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Whistler Guided Hikes: Learn from the Experts

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The stunning, alpine lakes, the beautiful crests of snow-capped mountains peaking in the horizon, the tips of the pine trees creating the most beautiful skyline – we definitely can’t deny Whistler’s beauty. We certainly can’t blame people for wanting to hike and experience such a glorious environment in person.
When it comes to hiking, you really can’t find a more beautiful spot than Whistler.

What if you’ve never been into the Canadian wilderness before? Or any wilderness at all? Do you have the skills you need to strike out on your own?

Thankfully, for everyone new to the great outdoors, whistler guided hikes are a particularly stress free and helpful way to get you started off on the right foot.

A hand looking at a compas

Unsure about where to start exploring Whistler?

We are avid hikers at Forged Axe Throwing. Our staff could talk for hours on end about the unending beauty of the Whistler wilderness despite out deep love affair with this great place; we also want to set one thing straight – Whistler is a wilderness, and hiking, camping, and exploring here requires a basic skill set. We’ve got you covered with the basics to camping, but what about hiking?

While the beauty can be overwhelming, so can nature. It’s critical to be cautious; of the weather, the rugged terrain, and the wildlife. We encourage people to take hiking through our neck of the woods more seriously than just a walk in the park. That said, there are many whistler guided hiking tours, making hiking safe for all levels of ability.

Take a look at our guide below to get the scoop on where you can learn about hiking in Whistler, what steps you can take to ensure that you’re ready for hikes on your own, where you can find guided hikes, and how you can be best prepared for your greatest adventure hike yet!

First Things First: Know What You’re Doing  

Finger pointing to a map

Do you know the first thing about backcountry safety?

Whistler is one of the best-hiking destinations on the planet – don’t believe us? We have thousands of tourists pour in every week, especially from metropolitan areas like Europe and Asia, to experience our untouched wilderness.

Don’t read us wrong, we love sharing our beautiful spot with the world, but we want to make sure that people are well-versed in hiking before they test out their skills in the mountains surrounding our town.

We don’t recommend trying your hand at hiking or camping for the very first time without a knowledgeable guide. Take some tips from the more experienced hikers in Whistler. Our town has tons of options for learning how to hike safely and happily.

The Mountain Skills Academy 

Climber on a backcountry trail

The Mountain Skills Academy has a wide variety of courses

If you’ve never heard of the Mountain Skills Academy, we suggest you check them out. This academy, with locations peppered throughout Canada, provides people with classes, courses and special skills-based training sessions that teach people how to handle the Whistler Wilderness safely. The Mountain school offers you the most extensive and comprehensive courses imaginable, and it goes far beyond hiking.

You can learn about mountaineering, climbing, ice, and snow, mountain safety, and even go on mountain adventures with the academy. Their carefully crafted curriculums are efficiently delivered to provide students with the foundation they need for rapid mountain-knowledge progression.

Canada West Mountain School 

Climber on the edge of a mountain

Backcountry progress with The Mountain School

Another great option for hiking knowledge is the Canada West Mountain School. Like the Mountain Skills Academy, it offers students plenty of classes and crash-courses in mountain hiking and safety.
The Canada West Mountain School is one of the premier training and guide centres in British Columbia. They’ve been in businesses since 1982 and have guides dedicated to helping people learn the techniques required to traverse the mountains of Western Canada.

Join them for specific lessons in hiking and scrambling, learn about mountain safety, and get as comfortable as possible with hiking in Whistler.

Still not feeling entirely ready to tackle the Whistler wilderness on your own? We suggest looking into a few guided tours to get the ball rolling, and, would you look at that, we’ve listed a bunch of awesome guided hikes below.

Let’s Talk Guided Tours

We feel that guided tours are definitely the way to go when you’re planning to experience the Whistler wilderness for the very first time. They can help you get your feet dirty if you don’t know what to expect when hitting the trail. Luckily, there are many options to choose from. Check out some of our favourites:

Mountain Skills Academy Full Day Hikes

Not only do they provide on-the-mountain skills training, but the Mountain Skills Academy also offer guided hiking adventures as well. Experience the stunning landscape of the Coast Mountain Range without worrying about being underprepared.

