As a long time Vancouverite, I can tell you that we lack a lot of dog-friendly amenities and restaurants which makes it hard for dog owners like me to bring him/her wherever we go. Whistler on the other hand is an incredibly dog-friendly city and if you do have a furry pal, I highly recommend planning the trip with him/her in mind!
Here are my top 5 things to do in Whistler with you furbaby 🙂
1. Stay at a dog friendly hotel!
We stayed at the dog friendly Crystal Lodge during our stay in Whistler and it is conveniently located in the heart of Whistler Village. To be honest, you really can’t get more central than this location.
I love the fact that Crystal Lodge does not charge extra for your fur babies to stay. And as part of their Crystal Canine program, they provide you with some local dog treats, a drying towel, a blanket, a doggie bag, a water bowl, and two balls (the balls might not be included every time). They also give you a recommendation sheet of dog friendly hikes around the area.
Luigi (my corgi) was so in love with all the goodies! It really made him feel like a VIP. <3 Luigi also eats raw so we brought his food up in a cooler and kept it in the fridge. Everything we needed to take care of him was available. 🙂
Another thing to note, if your dog barks at noises at night (because he/she is in an unfamiliar territory after all), I would suggest asking for a room that’s not facing the village. Luigi kept us up all night with his little woofs since we were directly facing the village (and people were partying till the am).
2. Go hiking at any of the off leash trails
Logger’s Lake and Crater’s Rim Trail (basically the trail that goes around the lake/crater) is only a 10 minute drive from Whistler and it was one of the coolest trails I’ve ever been on! I don’t think Crater’s Rim Trail is specifically off leash but it is pretty secluded so it’s up to your discretion.
This trail is not very well known so we only saw 3 or 4 other people while we were walking around. Great if you’re looking to avoid those over-touristy trails. You have to drive on gravel for a while to get to the parking area though so be weary of that.
We did the hike at a leisurely pace and went down to explore the lake as well so it took us 3 hours in total. I’d say the hike is intermediate in terms of difficulty level because it’s not just stepping on perfectly paved rocks or grass. You really need to watch your step on loose rocks and the trails go up as much as it goes down. Also, the trail is not super defined so you really need to watch for your destination so you don’t go off route.
I would gladly go on this hike again with Luigi and I highly recommend anyone with an active dog to explore this trail as well!
3. Re-energize at a dog friendly restaurant or patio
There are A LOT of restaurant patios within Whistler village but none of them technically allow dogs to be inside the patio. We ended up tying Luigi to the side near our table both times we went to eat.
Beacon Pub & Eatery is a casual restaurant that serves up some really amazing appetizers and burgers! Make sure to get their Fried Halloumi sticks (their hummus dip is to-die-for) to go with your burger. You won’t regret it.
If you’re fancying something a little more elegant for dinner, but not in the price range of Araxi, I would recommend Basalt Wine & Salumeria. We sat outside on the patio and their staff was kind enough to give Luigi a blanket to lie on and a water bowl. What a spoiled little pooch!
Camera eats first! Just a little behind the scenes of a food + travel blogger 😛
Make sure to get their charcuterie & cheese board! It honestly is one of the best I’ve ever had. We got the Basalt Local + Handcrafted Charcuterie + Cheese board ($48) which has the best mix of everything.
4. Explore the village with your pup
With so many stores to explore, don’t let your pup prevent you from shopping! Just ask before entering any of the stores as some of them actually don’t allow dogs to go inside (like Cow’s).
If you’re not keen to shop, there are a lot of great open areas around the village to walk around and take photos.
Luigi loves the little grassy field right in the middle of Whistler village (near the Olympic rings)!
5. Teach your dog how to swim at Canine Cove (Lost Lake)
Lost Lake Park is a wonderful nearby lake to bring your furbaby and the great thing is, it’s walkable distance from Whistler Village. It takes about 30 minutes (by foot) to get to Lost Lake and there is a clearly defined path with signs leading you there. Once at Lost Lake, you’ll actually have to walk around to find the area open to dogs (called Canine Cove). It’s sad we only get a tiny section of the lake for the doggies to enjoy, but oh well it’s still pretty good.
We saw this beautiful river on route to Lost Lake Park.
Canine Cove is a great place to teach your dog how to swim! The water is nice and clean too.
Here are a few more places you can check out with your dog!
Disclaimer: Our stay at Crystal Lodge as well as our dining experience at Beacon Pub and Basalt Wine were complimentary as we stayed as media. All thoughts are my own.