You may have asked, does Whistler have a beach? The answer might surprise you, but yes! And more than one. Whistler beaches are incredible places to beat the summer heat. But which ones are the best? I’ll break it down for you.
Whistler is a resort town located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. While it’s primarily known for world-class skiing, there are several Whistler lakes that offer swimming, fishing, and other water activities during the summer. Some of the most popular lakes in Whistler include Nita Lake, Alta Lake, Lost Lake, and Green Lake. But where are the best Whistler beaches? Let’s “dive in”. (Haha, get it?)
Whistler Beaches at Alta Lake
Rainbow Park – closed summer 2023
Rainbow Park Beach is a public beach located on the shores of Alta Lake in Whistler. The beach is part of Rainbow Park, which is a popular recreational area that includes picnic tables, a large grassy area, outdoor beach volleyball courts, and a concession stand. There’s a large designated swimming zone and a floating dock. The beach area is open during the summer months and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
Rainbow Park has a designated off-leash dog area where dogs are allowed to swim and play in the water. The dog area, called “Barking Bay”, is located at the south end of the park and is clearly marked.
The views from Rainbow Park beach are incredible. They look out across the beautiful lake with Whistler mountain and Blackcomb mountain in the background.
Getting to Rainbow Park
Rainbow Park in Whistler has a parking lot that can accommodate around 50 vehicles. However, during peak summer months and weekends, the parking lot can fill up quickly. You may find getting a spot is challenging. Alternative parking options include:
- Overflow parking: Rainbow Park has an overflow parking area that is located further down the road from the main parking lot.
- Public transportation: Whistler’s public transit system operates regular bus service to Rainbow Park during the summer months. Recently the Resort Municipality of Whistler and several Whistler hotels have offered a free shuttle to Rainbow Park to help ease traffic congestion.
- Cycling or walking: Rainbow Park is easily accessible by bike or on foot via the Valley Trail, which is a paved multi-use path that runs through Whistler.
Lakeside Park is a public park about 2 kilometers from the heart of Whistler village in the Alta Vista neighbourhood. Like Rainbow Park, it is also located on Alta Lake. The park includes a grassy area that is popular for swimming and sunbathing. While not sandy, the beach has a designated swimming zone and a floating dock for diving and lounging.
Lakeside Park offers a wide variety of activities including swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, picnicking, and playing volleyball. There’s something for everyone at Lakeside Park! But what makes this beach one of the best places is the ability to rent watercraft right onsite. Lakeside Park Boat Rentals has kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, and peddle boats in their fleet. It’s so convenient to not have to transport them around. You can paddle right from Lakeside Park Beach down the River of Golden Dreams. Just ensure you have return transport arranged, of course.
There is also a great concession stand at Lakeside Park offering snacks and drinks. There are picnic tables, BBQs, and washroom facilities available for use.
Personally, I think Lakeside Park beach is the best place to catch the sunset. It’s west-facing and a great place to chill out at the end of a long summer day in Whistler.
Getting to Lakeside Park:
Lakeside Park has a small parking lot that only accommodates 20 vehicles so getting a parking spot can be challenging. Transportation options for Lakeside Park include:
- Street parking: There is very limited street parking available on Lakeside Road
- Public transportation: There is regular bus service to Lakeside Park with stops located near the park entrance. Recently the Resort Municipality of Whistler has offered free transport to Lakeside Park to help with traffic volume.
- Cycling or walking: Lakeside Park is easily accessible by bike or on foot via the Valley Trail.
Wayside Park is a small, charming park on Alta Lake. Because of the size of the park, the beach feels more intimate and you’ll usually only find Whistler locals here. The beach is part of Wayside Park, which is a small park that features picnic areas and a playground.
While it may not offer as many activities as the other beaches, I think Wayside Park is a peaceful and relaxing destination. And it’s a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the other Whistler beaches.
