When my friend, Kacee, started planning her visit and mentioned Whistler as an option, I said, "heck yes." Just like I had never been up to Mt. Baker before this summer, neither had I been to Whistler.
(What? I'm not a mountain sport person.)
We gave ourselves about a day and a half up there, which wasn't nearly enough time, but we still managed to fit a lot in.
The first stop on our drive up was at Shannon Falls, which is just an hour south of Whistler. The falls drop almost 1,100 feet. To contrast that, Niagara is 165 feet (though it has a little more water pouring over it).
From there, we had an aborted attempt at lunch nearby. After waiting half an hour without anyone even offering a glass of water, we chose the drive thru at McDonald's and headed north.
We stayed at Aava Hotel in Whistler Village, just 5 minutes walking from all the shops and restaurants. As a bonus, parking was free because I drive a hybrid. That saved us about $20 a day. Score!
After checking out the options, we decided to purchase a two-day lift pass to be able to go up the mountains.
(As a handy tip, if you ever head up, you can purchase a two-day pass online for the price of one day. I'm assuming this is only true in the summer, but still.)
We headed up the Wizard Express to Blackcomb Mountain. We didn't really plan well before setting out for the day, and Kacee didn't have long sleeves with her. Spoiler: mountain tops are very warm, even in the summer.
After picking up a sweatshirt, we took the gondola over to Whistler Mountain, and took the ski lift to the top. The views the whole way were amazing and while in the gondola, we were 1,000 from the valley floor (a little scary).
We decided to take a shorter hike around the peak and then headed back down to the village for dinner.
The second day we went up the Whistler side, it was closer to our hotel, and took the big gondola over to Blackcomb for an even shorter hike. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the hike was a little more protected than the previous day.
I would definitely love to head back next year for some longer hiking trips. There are some four hours options that would be great, especially with a picnic along the way.
And if you haven't been up to Whistler, I definitely recommend it. It's breath taking, with a variety of activities, and small--the perfect getaway combination.
P.S. It also has a lot of activities for kids.