I’ll ride the entire trail if I’m on a
bike, but I also like to walk from
Whistler Village to Rainbow Park. The
approximately 4-mile jaunt leads to
Alta Lake, and more specifically to the
site of the former Rainbow Lodge, a
log cabin built in 1914 that helped
spark the area’s tourism boom. If
slightly heavier breathing and the smell
of the mountains don’t signal I’ve
returned to one of my favorite places
in the world, a dive into cool Alta Lake
(complete with a sandy beach) surely
focuses my senses on the beautiful sur-
rounding landscape, and all the
summertime activities it has to offer.
Wet and Wild
Even when temperatures climb into
the 70s and 80s, as they regularly do
around here from June through
August, a dip in an alpine lake can feel
positively North Pole–like. If this type
of exhilaration isn’t your idea of a
euphoric vacation wake-
up call, there are several
other ways to get your
feet wet in the aquatic
Whistler scene, beginning
with a paddle by kayak or
canoe along the languid
“River of Golden Dreams.”
Technically speaking,
this grandiosely nicknamed waterway
is simply Alta Creek, a gentle current
that helps propel boaters from Alta
Lake to Green Lake through a mostly
undeveloped riverbank where fox-
glove, Indian paintbrush, and other
wildflowers take turns in bloom, and
swatches of western red cedar and
hemlock loom beside the shore.
Unguided paddles are the excep-
tion, and plenty of outfitting services
are available. Still, a novice river runner
will feel perfectly comfortable going
it without a professional on this
stretch between Whistler’s two big
lakes. Beginners with limited time
might also want to consider their first
bout with white water, though probably
not alone. Guided trips on the nearby
Green River, as well as the more chal-
lenging Elaho-Squamish, are available.
A little muscle soreness certainly is
possible after tackling a bit of rough
water, but I actually develop a more
noticeable neck strain while navigating
the perfectly placid Green Lake. I
figured out long ago that my condition
has nothing to do with the paddling,
but rather the 16th and 17th holes of
Nicklaus North Golf Course that hug
the southern shoreline — and keep me
wrenching for a better view no matter
the angle or location of my vessel.
Green Stuff
When Arnold Palmer designed
Whistler Golf Club in 1983, mountain
golf was considered a novel pastime, a
Spring 2013
Whistler Golf Club, designed by Arnold Palmer,
combines a high-caliber course with stunning
mountain scenery.
The summer season offers alternative — but equally
invigorating — outdoor activities, including
white-water rafting along the Green River.
Whistler Mountain Bike Park’s runs range from easy to adrenaline-rushing.
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