GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
Take our short photo quiz to reveal your ideal trip in the U.S.More
The 28-km (45-mile) paved, car-free Valley Trail links the village to lakeside beaches and scenic picnic areas. For more challenging routes, ski lifts whisk hikers and bikers up to the alpine, where marked trails are graded by difficulty. The Peak Chair operates in summer to take hikers to the top of 7,160-foot-high Whistler. Among the most popular routes in the high alpine-trail network is the High Note Trail, an intermediate, 5-mile route with an elevation change of 1,132 feet and fabulous coastal mountain views. Trails are clearly marked—you take the lift up and choose whichever way you want to come down, just as if you were skiing. The casual stroller can also experience the top of the mountain on the Peak2Peak Gondola, the largest free-span gondola expanse in the world: it crosses Fitzsimmons Valley, connecting Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in just 11 minutes. Free trail maps are available from Tourism Whistler and the Whistler Activity Center.
Fanatyk Co. Ski and Cycle. This outfit rents bikes, arranges for repairs, and books bike tours. The staff is passionate and knowledgeable about pedals and wheels. 6–4433 Sundial Pl., Whistler Village, BC, V0N 1 B4. 604/938–9452. www.fanatykco.com.
G1 Rentals. Biking enthusiasts, novice or expert, can get geared up with G1 Rentals, located inside the gondola building and next to the access point for the Whistler Mountain Bike Park. Here's where to find out about lessons, equipment, safety gear, and park passes. Whistler Gondola Base, Whistler Village, BC, V0N 1B4. 604/905–2252. www.whistlerbike.com/rentals/rentals/index.htm.
Whistler Gondola Base. When ski runs turn into trails for mountain biking, hiking, and walking, the Gondola Base is your base camp for renting a bike, picking up a free trail map, signing up for mountain-bike lessons or a sightseeing, hiking, or walking adventure; the options are aplenty here. 3434 Blackcomb Way, Whistler Village, BC, V0N 1B4. 604/905–2252 or 604/967–8950.
Whistler Alpine Guides. This year-round outfitter offers everything from avalanche safety courses in winter to mountaineering in summer. Among its signature activities is a hike named Via Ferrata, Italian for "Iron Way," so named because it's straight up a vertical pathway using fixed cables and metal-rung ladders. Surprisingly, no experience is necessary. Even older children can tackle it. Besides, it's great for bragging rights. 4314 Main St., Whistler Village, BC, V0N 1B4. 604/938–9242. www.whistlerguides.com.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park. There's something for riders of every skill level at the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, from gentle rides that satisfy novices to steep rock faces that will challenge the experts. High-season rates range from C$48 for a day to C$139 for a three-day pass. The park is open mid-May to early October, and rentals are available. Whistler Gondola Base, Whistler Village, BC, V0N 1B4. 604/967–8950. www.whistlerbike.com.