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Squamish and Whistler each deserve a week to really enjoy all they have to offer, or at least a weekend, but don’t let that stop you from planning a Squamish + Whistler day trip if that’s all the time you have during your visit to Vancouver.
Here’s an itinerary for a fun Squamish and Whistler day trip.
I’m writing this post on the road. Yeah we’re doing this day trip today! We left at 9am and after a quick stop at Starbucks for egg bites and coffee, we headed for our first stop in Squamish.
It was our first time riding this gondola and we’ve hiked The Chief so we were excited about getting up to the top in 10 minutes! The gondola is a quick ride to 885m above sea level, offering panoramic views of Howe Sound, Squamish, Shannon Falls and the famous Stawamus Chief climbing area.
At the top we walked across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, hung out in the Hammock Haven, and played on the playground while my sister and cousin took a walk on the Panorama Trail.
It was colder than we anticipated up there so Vivi bought a fleece jacket at the gift shop. There’s also a snack bar and ice cream shop at the top.
When we got back down we drove another 40 minutes toward Whistler and stopped to check out the Train Wreck. There’s a well marked parking area and beautiful, easy trail to the site of the wreck. It took us about 15 minutes and I was walking dead slow. I put my back into a terrible spasm the night before when it started to rain unexpectedly and I jumped up to put the rainfly on our tent. I had a flashlight, but still managed to trip over a line. 😬
According to the Whistler Museum, the freight train derailed in 1956 when it came speeding into an area under track repair and lost control.
The area was off limits for a long time until a proper trail and suspension bridge spanning the Cheakamus made the area safe and accessible.
The boxcars are scattered over a section of the forest where they were deposited by the logging company hired to remove them from the track area. The forest has grown around them and though they provide dramatic contrast, especially with the graffiti, it’s a really compelling scene.
When we got back to the car we were starving so we headed into Whistler Village to find a patio to have lunch on. We chose the Garibaldi Lift Co for the view of the mountain bikers riding up the lifts and flying down the hill beside the restaurant. The food and service were pretty good, except the kids menu. The $12 chicken strips were pressed chicken foam. The consistency of sponge. Barf 🤮
We walked around Whistler Village after lunch, popping into shops and taking photos. I chose a fantastic souvenir at the pharmacy – a wildly overpriced bottle of muscle relaxers ($55) to make the ride home more bearable. I’m strapped into the backseat cruising down the Sea to Sky highway feeling some relief so it was worth it!
There are a few beautiful scenic overlooks to stop at along the way down and in the early evening – golden hour – you’ll want to pull off and snap some photos. The coast is gorgeous!
So that’s the scoop on a Whistler day trip. Check out this post for more fun things to do in Whistler.