Backpackers Guide to Whistler – Canada


The village of Whistler is well known amongst Australians for its mountains, winter sports and party scene, and I can guarantee that it will not disappoint. Whistler is located 1.5 hours out of Vancouver, in British Colombia. I absolutely recommend spending a few days in Whistler on your way out to the Rocky Mountains, or a season if you are moving to Canada. I found that most backpackers who came for a season are still there 3 years on. After all, it is all about the lifestyle in Whistler with priorities being “first chair, last call”. Tough life.

What to do in Whistler

Explore Whistler Village: Renowned for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Get a photo with the ring, check out the Olympic sites and enjoy the views. I personally find Whistler Village extremely touristy and overrated; however some people cant get enough. It is definitely worth the trip as you may love or hate it.

Olympic rings Whistler destination guide

Whistler Bungee: For those adrenaline seekers, try Whistler Bungee Jump. The location is stunning. If you stay at HI Whistler you get $10 off.

What to do in Summer

Hikes: Two local favourites are The Whistler Train Wreck and Loggers Lake.

The Whistler Train Wreck: Located near function junction is the popular Train Wreck.  You will find the trail behind Olives Supermarket. The scenic trail is about 2km long winding along the waterfront and railway. If you are looking for free activities, this one will satisfy. 


Loggers Lake: Trail starts in Cheakamus near the HI Hostel. This hike you will take you through the forest,along a river and past a suspension bridge before leading to the lake. This is a 3 hour return trip hike. If you want you can continue up Crater Rim, which adds an addition three hours.

Loggers Lake Whistler hiking

Mountain biking and White Water Rafting

What to do in Winter

Snow board or Ski Blackcomb Mountain, go Snowmobiling, Heli Skiing, Cross country skiing, Snowshoeing, Dog Sledding and Bob sledding at the Whistler Sliding Centre – I would love to try Bob Sleddinh!

Cheap eats

The Warehouse in the Village has $4.95 meals all day and night.

Recommended trip length

I recommend staying for 4-5 days depending on your budget and what you want to do.

Getting to and around

Vancouver Airport is the closest International Airport. If flying in from overseas land in Vancouver and take the Greyhound to Whistler.

You can get to Whistler from any location in Canada via Greyhound.

Once in Whistler, you can use the local bus service, BC Transit. The cost of the bus is $2.50 and will get you to any location in Whistler that you need to go to. Check out the routes and schedule here…

A hire car will allow you to get around quicker but is unnecessary as the public transport is reliable. And paying for parking isn’t fun.

Where to stay

Southside Lodge: Just across the road from the Creekside Gondola. I recommend this hostel during the winter as it is so easy to get to the chairlift.

HI Hostel: A nice new hostel located near Function Junction, outside of the village, however easy to get to with a bus stop located out the front of the hostel that departs every 30 minutes. HI Whistler is within walking distance to the popular Train Wreck site and other hikes including Loggers Lake and Crater Rim. The HI hostel is in a better location for Summer activities.

Search for cheap accommodation options here.

See more from Canada here.

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