Bears Around Whistler

To the bears that live around Whistler BC, (and right in Whistler for that matter!), all of us humans are "gorbies".

definition of a "gorbie": a derogatory word used by Whistler locals to describe tourists; acronym for "geeks on rented bikes"; alternative spelling "gorby"

You see, bears have made Whistler their home for, well, probably as long as bears have inhabited North America, and most certainly longer than any humans have. So, although it is very rare, it shouldn't be surprising that you may have a bear encounter or two while visiting this mountain resort.

Should you be worried? Should you pack a can of bear spray in your luggage? Should you walk around Whistler Village with a "bear bell" tied to your jacket?

In a word, no. But if you plan on doing any "off the beaten path" hiking in the spring or summer, an encounter with black bear is a distinct possibility. So before you wander out, be "bear aware".

Here are some of the place that our family has encountered bears around Whistler.

In the Roundhouse Lodge at the top
of the Whistler Gondola...
Stuffed bear in Whistler Roundhouse LodgeThomas and Mom bear hug Whistler Mountain Roundhouse Lodge

Outside a store in the Fairmont Chateau...

Thomas hugging bear in the Chateau Whistler

Right in the lobby of the Fairmont...

The boys with a stone sculpted bear, Fairmont ChateauStone sculpted bear, Fairmont Chateau Whistler BC Canada

At the "Cinnamon Bear Bar and Lounge" in the Hilton Whistler...

Cinnamon Bear Bar And Lounge Signage
Carved wooden bear in Whistler Hilton Hotel

And bears aren't the only wild animals lurking around Whistler, there are also the equally dangerous wild cows...

Thomas with cow Whistler Village

I think you are probably getting the idea that bears are an integral part of Whistler culture. And least I leave you with the impression that there are no "real" bears around, here are a few shots (photos that is) that I took this past June beside the highway just outside of Whistler.

black bear outside whistlerblack bear with collar whistler bcwhistler canada black bear roadside

The photos are a little blurry, but if you look closely you can see that this bear has been collared by the local authorities, for the bears safety and for human safety. In fact, it is actually quite common for bears to break into cabins and help themselves to what's in the refrigerator. No joke!

Want to take a little bear memento home with you once your Whistler vacation is over? No problem. Bears are a common theme in many of the art galleries throughout Whistler Village.

Whistler Village Art Galleries sign

Bear art located in the Whistler Hilton art gallery

Would you like to learn more about the bears around Whistler and how we "gorbies" can interact peacefully with them. Visit
or the "Get Bear Smart Society".


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