May 2024 update: After 30 years as one of Whistler’s most popular destination parks, a refresh of Rainbow Park is underway. The beach area is now open, with more accessible, green and enjoyable spaces for everyone. The food truck area and railway crossing area remain under construction into the fall, but the park will remain open during this time. Learn more at

We all love a good park. The wide-open space, luscious grass underfoot, access to the water and therefore, water toys, the dappled shade of a grove of trees, and the views out over the snow-capped mountain ranges. And, because we all love it, we have to share it.

Whistler’s parks and lakes will be busy this summer, so make your summer plans diverse, consider coming midweek and off-peak (early morning and evenings), and have a Plan B in your back pocket (not hard when you’re in one of the most adventure-filled places on the planet).

Getting to Whistler’s Lakes and Parks

One of Whistler’s most unsung achievements is the 46-kilometre, car-free, Valley Trail system that winds around parks, lakes and neighbourhoods. Park and play this summer by leaving the car (at your accommodation or in the Day Lots) and getting on a bike. Whether you rent a bike, e-bike via evo or bring your own, there are many ways that active transport is the better option. Not only is it good for you and the planet, but it’s a fun way to explore a bit further this summer.

A man and a woman bike along the Whistler Valley Trail boardwalk at Green Lake.
Find new spots via bike this summer in Whistler. PHOTO MIRAE CAMPBELL

Knowing that more people will be out on their bikes, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) has free and secure bike and gear valet stations. You can find them at Whistler Olympic Plaza, Lost Lake Park and Rainbow Park from 11 AM to 6 PM on weekends, statutory holidays and at some events this summer, so you can store your two wheels, shopping and beach gear safely while you explore on foot. Check out the bike valet schedule for the 2024 season for the full lineup of dates!

The RMOW is also running free Lost Lake and Rainbow Park shuttles, in addition to free local transit on weekends this summer. The Lost Lake shuttle runs daily from  June 15 to September 2, between the Village (at the  Gondola Transit Exchange) and Lost Lake Park beach. It stops at all Whistler transit stops between Gondola Transit Exchange and Lost Lake Parking Lot, including the Olympic Plaza stop on Blackcomb Way. The Rainbow Park shuttle will run from June 29 to September 2 from pick-up locations at the Gondola Transit Exchange (Post 4) and Olympic Plaza Bus Stop. Make sure to check the schedule before your park day as they can change! The shuttle is wheelchair accessible.

There are also some road and construction projects that will make it a little tougher to get to some of Whistler’s parks via car this summer, so ditch the car and opt to bike, shuttle, or use transit when you’re in Whistler.

Picnics at the Park

There’s no need to lug a full picnic basket and cooler to the park with you this summer as Whistler’s food truck program, Park Eats!, starts in May. There will be rotating, locally-owned and operated food trucks and pop-up tents at Alpha Lake, Lost Lake, Lakeside Park and Rainbow Park, serving up tacos, crepes, gelato, pizza and more tasty lunch options and refreshing treats.

The Park Eats! program runs from May 17 to September 2, 2024, with vendors operating from approximately 11 AM to 5 PM (operations can be weather dependent and the schedule is subject to change at short notice). From May 17 to June 24, operations will run at Lost Lake Park, Fridays to Mondays. From June 28 to September 2, operations will run daily at all locations.

A couple sit on a dock at Alpha Lake in Whistler, basking in the summer sunshine.
Whistler’s parks will be busy this summer. Consider coming midweek and off-peak for a more relaxed atmosphere. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

It’s good to know that the fire rating in Whistler in the summer months typically sits at high to extreme, which means you’re only allowed gas and propane barbeques at the parks and lakes. Barbeque coals and briquettes are not permitted in parks. If you are thinking of bringing your own barbeque with you, check the fire rating before you pack it, and never put hot coals into the bin.

Talking of bins, please don’t overflow them. If they’re looking a bit full, take your waste with you and dispose of it back at your accommodation. Don’t leave it for Whistler’s wildlife; a fed bear is a dead bear. There are recycling and compost bin options at the parks, so make sure to take a look at what you’re putting in each one.

INSIDER TIP: The Don’t Love It to Death website has some great information on human impact on the places we love in the Sea to Sky. It gives explorers solutions and resources so that we can all respect and protect this incredible environment.

Water Toys & Tents

You know we started this post off on the topic of sharing, well, we all love our toys but we’ve got to think about what we cart down to the parks this summer and how much room it takes up. You should really try to limit yourself to one picnic blanket and don’t bring a tent – not only do they take up a lot of room, but they block sightlines to the water and if the wind picks up they can become moving projectiles with sharp pegs attached.

A child jumps into a lake in Whistler on a sunny day.
Wahoo! Jump on in. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

Shop local for fun things you might want to have at the lake – sandcastle competition, anyone? If you do buy something new, remove all the packaging before you come to the park, as the bins aren’t built for huge cardboard boxes or Styrofoam.

We also suggest leaving your floaties at home and opting to rent a sturdier floatation device like a canoe, kayak, or standup paddleboard, our rivers and lakes have rocks and branches that love to make holes in thin plastic. Want to dip a rod into those waters? Grab a fishing license before you do (you can get these at Whistler Hardware) and make sure you know which lakes are catch-and-release only.

If you are bringing your own water toys to Whistler, remember to give them a wash before and after so that you don’t accidentally drop off some invasive species that shouldn’t be here. Talking of invasive species, if you are intrigued by Whistler’s flora and fauna, then look out for the pop-up nature stations at the parks on weekends.

Know that if you are paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking or using an inflatable boat, you are required by Canadian law to have the right safety gear. The Conservation Officer Service is actively doing patrols in Whistler to enforce this federal law and non-compliance may result in a fine for each missing item (ouch). 

Respect the Space

If you want to throw a Frisbee or play a game of soccer, then we suggest getting to the park early or coming later when the main rush of the day is over. Running over a toddler as you go for a goal will not win you any points.

A dog jumps off a dock into a lake in Whistler.
Make sure your pooch is on a leash unless they’re in an off-leash dog park. PHOTO JUSTA JESKOVA

We do love our furry members of the family here in Whistler, but we ask that you keep them on a leash in the parks and on the trails, unless you’re at an off-leash park / area. And please pick up the poop, we have bag stations and bins at all the parks too!

If you’re heading to Lost Lake Park this summer, be aware that in July the Western Toad start their migration from the lake to the forest. Look out for signage around the park so that you don’t accidentally squish them! Don’t touch the tadpoles / tiny toads as they have porous skin, and naturally occurring salts and oils on human hands can be very damaging. And please do not enter the wetland as it’s a sensitive habitat that supports the tadpoles and many other species.  The toads thank you!

See you at the park this summer!

Book your summer stay between May 1 and October 31, 2024, and save up to 20% on lodging and 15% on activities. Secure your mountain getaway with for personalized service and the local knowledge of our Whistler-based teamIf this post has you dreaming about Whistler, enter our Feel It All in Whistler summer contest to win a trip for two!


You can often find Dee exploring all Whistler has to offer with her three-kid tribe in tow. Originally from the UK, Dee enjoys balancing out high-thrills adventures with down-time basking in the beauty of the wonderful place she now calls home.