Whistler has a great selection of hiking and trail running stores. Escape Route in Marketplace and Excess Backcountry near the Whistler Gondola both have great selections of hiking gear. Hiking gear such as packs, sleeping bags, hiking shoes, stoves, stove gas, hiking maps, etc, can be found at these two stores. North Face and the Salomon Store have packs, hiking shoes, though don't have specific hiking gear such as stoves and stove gas. Salomon has an exceptionally good selection of hiking shoes and packs, however, no large hiking packs.
The North Face Store has a great section of the store devoted to tents and sleeping bags. They even have some tents built as well as sleeping bags open to look at. As for trail running stores in Whistler, the Salomon store specializes in this very well. Trail running clothing, shoes, packs, water bottles, watches. They have every conceivable trail running item and surprisingly reasonable prices. The North Face Store has a growing selection of trail running clothing as well. Good, though small selection gore-tex trail running shoes and running shirts and jackets. Escape Route also has a selection of footwear, but mainly for hard-core hiking. Click below for more info and directions to hiking or trail running retail stores in Whistler.
Whistler Hiking Retail Stores
Escape Route Whistler
One of the two fully equipped hiking stores in Whistler and with convenient parking in Marketplace
Escape Route is a proper hiking store with a fairly good selection of stoves, packs, shoes, fuel, ropes, crampons, snowshoes, etc. You should always be able to find what you are looking for. The store is somewhat small though as compared to the big city stores but the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. They have a website www.escaperoute.ca Their phone number is 604 938 3228. Their opening hours change to suit the seasons so don't rely on their website for accuracy on when they are open. Free parking outside their door in the Marketplace parking lot.
Great selection of hiking gear for a relatively small store, located near the Village Gondola
A great little hiking store in the middle of the action in Whistler Village. They carry some different brands of gear than Escape Route does, which is great as they complement each other rather than compete. So for example, if you are shopping for a pack, you should try both stores to make sure you find your best fit and price. They sell stoves, fuel, maps, packs, hiking shoes, etc and have a great, knowledgeable staff. No website but the phone number is 604 932 6409. Their opening hours are usually 9am - 8pm (fri-sat) closing earlier other days.
Salomon Store Whistler
Good selection of hiking footwear, some day packs and hiking clothes at competitive prices
The Salomon Store in the middle of Whistler Village, next to the Whistler gondola in the same building as the Pan Pacific. They have an excellent selection of hiking and trail running footwear at surprisingly low prices. Many styles are on sale, however they don't keep much stock, you have to be lucky to find your size. The closest parking is a two minute walk away, in the Whistler day lots. Their usual opening hours are 8am-9pm. They have no website but their phone number is 604 905 2295.
North Face Whistler
A pretty good selection of North Face hiking gear and some trail running gear
The beautiful, new and huge North Face Store in Whistler has a good selection hiking and outdoor clothing as well as a fair bit of hiking equipment. They have a variety of sleeping bags, tents, packs of all sizes, hiking shoes and a lot of clothing. They don't sell stoves or fuel but some accessories like lights, multi-tool knives. They don't have a website but their number is 604 932 4193. They are usually open until 8pm and are located in the middle of the village on Main Street. Pay parking out front on Main Street.
Whistler Trail Running Retailers
Salomon Store Whistler
Wide selection of trail running gear and very competitive prices
The Salomon Store in the middle of Whistler Village, next to the Whistler gondola in the same building as the Pan Pacific. The closest parking is a two minute walk away, in the Whistler day lots. Their usual opening hours are 8am-9pm. They have no website but their phone number is 604 905 2295.
Escape Route Whistler
Some trail running gear, convenient location in Whistler's Marketplace
Escape Route is mainly a hiking store, however they have a fair bit of trail running gear, shoes, etc. They have a website www.escaperoute.ca Their phone number is 604 938 3228. Their opening hours change to suit the seasons so don't rely on their website for accuracy on when they are open. Free parking outside their door in the Marketplace parking lot.
North Face Whistler
Extensive selection of outdoor and hiking gear, some trail running gear
The beautiful, new and huge North Face Store in Whistler has mostly hiking and outdoor clothing as well as a fair bit of hiking equipment. A limited selection of trail running gear, shoes, clothes and packs. They don't have a website but their number is 604 932 4193. They are usually open until 8pm and are located in the middle of the village on Main Street. Pay parking out front on Main Street.
Where To Go Running...
