Row, row, row your boat and explore Whistler’s lakes and rivers while you’re at. Many might not think of flocking to the mountains for the waterways but before Whistler was a destination for world-class skiing, it was known for its fish-filled watering holes. You don’t have to go fishing to gain a unique perspective only seen from the water; A relaxed journey by watercraft will frame the mountains against the sky and local fauna will go about their business, not even noticing that you’re beside them. In addition to the spectacular scenery, water activities are a welcome way to cool off from the season’s heat. So grab your paddle and get ready to go canoeing, kayaking or SUPing, oh my!
Where To Rent
Canoes, kayaks and stand up paddle boards can be rented at Lakeside Park on Alta Lake. From here, you can captain the lake or gain entry to the River Of Golden Dreams, located at the North End. Back Roads Whistler is the name of the local rental shop. They will provide you with everything you need, including lifejackets to safely play in the water. There are also guided tours available should you want to sit back and let someone else do the navigating. As if things couldn’t get easier, you can also purchase an ice cream from them if you work up an appetite paddling!
Where To Go
Lost Lake, Alta Lake, The River Of Golden Dreams and Green Lake are the most popular spots to enjoy the water. The lakes offer a more open setting, beaches, and docks to launch on and off of. The River of Golden Dreams is a longer commitment (expect to be out 3 hours) and is more technical. You should be able to navigate a waterway before embarking on this adventure. If you would prefer a guided tour, there are stewards that are available. Not only do they help to protect the pristine environment, they keep a steady flow of local knowledge rolling- an often welcome distraction from paddling. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for beavers, fish and many varieties of birds that call Whistler home.
What To Pack
Any boating activity comes with the risk of getting wet. We would suggest either not bringing electronic items or at least keeping them in a waterproof bag. Additionally, you will want to pack sunscreen, a hat, sandals, water, snacks and a light jacket as it can get cold out on the open water.
Just remember to play it safe, a tipped over kayak can result in more than just a drown cell phone. If you are looking for a more adrenaline-fueled boating adventure, try Whitewater Rafting!