How To Get Around in Whistler
Whistler is a small, green town, which means it’s fairly easy to get around by walking or biking. Long-term car/RV parking is tough to find, and high parking rates are in place to encourage more people to use public transport, but you can almost always find a parking spot for your bike. That being said, it's not too hard to find an old beater car to rip around in if you're happy to pay for parking or land yourself a spot with your job. Here are a few options to help you figure out your way around Whistler.
Get the bus
Buses service all neighbourhoods from Cheakamus to Emerald. They are fairly regular to most neighbourhoods except Whistler Cay and upper Spring Creek, which have reduced service.
Monthly passes are available for $50, or 6 months for $270 You can buy passes at select locations including The Grocery Store, Meadowpark Sports Centre and Nesters Market. If you are feeling a bit more non commital, a single fare to anywhere in Whistler is $2.50 (exact change required), or you can buy a batch of 10 tickets for $22.50 for use anytime. The buses in Whistler are in great condition, heated and usually punctual (except on days with 20cm+ snow at village level... then you're better off hitchhiking). Travelling by bus is the most common form of transport in winter, and a good way to keep your carbon emissions down.
Buy a car
Whilst gas in Canada is cheap, monthly insurance is not. Good insurance that will save your ass in an accident will be upwards of $170/month. And the highway gets real messy in the Winter with snow, ice and huge volumes of traffic on the roads. Locals will avoid driving on Friday and Sunday nights when possible to avoid the hoards of weekenders. Parking in Whistler is costly and competitive. Lots 1,2 & 3 (closer to the lifts) cost $10/day year round, or $2.50/hour. Lots 4 & 5 are a further walk and cost $5/day year round except in the off season
(Sep16 - Dec14 & April 16 - June 14) when it is free. You can purchase monthly passes for Lots1,2 & 3 for $50 a month, or $30 for Lots 4 & 5. If you are coming in specifically to ski, lots 6, 7 & 8 are free for mountain access as they are owned by Vail instead of RMOW. Look for a car on Craigslist or Facebook.
Walk or bike the Valley Trail!
Here in Whistler we are incredibly fortunate to have the stunning Valley Trail System, a 40 kilometre network of safe, non-motorized walking and biking routes. Built thirty years ago, it is a zero-emissions, smoothly paved pathway that connects all of Whistler’s neighbourhoods, lakes and viewpoints. It is the best way to avoid traffic congestion in summer, when many people use it as an alternative to car or bus. From Function Junction to Green Lake, the entire length of Whistler and its suburbs becomes easily accessible on foot or two wheels. The stunning views of the valley from the asphalt are a daily reminder of how fortunate we are to live here. Spotting an eagle circling above the lake, a bear crossing the trail or catching the gorgeous pink alpenglow at sunrise or sunset become a regular part of your commute. If you're super committed, you can also use the valley trail in winter, where 38km of it are cleared of snow so you can still walk, jog or fat-bike at your leisure, and even cross country ski in certain parts!