Monday, 13 August 2012

Whistler- Fun in the Sun on the Valley Trail

I have travelled to mainland B.C. this week and am in Whistler for the big mountain bike festival, Crankworx. There will be lots to report on with much action going on.

Whistler, a busy ski resort in winter, is still crawling with people in summer, with downhill mountain bikers heading up the lifts for the great trails on the mountain and tourists hanging out in the cafes and pubs that line the village stroll. One thing you do want to be aware of, especially biking on the mountain or area trails, are black bears. It's their prime time in the summers and they are found foraging for food on the mountain, a lot of times in the meadows of the ski runs. But sometimes they do wander into the village, with this young guy strolling past my hotel.

Rule number one: Do not follow the bear, especially as it crosses the street into some bushes as , to my surprise, these tourists did. Not too bright!

It was right in front of them and they wanted to take pictures and watch it. Luckily the bear was not in a grumpy mood and paid no attention to them. A conservation officer soon came and chased the bear away, unharmed back up the mountain, with the crowd of people watching soon dispersing.  I have seen bears on the mountain bike trails on occasion when biking here before, but they are usually just busy eating berries and don't bother you if you don't bother them. Just be aware they may be around.

Wanting to explore more of Whistler on this hot day, I went for a ride on the Valley Trail. This trail crosses most of the Whistler area and is an easy route for getting around and exploring, with most of it paved and fairly flat. I started over in Creekside and biked past one of Whistler's many scenic lakes.

Nita Lake

Following the trail around Alta Lake, I came to Rainbow Park, a great place for a picnic or swim, with great views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.

Rainbow Park 
Heading north on the trail, I passed by the River of Golden Dreams, a popular lazy river to paddle on between Alta and Green Lake.

River of Golden Dreams
Cycling onwards, the trail led across the highway to Green Lake, a large lake on the north side of town, where float planes frequently fly into.
Green Lake
From here, you can veer back along the Valley Trail to the village, but I wanted to explore more, so I headed on the gravel trail towards Lost Lake park. After a bit of a hill climb on the unpaved trail, I came upon the park. What a hidden gem! Beautiful and looks great for a swim, although I'm sure that glacier water is a bit chilly.

Lost Lake 
Continuing along the lake, I came to the main park and beach for Lost Lake. It looked great for families and friends to lounge, definitely worth checking out.
Lost Lake Park 
I headed back on the trail to Whistler Village. Just follow the signs, it is well marked.
Have fun!

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