September encompasses both summer and fall in Whistler, with bike events like GranFondo, lake paddles on sun-warmed waters and après celebrations on patios, even as the leaves start to crispen.
The last party of the summer, the Whistler Village Beer Festival, takes over Olympic Plaza from September 13 to 18, just before the fall equinox, when day and night are in equal balance. Talking of balance, fall in Whistler is a wonderful time for adventure and relaxation, as the resort changes its pace and the vibrant arts and culture scene flourishes. It’s also a time of good value, with lower rates on accommodation, dining deals and sales happening in stores.
The end of the month, September 30, marks the second National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day was introduced in 2021 to recognize the tragic and ongoing legacy of residential schools and to honour the lost children, survivors, their families and communities. We suggest visiting the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to learn more about Indigenous history and culture.
You’ll find us:
- Putting on some spandex and pedalling 122 stunning kilometres (76 miles) along the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler in GranFondo Whistler on September 10. A mellower 55 kilometre (34 mile) Medio option is also available, as is cheering from the sidelines and soaking up the electric energy of the largest GranFondo in North America. Part of what makes the ride so special is the opportunity to cycle the beautiful highway route without traffic, which does mean that motorists should expect delays between Vancouver and Whistler on the day. With a record-breaking number of cyclists participating this year, the event concludes with a fittingly big celebration in Whistler’s Olympic Plaza.
- Running, walking, skipping, hopping or jumping around the Fun Course or the Sports Course at the Whistler Terry Fox Run for Cancer on September 18. Afterwards, enjoy delicious food, games, raffle prizes and an auction at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, all while raising money for a great cause.
- Hiking the High Note Trail on Whistler Mountain, a full-day, alpine hike with incredible views of Cheakamus Lake and Black Tusk. It’s accessible via the Whistler Village Gondola with a sightseeing lift ticket until that closes for the season on September 6, then you can access it via the Blackcomb Gondola and PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Note that from September 12, the PEAK 2 PEAK will only run on weekends. Check our hours of operation page for up-to-date information on gondola closures.
- Trail running some big distances at the Whistler Alpine Meadows Races from September 9 – 11. There’s a variety of events over the weekend – the Ascent Race, 25 kilometres, 50 kilometres, 100 kilometres, 100 miles and the Triple Whammy (which includes the first three options over two days).
- Flying into the backcountry for an incredible downhill heli biking experience with AlpX Expeditions. With a mix of technical and flow sections, the newly constructed trail in a remote and newly tenured area offers an incredible backcountry experience for advanced mountain bikers.
You’ll find us:
- Strolling alongside boulders, wildflowers and alpine lakes on Blackcomb Mountain’s Lakeside Loop (and maybe even taking an alpine dip), which is accessible from the Blackcomb Gondola with a sightseeing ticket. Although the PEAK 2 PEAK will be running on weekends only from September 12, the Blackcomb Gondola will still be spinning daily until October 10, so it’s a great opportunity to check out some of Blackcomb’s alpine trails. Read more on our blog, A Hike for Every Ambition on Whistler Blackcomb.
- Pedalling along the Valley Trail to Alta Lake, and exchanging bikes for boats on a Pedal & Paddle bike and kayak tour. The tours start in Whistler Village and allow you to connect with nature at a cruisy pace and from a new perspective – from the water. Whistler Eco Tours runs Pedal & Paddle down the iconic River of Golden Dreams until early to mid-September while water levels are still high enough, and on picturesque Alta Lake throughout the entire month.
- Grabbing some binoculars as the Sea to Sky Corridor is set to be added to the BC Bird Trail, a series of self-guided birding tours along BC’s Pacific Flyway. At 7 AM on the first and third Saturday of every month, the Whistler Naturalists Society hosts monthly bird walks. The walks are by donation and they welcome anyone who is interested in our avian friends. You’ll be joined by birding experts and cover a variety of habitats around Rainbow Park or Green Lake.
- Golfing at one of Whistler’s four championship, designer golf courses. September brings ideal playing conditions, combining the last of the summer sunshine with crisp, fall air against a backdrop of changing colours. Whistler’s golf courses close for the season on October 9, so make sure you get out there while you still have the chance.
More ways to get outside.
You’ll find us:
- Discovering a 14,000-year-old glacier on a guided hike with Mountain Skills Academy. This is a great experience for families with big kids (minimum age of 8) to learn about the ever-changing glaciers (available on weekends only).
- Wandering amongst ancient giants on the Ancient Cedars Trail. The trail is a five-kilometre (three-mile) round trip, perfect for families and multi-generation groups. The walk features towering trees, waterfalls, mountain views and a mossy forest floor that comes alive with mushrooms in the late summer and fall. If you enjoy this hike, you might also want to head to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre to look at their Ancient Medicine exhibition, which features a lot of things you might have seen on your wanders.
