Fall in Whistler is in full swing. Whistler Village scenery becomes bright with oranges, reds and gold contrasting against the lushness of the alpine evergreens and white mountain peaks. It’s a beautiful time to embrace the outdoors with fun, fall activities as well as getting cozy indoors with the return of Whistler Wine Walk and the Whistler Writers Festival.

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving this month (October 7 to 10), so you’ll spot some traditional, turkey-based options at restaurants, as well as some incredible, fall dining deals. It’s also the time to hit the shops, whether you’re planning ahead and getting a deal on summer and bike gear, or you’re looking for some ski and snowboard gear for this winter.

Here’s what’s happening in Whistler this month.

Outdoor Adventure

You’ll find us:

  • Taking the last opportunity for gondola-accessed, alpine hiking via the PEAK 2 PEAK, running on weekends only before the gondolas close for the season on October 10. Russet Lake hike is a hidden gem that makes for an incredible overnight hiking adventure, taking you into the backcountry on Whistler Mountain.
  • Mountain biking on hero dirt. Fall is arguably the best time of year for mountain biking with tacky, dirt trails, fewer people, cooler temperatures and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park chairlifts still running (until October 10). After the park closes, we’ll be using our own pedal-power on Whistler’s cross-country mountain bike trails until the snow starts to fly.
  • Running solo or in a relay team along the Valley Trail in the Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra on October 15. The 50-mile (80 kilometre) course consists of eight loops of 10 kilometres, making the race a great option for first-timers or beginner ultra runners looking to safely push their limits (it also doesn’t hurt that you’re never more than five kilometres from the party zone in the Whistler Olympic Plaza).

Adventure Lite

You’ll find us:

  • Taking in the changing, fall colours as we cruise the Valley Trail on two wheels using the free, Go Whistler Tours self-guided tours app. The Fall Biking: Half Day Loop covers a 12-kilometre section of the Valley Trail featuring beautiful viewpoints and interesting facts, which you can listen to as you ride with the audio function on the app.
  • Strolling to Lost Lake while being read to by three visiting authors, which is just one of the events happening at the Whistler Writers Festival (October 13 to 16). Did we mention there will be hot chocolate too?
  • Mushrooming at the 20th annual Fungus Among Us Mushroom Festival on October 14 and 15. The festival features talks and walks with mushroom gurus, a forest-to-table lunch, mushroom display and the Fantastic Funghi Photo Contest.
  • Getting hooked on fall fishing on a guided fishing trip. The Whistler area is a mecca for salmon fishing, and October is when the salmon run occurs, when they make their extraordinary expedition upstream from the ocean to the rivers in which they were born, to spawn their own offspring.
  • Using the brand new Sea to Sky Bird Trail Itinerary for Whistler to explore our natural environment and discover popular birding locations in Whistler.

More ways to get outside.

Family Fun

You’ll find us:

  • Splashing through muddy puddles on an off-road buggy or ATV tour. October is one of the best times for ATVing – the muddier you get the better! You will be given boots, pants, a jacket and gloves that will keep you clean and dry, making it one of the best all-weather outdoor activities to do in Whistler.
  • Awed by the beauty of the Sea to Sky’s waterfalls. All of the suggestions in our blog on this topic are short, walks, great for the family.
  • Checking out the bobsleigh, skeleton and luge athletes at the Whistler Sliding Centre from October 12, when the public is welcome for sightseeing and spectating during scheduled sliding times on Mondays through Fridays.
  • Participating in the family-friendly Turkey Trot running event on October 9, the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. The event has become a Whistler, Thanksgiving tradition and features the five-kilometre Drumstick Dash or the 10-kilometre Gravy Burner along some of the best trails that Whistler has to offer in Lost Lake Park.

More family-friendly activities.

Arts & Culture

You’ll find us:

  • Sharing stories together as we connect with local, Canadian and international authors at the Whistler Writers Festival from October 13 to 16. It is a multi-day, multi-artist event, featuring workshops for new and emerging writers, reading events and panel discussions, and a literary cabaret combining music and readings. Check out our blog on the festival for more information.
  • Sipping local wine, sampling canapés and enjoying the artwork in Whistler’s galleries, along with interactive art experiences on a Whistler Wine Walk. These happen every Friday evening in October, and visit four of Whistler’s art galleries, culminating at the Audain Art Museum with a guided tour and short curatorial talk, plus more wine, canapés and music.
  • Watching the thought-provoking, stoke-inducing, outdoor, adventure films that are part of the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival World Tour playing on October 6 at the Maury Young Arts Centre. We’ll also be heading back to the arts centre on October 21 for Anywhere From Here by Matchstick Productions, which explores the world of skiing through the eyes of a 12-year-old freestyle phenomenon. IF3 Tour also hits Whistler October 19 to 22, featuring a series of short-film, compilation events over three days, bookended with parties.
  • Celebrating a major archetype of Canadian culture at the World Hockey Association’s 50th Anniversary Reunion from October 6 to 10. With a variety of exciting events over the five days, the reunion will feature professional hockey talent, wild characters and adoring fans.

Eating, Drinking & Shopping

You’ll find us:

  • Celebrating Thanksgiving with at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, whether we opt for a hot, turkey sandwich from Portobello, a traditional three-course dinner feast or harvest brunch at the Wildflower Restaurant, or take the hassle out of preparing a Thanksgiving feast at home (or home away from home) with their Thanksgiving Turkey To-Go option.
  • Raising a glass of beer with a hearty prost (cheers) at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s Braidwood Tavern. Their Oktoberfest menu runs from September 19 until October 16 and includes classic German dishes such as wiener schnitzel, spätzle and weisswurst sausage, which pair perfectly with their thoughtfully curated German beer menu, featuring Erdinger Weissbier from Munich, Holsten Maibock from Hamburg, and many more.
  • Tucking into a vegan, sourdough cinnamon bun at the award-winning and now Certified B-Corp, BReD. This difficult-to-achieve status means that the business has met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability. Nice one BReD team!

More on Village shoppingdining and arts and culture.

Save The Date

Cornucopia Whistler | November 10 – 20 + weekend programming November 4 – 6 & 25 – 27
Whistler Blackcomb Winter Opening Day | November 24
Whistler Film Festival | November 30 – December 4
Luge World Cup | December 7 – 10
Whistler Pride & Ski Festival | January 22 – 29

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). If you see a fire call 9-1-1.
  • 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!

Travel Updates

  • Effective October 1, 2022, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to provide proof of vaccination, be required to use the ArriveCAN app, nor be required to wear masks on federally regulated modes of transportation. Random COVID-19 testing at airports is also no longer required.
  • visit whistler.com/covid for the latest COVID-19 information and resources for travellers.
  • Fully vaccinated, American travellers no longer require a COVID-19 test to return home to the United States.

If You’re Driving . . .

  • 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 (complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM). Parking in Lots 4 and 5 are complimentary until December 15 (check the RMOW website for more information on parking rates.)

Fall in Whistler offers great value on accommodation with rooms from $129 CAD, plus a free $100 CAD Dining Voucher when you book a stay of 3 nights or more.

Author

Jessie originally came to Canada from Australia for a bike trip, with a work permit “just in case”. Six years later, having lived in Fernie and Golden, BC, as well as the Yukon, she’s happy to have found herself in Whistler with its great balance of culture and wilderness. She likes spending time exploring on a bike or skis, or with her lazy dog who prefers a gentle stroll.