Best Places to Grill and Picnic in Whistler
Updated July 2020.
Whether it’s a beef or veggie burger you’re tossing on the grill to celebrate the long, light-filled days, nothing says summer like barbecuing by the lake. It’s something we like to think we’ve perfected here in Whistler, and is a daily ritual for many. From the Village, you really can’t go far in any direction without ending up in an amazing park that’s perfect for a family or group barbeque. A quick stop at one of the grocery stores (or even the Whistler Farmers’ Market) and you’re armed to grill up a storm.
Lost Lake Park
If you ask most locals about their favourite place to BBQ with friends they’re going to say Lost Lake. It’s the kind of place you head when you want to relax but be social at the same time. The park has a great setup for BBQ activities like tossing around a Frisbee, slacklining or lying around on a picnic blanket. The picnic tables even have built-in BBQ stands.
Looking out from the sandy beach over the glassy, blue-green water it can be hard to believe how close you are to the Village. (That’s what the naturists like about it.) Depending on where in the Village you leave from, it’s an easy 20 – 30 minute, leisurely walk on the Valley Trail to the park. Want to save your energy for the Lost Lake hiking and biking trails? No worries. Skip the walk in and hop on the free Lost Lake Shuttle #8 that leaves the Village every 15 minutes from mid-June to early September.
If you’re short on time or are just looking to stay close to the Village, then Rebagliati Park is a great place to go. Tucked away between Upper Village and Village Stroll you can go from grocery store shopping to grilling in 10 minutes. The park has picnic tables, a grassy lawn and beautiful views of the glacial-fed Fitzsimmons Creek, it can also be rented out for larger functions like family reunions or wedding events. Named after Olympic gold medalist Ross Rebagliati, this park is a great spot to grill up a gold medal burger and contemplate your victory lap. (Take a virtual tour, here.)
Heading out a little farther from the Village you could make your way to Rainbow Park. Rainbow is our Cadillac of parks. It has all the extras to keep you happy and comfortable. You can take in million-dollar views of both Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains from the far shores of Alta Lake. Originally developed as Rainbow Lodge in 1914 it has an interesting history, take a walk around the park and you can find some of the original cabins. They have been converted into mini museums with tons of facts about the history of the area.
Is comfort your thing? How do flush toilets, wheelchair access, and picnic shelters sound? Pretty sweet, I know. Rest assured the rest of the family will not be bored while you grill. They can go swimming, or start up a beach volleyball game on one of three sand courts. The sun-worshipers can swim out to one of the floating docks, the only hard part is getting back in the water for the swim to shore. Getting to Rainbow Park is easy, saddle up for a quick 20-minute bike ride on the Valley Trail or drive and park on-site.
More Picnic and Grilling Parks in Whistler
- Meadow Park – features a waterpark, picnic tables, dog park, access to the River of Golden Dreams and more
- Whistler Olympic Park – picnic right in the Village on the big grass lawn
- Alpha Lake – includes docks, a dog park, kids playground, BBQs and more
- Wayside Park – on Alta Lake, this park has canoe, kayak and SUP rentals, picnic tables and BBQs, washrooms and more
All of the parks in town have something different to offer, but without a doubt, you will have a great time exploring each, discover them all at Whistler.com.