• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

In Your Element

For those who love the river, the road or the sky—or all three—adventure awaits

By CHLOË LAI

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Even beginners can handle white water rapids on the Elaho River. (Photo courtesy Sunwolf)

Make a Splash

Whistler’s rivers and lakes are icy, but the action is hot. Thrill-seeking travellers and fun-loving families put their paddling power to the test by rafting through glacier-fed white water rapids with Sunwolf. With adventures for every ability level, from the roaring Elaho to the gently rolling Cheakamus River, there are plenty of opportunities to get your feet—and everything else—wet. Those looking for a more meditative experience can head over to Backroads Whistler and glide gently down the River of Golden Dreams in a canoe or kayak, with fresh air courtesy of the old-growth forest. Drift solo, or go with a guide to discover the stories behind every landmark.

Explore nature and the backcountry on an ATV. (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Explore nature and the backcountry on an ATV. (Photo by Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Catch a Ride

With the right vehicle, Whistler’s scenic backcountry trails are a breeze. Take the high road and channel local pioneer spirit with one of Adventures on Horseback’s amiable equines. Riders are welcome to set their own pace, whether it’s trotting through the Pacific temperate rainforest or galloping through an open meadow. Gaze up at the awe-inspiring Mount Currie, 2,591 m (8,501 ft) above, or saddle up with Copper Cayuse Outfitters and dig into Canadian gold-mining history on a multi-day Li-lik-hel Mine Expedition. For modern-day explorers, Whistler ATV offers a high-octane way to conquer the wild terrain. First-timers roar through a labyrinth of forest trails, while advanced riders rev their engines up to a lookout point 1,524 m (5,000 ft) above sea level for a spectacular photo op of the Coast Mountains range. It’s the perfect excuse to pack a selfie stick.

Seeking a thrill? Bungee jump above the Cheakamus River. (Photo courtesy The Adventure Group)

Seeking a thrill? Bungee jump above the Cheakamus River. (Photo courtesy The Adventure Group)

Take the Leap

Adrenaline junkies and bucket-list warriors who dream of soaring through the air have come to the right place. Start at the top with Whistler Skydiving, where a tandem jump from 3,200 m (10,500 ft) with an instructor leaves adventurers free to enjoy the unobstructed view of crystal-blue lakes, lush greenery and snow-capped mountains below—once the parachute interrupts the thrilling 45-second free fall, that is. For those who prefer bridges to airplanes, there’s Whistler Bungee. Daredevils of all ages and abilities can practise their superhero poses as they plummet 50 m (160 ft) from a pedestrian bridge over the glacier-fed Cheakamus River. Widely considered one of the most extreme activities in Whistler, it’s the perfect way to go big before you go home.