As if being home to the world's greatest bike park wasn't enough
"I came for the winter but stayed for the summer." Ask a local in just about any mountain town about their reasons for living where they do, and you'll likely hear some variation of those words. Whistler fits this bill perfectly—probably more than any other ski town in North America. Though winter play opportunities are abundant and world-class, Whistler's summertime shines even brighter. Here are five reasons Whistler is a bad-ass summertime destination that should be on every mountain biker's hit list.
Here are five reasons Whistler is a bad-ass summertime destination that should be on every mountain biker's hit list.
1. Soaking in the View from Top of the World
When you snag your lift ticket at Whistler Bike Park, be sure to add on the extra Peak Zone pass - you won't regret shelling out the extra dough, I promise. The chairlift ride alone is an amazingly scenic experience, but the heart-stopping view from the highest point on Whistler Mountain really takes the cake.
It’s worth bringing non-biking family or friends along for a two-way chair lift ride - this panoramic vista of the Coastal Range’s rugged granite peaks is unmatched. When you’ve soaked it all in, get ready for for a truly amazing alpine singletrack experience as you’ll be descending roughly 5,000 vertical feet back to Whistler Village.
2. Riding Sweep at Whistler Bike Park
Even with racked nerves and jello legs from a long day at the bike park, you’ll find yourself wanting just one more run. Towards the end of the day, look for the folks from the resort’s bike patrol at the base of the mountain. They'll be standing at the gates of the Fitzsimmons Express with special lift passes, recruiting riders to help them do their last sweep of the day.
Once you pick a route from their portable board, you'll head back up the lift for one last run to make sure all everyone on the mountain has made it safely down for the day. The best part? You'll have that run all to yourself!
3. Visiting Whistler's Valley Trails
When referring to Whistler, people often mean the resort’s bike park. But Whistler riding is not all bro tanks, DH bikes and neck protectors - Whistler's valley trails are all-time. The valley is home to a metric boatload of trails, giving you endless opportunities for riding. Start with the Lost Lake trail network and then work your way west and north. You'll find everything from pedal-y XC trails through the deep forest to giant moss-covered rock slabs you can roll. With hundreds of miles of trails available, it’s possible you’ll be planning your next trip well before you return home.
4. Living the Village Life
Whistler Village makes an excellent base camp for life on and off the bike. For sustenance, you’ll have your pick of culinary delights ranging from authentic French crepes for breakfast, to fresh sushi for dinner. Beyond food, the Village has an extensive retail scene including bike shops that provide bike rentals, service (you might break something on Whistler's burly trails), accessories and a plethora of outdoor gear. And when your legs get tired, rest assured there’s a spa somewhere around the corner to help you relax and rejuvenate before the next day of riding.
5. Visiting Chromag Headquarters
Chromag Bikes, the maker of custom hardtails and cool components like saddles, handlebars, and drivetrain bits, has its headquarters on the southern end of the Whistler Valley. On most days of the week (except Fridays when they’re all out riding) you can stop in to buy a unique souvenir and chat with the staff while perusing an eclectic mix of vintage saddles, random stereo parts and various pieces of art. Chromag is about as Whistler-to-the-core as it gets, so it's only fitting that you pay them a visit during your pilgrimage to this mountain bike Mecca.