15 Best Things to Do in Whistler in the Summer

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Garibaldi Provincial Park's Black Tusk peak is one of the summer attractions to visit

Being home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America, winter is definitely the high season to visit Whistler. But there are just as many things to do in Whistler in the summer!

With millions of wildflowers in the alpine meadows, turquoise glacial lakes glittering in the sunshine, and an array of outdoor attractions to enjoy, who wouldn't feel tempted to visit Whistler in the summer?

In this article, you'll learn all about the best things to do in Whistler in the summer. Even if you're not an avid hiker, don't worry; there's still a lot to do even when visiting this beautiful BC destination in the summer months. Keep reading to learn more!

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Best Things to Do in Whistler in Summer

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Fun Things to Do in Whistler in the Summer

Going to Lost Lake is one of the best things to do in Whistler in the summer

Swim in one of the Whistler lakes

If you can't imagine summer without swimming, no problem! Whistler has many great lakes to swim in during the summer. It's not only glacial lakes that you find in the Whistler area.

Actually, the most easily accessible lakes are not glacial and perfect for a dip on a hot day. Whistler has five lakes: Alpha, Nita, Alta, Lost, and Green Lake.

An excellent choice for a beach day is Lost Lake, which has a sandy beach, BBQ facilities, and several floating docks on the lake. The views of surrounding Whistler Blackcomb Mountain are the icing on the cake.

Lost Lake is easily accessible from Whistler Village in just 15 minutes on foot. Alternatively, take the free shuttle that runs all summer (from June to September). Don't expect the water to be warm, though; it's around 15 degrees Celsius in the summer.

Alta Lake also has a lot to offer. It has the Valley Trail running on its western shore, three parks along the shoreline (Wayside Park, Lakeside Park, and Rainbow Park), Blueberry Docks, and three different beaches.

When it comes to swimming, it's the most pleasant of the five lakes, often warming up to 20 degrees Celsius or even more by the end of summer.

Nita Lake and Alpha Lake are smaller than the previous two lakes but are also found along the Valley Trail and can be accessed by car.

Green Lake is the only lake that isn't good for swimming because it's the deepest of the five. It's also fed by a glacier, so it remains quite cold even in the summer.

🏨 Stay in close proximity to Lost Lake

Bike the Valley Trail in Whistler

The Valley Trail provides an easy opportunity for everyone to connect with the great outdoors. It's a 46-kilometer-long car-free, paved trail that takes you through Whistler's neighborhoods. You'll be able to see lakes and lovely parks.

You can walk, run, bike, skate, or rollerblade. The trail is also suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Following the Valley Trail is an excellent way for families, couples, or friends to spend an active summer day!

🏨 Stay nearby Valley Trail

Hiking the Lost Lake Trail is an easy way to admire the area's stunning scenery

Walk the easy loop trail around Lost Lake

While relaxing on the beach and swimming at Lost Lake is a fun thing to do, another of the Whistler summer activities to enjoy is walking the loop trail around its perimeter.

The scenic five-kilometer loop trail is quiet as motorized boats are not allowed on the water, and you're closely surrounded by the mountains. With so little elevation gain, it's more of a pleasant walk, making it arguably the best easy hike you can do in Whistler.

🏨 Nearest accommodations to Lost Lake

The Iceberg Lake hike offers fantastic views of the glacial lake and its surroundings

Hike up to Iceberg Lake from Whistler

Hikers, here's one for you! The trail to Iceberg Lake is much less known than the hiking trail at Garibaldi Lake, even though it starts from Whistler and leads up to a magically turquoise lake with floating icebergs. Iceberg Lake is a glacial lake, and you can also see Rainbow Glacier hanging above it, which is where the icebergs originate.

This trail is by no means short or easy (20.7-kilometer return, with over 900 meters elevation gain on your way up), but it treats you with all those beauties that only the high mountains can offer: incredible lake, glacier, and mountain views, plus rushing streams and several waterfalls.

