Whistler’s Favourite Mountain Biking Apres Bars
The Apres, a time to sit back, relax and tell the tales of the shredded berms and sick whips of the day. Wait just a minute, you may say, that’s not what you talk about at the Apres-Ski! Well, move over winter and snow, the tradition of the Apres has migrated to the world of summer and brown pow, and the Apres-Bike is here to stay!
First a reminder why you came to whistler to begin with…. the epic downhill
With that out of the way, lets celebrate with a great Apres-Bike!
What the Heck is Apres-Bike?
The Apres-Ski is a French tradition of socializing and relaxing after a great day on the slopes. It’s a time to have a drink, grab a bite to eat and recap the day’s events. The Apres-Ski is arguably as important to skiing culture as the skiing itself!
With the advent of lift-assisted mountain biking, like the Whistler Bike Park, there has been a cross-pollination of the tradition to mountain biking, and Whistler is at the centre of the emergence of the Apres-Bike.
Best Apres Bike Straight off the Mountain
You don’t have to go very far to find a great Apres- Bike in Whistler. In fact, you hardly have to get off the chairlift at all! Here are the best straight-off the mountain Apres-bike spots in Whistler:
- The Garibaldi Lift Company
Probably the most-famous Apres-Bike Patio is also probably one of the first Apres-Bike Patios (however, this may be up for debate, as the history of the Apres-Bike is not well recorded).
The Garibaldi Lift Company (or GLC) patio is the bustling plein-air patio to the riders left as you zip down the last bit of vertical of the Fitz zone of the Whistler Bike Park. From the GLC, you can see all the action in the Bone Yard, along with riders hitting the aptly named GLC drops just a stone’s throw away from the patio – it is literally at the heart of all the action.
Along with watching all the action in the WBP, you’ll be able to enjoy some great pub-fare and delicious beers while recapping the epic lines of the day at the GLC. They are often the host venue to a lot of the social after-parties of various mountain-biking events.
- The Longhorn
Another local favourite – you hardly even have to get off your bike! Follow the music and walk your bike across the plaza from the Fitzsimmons chair towards the yellow umbrellas. Park your bike out front and get your Apres on! The Longhorn has been a first-stop for apres since it opened in 1981 and has been well adopted into mountain biking culture.
- Zog’s Dogs
If you’re more in the mood for a quick bite before heading in, try Zog’s Dogs – another local’s favourite just off Whistler Base, serving a selection of gourmet hotdogs and poutines.
If you haven’t heard of poutine before, it is a Canadian speciality dish originating in Quebec with delicious golden French fries topped with fresh, squeaky cheese curds and mouth-watering gravy – adventurous versions of the classic dish include adding things like pulled-pork or roasted peppers!
Best Apres Bike Patios in Whistler
If you venture away from the Whistler base, you’ll find countless options for an apres-bike patio session as you walk your bike down the village stroll. While the GLC is an obvious choice so you can keep an eye on all the action, and the Longhorn is a longtime crowd favourite, some other favourites include:
If you find yourself in the newly developed Creekside Zone of the Whistler Bike Park, Dusty’s is the place to go for your Apres. Along with great beer and a mouthwatering menu, their legendary live music Apres parties will keep you on your toes dancing the night away.
While the Apres-Bike scene is a newly developing culture, Dusty’s is packed with history and lore. Legend has it that Dusty’s is named after a stuffed horse that rode into Whistler in 1979 in the back of a pick-up. Placed on the bar, Dusty watched over the regulars as they partied the nights away for over a decade.
As the story goes, one full moon Friday, a female partier stripped completely naked and jumped on Dusty’s back. Legend has it that Dusty reared up and came to life. He burst through the bar doors and shook the woman into a snowbank and galloped off into the night, never to be seen again. While we aren’t sure how much of the story is fact or fiction, the moral is that Dusty’s is a place that will put the Wild back into the West.
In the summertime, all the action of the Whistler bike park is concentrated at the Whitler Base. If you’re craving a quainter, laid-back Apres scene, check out Merlin’s at the base of Blackcomb’s Upper Village.
Merlin’s prides itself on its spirited old-school rec-room party vibe alongside its cabin decor to create the perfect Apres atmosphere. Merlin’s is the spiritual home of The Hairfarmers – Whistler’s own home-grown rock group, and you can catch them there nearly every Friday night. You’ll find delicious mountain-high plates of nachos, craft beers flowing on tap and many good times to be had.
- The Cure
Arguably the best lakeside patio in Whistler, the Cure Lounge and Patio is nestled on Nita Lake in Creekside. From share plates and small bites to big burgers and sweet treats, there is something for everyone on the menu. Couple that with our curation of curious cocktails, craft beers and BC wines, and you’re sure to have a great time at Cure Lounge.
Our Favourite Apres Destinations Beyond the Bar
Once you’ve quenched your thirst and refuelled after a long day of railing berms and hitting drops, you may be feeling a bit restless and ready for more adventures. There is no lack of Apres-Bike activities to keep you busy into the wee hours of the morning.
Here’s are a few of our favourite apres-bike activities:
- Get Lost –Go for a refreshing dip in Lost lake after a sweaty, dusty day in the bike park. Bask in the afternoon sun and get ready for a big night out on the town!
- Axe throwing — Give your legs a break and try forge axe throwing. Find out who is the champion axe-thrower amongst your group of friends at Forged Axe Throwing.
- Take a Hike – After you’ve finished with your dip in Lost Lake, take the Sea-to-Sky trail through lost lake park and follow it up to above Green Lake to catch an amazing view as the sun sets (be sure to bring a flashlight for the way back!)
- Hit the Spa – The Scandinave Spa is a unique outdoor spa experience complete with multiple pools, soothing waterfalls, relaxing massages and saunas. Nestled in a lush forest with amazing mountain views, the Scandinave spa will be sure to have you relaxed and invigorated!
- Fly – Experience the sensation of soaring through the rugged forest while taking in the stunning views of Cougar Mountain with Superfly Ziplines. Superfly has two of Canada’s longest zip lines, at over half a mile long and up to 600 ft in the air, you’ll reach speeds of up to 60 mph on the ride.
Family Friendly Apres Snack Spots
If you’ve got little shredders in tow, there are plenty of great family-friendly Apres-bike snack spots in Whistler! Here are some of our favourites:
- Ingrid’s Village Cafe – A local’s favourite that has been fueling Whistler’s adventurers for over 20 years with hearty, homemade sandwiches, soups and baked goods at a reasonable price
- Purebread – A family run bakery who’s mission is “ to bake delicious bread, savouries, cakes & treats that bring a smile to peoples’ faces”
- Alpine Cafe – Founded in 2004, this has become a local’s favourite for those seeking an “out of village experience” with delicious homemade bread and soups and bakes goods that await you in Alpine Meadows, just a short drive north of the main Village on Highway 99.
- Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – while this may not be a proper ‘snack-spot’ the chocolate and fudge here are irresistible and is located at Whistler Base. Indulge in a tasty treat – you won’t regret it!
- Crepe Montagne – in the true French spirit of the Apres, indulge in some crepes, fondues or Swiss Raclette from Crepe Montagne – a staple in Whistler since 1997.
While the Apres-Bike may be new on the scene, it is certainly here to stay -especially in Whistler. From trail-side patios where you can catch all the action, to a laid-back dip in a lake, you’ll see why the tradition of the Apres-bike is a keeper. You’ll just have to make sure you don’t leave it all out on the trails, so you have time and energy for your Apres in Whistler!