Surrounded by the rugged and beautiful Coast Mountains, Whistler is famous for its towering peaks, world-class skiing and epic mountain biking.
Yet relatively few people think of Whistler as an awesome beach destination. Home to five pristine lakes and numerous sandy beaches, Whistler is a fantastic place to enjoy some of Canada’s favourite summer pastimes — kayaking, canoeing, relaxing at the beach and barbecuing with friends at the lake. On a hot summer day, nothing beats diving into one of Whistler’s clean, crisp mountain lakes.
Whistler is home to alpine lakes with sandy beaches
Whistler’s lakes will keep the entire family entertained all day with their sandy beaches, swimming docks, grassy parks, kids play areas, BBQs, concession stands, and much more. There’s no need to worry either as local lakes are monitored closely to the best water quality.
Biking the Valley Trail, a 40km network of paved paths, conveniently accesses Whistler’s parks, lakes and beaches. Conveniently, for some parks a shuttle bus is available.
The next time you’re in Whistler to hike, golf or bike, be sure to visit a local beach for some sunshine therapy and soulful relaxation. Here are our favourites:
1. Alta Lake
Alta Lake is an ideal spot for swimming, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and lounging on the beach when the sun is out and shining.
Alta Lake’s largest beach can be found at Rainbow Park. From your beach blanket, you can savour astounding views of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. On a hot day, try swimming to the floating dock to cool down. Plenty of picnic tables, barbecue pits and an expansive grassy area make Rainbow Park perfect for a picnic or barbecue. Throughout the summer, Rainbow Park is a social hub for Whistler locals, who meet here to play beach volleyball, toss a frisbee or grill up dinner with friends. There is also a concession stand, flush toilets and a picnic shelter.
Developed in 1914, Rainbow Lodge on Alta Lake is what first put Whistler on the map. Many decades before Whistler Blackcomb became one of the biggest and best ski resorts in the world, Rainbow Lodge was a well-known fishing destination. Some of the original century-old cabins remain in the park today. To reach Rainbow Park, jump on your bike for a pleasant ride on the easy-cruising Valley Trail, a 20 minute bike ride from the Whistler Village.
Also located on the shores of Alta Lake are Wayside Park and Lakeside Park. Both parks have small beaches, docks, picnic tables and barbecue pits. When the evening sun disappears from Rainbow Park, it continues to grace the beaches of Wayside and Lakeside Park. Enjoy dinner in the warm sun or plunge into the lake for a refreshing evening swim. Rent a canoe, kayak or pedal boat at Lakeside Park and enjoy the spectacular glacier-crowned mountain vistas from the middle of this serene lake.
2. Lost Lake
Located only a seven-minute drive from Whistler Village, Lost Lake is buzzing in the summer with locals and visitors relaxing at the beach and picnicking on the wide-open green space.
With its huge grassy lawn, sandy beach and kids’ area, Lost Lake is a great place for children to play, run and splash in the water. There is also a concession stand, plus washrooms and picnic tables with built-in barbecues. Dogs are welcome too, with the off-leash area nearby!
To visit Lost Lake, take the shuttle bus from the village. Departing every 15 minutes, the shuttle runs all day. Or enjoy a 30 minute stroll or a short bike ride on the Valley Trail, an extensive paved path that connects all of Whistler’s lakes, parks and neighbourhoods.
3. Alpha Lake Park
Located south of Whistler Village in Creekside, Alpha Lake Park has a sandy beach, a dock, picnic tables and barbecue stands, as well as volleyball and tennis courts.
While all of Whistler’s beaches are fun for children, the playground (a.k.a. Owl’s Nest) at Alpha Lake Park is excellent for entertaining energetic kids. Bring your furry friends for a visit to “Arfa Park”, the nearby dog park.
4. Nita Lake
Nestled amidst forested mountains, Nita Lake is the small and quiet sibling in Whistler’s five-lake family.
Located south of Whistler Village in Creekside, Nita Lake is home to Nita Lake Lodge, a luxurious boutique lodge, and a handful of mountainside houses. To discover this peaceful lake, enjoy a leisurely bike ride along the easy-cruising Valley Trail. Once here, stop for a drink or a meal on the lakefront patio at the Nita Lake Lodge.
5. Green Lake
Named for its breathtaking aquamarine hue and framed by towering mountains, Green Lake is a magical place to kayak or canoe.
This ultra-cold, glacier-fed lake situated north of Whistler Village is the largest lake in the area. In summer, head here to also enjoy swimming, boating, water skiing and even fishing, surrounded by rocky beaches, emerald forests and spectacular views of nearby Blackcomb Mountain.
PLANNING A TRIP TO WHISTLER?
We have a variety of Whistler vacation rentals located anywhere from the Upper Village granting walking distance to the mountain, to the more peaceful setting of Creekside. Call our highly knowledgeable Destination Experts who can answer any questions you may have about the beaches at Whistler lakes, or accommodations. They’re available 7 days a week!