This past week I had an amazing family vacation to Whistler, BC. Whistler is about 1.5 hours north of Vancouver, BC, and part of the 2010 Winter Olympics were held there. Despite a population of only 12,000, Whistler is home to one of the biggest ski resorts in North America and has over 2 million visitors every year. This is no surprise after discovering the pristine location and absolutely incredible scenery and views. There is an extensive trail system throughout the town (link to map) that is really well maintained and perfect for exploring.
Day 1: The first morning I ran 8+ miles around the Whistler Golf Club and Alta Lake (map). It was a stunning!
For the rest of the day, we got tickets to go up and explore the mountain. We took a gondola towards the top, and then we took another gondola that went across the mountain (called "Peak to Peak"). We also took a chairlift to the skybridge for even more views. The skybridge and chairlift were quite scary, but we lived to tell the tale! It was a perfect day. Pictures don't do it justice.
Day 2: The second morning I did 8 miles around Lost Lake (map). It was another perfect morning with clear sky and many more picturesque moments.
Later that day, we checked out Rainbow Park on Alta Lake and then explored Whistler Village, which is full of great shops and events. Several other people in our group went hiking.
Day 3: I did a 16 mile long run in the morning along the Valley Trail between Rainbow Park and Meadow Park Sports Center. The weather in Whistler was perfect for running - in the 50's with no wind and minimal humidity.
After my run, we spent the day exploring Whistler Village some more and checking out the Whistler Farmer's Market in the Upper Village. There were so many fresh berries! I bought some outstanding pictures of bald eagles. Whistler is also known for it's black bear population. At the end of the day, we also spent some time watching the Crankworx Whistler Mountain Bike Festival, the world's biggest mountain bike festival.
Forest fires in British Columbia were spreading and wildfire smoke started to fill the sky on our last day, so I was happy we were leaving the next morning. For such a beautiful place, it is so sad to know this is how we left it. There were extreme fire danger signs everywhere, and I just hope most of the wildlife is spared.
There were many activities we didn't get to including biking, swimming, and various hikes. Despite the challenges of airports and flying, the trip left me excited to explore more of the world and have endless adventures in nature. It was so wonderful to share this experience with family, and I hope we can preserve the world enough for many generations to see it's beauty.