Whistler is an absolute paradise for running. You can find easy, relaxing, paved running routes. Challenging, narrow and zig-zagging runs. Runs that take you along spectacular rivers and unbelievable sunsets over amazing lakes. In Whistler, you can even find a run that winds its way through a menagerie of decades old, train wreckage incredibly brought to life with elaborate paintings. You can even find runs that can safely be classified as brutal. The Wedgemount Lake 14k trail run is difficult, steep, rugged, yet takes you to a lake high above Whistler that will take your breath away. The unnatural, turquoise colour, the stark ruggedness of the valley and the spectacular glacier sliding down toward the lake all make the brutality of the run an unforgettable experience. Other runs are less traumatic, yet just as amazing. The Singing Pass 22k run takes you from the top of Whistler to Whistler Village by way of a staggering array of incredible views. Skirting the edge of Whistler Mountain, this running route is an exhilarating set of viewpoints. One after the other they open up to you as you run. The trail extends away from Whistler until it reaches Singing Pass. Singing Pass abruptly takes you down from the endless mountain views and ascends continuously and straight for twelve kilometres to Whistler Village. Singing Pass cuts between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and you find yourself running under the Peak to Peak Gondola far above.
Another brutal, yet popular running route in Whistler is known as the Rubble Creek Classic. This 25k linear run takes you from the Cheakamus Lake trailhead up into Garibaldi Park, past Helm Creek, Black Tusk, Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake and finishes at the Rubble Creek trailhead. This is a running race that takes place in September every year and attracts quite a few locals as well as regional, trail running athletes.
A less brutal and still very challenging run is the Rainbow Lake 16k. This wonderful, deep forest trail takes you high into the alpine to the beautiful, Rainbow Lake. Located across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb, the views are amazing. Along the run to the lake you pass by several waterfalls, cross a few bridges, run through a meadow on a boardwalk and then hit the magnificent alpine lake ringed with more potential running routes. The Rainbow Lake 16k is definitely a challenging run as you gain 850 metres in just 8k to the lake. This is just gradual enough to be enjoyable and just as importantly, the 8k return is just gradual enough to not kill your knees. This of course cannot be said of the Wedgemount Lake run or the Singing Pass run. Both of these brutalize even the strongest knees.
There are of course a beautiful array of relaxing running trails in Whistler. The Cheakamus Lake trail is definitely one of the most amazing, moderate runs around. You can run various lengths on this one. The trailhead to the start of Cheakamus Lake is 3k, so you can have a very enjoyable 6k run that has winding hills and river views though a forest of giant trees. If you extend the roundtrip to 12k or 14k, you will be following the trail along the edge of this beautiful lake. Always in the midst of the impressive forest of giant cedars and hemlocks, there are constant vistas that keep the run exciting and entertaining. Of all the runs in Whistler, Cheakamus Lake gives you the best views for least effort. Overall there is little elevation change, yet constant short and gradual ups and downs, and non-stop sights to take in.
The Whistler Train Wreck is a 6 kilometre running route that has become a secret favourite for weekend visitors. This route is very convenient on the drive in and out of Whistler. The trailhead parking is located just 80 metres before the lights at Function Junction (8k south of the Village on the Sea to Sky Highway). From your car you run to the train tracks, then turn left running along the tracks under the highway overpass. Almost immediately a gap in the trees on your left takes you into the remarkably beautiful trail that runs along the Cheakamus river. The trail continues past a few amazing river, viewpoints then forces you back to the train tracks where you run along the tracks as it skirts a bend in the river. Past the bend you, once again run left into a trail, this time leading to the elaborate and expansive train wreck. The amazing paintings inside and outside of the wrecked train cars are extraordinarily beautiful. Combined with the amazing river viewpoints make this run impossible to do without stopping a few times to marvel at the sights. It is because of this convenience and beauty that has made this a popular run to do a 5k lap, or two laps (10k), or three laps (15k) through just before arriving at your hotel in Whistler to start your weekend.
Closer to Whistler Village you can find various good jogging routes that take you along the beautiful, paved Valley Trail. Right from Whistler Village you can get on the section of Valley Trail that runs around the Whistler Golf Course. Once around is just under 5k, and has some gradual hills and non-stop views that include, Whistler, Blackcomb, Wedge, Rainbow, and Sproatt mountains. This is one of the most popular places to run in Whistler, partly due to its beauty and partly its convenience. It is also one of the few running routes that can be run in the winter as this part of the Valley Trail is snow plowed daily.
An extension of the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k can easily be done by following the Valley Trail off one end and continuing on to Alta Lake and circling the lake via Rainbow Park and returning to the Whistler Golf Course where you began. This running route is 7.7k long and takes you past the far side of Alta Lake and some stunning views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains.