August is midsummer in Whistler and that means hiking, trail running, biking and sightseeing in the fresh alpine air, cooling off in a lake and cheers-ing on a beautiful patio. The outdoor adventures in Whistler are as boundless as your imagination, with a wealth of cultural events happening al fresco too – from paddling along floating art displays to soaking up the sunshine at free concerts and movies in the plaza, and even comedy and theatre performances in the park.
So get outside and into the mountains this August to soak up the season while it’s still here – it’ll be gone before we know it! Here’s what’s happing in Whistler this August.
You’ll find us:
- Rolling like an Olympian at speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour on a summer bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Youth slide for free with a paying adult (minimum age is 12) and no experience is required, as the bobsleigh are driven by trained pilots.
- Mountain biking through the backcountry via helicopter on AlpX’s expert-only Hidden Peak trail, which is brand-new for the 2023 season. Riders disembark the heli and find themselves right beside the huge Pemberton Glacier before beginning their descent down an alpine ridge into the bowl below. This new trail involves 100 meters of climbing (so enduro bikes are recommended), giving you the chance to slow down and enjoy the stunning scenery before you resume blasting back downhill for a total descent of 1500 metres. Alpx also offers a strong intermediate to advanced downhill mountain biking trail, known as the Middle Peak trail.
- Trail running on one of Whistler’s great trail networks. August is a great time to trail run in the alpine trail network on Whistler Blackcomb as it’s cooler up high and the endless views are a great distraction for when your lungs and legs start to protest the work you’re putting them through. If you’re a trail runner who likes racing, the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series is happening on Blackcomb Mountain on August 26. For more races, check out our Going the Distance blog, and for some inspirational words, take a look at our post on XTERRA Whistler.
You’ll find us:
- Wandering amongst fields of colourful wildflowers on an alpine hike. The wildflowers typically stick around until around mid-August, but the seasons have been changing early this year so don’t wait if you want to see them. Read our wildflowers blog post to learn about where to discover the little beauties.
- Cruising all over Whistler and sampling amazing food on a brand-new guided E-Bike Food Tour. Guides will share their local knowledge about Whistler’s wonderful food scene as you ride to fun spots across town on a relatively flat route, departing at 10:15 AM daily.
- Paddling the brilliantly turquoise, appropriately-named Green Lake on an Adventure Paddling Tour with Whistler Eco Tours. During the tour, you’ll briefly step off your boat and discover a relic of history hidden in the woods at the Parkhurst site, which has been nicknamed Whistler’s ghost town.
More ways to get outside.
You’ll find us:
- Having a family picnic in the park with Whistler’s Park Eats food truck program dishing up delicious food from local vendors at Alpha Lake, Meadow Park and Lost Lake. If you opt for the latter, keep an eye out for tiny toads hopping about as the Lost Lake toadlets have begun their migration from the lake to the forest. The little hoppers are about the size of a dime and they are a threatened species, so support their mission by watching your step, walking your bike, keeping an eye on signage and looking but not touching.
- Pedalling (or wobbling on a balance bike if you’re really little) along small berms and rollers at the pump track near the Day Lot parking. Summer means biking in Whistler and the pump track gives kids of all ages (and adults) a chance to dial their bike skills while having a blast.
- Learning about architecture and sustainable building practices at the Audain Art Museum Summer Architecture Workshop, running from August 7 – 11 and designed for ages 11 – 18. The workshop will draw inspiration from the architecture of the museum itself (an architecturally-stunning building which utilizes natural light and surrounding nature), learning from the Zenga Brothers, who are known for their innovative, fun and sustainable approach to architecture. The Audain Art Museum puts on a range of great youth programming for all types of budding artists throughout the year.
More family-friendly activities.
Arts & Culture
You’ll find us:
- Celebrating 100 years of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre’s newest exhibition, 100 Years of Unity. The exhibition gives an overview of the history of the Squamish Nation, sharing historical belongings, weaving and carving and showcasing their connection to the land.
- Enjoying performances of theatre, music and comedy at the Flag Stop Theatre and Arts Festival, presented by the Point Artist-Run Centre. The festival takes place in Florence Petersen Park on August 8 and 9, before moving to The Point Artist-Run Centre on August 11 and 12.
- Spending Sunday afternoons relaxing in the sun and listening to live music at Lost Lake Park. Hear & Now: In the Park is a live music series that’s on until September 3, every Sunday from 1 to 3 PM.
- Grabbing a stand-up-paddleboard, kayak, canoe (or whatever your chosen water vessel might be) and heading to the south end of Alta Lake on August 10 and 11 for Art on the Lake. It’s a floating art festival featuring a gallery, live artists, live bands and entertainment.
Eating, Drinking & Shopping
You’ll find us:
- Sampling Spanish-inspired small plates and charcuterie alongside delicious cocktails at the newly (much anticipated!) reopened Bar Oso. The restaurant has reimagined the space with twice the floor space and has expanded its wine list focused on Spanish and BC wines. They are now open daily from 4 PM on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Dining al fresco under the magnificent presence of Ts̓zil (Mount Currie) at the Araxi Longtable Dinner on August 20. The event takes place in the fields of North Arm Fam in our neighbouring community of Pemberton. It begins with a cocktail reception and live entertainment before a four-course, family-style dinner is serves with wine pairings along the iconic singular continuous table.
- Feasting on a delicious all you can eat buffet while soaking up live music and incredible mountain views at Whistler Blackcomb’s Mountain Top Summer Feast, running on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until September 3. Food highlights include an Indigenous-inspired cuisine station plus a prime rib carving station, tiger prawns, lots of veggies and a decadent dessert table.
- At the first The Mom Market Vancouver in Creekside Village on August 12, 11 AM to 5 PM. Not just for moms, this pop-up market has a selection of handcrafted products, artisanal jewelry, chic clothing, natural skincare, home decor, children’s toys, and more. It also has family-friendly activities and entertainment, ensuring a good time for kids and grown-ups alike.
Save the Date
RBC GranFondo Whistler | September 9
Whistler Village Beer Festival | September 11 – 17
XTERRA Whistler | September 16 and 17
The Witsend Women’s Enduro Race | September 24
Whistler Writers Festival | October 12 – 15
Whistler 50 Relay & Ultra | October 14
Be a Responsible Traveller: Don’t Love It to Death
- Whistler is bear country. Take a read of our Bear Aware blog post so you can act responsibly on behalf of these beautiful, wild creatures. Remember, a fed bear is a dead bear.
- 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.
- If you’re using the hiking and biking trails around Whistler regularly, consider donating to or joining WORCA, a local organization that maintains Whistler’s trail system.
- 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 Responsible Travel pillars, Respect Nature, Think Environment, Don’t Love It to Death and Support Local.
- Whistler Alert is the official emergency notification system used by the RMOW to communicate with residents and visitors during emergencies via text message, phone and email. We encourage you to sign up for it while you’re here (just in case). When you register, you will be asked to provide your contact number and the date you plan to leave Whistler so that you don’t receive alerts when you’re back home.
If You’re Driving . . .
- Take a read of Go Car Free: 8 Reasons to Ditch the Car on Your Whistler Trip in case we can convince you that you don’t need your car! To incentivize you to leave the car at home on your next visit, Whistler Rewards Members who book two nights or more in August will receive a free $150 Transportation Voucher redeemable through Whistler.com, call 1-800-WHISTLER (1.800.944.7853). If you’re not already a Whistler Rewards Member, it’s free to sign up for residents of BC and Washington.
- 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 all the Day Lots although there is complimentary parking from 5 PM to 8 AM. Overnight parking is now allowed in the Day Lots, but no overnight camping or sleeping in vehicles. Please check the RMOW website for more information on parking.
- Marketplace parking has new tariffs; $1 first 30 min and $2 first hour (15-minute, storefront parking remains free). For shopping at Fresh St. Market, register your license plate in the machine prior to shopping and they will reimburse you for 1 hour with a minimum $25 purchase.