Part 3 - Water in the Mountains
We are already up to part three of our Summer Inspiration Series – Distancing In The Mountains. A huge part of the Whistler lifestyle in the summer is making the most of our beautiful lakes and rivers. With 5 amazing lakes to choose from and a number of glacier-fed rivers, you can try out multiple water sports or just take a refreshing dip to cool down on a hot summer’s day. It’s easy to distance on the water.
Feel at home in the mountains with Harmony Whistler Vacations.
Paddle a Canoe
Head down to Lakeside Park or Wayside Park and take out a canoe rental. They are both located only a short 5-minute drive from Whistler Village. Alternatively, you can wander down the valley trail and be lakeside in about 30 – 40 minutes. (Or about 5 – 10 minutes on a bike)
Alta Lake is the second largest of the 5 main lakes in the Whistler valley. You will often see canoes, kayaks, SUP’s, peddle boats, and even a few motorized barges.
Backroads Whistler has boat rentals out of Rainbow park which is the closest to the village. A little further along the valley trail, you will find the less crowded Wayside park where you can rent from Whistler Eco Tours. An hour or two on the lake soaking up the sunshine and taking in those mountain views does wonders for the soul.
Kayak the River of Golden Dreams
Yes, you can attempt to float the river in your inflatable explorer. But should you snag a rock, branch, or any other sharp debris, the water is cold and the walk home is long!
This leisurely river float is the perfect way to distance in the mountains. I would highly recommend a guided tour for your first trip down “The River Of Golden Dreams”. Guides are certified instructors who will help with your paddle technique and improve your skills to enjoy the experience.
Backroads Whistler offers a twilight tour. Set off down the river as the alpenglow shines in search of bears, beavers, otters, fish, birds, and raccoons.
Whistler Eco Tours offers a peddle/paddle tour. Have bikes waiting for you at the end of the river so you can ride your bikes back to Wayside park where your adventure began.
Try Standup Paddleboarding
Standup paddleboarding or “SUP’ing” is fast becoming one of the most popular summer activities in Whistler. With technology coming so far the SUP’s these days are so much sturdier and easier to balance on so it’s great for all abilities. If you don’t feel confident standing, (or you don’t feel confident with another person, or puppy on board) then you can always kneel.
Choose from one of the 5 lakes in Whistler to launch your vessel and head out into the middle of the lake where it’s easy to embrace distance.
For the more advanced – take a SUP Yoga class with Whistler Eco Tours to start your day off feeling on top of the world.
Hit the Rapids on Green River
Start your adventure paddling across the beautiful Green River to the north of Whistler. After practicing teamwork and working on your technique you will find yourself at the river mouth and the beginning of class 2 and 3 rapids.
The fun bouncy rapids and the stunning scenery surrounded by snow-capped mountains ensure a great time is had by all. The guides are great at gauging the group’s ability and excitement levels, so can hit the rapid head-on for the most thrills or take the raft down a smoother route.
To ensure distancing, only guests from the same party are able to travel in a raft together. This is hands down one of my favourite activities of the summer!
Dive off a Dock
Once the days are warmer and the lakes aren’t as freezing (or even if they are), a great way to get in the cool water is to take the plunge. Whistler has docks on all of the lakes so instead of inching your way into the cooler water, get it over and done with and just jump right in.
The Blueberry Docks on Alta Lake are a favourite for locals and tend to catch most of the afternoon sun. Wayside, Lakeside, Rainbow Park, and Alpha Lake all have their own docks. There are also a number of floating pontoons you can swim out to. Just make sure the sun is still shining for the swim back to shore.
Catch Yourself a Fish
I remember floating down a river in Whistler and seeing my first Canadian fly-fishing, in his plaid shirt and rubber boots, and I thought it was the best!
Whistler Eco Tours can teach you fly fishing, spin fishing, and drift fishing. If you are an experienced fisherman (or woman of course), they will share their local knowledge and take you to some of the best fishing spots in the sea to sky region. There are so many different lakes and rivers to fish in, all offering majestic views!
Common fish to be found include rainbow trout, steelhead, and salmon. 7-hour full-day trips, 5-hour half-day trips, and 3-hour mini-trips are all offered. All guests are required to purchase and have a valid fishing license in their possession prior to pick-up time.
With so many freshwater lakes in our valley, we are spoilt for choice. The lakes and rivers in Whistler are another reason people come here for the winter but fall in love with the summer. We can’t wait to distance in the mountain on the water this summer!
Help keep our backyard beautiful. Pack out what you pack in and leave no trace.
Be bear aware – Dispose of your garbage correctly or take it with you.
Lifejackets are required by law on all floatation devices.
There are no lifeguards on duty so swim to your own ability.
Parking can fill up quickly so arrive early or choose to ride a bike or catch a bus.
Check out which parks the food trucks will be at on the Resort Municipality website.