Are you based in Vancouver over the summer and want to check out the nearby town of Whistler? It is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world is located 2 hours by car from Vancouver. Whistler is known as the mini Australia, with nearly all the seasonal workers hailing from the land down under. Most people travel to Whistler by car or shuttle bus. If you want to do something incredible and allow for more time at the mountain I suggest taking a 45 minute scenic flight over the mountains.
Harbour Coast Air offer flights May through to September. With only two flights a day, the seats can fill up quickly. The first flight leaves at 9.00am and the second at 11.40am. The plane then returns at 12.40 and 7.00 pm each day. Prices start from $164 each way but don’t forget to add the tax. Luggage space is very limited with only hand luggage allowed. Most of the space is taken up by the 14 passengers. Don’t expect and mid-flight service on this 45 minute flight. The pilot will weave their way through the mountain ranges as you cruise over glacial lakes, thick forests and rocky mountain tops. Have your camera at the ready on this awe inspiring flight.
So now you have made your way up to Whistler, what is there to do?
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
A pass for all the lifts will set you back $52 for an adult. A little tip is to head up the Blackcomb chairlift first. There are less people and therefore less time waiting in line. The first couple of chairlifts on the Black comb side are open and offer great views on the valley below.
Whistler was a large part of the 2010 Vancouver Winter games. The village has been set up perfectly as a tourist attraction. There are restaurants which line the pedestrian streets and plenty of spots to stop, have a beer and take in the view of the mountains.
There are a couple of companies which offer zip lining in Whistler
- Super Fly Zip lines
- Zip trek Eco tours
Prices start from $119 and last up to 3 hours. You will be strapped in for a fast ride, travelling up to 100 km’s per hour. There are some height and weight restrictions.
Rock Climbing and Via Ferrata
If you haven’t done any rock climbing before, don’t worry, the tours are designed for beginners to try. They last about 4 hours and start at $119 per person. Another great trip to do is Via Ferrata. If you don’t know what Via Ferrata is, check out a video here. Follow the iron path as you hold onto the cliff face and feel the up drafts blowing into your face.
Numerous Hiking Trails
Both sides of the valley offer mountain hikes, from the very beginner to the more experienced. Head there is Spring time to see all the wild flowers bloom.
The snow has melted and left wide open paths down steep hills. What a better place to have a downhill mountain bike track? The valley is overtaken by biking enthusiasts at the end of August for the Crankworx Mountain Biking Festival. Even if you are not into the adrenalin rush of downhill riding, attending the festival to watch the fearless riders take on the park and tracks will leave lasting memories.
Now if you don’t want to fork out the money for a flight, Epic Rides offer a return trip for $36. The other option would be to fly up in the morning and catch the bus back in the evening. This will cost $24 and leaves at 5pm, 6.30pm and 8pm. It is a 2 hour bus ride back to Vancouver and will drop you off near Bute and Dunsmuir Streets in downtown.
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