Falling in love with Whistler in one day

Visit Whistler in the fall to see the changing colors of the seasons with snowcapped mountains and thundering waterfalls, all in just one day! Samesun’s new hostel activity will take you from Vancouver to Whistler while exploring the coolest spots along the way.

On a chilly but sunny November Monday morning I joined 22 other travelers, John the Moose bus driver and Ria, our wonderful host on Samesun’s Whistler Day Tour. We left Vancouver at 9am and began our drive up to the small ski resort town. It’s usually about a two hour drive from Vancouver but with some amazing stops along the way we made it to Whistler for 12:30.

Our first stop was Cypress Mountain Lookout. Here you can see some incredible views of the city and islands around Vancouver (weather dependent). We were extra lucky to have clear views over Vancouver.

Photo by Matt Walker

Epic views from the top of Cypress Mountain lookout – Photo by Matt Walker

 

Back on the bus heading north we enjoyed the scenic views along the Sea to Sky Highway. This is one of the most beautiful drives I’ve been on while here in Canada. Our next stop was Porteau Cove where we hopped off the bus to explore and to get some more snapshots of British Columbia’s incredible beauty. It’s a little colder here so if you’re on the trip in the winter months, bring your jacket off the bus. I didn’t, but the cold probably woke me up!

 

Our last stops before Whistler were two waterfalls along the way, Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls. I prefer Brandywine to Shannon Falls, it’s a little more secluded and, to me, more impressive.

 

Brandywine falls on the way to Whistler

Brandywine falls on the way to Whistler

 

As we were leaving Vancouver, Ria, our fantastic tour guide, gave us information on a few activities that we could do if we wanted which included bungee jumping, ziplining or hiking. The great thing was the activities are all optional, so everyone had the choice whether to throw themselves off a bridge on a giant elastic band, or just enjoy the village. Quite a few people signed up for bungee jumping so we dropped them off just before we arrived in Whistler.

The anticipation climbing up to the zipline launch area

Once we arrived in Whistler, Ria organized the zipliners. The ziplining activity is about 3 hours long and looks like a fun activity although not on my list for this trip. Ria took the group to get signed up while the rest of us went for some much needed lunch (and coffee!). About an hour later John picked us up and along with the bungee crew we all went on a hike to an old train wreck that’s just outside of Whistler.

It seems not many people seem to know about this hike. A few decades ago a train derailed just south of Whistler and several of the cars were left scattered next to the Cheakamus River. Instead of just leaving the cars to rot, local artists transformed them into works of art. The hike takes a total of about an hour, there and back. We walked along the train tracks for some of it and made our way into the woods along the river for other parts of the hike. It really is an incredible sight to see this piece of history. Ramps have been put on some of the train cars for biking and you can climb to the top of the cars. This alone, was worth the trip for me!

The Trainwreck hike was worth the trip up to Whistler alone!

The Trainwreck hike was worth the trip up to Whistler alone!

Back in Whistler we had about an hour to explore the Village, grab a coffee or send a postcard before the bus headed back to Vancouver. Whistler is a small village but there are a few interesting spots around town, most notably the Olympic Rings. Whistler was a venue to the 2010 Winter Olympics and has many tributes to the events around the Village.

On the bus again, this time headed for Vancouver, everyone was tired but excitedly telling stories and watching videos of the bungee jumps. We made one last stop at the Howe Sound Inn for a drink before we arrived back at the SameSun at 8pm.