The last few kilometers are the most breathtaking, but there are highlights from the beginning of the trail, like a lookout with views of Green Lake, creek crossings on lovely wooden bridges, and all the short side tracks to waterfalls. The trail starts at the end of Mountain View Drive in Whistler and is accessible roughly between July and September.

Get adventurous in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Whistler Mountain Bike Park is famous as it's one of the world's best and largest lift-accessed bike parks. It offers over 70 trails in four different zones (Fitzsimmons, Garbanzo, Creekside, and Peak), and there's a bike trail for every ability.

The "EZ Does It" trail is excellent for beginners or those who want to warm up before trying a more challenging trail. If you can't decide which route to take, ride up the Fitzsimmons Express Lift, then enjoy your way down into the Village.

You can rent bikes at several places in Whistler, like the Garbanzo Bike and Bean Rental (Mountain Square) or the Whistler Sports Rentals (Gateway Drive). If you want to explore on a bike more, you also could join a Whistler eBike adventure!

🏨 Accommodations close to Whistler Mountain Bike Park

Try the longest zipline in North America

Want an adrenaline rush? How about soaring through the sky at speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour? If this sounds appealing, try ziplining along The Sasquatch, the longest zipline in North America!

It's over two kilometers long and will surely impress any adventure seeker. The Sasquatch Zipline tour lasts about two and a half hours and allows you to admire views of Whistler's lush forests and glacial mountains.

Whistler Train Wreck Trail is an easy hike featuring graffitied train cars

Hike the Whistler Train Wreck Trail

Hiking the Whistler Train Wreck Trail is one of the best year-round family-friendly hikes in the area. It's also one of the top Whistler activities in summer to add to your to-do list!

The course is located near the Cheakamus River, south of Whistler, and the trailhead is the Train Wreck Trail parking area by Jane Lakes Road. With a distance of only about two and a half kilometers to conquer (there and back), it's appropriate for most abilities.

As you explore, you'll pass a suspension bridge with pretty river views and discover colorful railway boxcars hidden among the tall pine trees. The unique railway cars also look great in photographs. To make finding the train wrecks easy, book a Whistler Train Wreck guided tour.

Sit outside to enjoy a cold drink in Whistler Village

The charming Whistler Village is an area that makes Whistler one of the most popular weekend getaways from Vancouver. A lazy summer day exploring the scenic mountain village is exactly what you need after an exhausting hike the day before!

Whistler Village has lovely outdoor patios where you can sit under the sun and enjoy a cold drink or two. Just a few of the bars to visit include Dubh Linn Gate, an Irish bar with a large patio that faces Whistler mountain, and the rooftop patio of The Living Room at Pangea Pod Hotel.

🏨 Accommodations close to Whistler Village Centre

Kayaking on the River of Golden Dreams is the ideal summer activity

Kayak the River of Golden Dreams

The name is tempting, isn't it? Well, this scenic river deserves the moniker! Starting in Alta Lake, taking you through the Whistler Wetlands, and ending at Green Lake, this approximately five-kilometer kayak ride on the River of Golden Dreams is one of the most perfect Whistler things to do in summer.

The water moves fast enough that it's not really hard work paddling, so you can take in the views and keep your eyes open for birds and beaver dams. If you don't have a kayak, book a River of Golden Dreams self-guided tour. It comes with a canoe or kayak and instructions on the best route to paddle.

Brandywine Falls is a beautiful natural landmark that's worth visiting

Visit Brandywine Falls

Only 15 minutes drive from Whistler, Brandywine Falls is a 70-meter tall, graceful waterfall backed up by basalt columns. The viewing platform is a one-kilometer walk from the parking area, just off Highway 99.

Stopping by this scenic natural Canadian landmark is a must if in the area during the summer as it generally freezes over in the colder months. After viewing the falls, you can also find some hiking trails nearby.

Nairn Falls is one of many picturesque waterfalls to see in the summer in Whistler

Explore some more waterfalls in the Whistler area

There's no shortage of waterfalls around Whistler, and thanks to glaciers and early summer snowmelt, they're roaring all summer long.

