Being from North Vancouver, Whistler has always been a popular vacation spot for my family and our friends. In the winter, the skiing is amazing and in the summer there is so much to explore. Typically I have participated in similar activities when I have visited, but this trip Ryan and I had the opportunity to do something completely new, Vallea Lumina.
The experience began in the village. We were picked up by our bus at 10:20pm in front of the Blackcomb Day Lodge. As there is no parking at the event location, everyone must travel by the bus service (included with your ticket). Pro tip: Blackcomb Lodge and Blackcomb Day lodge are two different places. We almost missed our bus and had to sprint through the village to make it.
The bus was comfortable and only took around 20 minutes. The location where Vallea Lumina takes place is entitled Cougar Mountain. The bus dropped us off at the ‘Base Camp’. The ‘Base Camp’ had campfires, washrooms and even s’more kits available for purchase. We were a bit early and spent a few minutes relaxing by the fire before the adventure began.
At our show time, we headed up to the main gate. The sky was pitch black and lanterns led us along the path. It was a little more varied in elevation than I had expected, really making you feel as though you are actually hiking through the forest on a mission. I had never walked through the forest at night and it was truly a unique experience. Though there were some stairs and hills, it definitely was not difficult ( I had sprained my ankle a few days prior and I was completely fine).
Vallea Lumina is truly a magical experience. I don’t want to spoil the surprise and wonder of it by over explaining, but it really was amazing. Under a sky full of stars and a seemingly endless forest, a light show leads the way. There is a story line that weaves through the event. As you follow the lanterns, you stumbled upon scenes of campers, music and incredible special effects. It was unlike anything I have experienced before.
Adult tickets cost $29. I think this is quite a fair price, especially for a Whistler event. The forest walk itself takes 1-2hrs depending on how fast a pace you set and how long you stop at each scene. It was busy but definitely not overcrowded. Since you can set your own pace, you really have the freedom to be with other people or hang back on your own. I would recommend bringing a sweater or a jacket because it does get chilly at night.
More information and an awesome video of the experience can be found on their website. If you are planning to go to Whistler soon, this is an event for all ages that you will not want to miss!