rainforest terrain to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. The 3 trails are – Little Burn, Big Burn, and Heart Burn. In total, the trails gain 1,200 metres over 6.2km.
Little Burn is the initial part of the Ascent Trail and it takes 30+ minutes to complete the trail. It is located between ski runs up to Base 2 of Blackcomb. This is perfect for casual hikers or beginners to get a taste of what Whistler has to offer.
- Length: 0.8km (0.5mi)
- Time: 30 minutes
- Elevation Change: 74m (243ft)
Big Burn is the next section of the Ascent Trail and leads to the Blackcomb Gondola’s Mid station. This is where you can transfer to Whistler Blackcomb’s lift system for upload or download from here.
- Length: 2.2km (1.4mi)
- Time: 75 minutes
- Elevation Change: 494m (1621ft)
Heart Burn is the last part of the Ascent Trail that leads to the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb and welcomes you to spectacular views close to the summit.
- Length: 3.1km (1.9mi)
- Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
- Elevation Change: 607m (1991ft)
Once at the top, you can choose to continue your adventure along the alpine hiking trails or download back to the base using the lift system. To get down by the lift is $15 CAD.
Along the way, you will love the views. There are signs, places to stop and rest (like a bench), steps, and chains to help you along the way. As you hike, you will also learn about the trail, trees, and habitat. It is a very surreal feeling as you look at the mountains, the greenery, and the Gondolas.
Go Whistler Mountain Biking
Mountain biking in Whistler dates back to the summer of 1999 when it was officially opened. Today it is one of the popular summer activities in Whistler. You can go on mountain bike tours or rent them and enjoy a ride with friends.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park located near the mountain square is great for all skill levels, including beginners.
Other mountain biking trails include the Lost Lake bike trails.
Address: Whistler Bike Park. 4282 Mountain Square, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4
Enjoy Canadian Wilderness Adventures
Canadian Wilderness Adventures is a company that organizes amazing summer tours and excursions ATV, off road buggy, jeep 4X4, canoe, and e-bike tours.
The Off-Road Buggy Tour is perfect for beginners and families. A guide teaches you to drive a 4X4 alongside him and climb rugged mountain roads and forested single-track trails up to scenic mountain viewpoints on a tour.
4X4 Tour takes you on a Blackcomb Glacier Safari where you can discover a gorgeous landscape, check out glacier-fed rivers, bears, and other mountain wildlife on the way to the snow-capped Horstman Glacier. The views of the Whistler Village and the Coast Mountain Range are your treats!
Canoe Tour is a summertime favorite and this is great if you are a beginner. Guides will teach you basic paddling skills and techniques so that you can enjoy your water adventure paddling across the historic Alta Lake. This ride treats you to cute ducks and geese in the river, as well as lilies and other flora and fauna.
Fitzsimmons Accessible Nature Trail
Fitzsimmons Creek Accessible Nature trail is a short trail that allows you to enjoy the biodiversity of Whistler. The route moves alongside the Fitzsimmons Creek, and features a forest, with interpretive displays showcasing the natural nuances as you walk or cycle through the woods.
It is an easy trail, and can be done in 1.50 hours. In order to access and enjoy the hike, download the Go Whistler Tour App (which is completely free).
The trailhead can be accessed via the Valley Trail (near parking lots 2, 4 & 5). Pass the skate park, bridge, and Lost Lake Passive House or Austria House to get to the trailhead.
Hike on the Lost Lake Loop
Lost Lake is a small lake, located very close to the Village of Whistler. The Lost Lake Nature Trail is a hiking path that starts to the right of the gravel road leading to Lost Lake. It is a small, narrow trail running alongside a creek.
The trail includes hiking on a gravel road, and a slight uphill climb as the trail weaves through the forest. You will also find gravel bike paths and then enter into a wooded area again. This Nature Trail descends and exits onto the gravel road at a junction with Lost Lake in view. Here you will find a beach area and scenic viewpoints along the way.
