Jasper to Whistler
Our week long road trip was brilliant! We seen so much and enjoyed it all the more as my sister and brother in law flew over from Ireland to visit us for a couple of weeks. They first came over in October of 2015 so we had already showed them some of Edmonton, Banff and Lake Louise, so we all agreed that this time a short road trip would be fun.
As I tend to ramble a bit, I decided to break this trip up into two blog posts, so keep an eye out for Part 2!
Day 1 – Jasper
Someone once said to me, before I had ever been to Jasper, that it is like the ‘ugly sister of Banff’…which is slightly harsh! I think what they meant by that was that Jasper town is not as commercialised in appearance as Banff town. To be honest if you are going to Jasper you are not going to hang around the town, you are going to go hiking, camping or canoeing etc. Jasper is a lovely town with many great places to eat. It also has the famous Bear’s Paw Bakery – so this was our first stop in Jasper.
We then headed to Athabasca Falls which is about twenty five minutes from the town. This is a great place to go as there is no big hiking involved and it is so pretty. It is noted to be among some of the most powerful falls in the Rockies so well worth seeing. The weather in Jasper was pretty cold and there was snow on the ground when we were there, so for us this was a perfect stop for us!
Where we Stayed in Jasper
We booked into the Becker Chalets located just outside the town of Jasper. I had first seen these when we were in Jasper back in June and thought it looked like a really beautiful setting as they are right along the Athabasca River. When we were booking all of our accommodation, we wanted to make sure we had somewhere that had two bedrooms and a small kitchen so we didn’t have to eat out all the time – this helps keep costs down.
Although they have an old fashioned feel, these Chalets were perfect for us and the kitchen was fully equipped with everything from spoons to kitchen roll. Plus they had an open fire, which let’s be honest is hard bet, especially as I hadn’t seen one since I was home last Christmas!
There is also a restaurant onsite, but we hadn’t made a reservation and as it was Thanksgiving, there was a bit of a wait for a table so we decided to head into town instead.
We headed to a restaurant called Downstream. This was a great wee find! It is a really nice setting and lovely food. Judging by the two happy heads at our table, the elk steak is recommended!
Day 2 – The Long Drive to Whistler
We made breakfast (we being Sean) in our cabin, before we packed up and headed on the road for Whistler. It is about an eight hour and forty minute drive to our hotel in Whistler, so we would be on the road all day. Snacks are essential and water intake is kept to a minimum!
We stopped in Kamloops to have lunch and went to a lovely café called Red Beard. At this stage we were pretty much at the half way point so we had about another four hour drive left. We had previously decided to take the scenic route to Whistler via Lillooet, which is actually shorter and nicer and at times it felt a little hairy…there are some scary looking drops off the side of the road!
Where We Stayed In Whistler
We arrived in whistler that evening and headed straight for our accommodation. We were staying just outside Whistler Village in an area called Whistler Creekside Village. This little area had a couple of hotels, shops and restaurants.
We choose here purely because of the accommodation as we would be staying for three nights. We had booked a two bedroom suite in a hotel called Evolution. It really was a bit of luxury and at a good price too. It seems like it is aimed at people who are going to Whistler to ski. It was a condo style suite with was two bedrooms, two bathrooms, sitting room, dining area, washing machine and tumble dryer and a fully equipped kitchen. There was also a balcony with a fireplace which was a very nice surprise and they had a pretty nice hot tub too!
They have a handy take out menu in the room with a list of different restaurants to order from, and well that night the kitchen looked too nice to mess up!
Day 3 – Whistler Village & Squamish
That morning we made breakfast in our suite and then made the short five minute drive into Whistler Village – hosts of the 2010 Winter Olympics. I think we were lucky with the time of year because the autumn colours were out in full. There are sign posts for The Village Stroll which just brings you on a small walk around the village, it really is a very beautiful place.
Sea To Sky Gondola
After a lovely wander around the Whistler village we headed off to Squamish, more specifically we were heading to the Sea to Sky Gondola. This is about an hour’s drive from the village and one of the lovely ladies I work with recommended doing it. There is a gondola in Whistler called Peak 2 Peak Gondola, but I am not sure I would have been able to handle this one…I have an issue with heights!
I HATE HEIGHTS really hate them, probably my biggest fear…but I did it, I went up, crying and all! Thankfully there was a bar at the top so that was our reward, enjoying a cold beer on the deck of the Summit Lodge at 885m above sea level. The views were spectacular and I am so glad we did it! At the top there is also the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge. This is basically a 100 metre long bridge suspended in mid-air that brings you to the Spirit Viewing Platform and Spirit Trail….eh no thanks, I am not that brave. The lads went over it no problem, while we enjoyed our beers. I am pretty sure my sister would have gone over it, but just decided to keep me company instead!
Once you are at the top you can also go on some the nearby hiking trails and there also family friendly walks to enjoy too. Tickets for the gondola cost us $37.95pp, check out the Sea To Sky Gondola website for the most current prices and family rates.
Shannon Falls is also located in Squamish, only one kilometre from the Sea to Sky Gondola, so there was no reason for us not to go and see it. This is the third highest falls in British Columbia.
As I said in my Instagram post on Shannon Falls, my sister described this place as a mix of Lurganboy and Glencar Waterfall (both in County Leitrim), only on a slightly larger scale! This is a lovely place to visit, with a great picnic area at the entrance if you are visiting in the summer months.
Where We Ate in Whistler
We decided to eat at restaurant a five minute walk from our hotel – the Rim Rock Café. It was a fine dining restaurant and we were lucky enough to be there when they a great offer of three courses for $49. The food was fantastic. Seafood seems to be their specialty so I tried for the first time, fresh tuna, it was sooooo good! I would definitely recommend this place if you are visiting Whistler.
So there you have it, I told you I would ramble…
I hoped you enjoyed!