We normally travel in the winter to get away from the blistering cold Northern Ontario has to offer. This time, we decided to travel to Vancouver and Whistler in September. We had visited the mountains for some spring snowboarding, but I wanted to see what the mountains had to offer in the summer months. We decided to pack up our mountain bikes and off we went.
Our trip started off with flying into Vancouver. We picked up our rental car and headed for Whistler. Everyone had said the drive along Highway 1 was beautiful and they were right. The drive offers some spectacular views of the mountains and ocean. We made a few stops along the way. We checked out Shannon falls, brandywine falls and headed up the sea to sky Gondola. These are all must-do recommendations on your way to or from Whistler! It’s worth getting out of the car, breathing in that fresh, crisp British Columbia air and stretching those legs
Day 2 and were in Whistler, Jesse put the bikes back together, we geared up and headed to the mountain for some downhill mountain biking. If your somewhat of an adventure thrill seeker, then DH biking in whistler is an absolute MUST-DO for you. This was an incredible experience. I’m not going to lie, at first it’s terrifying. Here you are riding this aluminum frame with two wheels, down one of the biggest mountains I have ever seen, going what feels like 200km/h – praying you don’t somehow fall off some cliff or ram into a tree. Not to mention, there are other bikers PASSING you!
Whistler Blackcomb does a fantastic job at grooming and creating the trails. All the trails are well indicated and they have different skill levels. This was my second time downhill biking and I found there were sufficient trails for me. There are several chair lifts that take you up to different levels on the mountain.
We did this for two days, and after day 2, we were incredibly sore. Muscles I didn’t even know existed hurt. Who knew that downhill biking was such a workout!
Day 3, we spent the morning DH mountain biking and then we made our way up the main chair lift which brought us to the peak to peak gondola. A local recommended we use our biking pass to access this gondola and bring our bikes up. This was a free way of getting around paying for the bike lift tickets and the peak to peak tickets. So, that’s what we did. We tied our bikes up at the top and headed to the peak to peak. There are several hiking trails available at the top of Whistler and Blackcomb mountain. I recommend checking out the peak to peak, it offers some pretty incredible views. From the peak, we rode a mountain bike trail down. This must have taken us an hour to get down! It’s definitely worth the breath taking views you experience.
Day 4, we drove to Pemberton and hiked Joffres Lake Provincial Park. This was roughly an hour drive north of Whistler. The hike was ~10km long. The hike was moderate to difficult in certain areas. This is a climb, pretty much right from the start. Within a couple minutes you hit the lower Joffres lake. I thought – this was the most beautiful place I had ever been but I urge you to climb to the top and see what the alpine has to offer. The hike took us roughly 2.5 hours, although we had a pretty fast pace. Within ~5km, you arrive at middle Joffres lake. The turquoise blue water and the views of the mountains were breathtaking. I could easily spend an entire day here taking pictures. We finally made our way up the the Upper Joffres lake. This lake was so beautiful, there were hikers everywhere relaxing and soaking up some sun. This was my favourite hike!!
We finished out day with the Scandinavian spa in Whistler. The massages were well worth it after two days of mountain biking and hiking! The spa is nestled in the woods, its quaint and worth checking out!
The morning of day 5, we went rock climbing with a guide. We went to some rock face in Whistler and attempted to do some climbs. Our forearms were so sore from the mountain biking that we didn’t last very long. We made the best of it though and then headed back to Vancouver to finish of our trip.
We decided to bike Vancouver and see what the city had to offer. The city was very bike friendly and relatively easy for us to navigate around. We made our way to the sea wall and biked around the waterfront, into Stanley Park and Granville Island. That night, we checked out a burlesque show that a local recommended in Gas town. This show was in a cozy little bar, we had some drinks and had a great time.
Our second last day in Vancouver, after a night of drinking and a nasty hangover, we decided it would be a great idea to go hike Grouse mountain. Little did we know, this was a staircase from hell that went straight up for 90 minutes. I thought this would be the death of me. Although I’m sure this hike isn’t AS challenging as it was for us that day, it’s difficult nonetheless. The hike takes you up the mountain, in the forest. It’s another beautiful landscape. Once at the top, theres a chalet that offers food and beverages. They also have viewing areas to see Vancouver from above. It was cloudy the day we went and the views weren’t the best. You must take a gondola down, as they do not let you hike back down the stairs.
We spent the remainder of our trip exploring around Vancouver and eating at different restaurants.
Out of all of our trips, BC was by far my favourite. There were so many fun and interesting things to do. This area is sure to have something for everyone!