The 335-meter-high Shannon Falls is halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, and it's the third-tallest waterfall in British Columbia. It's right by Highway 99, a short walk away from the car park.

Alexander Falls is along Callaghan Road as you drive towards Whistler Olympic Park. It's barely known and never crowded, even though the viewing platform is right there at the end of the parking area.

Nairn Falls is half an hour's drive from Whistler to the north, towards Pemberton. It consists of two very picturesque waterfalls in a dramatic canyon, falling into turquoise pools. It's a two-and-a-half-kilometer return hike to reach Nairn Falls.

Ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola

Want astonishing peak views without working too hard? Then don't miss the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. The route connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, and during the 11-minute ride, you'll get to enjoy 360-degree views of Whistler Village and the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and lakes.

At the peak, you will also find some restaurants where you can dine while taking in some of the best views in British Columbia. Additionally, you can hike from the top of the gondola via a nine-and-a-half-kilometer loop trail to Blackcomb Lake.

To make accessing the Peak 2 Peak Gondola easy, book your accommodation in Whistler Creek, which is one of the best places to stay in Whistler.

🏨 Accommodations in close proximity to Peak 2 Peak Gondola

☂️ Visit Peak 2 Peak Gondola with a tour

Taking a seaplane flight from Vancouver allows you to admire Whistler from above

Take a seaplane tour from Vancouver to Whistler

If you're interested in seeing Whistler and the surrounding area from a different angle, taking a Seaplane tour from Vancouver is a must!

Seaplane rides offer an excellent way to let you marvel at the endless mountain ranges around Vancouver, along with Garibaldi Lake and Howe Sound.

The flights from Vancouver to Whistler land on Green Lake in the summer months, and you can spend a few hours exploring the Village before it's time to fly back.

☂️ Visit Green Lake on a tour

Things to Do Near Whistler in the Summer

As you drive along the Sea to Sky Highway, you can enjoy beautiful vistas

Drive from Vancouver to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway

The approximately 160-kilometer-long drive from Vancouver to Whistler is nicknamed the Sea to Sky Highway because it connects Howe Sound to the mountains of Whistler and Pemberton.

The route is one of the best scenic drives in the world. You need at least one day to drive its entirety and make stops at attractions along the way at a comfortable pace. But if you plan to do lots of hikes during the journey, it's better to plan a two to three-day trip.

If you don't drive or have access to a car, you can join a Sea to Sky Highway coach tour, which has lots of stops along the way.

Garibaldi Lake is one of the most stunning attractions to see around Whistler

Hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Lake is one of the most popular stops along the Sea to Sky Highway and is somewhat of a North American landmark.

However, it's not a quick roadside stop but a full-day hike that requires stamina and appropriate footwear. What you get in exchange for your efforts is views of one of the most wonderful lakes in British Columbia!

But Garibaldi Provincial Park is more than Garibaldi Lake. It offers several breathtaking high mountain trails, like Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk, Elfin Lakes, and Wedgemount Lake.

If you're an avid hiker or backpacker, you can easily spend several days in this park only. Due to the stunning scenery, it's also one of the best Whistler attractions in summer (and all year, really)!

If you aren't much of a hiker but want a unique way to see the park, treat yourself to a Whistler helicopter tour. On this memorable flight, you'll fly directly over the park, Garibaldi Lake, and other Whistler landmarks.

In Summary

Whistler has something for everyone, whether you're a passionate hiker, adventure seeker, or want to relax in a beautiful mountain environment.

The long and usually sunny summer days allow you to see the best of Whistler, and at least three to four days are recommended here for an enjoyable getaway.

If you've been wondering what to do in Whistler in the summer, hopefully, this list gave you lots of ideas. Now all you have to do is start planning your trip!

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Written by Beata Urmos

Bea BLOGGER Bea is a passionate traveler, hiker, and founder of a British Columbia blog that focuses on traveling and outdoor activities in the province where she lived and traveled for more than a year with her family.

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