Exploring Whistler on Cross-Country Skis
Choose your trails, pick your pace and find your bliss. A trail pass is all you need to get out on Whistler’s cross-country trails. After an early check-in to your accommodation, drop by the Whistler Visitor Centre and pick up a map of Lost Lake Park and Callaghan Country/Whistler Olympic Park, the two areas you will be exploring.
Grab a quick bite for lunch and get ready to hit the trails. The entrance to Lost Lake Park is within walking distance of Whistler Village, or hop on the free Village shuttle and the driver will drop you off. Cross Country Connection is located near the ticket booth at the park’s trailhead and offers rentals, tours and lessons.
Once you’ve strapped on your classic or skate skinny skis, start exploring. From easy green trails to more challenging terrain, Lost Lake Park has a myriad of options. Enjoy the spectacular views of both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains as you wind your way through Lost Lake’s enchanting forest. There’s a warming hut and restrooms at the beach if you stop for a break. Lost Lake Park also offers lit trails for night skiing so if you’re still feeling energetic after the sun goes down, stay on for an exhilarating night ski.
After all that skiing, it’s time for a fantastic dinner! Whistler has endless options for dining, from quick and casual to leisurely and elegant. Whistler’s nightlife is legendary too, so if dancing, live music or an intimate pub is your thing, then head on out after dinner and experience Whistler after dark.
The next morning, grab a big breakfast before checking out of your hotel. You’ll be staying at the Callaghan Lodge, deep in the backcountry of the Callaghan Valley, tonight. The best part is you’ll be cross-country skiing all the way there!
Take the shuttle or drive your car to the Callaghan Valley, located just 20 minutes south of Whistler. With 42 km of track-set trails at Callaghan Country and 55 km of trails at the adjoining Whistler Olympic Park (the Nordic venue for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games), you’ll have lots to explore. You’ll glide through forests on impeccable trails, groomed both for classic and skate skiing. Don’t forget your camera because the views of Black Tusk and the Tantalus Mountain Range are stunning! Make sure to give yourself three to four hours to ski the (mostly uphill!) 12.5 km to Callaghan Lodge. Or, catch a ride with your luggage aboard the snow coach or hop on a snowmobile to arrive in about an hour.
Built in 1998, Callaghan Lodge is Whistler’s only full-service remote-access wilderness lodge. Surrounded by forest and mountains, you’ll revel in the quiet and solitude of being in the middle of nowhere. With all the comforts of home, gourmet meals and fabulous hospitality provided, this is the ultimate secluded getaway. Take advantage of the free toboggans and snowshoes before dinner and then head inside for some après with your fellow travellers.
After the fantastic 4-course dinner, a game of pool by the fireplace is the night’s activity. It will be an early night; with all that fresh air, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and tobogganing, climbing into a cozy bed is the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Breakfast is served in the dining room the next morning and then it’s time to get your gear on for the ski back to the Callaghan Country base. The trail is mostly downhill so you’ll be cruising all the way. The lodge will provide you with a packed lunch to enjoy later and your luggage will be waiting for you when you arrive. Once you’re back in the valley, check out a few more trails before catching the shuttle back to Whistler or heading home. It’s been an exhilarating weekend and you can’t wait to tell your friends!