Touring Whistler. How long does it take?
"Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results."George S. Patton
Wow. Touring Whistler. These two words ring like beautiful bells in our ears. Nothing could be sweeter.
The Whistler area brings happiness to millions of visitors in a whole variety of ways.
Skiers and snowboarders remember the wonderful days when the rush down the mountains with the wind in their faces could not have been better.
Name any one of the dozens of outdoor sports activities and if you’ve been there, the wonderful memories will come flooding back.
So just what can visitors do in the normal run of a day in Whistler?
First of all, Whistler is not simply The Village. Whistler Village is the hub. But you should consider the larger picture.
Think of touring Whistler as a corridor approximately 100 miles (160 KM) long. At the southern end lies the lively town of Squamish. About 40 minutes north is the Whistler Village. Just 20 minutes further is Pemberton. Mount Currie lies another 15 minutes ahead. Another 45 minutes drive and you arrive at Lillooet.
These times are approximate because we simply find the drive so beautiful we never get through without stopping for photos or just to take in the breathtaking scenery. While touring Whistler, the entire drive on a good paved highway is a delight for the eyes. Majestic mountains on each side of the road, swift flowing rivers pound their way to the next flat. Green and Alta lakes in Whistler frame the Blackcomb and Whistler mountains as you drive by as if posing for that picture postcard photo.
If you can drive by Lillooet and Duffy lakes without stopping to take in the view you are simply not getting it.
Lying just off the highway are short hikes to perfect waterfalls where you can see mother nature at work. At the entrance to the town of Squamish you will see the Shannon Falls pouring off the Stawmus Chief Monolith. Brandywine Falls between Squamish and Whistler, and Nairn Falls 10 minutes past Whistler await you.
Each waterfall is very different. Shannon Falls drop 335 meters from the top and are the third highest falls in British Columbia.
Brandywine Falls (70 meters) is totally different than Shannon. The area underfoot is an ancient lava bed. Lava is comparatively soft stone and the water in the creek has cut a huge hole into which the water falls in a spectacular rainbow of color. Beautifully picturesque.
Nairn Falls just past Whistler on the contrary flows over solid granite. Muscular and powerful as it pounds it’s way down through a very narrow opening in the Green River.
Winter arrives early in December in the area. x-country skiers and snow-shoers get going very early. Soon the mountains come alive with the skiers and snowboarders. It’s possible to ski and hike if you are into winter camping. The highways are kept clear of snow. North of Duffy lake you may encounter highway closures due to avalanche conditions occasionally. Back country skiers take full advantage of the great winter conditions.
With the coming of Spring the snow sports give way to hiking, fishing, golfing and all of the activities the corridor has to offer. It is easy to drive to Joffre Lake and hike to the glacier in the morning and return to the Brandywine Falls area for an evening stroll. You could take a trail ride through the beautiful Pemberton Valley in the morning and enjoy a game of golf at Whistler or Squamish in the afternoon.
Keep an eye out for the wild animals who call the corridor home. Exit your vehicle and take a walk. You will soon encounter the amazing variety of large and small creatures who live so near. Of course touring Whistler means rising early. Why miss the best part of the day. From any campground or Provincial Park Campground, the many daily activities awaiting you are numerous. Simply get up and go. It’s waiting for you to enjoy.