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Why Whistler is a top spot for outdoor adventure

Whistler fall mountain biking

Why Whistler is a top spot for outdoor adventure

WhistlerExternal Link Title. It's synonymous with world-class skiing and snowboarding. One of North America's largest ski resorts, it's famed for over 1,530 metres of vertical at both Whistler and BlackcombExternal Link Title mountains, and over 8,000 total acres of skiable terrain. But British Columbia locals know Whistler is just as spectacular for warm-weather outdoors sports; namely, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and ziplining. Autumn is an especially optimal time to visit since temperatures are mild, elbow room is generous, the vibe is chill, the locals are out, and off-season deals are plentiful.


Stroll or trek

HikingExternal Link Title? Primo. The best way to get to know Whistler is from its signature 40-kilometre Valley TrailExternal Link Title -- paved, multi-use, and car-free. It meanders in and around the town's neighbourhoods passing lakes, rivers, parks, and the golf course. Amble, pedal on cruiser bikes, run, or rollerblade. Look for browsing bears as you cross bridges. For something more full-power, take the PEAK 2 PEAK gondolaExternal Link Title 436 metres up and start from the top or tackle the area's 40+ kilometres of full- and half-day treksExternal Link Title. The four-hour High Note Trail is a fave. The hardcore should hit the calf-burning Wedgemount Lake Trail: rising over 1,160 metres in just seven kilometres. The panoramas of the glaciers are worth the sweat. You're likely to spot black bears and marmots, too.

Get on the water

Lost Lake

Tranquil and secludedExternal Link Title, yes, but forest and mountain-ringed Lost Lake External Link Titleis only a 20-minute walk on the Valley Trail from Upper Whistler Village. Rent canoes, kayaks, or stand-up paddleboardsExternal Link Title; catch the last of the September rays on the sandy beach; fish for easy-to-catch trout. You can eat your catch of the day, too, just check the regulationsExternal Link Title and be sure to buy a BC Freshwater Fishing LicenseExternal Link TitleCanine Cove is the dog beach, where the piers even have pooch-accessible ramps. Bring a picnic and grill at one of the on-site BBQs, or try one of the food trucksExternal Link Title which stick around until October. Sunsets here are worth the wait.


Dip, steam, and float to bliss

Maybe you want to hike first, then dive into deep R&R. Or maybe spa-ing is your sport? No matter. It's all Zen at ScandinaveExternal Link Title, a sun-soaked, upscale Nordic-style relaxation haven with outdoor hot baths, waterfalls, multiple sunrooms, wood burning Finnish saunas, eucalyptus steam rooms, and cold dips cascading down the tree-lined mountainside. The spa even employs shushers to keep the quiet. In town, unwind at Taman Sari Royal Heritage SpaExternal Link Title and the Spa at Nita Lake Lodge External Link Titlefor massages, facials, manis, and pedis. Looking for more ways to relax? Here's our guide to unwinding, no matter the season.

Mountain biking

Top 5 singletrack trails

Many call the mountain bike park in Whistler the best in the worldExternal Link Title. Extreme fat tire riders flock to Whistler religiously, but you don't have to be the downhill armour type to enjoy the shredder scene and vast network of ramps and bridges, "flow," and tech trailsExternal Link Title. Insiders name these the top must-dosExternal Link Title: Lost Lake, Danimal, Cheakamus Lake Trail, No Flow Zone, and Comfortably Numb. The park is open until mid-October. If you come back in summer, catch the action at August's CrankworxExternal Link Title. Look for Stay-and-Ride packagesExternal Link Title to make the most of it.


BFF ziplining

New perspective? Try ripping over old-growth forestExternal Link Title, creeks, and chasms some 180 metres below. Zipliners launch from treetop platforms, harnessed and clipped into pulleys suspended under steel cables. It's not all about adrenaline, though: some tours crisscross suspended bridges and trails in the rainforest canopy, touching on ecology and wildlife. Superfly Whistler ZiplinesExternal Link Title does side-by-sides so you can watch your buddy tearing along with you. Ziptrek Eco ToursExternal Link Title offers eco tours, combo, and multiple tour options. Their more than two-kilometre Sasquatch line is the longest single line in the U.S. and Canada.


Whistler Tasting Tours

Clearly, you'll need to refuel after all that outdoor action and Whistler delivers. Dine at the best hot spots or hit the top restos all in one night with Whistler Tasting ToursExternal Link Title. If you visit in November, indulge in CornucopiaExternal Link Title, a 10-day food and drink extravaganza External Link Titleof seminars, gala tastings, winery dinners, mixologist cocktail how-tos, oyster shucking contests, cooking classes, and chef showcases.