Now my regular readers will know that I’m not a fan of winter or being cold. So of course I’m more likely to be attracted to a ski resort when ironically there’s no snow. These little mountain towns do summer activities SO WELL. Just take Mayrhofen, Austria in Summer…AMAZING! Canada is no different, Whistler is full of awesome summer activities. I share some of my favourite activities in this things to do in Whistler summer guide!
Things To Do In Whistler: Summer
Whistler is another one of the world’s adrenaline playgrounds so these Whistler summer activities certainly reflect that! Here are some things that should be added to your Whistler bucket list!
Whistler Summer Activities
Bobsled at Whistler Sliding Centre
One of the main reasons for my trip to Whistler was to see the Whistler Sliding Centre. I’m a huge bobsleigh fan and the Whistler bobsleigh track is said to be one of the fastest and toughest on the circuit.
Vancouver was the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympics with the Whistler Sliding Centre being used for the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton competitions. For me, just being able to see the track was great. The centre is free to visit and you are able to wander around the lower portion of the track between the hours of 9am – 5pm. Self guided tour maps are available from the entrance as well as guest services.
Since my visit, the Whistler Sliding Centre now offer bobsleigh passenger rides during both the winter and summer months! The summer bobsleighs have wheels rather than blades but it doesn’t make it any less thrilling…in Latvia one of the passenger options was to go down in a sponge box with PVC pipes on the bottom and that was just as fun as the ‘real’ bobsleigh!! It’s one of the most extreme and unique things that I’ve done, it’s like going on an out of control rollercoaster!
The Whistler Olympic Plaza in the village is a great place to sit and people watch!
Bungee Jump With Whistler Bungee!
Photo credit: Whistler Bungee (purchased by me)
One thing that attracted me to Whistler Bungee was that they give you the option to jump with the harness around your waist rather than your ankles and for me this was a huge selling point! Strangely enough they say it’s actually ‘scarier’ jumping this way as you jump off the ledge backwards rather than face first! But I didn’t want the pressure on my knees!
Photo credit: Whistler Bungee (purchased by me)
The staff were amazing and made everyone feel totally relaxed. Every single one of the passengers in our minibus from Whistler Village jumped and if you jump…you get a free T-shirt too and it’s a decent T-Shirt too!
The jump location is from a bridge above the blue Cheakamus River in the middle of a forest. It’s a lovely setting so keep your eyes open and if you’re brave enough, it’s worth looking down!
ATV Mountain Tour
One of my favourite ways to see a destination is on an ATV, or a quad bike for my English readers! On the way up to the start point, we even got to see a black bear cub (from the safety of the van)!
Spot the bear cub!
Being a solo traveller, the tours only run if they meet minimum numbers, I ended up having to join onto a different tour which was, at the time, the next level up from my abilities. I kinda got a kick out of the challenge though and managed to keep up with the group. If you’ve never been on a quad before, I’d recommend sticking with a beginner trail though.
Even though this is a Whistler summer activity, the weather can still be a bit wet or chilly. We were given the option to wear full waterproof suits for our tour. I was travelling with minimal clothes so for me, this was a way of keeping my own clothes clean and it did get colder the higher up the mountain we went…we were even driving over snow at one point!
Me in my ‘banana’ suit
There are a couple of ATV companies that operate in Whistler, I used Canadian Wilderness Adventures. They also offer other ‘driving’ tours including jeep tours and off-road buggies.
Glacier Hiking Up Whistler Mountain
The beauty of a glacier means that it’s there year round (just like the Hintertux Glacier in Austria), so if you really love snow and ice, you can still get your fix with the last of these Whistler summer activities. Part of the glacier on Whistler Mountain is off limits unless you are with a guide.
Glaciers CAN be dangerous, there are often crevasses hidden underneath and a wrong foot could have you falling down into one. It’s also very steep. The guides hook you up with harnesses, just incase you slip and start sliding down the mountain, and a little pick axe. If you start falling there is a way to dig in and stop yourself.
During my visit, there was still 6ft of snow on top of the glacier so we didn’t need crampons (shoe spikes), we could simply make our way up by kicking into the snow with our boots.
The rope ‘closes’ the glacier to the public
Reaching the summit was amazing, we reached the top and people would ask us how we got up and it was crazy pointing to what looked like a near vertical drop off!
I was impressed that they still ran the tour even though I was the only one booked onto it. This was great as we could go at my pace and we even went on a rescue mission to collect a lone ski that was half way down the mountain.
I was also given the option to come down the glacier by ‘glissading’ which is where you slide down on your bum. I was climbing in jean shorts and a t-shirt (YEP always prepared), which was fine as it was a hot day and I knew the summit was warm AND the hike made me sweat like a pig, but it wasn’t really suitable for sliding. If I was to go back, this is definitely the way I would get down the mountain!
The average daily high temperature in Whistler in summer is 27c/80f, with temperatures at the top of the mountain approximately 10c lower. So on a hot day, the summit could still be around 17c/62f.
Once you finish the glacier hike, you can take the ‘Peak to Peak’ gondola across to Whistler Blackcomb and come down the rest of the mountain via the chair lift.
Other things to do in Whistler in summer
There are plenty of other things to do in Whistler in summer, from hundreds of hiking and biking trails to river rafting and zip-lining. If all that is a little too adventurous, check out the Scandinave Spa where you can relax in outdoor baths or get a massage.
Whistler Village is mostly pedestrianised so it’s a safe place to stroll around and not worry about traffic!
I stayed at the Hotel Le Chamois in the upper village. My room was AMAZING. It had a whirlpool bath in the living room and I had views of Whistler Blackcomb mountain. It’s located right at the bottom of the ski run, but obviously in the summer, there’s no snow on it, it’s just a green mountain! There’s also an outdoor swimming pool and hot tub.
Getting to Whistler from Vancouver
Whistler is just under 2 hours away from Vancouver along the Sea To Sky Highway. The Greyhound route between Whistler and Vancouver is no longer in service which is sad, however there are several other private bus companies that offer a shuttle service between Downtown Vancouver, the Vancouver Airport and Whistler Village.