Updated July 2023.
Fall in the mountains evokes images of misty mornings, fire-toned leaves, cinnamon sprinkled on lattes, lazy mornings and fireside evenings. You could be forgiven for thinking that the fall is a sleepy time up at elevation, but fall in Whistler is a bit different.
It’s filled with dedicated mountain bikers getting their last hero-dirt runs in before the snow descends, skiers and snowboarders prepping their gear and their bodies for the winter season ahead, runners going the distance, cyclists pushing through to the finish line and the celebratory glass-raising all these adventures bring.
Sure, you should still opt for that cinnamon latte, but take it to-go because Whistler’s got an adventure-packed event schedule this fall.
World-Class Cycling Adventure: RBC GranFondo
Imagine yourself cycling on a traffic-free route with the expanse of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Coast Mountains on the other, sound like a dream? Make it a reality at the RBC GranFondo, happening Saturday, September 9, 2023. Cyclists weave their way up 122 kilometres of the Sea to Sky, from Vancouver to Whistler, taking in the incredible scenery as they go.
The vibe is going to be electric in Whistler with the cyclists celebrating their achievements with friends and family, and the wider Whistler community with local legends, The Hairfarmers playing at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
This is a friendly, inclusive cycling event, not a race, and there are multiple distance choices to choose from including a 55-kilometre Medio option, so what are you waiting for? Read more about the experience in our dedicated GranFondo blog post.
Try a Tri: XTERRA Whistler
XTERRA Whistler is a triathlon with a couple of key differences – the bike section is cross-country, not road and the run is a trail run, which means rocks, roots and woodwork. Given that Whistler is a Mecca for both cross-country biking and trail running, it does feel like the perfect fit. It’s happening the weekend of September 16 and 17 with championship, sprint and kids course options.
The course is set in Lost Lake Park, an idyllic lake setting with views of the mountains beyond. We caught up with locally-based events producer, Kristian Manietta earlier this year to get some inspiration and tips, which you can find in, XTERRA Whistler: You Can Do More Than You Think.
Registration is open now, but it’s limited to 200 racers so secure your spot before they go.
Craft Beer in the Mountains: Whistler Village Beer Festival
The Whistler Village Beer Festival is an adventure for your tastebuds, seeing Whistler get its suds-on this September 11 to 17 for a seven-day celebration of all things beer. The festival culminates with a one-day Main Event on Saturday, September 16 in Whistler Olympic Plaza. There’s also Oktoberfest, beer cocktail parties, tap takeovers, and more throughout the week.
NEW! WORCA Women’s Enduro: The Witsend
Although the exact course is still to be announced, this new cross-country bike race promises a fun and challenging ride over 20 kilometres (with 1,000 metres of elevation gain) of Whistler’s trail network. Happening on Sunday, September 24 this event is for female riders looking to test their skills and endurance.
The Witsend is aptly named after a group of hard-working, fun-loving and adventure-seeking Lower
Mainland school teachers. They owned a two-bedroom cabin on the shores of Alta Lake in 1955, which they called The Witsend after a particularly treacherous journey from Vancouver to Whistler. At The Witsend, priorities consisted of doing activities together and having a good time outdoors – not far from the dream many adventure-chasing women have in Whistler today. The women of The Witsend left a lasting imprint on the future of Whistler and that’s why WORCA’s newest Women’s Enduro is named after them. Read more about the wonderful Witsend women in this article by Pique Newsmagazine.
Registration is limited to 250 riders, with the fee being inclusive of race entry, plate, swag, après, dinner and beverages! A percentage of the proceeds are going to the Howe Sound Women’s Centre.
Go the Distance: Whistler 50 Ultra & Relay
Don’t be intimidated by the name, the Whistler 50 is open to all levels of runners with distances ranging from 10K to 80K (50 miles) with options for solo and relay team entries. The course centres around Lost Lake Park and starts early on Saturday, October 14 which means runners will be treated to some lovely fall foliage as they tread the trails.
The 50-mile / 80K event is open to relay teams of eight (each doing 10K) or four people (each doing 20K) and the solo ultra-marathoners run 50K (5 x 10K loops). This is a great event for first-time ultra runners as you are never more than five kilometres away from the party zone in Whistler Olympic Plaza (there are also aid stations every five kilometres too).
The start / finish line is at Whistler Olympic Plaza, in Whistler Village where beer and pizza will be on hand for the après celebrations. If you’re coming to Whistler ahead of this event, take a read of our Run to the Hills post, which features five popular running routes.
For more ideas for adventures in the fall in Whistler take a read of 15 Things to Do in Whistler in the Fall and Moms in the Mountains: A Fall Whistler Getaway. Take a look at other fall events in Whistler on the events calendar.