- Length: 5km round trip (3.10 mi)
- Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Elevation Change: 50m (164ft)
Relax at the Scandinave Spa Whistler
Scandinave Spa Whistler is a Nordic-inspired outdoor day spa located about a 5-minute drive away from Whistler Village. The best way to reach the Spa is by car.
This gorgeous place is situated within a spruce and cedar forest, and it overlooks Whistler’s white mountains. After all the hiking, you deserve a little downtime – and this is the place to be!
Scandinave Spa Whistler offers traditional Scandinavian baths in a peaceful and natural environment. Truly they are serious about silence, and usage of phones or taking photos is not allowed.
The spa area has rustic structures and they focus on hydrotherapy (cycle of hot-cold – relax cycles).
When you visit, plan to spend at least 2+ hours to complete the hot-cold – relax cycle a few times. Hot cycles take place in eucalyptus steam rooms, outdoor hot baths, Finnish wood-burning sauna, or dry sauna. Enjoy a hot routine for 10-15 minutes.
You can enjoy a cold cycle at any of the Nordic waterfalls (which is stunning), rain showers, or cold plunges. This is for 5-10 seconds. Thereafter, relax for 10-15 minutes to soothe tired muscles, eliminate toxins and improve circulation.
This place is heavenly, highly recommend it!
Note: Remember to pack your swimsuit and sandals. Bathrobes, towels, and drinking water are provided at the complex.
Address: 8010 Mons Rd, Whistler, BC V8E 1K7
Costs: Baths start at $75 CAD for walk-ins.
Enjoy an afternoon sitting on the patio of the Nita Lake Lodge
Nita Lake Lodge is a beautiful accommodation option, located in Creekside, about a 10-minute drive away from Whistler Village. This lodge is known for its relaxed vibe, with lake views and a spa onsite.
It is a lovely place to enjoy a meal by the lake!
Go on a Village Stroll
Whistler Village is a beautiful pedestrian-only mountain town. It was built at the base of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains to support the upcoming skiing community.
Here you will find amazing restaurants, shops, art galleries, museums, hotels, and the landmark Olympic Rings and plaza. Summer in Whistler is the perfect time to wander the town, go on a lovely stroll and enjoy the alpine mountain vibes.
As days are longer in the summer (and restaurants and bars open till late) make time to hang out at the Village at night and take in the fresh air!
Join Whistler Tasting Tours
Whistler has an amazing foodie scene! Did you know that there are over 200+ restaurants, offering international and local dishes? During my visit, I loved the food at Alta Bistro, and Oso Bar.
If you love food, join Whistler Tasting Tours for dinner, or lunch. Check them out here.
Go on the Train Wreck Hike
Decades ago (1956 to be exact) train compartments were derailed and jeered off inside a deep forest. The wreck happened in a rock-cut after the boxcars got jammed and blocked the line.
The trailhead to the train wreck site is located near the Cheakamus River just south of Whistler. You can get there by car (10 minutes), or use public transportation bus 20 or 20x towards Cheakamus (1 hour).
The Train Wreck Hike is an easy hiking trail that takes you to a Suspension Bridge over the Cheakamus River, and after 15- 20 minutes you will get to the first painted train box.
The entire route is scenic with views of the Cheakamus River, bridge, and the forest itself.
- Length: 2km round trip (1.2 miles)
- Time: 1 hour
- Elevation Change: 30m (98.4ft)
- When To Visit: May to November
Address: Whistler Quarry Rd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1
Whistler Golf Courses
Summer in Whistler is a great time to go golfing. There are a bunch of golf courses to choose from. Prices start at $131 CAD.
Whistler also offers a multi-course stay and play golf getaways and they start at $190 CAD. Here are the places where you can enjoy golf (and add on an exceptional stay),
- Fairmont Chateau Whistler
- Big Sky Golf Club
- Whistler Golf Club
- Nicklaus North Golf Course
Go on a Whistler bear viewing tour
Bear watching tours are a delight in Whistler in the summer. They typically run from April/May to September/October.