Join your guide and experience an entire day of hiking the backcountry, free from crowds and free from perils of hiking alone. You can choose from dozens of routes or build your own. Prices range from about $330 for an individual hiker to about $700 for a group. Two people cost about $230 to join in on a guided hiking tour. Of course, private guided options are available, too.

The Adventure Group – Hiking Tours in Whistler

Coastal Mountain rainforest

A rainforest adventure anyone?

Got a taste for exploration? Perfect. The Adventure Group is here to make your hiking dreams come true! You can experience the natural beauty of Whistler at your own speed with guided tours from experienced backcountry guides. See local wildlife, learn about the natural history of Whistler, and meet new friends along the way.

They have more than one offering,  ranging in price from about $100 to $1,200. Whether you’re looking to explore waterfalls or you’re looking to take the ultimate guided tour of the backcountry, The Adventure Group has something for you. From a brief reprieve of the city to the ultimate multi day adventure.  They provide a safe, fun, and unforgettable experience.

Whistler Eco Tours – Walking and Hiking Tours 

Whistler Alpine view

Another day, another alpine vista

Whistler is right smack dab in the middle of the Coast Mountain range – a rugged, beautiful, and remote area in the Canadian Wilderness. If you’re certain you want to hike the trails but aren’t sure about your ability level, these walking and hiking tours from Whistler Eco Tours are the perfect solution.

You’re provided with your own private guide and can choose from plenty of options ranging from short interpretive nature walks to full-day adventures. Want to explore a train wreck in the middle of a forest? How about a rainforest walk? Want to traipse along the alpine beauty of the mountains? All this and more are available.

Their tours range in price from about $100 to $200 depending on if you want a private guide or are comfortable touring with a group of strangers who want to get the hiking experience, too.

Don’t Get Stuck, Don’t Get Lost, Don’t Get Eaten by a Bear

Hiking is super fun in Whistler, but it’s also serious business. When hiking, even with a guide, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you’re packing up the right stuff and not missing out on some essential backcountry items.

  • If you’re taking the guided tour, don’t forget to wear comfortable footwear. You’re going to be walking all day long, people, comfort is important. If this is your brand new pair of hiking boots, try to break them in before your eight hour day on the trail. Trust us, you’ll thank us later.
  • Wear athletic clothing with breathable material, but also bring layers in case it gets chilly.
  • You’ll want to be well-prepared with sunscreen, even in the Winter months.
  • Bring a water bottle (preferably reusable, because who needs another plastic water bottle in the backcountry!) and snacks.
  • Don’t skimp on socks. We recommend brining two pairs for extended day hikes and try to get your hands on some wool hiking socks if you can.
  • Bring along some bear spray and a bear bell or two.
  • Finally, don’t forget your camera. You’ll want to document this experience.

What About Bears?

Bear on a log

Welcome to Whistler, home of the Grizzly

This goes without saying – it’s the wilderness. You can definitely expect some wild animals.

We are in bear country after all.

Pay attention, be vigilant, and always listen to your guide. The bears in and around Whistler know about humans, and under most circumstances will either ignore you or try to get away from you.

Whether walking alone or walking in a group, make some noise to announce your arrival. Bears will almost always try to put distance between itself and humans. Just like you, it would likely prefer as little interaction as possible.

Learn The Most Vital Skill of All Try axe throwing in Whistler, BC

Finally, if you are about to embark on a trip into the wilderness for the first time, why not take a lumberjack lesson or two in the art of axe throwing? While we can’t prepare you for an eight-hour slog up the side of Garibaldi, we can teach you a thing or two about handling an ax.

Young or old, we have a few tricks up our sleeve and will get you comfortable with the quintessential tool of the Canadian wilderness. Our staff will also happily suggest some great hikes around our neck of the woods as well.

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