There was no doubt about it today was going to be a big day. I have booked on a full day tour to visit Whistler and some places along the way. Whistler is around 75 Miles (120km) north of Vancouver. The tour travels along Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway. In some respects, I think I almost enjoyed the drive more than Whistler itself.
Whistler Day Tour
The timing of my visit to Vancouver is not ideal to visit Whistler as it is shoulder season. What this means is that the area around Whistler itself is transforming from summer to winter readiness. All of the lifts and gondola’s are currently undergoing maintenance. With a lot of work going on preparing for the winter snow.
Departing Vancouver at 8 am there was light traffic, but soon we were away from the city heading north. It would not be possible to ask for better weather today. Although the air was a little cold, the sun was shining, and the sky was clear.
Porteau Cove Provincial Park
The countryside along this first part of the drive is quite dramatic. There are many mountains and numerous islands visible along Howe Sound. The first stop for the morning Porteau Cove Provincial Park overlooks Howe Sound, the most southerly Fjord in North America.
Porteau Cove has numerous features for recreational use, including camping and diving. In the area, there are some features for divers to explore including a ship and man-made reefs. Additionally, the image below is a wharf that has a dual purpose for an emergency ferry dock, and pedestrian pier.
All along the drive so far the mountains have been a very prominent feature of the horizons. For me, this is quite a different view, especially with the white-capped peaks. At the time of this image, understand this is mostly permanent ice, as there has been little to no snow.
Arriving in Whistler, I must say it was not what I expected. But of course, that is why we travel, to discover. Whistler is quite prominent in people’s mind at the moment as the location of the Winter Games this year. However, it is also used extensively in the summer as a Mountain Bike Track. The area is currently underdoing preparations for the snow, and winter activities.
The Whistler village itself is also quite large, with some 4,000 hotel rooms. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants and facilities in the village. While my timing is not ideal for some of the activities in the area, the colours are a whole other story. There is a huge variety of colours in the trees between red, yellow, green and many shades in between.
There were a couple of stops on the return to Vancouver. My favourite was at Canada’s 5th highest waterfall, Shannon Falls. The picture does not do the falls justice as the water cascades 1200 feet down the rock face. The water does drop further behind the rocks in the fore ground.
The second stop on the return to Vancouver was at the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. We arrived just in time to see two ferries docking. Two Ferry Terminals are servicing Vancouver, this one to the north and another to the south. They are an essential part of the infrastructure when you have so many people living nearby on islands.
Back To The Hotel
The final drop off at the hotel was around 6 pm. Making for a rather long day, but worth it. I loved seeing the countryside and getting to see Whistler and the surrounds.