These tours are led by an expert in a 4X4 for you to experience private lakes, lookouts, waterfalls, bear dens, tracks and tree markings, and more. You also get to understand the ecosystem in which mother bears, cubs, and males search for mates, and roam freely.
This is a fantastic opportunity for wildlife photography lovers as well. Tours start at $189 CAD. Learn all about it here.
Visit the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
When in Whistler in the summer you must not miss the opportunity to learn about First Nations culture and history. Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre or SLCC is the first centre of its kind in Canada to appreciate and understand indigenous communities.
SLCC showcases the past, and present of two First Nations cultures – Sk̲wxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation, Coast Salish) and Líl̓wat7ul (Lil’wat Nation, Interior Salish).
Spend 1-2 hours, reading all the information and checking out the permanent displays. You can also watch a 15-minute video presentation, listen to music/choir, or take a walk down the forest trail. SLCC is home to a nice gift shop where you can buy souvenirs, and then grab a bite to eat at The Thunderbird Café.
Address: 4584 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V8E 0Y3
Tickets: $20 CAD+ for adults
Appreciate Audain Art Museum
Audain Art Museum is a contemporary art gallery that was opened in 2016 in the heart of Whistler Village.
The Museum’s permanent collection showcases the art of British Columbia from the late 18th century to the present and begins with an exhibit of First Nations masks (from the 19th and 20th centuries).
If you like art and paintings and want to check out Emily Carr’s work then you will find a lot of her work displayed here. You will also find paintings and artwork from Edward John Hughes, Kim Dorland, and more.
Do set aside 1.50 – 2 hours to fully enjoy the art exhibits.
Address: 4350 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, British Columbia V8E 1N3
Tickets: $20 CAD
Discover at the Whistler Museum
Whistler Museum is a small museum located inside the Village. This is an informative place to learn about Whistler’s past, especially from the late 19th century.
The museum takes you through the history and the origins of Whistler as a fishing lodge – the Rainbow Lodge, which was set up by Myrtle and Alex Philip – to the beginnings of the ski resort and the Olympics and Paralympics (2010) competition.
Highly recommend visiting the museum if you love history!
Address: 4333 Main St, Whistler, BC V8E 1B3
Tickets: Entry by donation
Go Water Rafting in Whistler
When visiting in the summer, you can also join in a river rafting tour in Whistler. These tours are perfect if you are a novice or plan on enjoying an activity as a team (or a group).
- Green River Rafting Tour is a popular one, located just a few minutes north of Whistler Village. There is amazing scenery with snow capped mountains and bouncy rapids.Costs: Starts at $120 CAD
- Cheakamus Splash Family Friendly is great to take in the views of the Cheakamus River and the Paradise Valley. Costs: Starts at $125 CAD
- Elaho Whitewater Experience allows you to experience challenging rapids and some of British Columbia’s most breathtaking scenery. Costs: Starts at $189 CAD
Road trip from Vancouver to Whistler and Squamish
Whistler is located in the province of British Columbia. Vancouver is the nearest airport, and it takes about 2 hours to get to Whistler.
In the summertime, it is a great opportunity to enjoy a road trip from Vancouver to Whistler via Highway 99 aka Sea to Sky Highway, and even stop in Squamish.
The Sea to Sky Highway is one of the most stunning routes in North America. Along the way, you can stop at the Garibaldi Provincial Park and the Sea to Sky gondola. You will love the view of Howe Sound, and the cliffs.
Isn’t it amazing? Whistler has so much to offer. Visit Whistler in the summer and experience nature and hikes like never before! We are sure you will love to visit again and again!
Disclaimer: I was graciously hosted during my stay by Tourism Whistler. As always the opinions and ideas are my own.