Whistler is located in the Sea to Sky Corridor. The drive up the highway from Vancouver is one of the most scenic in the world. Light glistens off the ocean, lush forests fill the valley and up the sides of white-capped mountains. However, being on four wheels isn’t the best way to explore Sea to Sky country. It should, of course, be done by both the sea and the sky. Whether Whistler jet boating, white water rafting, float planes or heli-tours are more your thing, there’s both sea and sky tour options for everyone.
Whistler Jet Boating
Like most mountain folk Eric Pehota is an all-season outdoor enthusiast. Known locally for his extreme skiing exploits, Eric also has a love of the water and is the founder and operator of his own jet boat tour company. A keen kayaker, he took his whitewater rafting certification and clocked over 500-days on the waters of British Columbia. In 1994 he went from a man-powered engine to a horse-powered one, and started Whistler Jet Boating. Eric is one of the most qualified jet boat pilots in Canada and his guests can tell. Typically running from June to September the “Green River Thriller” is a fast paced, splash fest of steep banking turns, tight canyons and river rapids. Running along the original roadway of Canada, the tour takes passengers through provincial park land to the base of Nairn Falls. Old growth forest lines the banks, where you might glimpse a black bear or deer. This is a thrill ride in one of the most beautiful areas of the world.
It’s time to view Whistler the way the eagles do – from the sky. Soar over snow-capped peaks, alpine meadows and glittering glaciers from the comfort of a seaplane. Departing from Green Lake, just north of Whistler Village, you’ll leave a spray of glacial water as you take off into the sky. There are a range of tours from twenty minutes to an hour that include charging waterfalls, ancient glaciers, winding mountain rivers and hidden lakes. The “Alpine Lake Landing” tour is one of our favourites for a romantic lunch. Hidden between peaks the plane lands in an isolated spot, soaring over a waterfall and gliding to a private beach – need we say more. This is truly the best way to get the lay of the land in Whistler, and surprise someone with memories that will last a lifetime.
White Water Rafting
We’re a big fan of the Elaho-Squamish River Adventure just south of Whistler in Paradise Valley. The name of the area is appropriate – not only is this tour a definite adrenaline rush but it’s absolutely stunning. You and your fellow rafters battle class 3 and 4 class rapids in the shadows of the mountains. The bright blue glacial water is chilly, especially when you get a face full of it. Bundled up in a wet suit, life jacket and helmet you’re ready to do some paddling. You definitely build up a sweat when you’re told to “paddle left” and “paddle right”, but you could always take an invigorating dip in the river. Once you’ve built up an appetite it’s time for a BBQ lunch – dig in, there’s more paddling to do to get you back to dry land!
Another way to get into the air is via helicopter, with Blackcomb Aviation. The “Ultimate BC Experience” is a 45-minute tour that includes a landing on the Rainbow Glacier for a 12,000 year walk back in time. Another highlight is seeing Black Tusk up close and personal. This stratavolcano is an iconic part of the Whistler landscape – this is definitely the tour for any budding photographers. The pilots at Blackcomb Aviation are passionate about the local area, nature and history and are proud guides. If you’re feeling adventurous then check out their glacier walking tour options – this is the rare chance to walk on the glaciers with training guides and naturalists. The tours include all the gear needed, lunch and scenic flights to and from the glacier.
Like the idea of jet boating, white water rafting, or seeing Whistler in some other way from the sea or sky? Let our concierge services know and they’ll add it to your personalized itinerary.