Getting to Wayside Park
Wayside Park offers limited parking for visitors. There are approximately 15 parking spots available at Wayside Park, including two designated accessible parking spots. The parking spots are located at the entrance to the park, and they are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During peak season, parking spots can fill up quickly so be sure to arrive early or consider using alternative transportation options, such as walking or biking. Ensure you park in designated spots and display any required parking permits or passes to avoid being ticketed or towed. I’d highly recommend biking here as it is the most efficient way to get to Wayside Park.
Alpha Lake Park
Alpha Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located 5 kilometers south of Whistler in the Creekside Village neighbourhood. The lake has a large public beach area that is popular for swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. The beach has a designated swimming zone and a dock for diving. There are also washroom facilities, picnic tables, and BBQs available for use at Alpha Lake Park. There’s a large playground located near the beach area called “Owl’s Nest” that is popular with kids. There is a beach volleyball court nearby, as well as tennis courts and basketball courts located near the beach area that is available for use.
Alpha Lake is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout and cutthroat trout. Visitors can fish from the shore or from a boat (with a valid fishing license).
Alpha Lake Park has a designated off-leash dog area called “Arfa Park” where dogs are allowed to swim and play in the water. You can find the dog area located at the south end of the park and it’s clearly marked.
Getting to Alpha Lake Park
It’s about a 7 minute drive to Alpha Lake from Whistler village. There a small parking lot that can accommodate around 20 vehicles. During peak summer months and weekends, finding a parking spot can be challenging. Additional parking options include:
- Street parking: There is limited street parking available on Alpine Way, which is located near the park entrance.
- Public transportation: Whistler’s public transit system operates regular bus service to Alpha Lake during the summer months, with stops located near the park entrance.
- Cycling or walking: Alpha Lake is easily accessible by bike or on foot via the Valley Trail, which is a paved multi-use path that runs through Whistler. It’s also an easy 10 minute walk from Creekside Village.
If you want to go swimming at Lost Lake, you’re not alone. The shores of the lake and the surrounding grassy areas are usually packed. This may be due in part to the proximity of Lost Lake to Whistler Village. It is a short walk to Lost Lake and takes about 30-45 minutes. It takes 10-15 minutes to bike to Lost Lake.
Lost Lake has a designated swimming area with a small pebble beach. The water in the lake is generally cool and refreshing, making it a great spot to cool off on hot summer days. Visitors should note that there are no lifeguards on duty at Lost Lake, so it is important to practice water safety and be cautious when swimming.
You can bring your dog to swim in the designated doggy swimming area at Lost Lake called “Canine Cove”. It’s about 400 meters along Lost Lake Trail on the east side of the lake. However, they must be on a leash when outside of the water. It’s a fun place for them to socialize with other dogs. They even have their own floating dock to swim out to!
Getting to Lost Lake
To get to Lost Lake from Whistler Village, you can follow the pedestrian path that starts at the Upper Village and leads directly to the lake. The path is approximately 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) long and takes around 25-30 minutes to walk.
Alternatively, you can take the free shuttle bus that runs regularly between Whistler Village and Lost Lake during the summer months. The shuttle bus departs from several locations in Whistler Village, including the Gondola Transit Exchange, the Village Transit Loop, and the Upper Village.
If you prefer to bike to Lost Lake, there is a bike path that runs parallel to the pedestrian path and leads directly to the lake. Bike rentals are available in Whistler Village, and bike racks are located near the entrance to Lost Lake.
Finally, if you are driving, you can follow the signs for Lost Lake but please note that you cannot park at Lost Lake. The Lost Lake parking lot is restricted to a five minute drop off/pick up zone only, and you shouldn’t leave your vehicles unattended.
Designated Dog Areas at Whistler Beaches
In Whistler, there are a few lakes that have designated dog areas where visitors can bring their furry friend to swim and play. These lakes include:
- Alpha Lake Park: Alpha Lake Park has a designated off-leash dog park where dogs are allowed to swim and play in the water. The dog area is located at the south end of the park and is clearly marked.
- Rainbow Park: Rainbow Park has a designated off-leash dog area where dogs are allowed to swim and play in the water. The dog area is located at the south end of the park and is clearly marked.
