A Weekend in Whistler

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If there is one thing most people can agree on, it’s bears Whether you admire them for their unmatched ability as predators or you like their soft fur, funny behaviours, and little ears, they are universally loved animals.

At some point, I’d like to visit the Great Bear Rainforest and have the privilege of viewing Grizzly Bears, but in the meantime, I made the much shorter trip up to Whistler to see Black Bears.

I planned the trip with 3 friends in May, hoping to see some black bear cubs and other Whistler wildlife such as moose, deer, mountain lions, coyotes, grouse, pikas, and marmots. Shortly before our trip, there was a grizzly bear sighting, so I had my fingers crossed for that as well!

The Road Up

We planned on stopping at Murrin Provincial Park and doing the Jurassic Ridge route, but unfortunately, there was no parking (May long weekend problems) so we had to move on. We ended up stopping at Brandywine Falls instead, and although it was busy, I did manage to get a photo of the waterfall.

Brandywine Falls

Where We Stayed

We chose to stay in Whistler’s Pangea Pod Hotel. On a different trip to Whistler, we had gone there for dinner, and I enjoyed the food and service, so I decided to book our stay there. Plus, I just thought the pod hotel experience sounded so cool.

When you book you have the option of prepaying for breakfast and pizza, which we definitely took advantage of. It’s nice to know your meal is already taken care of, and pre-booking also meant we saved money, and in this economy, you have to save where you can!

The mattress and pillows were comfortable, but I definitely recommended paying a little extra for a front entry or side entry pod. We stayed in the mezzanine pods and even with the fan on it got hot.

The Bear Tour

We booked our tour with Whistler Discovery Tours. The tour was around 3 hours long (our guide gave us an extra half hour!) and started at 6am, though there is also a 9am option for the morning haters. I chose the 6am tour to maximize our chances of seeing bears — the earlier the better for most animals!

The tour takes you onto different logging trails in Whistler, and we also stopped at two viewpoints, including Alexander Falls. This early in the day there was no one at the falls so we could get as many photos as we liked.

The Bears

The Waterfall

Alexander Falls

Final Thoughts

Having done the tour once, I probably would not do it again. Instead, I would explore some of those logging trails on my own time and schedule (but still as early as possible!). I would also go higher into the mountain to get more shots of some of the alpine animals we missed.