Welcome to Whistler
I never thought that I’d say this, but I am saying it now. Whistler is definitely not only a winter destination but it is even better during the Summer especially for people who loves to walk around and explore the area.
I’ve been to Whistler several times, few times I went there by myself but a lot of times I was with friends, either local or visiting friends from other country or province. Most my visit in Whistler was during winter, although I don’t do any winter activities. Some people find it weird, but I just love snow, the sight of it and the feel of it, besides its only for few hours. I don’t get to live the everyday snow just like some of my friends in colder provinces. I find going to Whistler during winter exciting, although I have to admit I had very limited things that I can do there, mostly jut walking the village, enjoying the gondola ride and enjoying meal time at the top of the mountain. But nonetheless I enjoyed it.
I went there few times during Summer to watch the “Cheese Rolling Festival” but I never went up to the top to explore the place. This time around, I made sure to explore the area as much as I can. So I bought my season pass and enjoyed Whistler to the fullest. Join me as we explore Whistler and Things we can do during Summer.
The Fun Begins with The Whistler Gondola Ride
The fun starts with a 15 minute Gondola ride to the top of the mountain. This is an enclosed gondola that seats 4 people, or more if with kids. The gondola moves slowly as it ascend to the top giving people the opportunity to enjoy the view. It’s amazing especially during Summer as you get to see the landscape better, the biking an hiking path and the mountain and water view. There’s two tower stations but the stop for the first tower is only for bikers. The second tower which is the last stop is where people get off, and from there is the continuation of the exciting day ahead.
Things To Do at The Top
Give In and Eat What You Want at The Top
Wine, dine, relax in the restaurant patio with the stunning view of the peak to peak gondola passing by with the snowy peaks as background. It’s quite a huge restaurant, more like a food court style with patio sitting. If you plan to stay later, they have dinner buffet for 25CAD. The food selections are quite good for the price.
Experience The Peak 2 Peak Gondola Ride
- Distance Between Whistler a& Blackcomb Stations: 4.4 km/2.73 miles
- Max Speed: 7.5 m/s
- Ride Time: 11 minutes
The longest among the 3 gondola rides is the Peak 2 Peak located just besides the restaurant. There is no extra fee to ride this gondola, so just walk in and line up. The peak to peak gondola ride is about 11 minutes one way, and a MUST thing to do when you visit Whistler. The experience of the ride itself is activity on its own. You get to see the view in different angle and just sit and appreciate nature. It’s truly an awesome experience and I definitely won’t mind doing it again and again. You have an option between the regular gondola (red cable car) which has more service so the lineup is fast.
You can go for the glass bottom gondola (gray cable car) which have around 15 – 30 minutes wait because there are very few cable car that have bottom glass. The glass bottom is only a small portion of the center, not the entire bottom of the cable car. The glass bottom area also have a railing so nobody can stand on it. If you do not have much time, the regular cable car is the way to go. You wouldn’t be missing anything at all even if you do not try the galss bottom option.
Are you Brave Enough to Take the Peak Express Chair?
From the restaurant, people have to walk down and hike about 10-15 minutes to get to the open chair lift that will take you to the top of the Summit where the new suspension bridge is located. Yes, it’s open, and it can get scary to some people (like me) but I still ended up enjoying it. It was a fun ride and it adds to the experience of exploring Whistler. The day that we went there it was really sunny and super hot, so the chair lift ride was really a treat as its cooler as soon as we started ascending. I don’t know how to explain the feeling, it just felt so good watching the view from up there. It was so quiet, so peaceful, so relaxing. The rid is about 10 minutes, at first I thought that’s too long but then in the end I wished it was longer. I felt like a kid, and as you can see from the video, I love the feeling of having my feel hanging above the ground.
Visit theNew Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge
The new Whistler suspension bridge is 427m long and hanging at 2,000 meters above sea level and surrounded by a majestic water and mountain view.
The Peak Suspension Bridge is located at the Top of the World Summit. A short ride in the express chair lift will take you to the top of the Summit. I am not really a fan of open chair lift but this is the easiest way to get to the top. I was actually surprised that I find the ride quite nice, it was very quiet up there and of course the view was fantastic. During Summer, most of the time the line up is long, but in the early morning around 10:00am – 11:00am, there was no line up at all. You can a lift just for you, that is if you like that. Sometimes they will have you go with other guest as the lift capacity is 4 person per lift.
Once you get of the chair lift, the suspension bridge is just few steps away. You don need direction, it will be difficult to miss the sight of this amazing hanging bridge. The bridge is made up of heavy steel and it looks very sturdy and stable, but during windy days, it sways as people cross the bridge. At the end of the bridge is a triangular suspended lookout where you can get an even better view of the suspended bridge and the magnificent mountain view all around.
