Wow, that was rad! I just returned from Whistler – one of the THE mountain bike destinations in North America. It’s the place to be – for trail and gravity-loving mountain bikers alike. The opportunities are just endless…the Bike Park at your doorstep and abundant trails of all levels around Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish.
I have been in Whistler before (15 years ago), when mountain bikes were still a rare sight around here. Nothing in comparison to now, where everyone in the Valley seems to move on two wheels. I had very fond memories of this place (fun times!) and it was even better this season!
Photos: Whistler Bike Park (Upper A-line), by Coast Mountain Photography
Since a couple of friends will be visiting BC over the summer, I thought it might be a good time to come up with a list of things, that would have been pretty helpful when I arrived.
Quick Tips for Whistler
Where to STAY
Summit Lodge Whistler (boutique hotel, suites with kitchenette and little balcony / spa and pool (make sure to let them know in advance in case you bring your own bike)
Aava Whistler (bike-friendly hotel with spa)
Riverside (multi-use camping sites for tents, camper vans and RVs)
If you are traveling in a group, also check Airbnb for accommodations!
Where to EAT
Stonesedge (Dinner & Drinks, nice patio and not as touristy as other places)
Naked Sprout (Lunch, healthy and delicious salads, buddha bowls and smoothies)
Where to SHOP for…
…Coffee at Mount Currie Coffee Co (they also have handmade cakes and sandwiches)
My Favorites: choice of coffee with Carrot Cake or Lemon Loaf,
Bike Snack: handmade Peanut Butter Bar
…Pastries at Pure Bread (sweet and savory pastries and bread)
My Favorites: Asiago Black Pepper Bread and Lemon Pie
…Tea at Whistler Tea House (good selection of black, green and white teas)
My Favorites: Milk Oolong and Creamy Earl Grey
…Groceries at Whistler Grocery or IGA
IGA is the bigger one of the two super markets, both offer a wide range of products (lots of convenience food but also some local produce).
My Favorite: Organic Spring Mix Salad from Pemberton at IGA
…Booze at BC Liquor Store
My Favorites: Whiskey Jack Ale and Lost Lake IPA by Whistler Brewing Company
Good selection of bike wear and equipment.
Where to RELAX
nice massage packages (entry to baths included); all sauna, steam baths and pools in outdoor area; hammock garden to relax
Where to head for a BEER
Where to watch SPORT events
Where to find WIFI
Wifi is available in almost all pubs, restaurant and hotels.
If you prefer to be flexible, a prepaid SIM e.g. from Rogers might be useful. I bought a basic Pay As You Go plan (20$ Talk & Text plus a 500 MB Data add-on for another 20$, both valid for 1 month, 10$ Auto-Top-up Amount)
Whistler Bike Park
In order to get started at the Bike Park, there are a couple of events that will help you getting up to speed and not having to deal with finding out everything for yourself. Two events that stuck out (and were also recommended by locals) were the so called Womens Nights/Mens Nights. Don’t be fooled – this is a massive event…I am talking about more than 100 women rocking the Bike Park together. Usually, the riders split up into groups of 3 to 10 people, all with different levels and each with its own guide. With our group of seven (and three on another day), we went onto the search for jumps and rock rollers. We had a blast and got lots of competent feedback from our guide. On the menu – a mix of blue and black jumpy and tech trails:
blue: B-Line, Crank it Up, Blueseum, Wednesday Delight, Ninja Cougar, Funshine Rolly Drops, Smoke and Mirrors, Samurai Pizza Cat, Heart of Darkness
black: A-Line, Devils Club, Afternoon Delight, Detroit Rock City, Upper Joyride, Lower Whistler Downhill
For events take a look at the local pages.
If you are traveling in a group, check out this post by our friends from Westernspirit (Outerbike hosts!) here.