Whistler in spring presents an exhilarating mixture of contrasts unlike any other. While up on the slopes the snow still glistens, off the peaks you’ll find the weather is mild and sunny. Where else can you play a round of golf in the morning and ski all afternoon? Here, the air is fragrant with the scent of blooms, while black bears awake from their hibernation and the forests shake off the last frosts of winter. Spring is the perfect time to make the most of the smaller crowds by discovering Whistler’s outdoor activities. From leisurely to adrenaline-fuelled, these activities are perfect for the glorious spring weather – before the heat and crowds of summer roll in.
Adrenaline adventure activities
North America’s largest mountain bike park opens in May each year, offering lift-access to more than 200km of trails. If you’re with the kids or just starting out, Whistler has you covered. The park has gently-banked green trails that run through the Coastal Forest and a Beginner’s Skill Centre to teach you to clear obstacles and ride planks. For the experienced and the daredevils among you, the Expert Double Black Diamond runs boast tight twists, steep rock faces and gnarly drop offs.
Although a year-round activity, we think the views over the turquoise, glacier-fed Cheakamus River in Spring can’t be beaten. One of the most beautiful spots for a bungee jump, you’re surrounded by basalt column cliffs and old growth forest. But don’t let the gorgeous setting fool you – this is still a hardcore activity! Launch yourself into the air off the narrow pedestrian bridge – solo or tandem – and experience the unrivalled thrill of a 160ft drop. There’s no adrenaline rush like it!
White water rafting
Whistler’s location in the Coast Mountains is prime to make the most of the spring meltwater. With runoff creating such high water levels, you’re guaranteed some fantastic white water. Learn the basics on the calm Green Lake, savouring the chance to spot wildlife like bald eagles overhead and bears on the shore, before tackling the lively Grade II rapids of Green River. For a higher octane experience, take on the Grade III and IV rapids of the Elaho and Squamish Rivers. Think you can handle the Devil’s Elbow and the Steamroller?
Could this be the perfect activity for the whole family? Glide above the treetops of pristine temperate rainforest and feel the air rush past as you zip along. Located between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, the ziplines suspended high above the valley floor offer a unique, bird’s eye view. With the expertly trained guides of Zip Trek on hand to keep you safe as well as teach you the ecology of the region, you’ll have fun and learn something new at the same time.
Whistler boasts five freshwater lakes, all with sparkling clear water in an array of dazzling glacial greens and blues. For a sublimely tranquil experience, pick a lake and canoe with the family across its glassy surface, marvelling at the reflections of the surrounding mountains. All Whistler’s lakes are close to the village and easily accessible, perfect for an afternoon paddle and a picnic.
Peak 2 Peak Gondola
The famous Peak 2 Peak Gondola opens for the season in May, so now is your chance to find out what the hype is about. The unimaginable panoramic views over Whistler Village, the Coastal Mountains, the pristine temperate rainforest and the numerous lakes, rivers and glaciers have to be seen to be believed. Don’t miss the opportunity to go for a gentle hike at the top.
History and culture
Leisurely pursuits can be found all over Whistler, and a good place to start is by browsing some of the fascinating galleries and historical sites. Learn about the Lil’wat and Squamish First Nations peoples who have lived in the region for thousands of years, and see stunning examples of Aboriginal art at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre. Alternatively, find out how the pioneers and miners lived at preserved heritage sites.
Spa and yoga
Relax and rejuvenate after a few active days with an indulgent spa experience. At the Scandinave Spa you can try out the gentle cleansing of a eucalyptus steam room, the refreshing chill of a cool waterfall and the ultimate stress relief of a deep massage. To focus on your bodily and spiritual health, why not join in one of the multiple yoga sessions happening in gorgeous locations across Whistler?
Bear viewing tours in Whistler start up in May when black bears come out of hibernation, so this is the perfect time to join a tour to see them. With so much pristine, old growth, temperate rainforest around Whistler, there is nothing like seeing black bears and cubs in their natural habitat. Grab a camera, climb aboard your guided 4×4 vehicle and enjoy!
Whatever your choice of pace, whether chilled out or pumped up, you’ll find the ideal activity in Whistler – and the perfect fresh Spring weather to go with it. Just give our experts a call if you fancy experiencing it for yourself.