Whistler, fondly nicknamed Bear Country, is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, located about 75 miles (125 km) north of Vancouver, British Columbia. It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home to Ironman Canada.
While skiing and snowboarding are its main attractions, there is also a myriad of things to do during the summer:
- Bungee jumping
- Bear watching
- Peak 2 Peak Gondola
- Canoeing, kayaking, SUP
- Cross country biking and road cycling
- Rock climbing
- Glacier Tours
- 4×4 Jeep Tours
The Valley Trail runs all throughout Whistler and surrounding areas. On the below map, the yellow indicates the trail system. The orange circle indicates the area I covered on my run while we were there. We covered a larger area with the bikes. Alta Lake is where the swim for the Ironman takes place.
The day after my long run, we had plans to go up the mountain, go hiking, and ride the gondola, but we didn’t account for the thousands of people that were there. The lines were crazy long, so we were unable to do that. There was also a mountain biking/BMX event going on and lifts were extremely busy. Whistler has dedicated parks/trails for mountain bikes which is a big draw in the summer. I wish I had taken a picture of the event as it was quite fun to watch.
The day we were to go up the mountain, we decided to rent bikes instead and go for a nice long ride. If you read my previous post, you saw the elevation profile, so lots of hills, which were actually quite fun on a bike (what goes up, must come down…and fast!). Me being the old lady I am, poodled along quite nicely behind James and AJ, eventually catching up to them when they would stop to wait for me. Hey, if I wouldn’t have taken my time, I wouldn’t have been able to see that sweet little black bear crossing the trail in front of me… for which I couldn’t grab my phone quick enough to get a picture (but then again… I’m thinking it’s not very safe to take a selfie with a bear). Okay, honestly, it scared the ever-loving hell out of me and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.
The following day was dedicated to me and AJ going for a horseback ride. Once again, the old lady (me) reared up the back. My horse was named Sam, extremely tall, and took his time on climbing the hills (sound like anyone you know?). I don’t know how the stable owner managed to match us up so perfectly. Even on a horse, AJ was saying, “Mom, you’re so slow.” I get my money’s worth, what can I say.
Anyway, a great and exhausting little holiday. If you’re close enough and ever looking for an outdoorsy type of vacation, I would highly recommend this place. There are activities for everyone to enjoy and the weather is gorgeous. I’m sure we’ll be back… time and time again (especially given that it’s only about 4-1/2 hours away from us).