If you have time and energy and like hiking, take a hike down instead of taking the chair lift. The Matthew’s and Pika’s Traverse Road is an easier way to get back to the Roundhouse Lodge, but if you are more adventurous, the High Note Trail also leads back to the Roundhouse Lodge.
Aside form the suspension bridge being the main attraction, there are also several spots that are great for taking photos.
Inukshuk View Point
Just beside the suspension bridge is the Inukshuk Viewpoint. Whether you are taking a selfie or taking a group photo, this spot is a MUST to have the photo take. With the mountain view as background, you will never fail to get a nice photo.
I call this a lookout but do not expect a platform of some sort, you got something better. You get to climb a little bit to get to the top of the rock, and that is where you can get a good look of the mountains across, not to mention a perfect spot for your photo to be taken. I went up slowly, although it was really not high, my knees where shakey, it happens all the time whenever I am standing on something elevated. I’m just like that but a lot of people there was going up and down without any hesitation at all, so you should be good if you are not like me. Just go up there and enjoy the view.
The pole! I have to have a photo there and so I did. It is not as high as it looks but it was like I’m on the top of the world, really nice view up there.
The Best Views Are Seen By Hiking, Choose at Least One
There are several hiking trails both in Whistler Mountain area and Blackcomb Mountain area. The hikes vary from easy to intermediate but all of them gave breathtaking view of the snowy mountain peaks and lush green trees and sometimes even lakes and creek nearby. Here are some trails that I did, but there are more trails in the area.
Whistler Mountain Hiking Trails:
- Mathhews’ Traverse Road
- Length: 0.9km (0.6 mi) 45 minutes
- Elevation Changes: 82. (269ft)
- Pika’s Traverse Road: This mountain road is used to return to from the Half Note Trail to the Roundhouse Lodge. There are some steep sections.
- Length: 2.3km (1.4mi) 60 minutes
- Elevation Changes: 272m(892ft)
- Harmony Lake Loop: This trails descends through aplhine forest while traveling away from the Roundhouse Lodge
- Length: 1.9km (1.2mi) 90 minutes
- Elevation Changes: 120m(394ft)
- Harmony Meadows: This steep trail connects High Note Trail and Harmony Lake Trail with the Roundhouse Lodge. Enjoy the great views of Fitsimmons Valley and Harmony Lake
- Length: 1.6km (1.mi) 45 minutes
- Elevation Changes: 81m(266ft)
Blackcomb Mountain Hiking Trails:
- Alphine Walk (to Overload Trail)
- Length: 1.4km (.9mi) 32 min
- Elevation Changes: 65m(213ft)
- Overload Trail
- Length: 3.7km (2.3mi)
- Elevation Changes: 62m(203ft)
- Lakeside Loop
- Length: 1.3km (.8mi)
- Elevation Changes: 43m(141ft)
I will have separate posts for the ones that I did. With so many photos I took, one post for all the hikes I did will be too much and too long. So stay tuned in the next weeks to come for details of some of these beautiful trails.
Once done, enjoy the ride down via the chair lift again, sit and enjoy (if you can) the view. It was really a stunning view while the lift goes down, it was quite and it felt really peaceful up there.
There were several other hiking trails once you are back at the top base. There were about 3 of them, I would say try all of them if you can. All three hiking trails gave us different view and I would say should be a MUST when you go there. The trails are short and easy but you still have to plan your time. Make sure to check the gondola time schedule so that you can plan ahead. When we went there, the chair lift ends at 5:30pm, peak to peak at 5:00pm and the main that takes you down to the base is until 8:30pm
Explore and Shop at The Village
Explore Cafe and Restaurants
Well, my trip is not complete without listing down few places to eat. We had brunch at “The Elements“, I would rate it 5 star in terms of quality, serving portion and taste. I ordered Vegetarian Hash with Tofu. It’s a combination of butternut squash, red bell peppers, onion, tomato, kale with poach egg and and soft tofu with tomato pesto on the side. We also ordered Spinach Eggs Benedict.
For dinner, we ate at “Gnarlyroots“, a small pizza pasta restaurant. We ordered vegetarina Pizza, Garden Spinach Salad and Vegetarian Pasta and they all tasted great. Priced right, good serving portion, quick self service and very casual dining.
For dessert, ice cream from “Cows” is a MUST. The BEST Ice Cream Shop in Whistler Village. They have 2 locations that are pretty close to each other but both are alwasy busy and crowded. I never failed to visor this place whenever I go to Whistler, besides it was really hot that day and the ice cream was definitely a treat.
That’s about it, one fun filled day at Whistler. Check the place out if you happen to be in BC.
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