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Whistler’s Wild Fauna

Whistler’s Wild Fauna

Spring is in the air, and it’s the time of year where our local wildlife starts to come out and play. Since the local fauna can be elusive, we want to help educate you on what to look for, and how to best view these furry locals. As always, safety first, and keep your distance when you’re venturing out to view these magnificent animals!


1. Bears

Whistler is home to the beautiful and majestic black bear. Since these animals have been hibernating all winter, you’ll start to see them emerge around mid-April to start foraging for food. The best way to view the bears safely is on a Bear Viewing Tour, operated by Whistler Discovery Tours. If you aren’t keen on a tour, you might get lucky and see them foraging on the ski slopes as the snow melts away, viewed from the safety of a gondola. It’s important to be bear smart if you are venturing into the backcountry on your Whistler vacation, and make sure to stay alert. 


2. Beavers

As a famous national symbol, Beavers are a must-see on your next Whistler Vacation. Essential to the health of our ecosystem, beavers are known as natural environmental engineers for restoring waterway systems. Beavers like to live in areas around shallow waters like ponds, marshes, lakes, and streams, all of which are abundant in Whistler. Alpha and Nita Lake in Creekside are home to beavers and can be viewed by walking around their shores. Look for piles of sticks and mud (and be careful to step around them) to get a chance to view their homes. If you’d prefer floating as opposed to walking, take a trip down the river of Golden dreams. Keep your eyes peeled for beavers in action, swimming along the shorelines! 


3. Grouse

These self-assured birds can be viewed across various locations of Whistler. As ground-dwelling birds, they love protective, forest settings. They also happen to be skilled at flying in short bursts, but these birds don’t migrate, so they spend most of their life in the same area. This means when you encounter one, you’re in their home, so try and keep a wide berth when passing them to ensure they don’t get stressed. You can find them scurrying around Lost Lake, The Blackcomb Ascent Trail, Whistler Mountain Bike Park, or even along the Valley Trail.



4. Pikas

You’ve probably heard of Pika’s Traverse on Whistler Mountain if you’ve been skiing here in the winter, but wondered, what is a pika? These precious little rodents are cousins to the rabbit and live in the alpine terrain of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Their round ears and short, furry bodies are the epitomai of adorable. These naturally shy creatures are best seen after the snow melts and the alpine is open up for hiking. Venture out further to catch a glimpse of pikas on trails like Overlord on Blackcomb and High Note on Whistler.



5. Whistling Marmots

Whistler’s namesake is from the whistling noise these furry creatures make, so they are a must-see on your next Whistler vacation. The marmot is actually the largest species of ground squirrels, weighing anywhere between 8 and 20 pounds. They have a curious look to them, somewhere between a squirrel and a beaver, and make their notorious whistling noise when they feel threatened. Just like the Pika, these are another animal to wait and see when the high alpine is open for hiking. You can view marmots along any of the Whistler or Blackcomb hiking trails after the snow has melted. 


We hope this helps you plan your next adventure in Whistler! Check out our packages for special offers, or contact us for assistance on booking your next vacation.