- Lost Lake: Dogs are allowed to swim in the designated swimming area at Lost Lake, but they must be on a leash when outside of the water. There is also a dog beach located near the swimming area where dogs can play in the water and socialize with other dogs.
Visitors should note that dogs are not allowed on beaches or swimming areas that are not designated dog areas, and dogs must be on a leash at all times when outside of designated dog areas. Additionally, dog owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs and disposing of waste properly.
Your Questions About Whistler Beaches, Answered
What is the Warmest Whistler Lake?
The warmest lake in Whistler is likely Alta Lake. During the summer months, the surface water temperature of Alta Lake can reach up to 22-23°C (72-73°F), making it a popular spot for swimming and other water activities. Other lakes in the area, such as Green Lake and Lost Lake, tend to be cooler due to their higher elevations and colder water sources. However, it’s important to note that lake temperatures can vary depending on factors such as weather, time of day, and depth of the water.
Can I Swim in Whistler?
There are several places to swim in Whistler during the summer months, including:
- Lakes: Whistler has several lakes, including Alta Lake, Lost Lake, and Green Lake, which are popular spots for swimming.
- Pools: There are several pools in Whistler, including the indoor pool at Meadow Park Sports Centre and the outdoor pool at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.
- Water Parks: The Whistler Olympic Plaza has a splash pad and water features that are popular with kids during the summer months as does the Meadow Park Sports Centre.
It’s important to note that swimming in natural bodies of water can come with risks, such as cold water temperatures, currents, and potential wildlife encounters. Always check for safety advisories and follow posted rules and regulations.
What’s the Largest Lake in Whistler?
The largest lake in Whistler is called Green Lake. It is approximately 4.9 kilometers (3.0 miles) long and covers an area of approximately 1.4 square kilometers (0.54 square miles). Green Lake is located north of Whistler Village and is surrounded by stunning mountain views. It is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as swimming fishing, boating, and kayaking. If you decide to canoe or kayak the River of Golden Dreams, you will likely end at or near Green Lake. This is also where the float planes arrive and depart in the summer months.
Does Nita Lake Lodge Have a Beach?
Nita Lake Lodge does not have a beach. But it is possible to go swimming in Nita Lake. This small lake is a popular destination for outdoor activities, including swimming, paddleboarding, and fishing. There are a few public access points to the lake, including a dock located near the Nita Lake Lodge. The water temperature in Nita Lake can vary depending on the season, but during the summer months, the water temperature can be warm enough for comfortable swimming. Visitors should note that there are no lifeguards on duty at Nita Lake, so it is important to use caution and swim at your own risk. Additionally, visitors are responsible for cleaning up after themselves and disposing of any trash or litter properly to help preserve the natural beauty of the lake.
What is the Prettiest Lake Near Whistler?
There are several lakes near Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, that are known for their scenic beauty, so it can be subjective to determine which one is the “prettiest”. However, here are a few options that are particularly picturesque:
- Garibaldi Lake: Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Garibaldi Lake is a glacier-fed lake surrounded by snow-capped peaks and vibrant alpine meadows. The turquoise blue color of the water is particularly striking, making it a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Wedgemount Lake: Wedgemount Lake is another glacier-fed lake located in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The lake is nestled between towering peaks and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountain range. The challenging hike to Wedgemount Lake is rewarded with a truly spectacular destination.
- Joffre Lakes: Joffre Lakes is a series of three turquoise-colored lakes located north of Whistler. The lakes are surrounded by glacier-capped peaks and old-growth forests, making it a popular destination for hiking and camping.
- Alta Lake: Alta Lake is located just south of Whistler and is known for its clear blue waters and mountain views. The lake is a popular destination for swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking, and there are several beaches and parks located around the lake.
Again, it is subjective to determine which lake is the “prettiest,” as each offers its unique scenic beauty.
Location of all Whistler Beaches
For easy reference, I’ve saved the locations of all Whistler Beaches in Google Maps for you.
Leave a Reply