- Spotting Whistler’s bear inhabitants and bidding them goodnight before their long winter sleep on a bear viewing tour. In the fall, bears become more active, as they are eating and drinking almost constantly to put on weight before hibernation (this process is called hyperphagia).
More family-friendly activities.
Arts & Culture
You’ll find us:
- Celebrating Indigenous arts and knowledge at the emhám (adj. to be smart at something, knowledgeable) series every Thursday evening in September. The series features Indigenous performances, music, knowledge, sharing and storytelling at the Maury Young Arts Centre, leading up to National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on September 30. Visit Arts Whistler’s website for the full schedule.
- Visiting the Audain Art Museum’s new exhibition, Out of Control: The Concrete Art of Skateboarding, opening September 17. The exhibition reveals the intersection between contemporary art and skateboarding. It brings together 19 local, national and international artists to explore the aesthetic, social, environmental, political and architectural aspects of skateboarding.
- Checking out some tiny artwork at Arts Whistler’s Teeny Tiny Show, which opens on September 1 and runs until October 29 at Maury Young Arts Centre. The exhibition showcases artwork that is 3” x 3” or smaller, all created by artists living in the Sea to Sky Corridor.
- Learning about what makes a great spoken story in a free workshop with Lil’wat oral storyteller and Amawilc educator, Tanina Williams on September 14. Participants can then apply to tell their stories on stage at the inaugural Whistler Writers Festival Oral Storytelling Event in October. The workshop is free and will be available online or in person at the Whistler Museum, but you need to register.
Eating, Drinking & Shopping
You’ll find us:
- Sipping craft beers at Whistler Village Beer Festival, a six-day festival of beer returning this September 13 – 18, featuring unique cask nights, over 60 breweries, live music and food trucks.
- Finishing the weekend strong with Sunday Brunch at the Cinnamon Bear Bar & Grille, located in the Hilton. On from 10:30 AM to 2 PM, the decadent brunch buffet features a seafood bar, carving station and chocolate fountain. It also comes with a mimosa or trip to the build-your-own Caesar bar!
- Indulging in Whistler’s newest, fine-dining restaurant, Wild Blue Restaurant & Bar, which has been noted as “the most important Whistler restaurant opening in a decade” by Vancouver Magazine. It’s located across from the Aava Hotel and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 4 PM.
Save The Date
Whistler Chamber Music Fall Series | October 2
Whistler Turkey Trot | October 9
Whistler Writers Festival | October 15 – 16
Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra | October 15
Cornucopia Whistler | November 10 – 20 + weekend programming November 4 – 6 & 25 – 27
Whistler Film Festival | November 30 – December 4
Luge World Cup | December 7 – 10
Be a Responsible Traveller: Don’t Love It to Death
- BC is bear country and as always it is important to respect Whistler’s resident bears by avoiding interactions with them, for our safety and theirs. Read more about bear safety in our blog, Be Bear Aware in Whistler.
- Wildfires are a very real risk to Whistler, even into the fall months. Whistler’s fire danger rating gets updated daily by the BC Wildfire Service and when it reaches High or Extreme, open fires of any kind are banned (check it on our weather page). That means no campfires, no tiki torches, no fireworks, etc. If you see a fire call 9-1-1. As of Thursday, August 4, all campfires have been banned throughout the Coastal Fire Centre, which includes the Sea to Sky.
- Help keep Whistler green by choosing tap water over bottled water, avoiding single-use plastics, leaving the car at home, choosing active transportation and sorting garbage properly to reduce your waste.
- Be AdventureSmart and always practice Leave No Trace principles.
- Consider our Adventure Differently Principles – enjoy patiently, play simply, explore responsibly and interact considerately. See you in the mountains!
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- Fully vaccinated US and international travellers are welcome to visit Canada. Fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to provide a pre-entry COVID-19 test result to enter Canada by air, land or water. Visit the Government of Canada’s website for full details on Canada’s entry requirements.
- Fully vaccinated, American travellers no longer require a COVID-19 test to return home to the United States.
- Know Before You Go – visit whistler.com/covid for the latest COVID-19 information and resources for travellers.
If You’re Driving . . .
- GranFondo will impact traffic conditions on the Sea to Sky Highway and in Whistler on September 10. Delays should be expected and guests / residents should plan ahead.
- Help reduce congestion on the highway by travelling during non-peak times. Peak travel times on the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler include Friday afternoons and evenings, weekends and holidays. To avoid this busy time, plan to visit Whistler midweek when the highway and the resort are typically quieter. Extend your weekend – plan to arrive on Thursday night and leave on Monday morning to avoid the weekend traffic. If you’re visiting Whistler only for the day, plan on staying for dinner to avoid the rush of day traffic leaving the resort after the mountain closes.
- Always check DriveBC for current road conditions before getting on the road. Follow @DriveBC on Twitter and listen to MountainFM for the latest updates.
- Paid parking is in effect in Day Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 (complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM). On September 16, parking in Lots 4 and 5 are complimentary until December 15 (check the RMOW website for more information on parking rates.)