Adventure Awaits – Your 2024 Guide To The Ultimate Whistler ATV Tours

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Are you looking for the best Whistler ATV tours from someone who has experienced the adventure?

As a family travel writer, The Adventure Group (TAG) invited us to try out their Side by Side Tour, and I can tell you it exceeded our expectations! (And is honestly one of the things I recommend the most when people ask the question, “What should I do in Whistler this summer?”).

I originally titled this article, “Mud, Muck, And Memories – Why Families Should Experience Whistler ATV Tours” as those three M’s summarized what the experience was all about, lots of mud and muck, and so many amazing family memories. 

My husband loved driving the Side by Side ATV and we loved being chauffeured through the mud, following backcountry trails to epic lookouts over the Cascade mountains. And if there’s one takeaway from this article it’s this… wear clothes that can get muddy… because you will have dirt flying everywhere, making for an epic adventure! 

So let’s dig into this Whistler ATV tours review and get you everything you need to plan your muddy memory! 

Disclaimer: While I share my own thoughts and stories about these experiences, should you click on the affiliate links, I may receive a small commission on that sale which helps fund Adventure Awaits.

The Adventure Begins – Whistler Village Pick-Up

The Adventure Group (TAG) picks you up in Whistler Village at the base of the mountain. From there you hop on a bus and drive about 15 minutes to TAG’s base camp on Cougar Mountain. After you’re geared up and have had your safety orientation you’re off on a guided tour around Whistler’s backcountry.

Whistler ATV Tour with a Side by Side Adventure Seeker

What Is A Side By Side?

RZR vehicle parked and ready for it's Whistler ATV Tours

Sometimes, they are called UTVs, RZRs, or off-road buggies, but at The Adventure Group, they called them Side by Sides. These are high-performance, off-road trail beasts. It’s technically an ATV or all-terrain vehicle meant for exploring the backroads. We opted for the four-seater Side by Side, allowing our family to cruise together.

ATV Safety Orientation  – Hands-On Learning

family listening to safety briefing before the tour

The children were an active part of the safety orientation, allowing them to learn about the equipment, gear, and their role in keeping the family safe. While they were disappointed (and even shocked) to find out that they couldn’t drive, having them involved in this process was a great hands-on learning experience (drivers must be 16+ and have a valid driver’s license).

Where Does The Whistler ATV Tour Go?

We experienced their Side by Side tour, a 2.5-hour round trip (1.75 hours ride time) up the backcountry trails on Cougar Mountain. The guides started with basic straight trails to allow the drivers and their passengers to get used to driving and handling the Side by Side. Then as the tour continued, you’ll be able to go on more technical trails that narrow, go around corners, through muddy pits, and eventually lead to a scenic outlook. 

What we loved most about this trip was that we were all together in one vehicle, experiencing the Whistler ATV Tours as a family. With Dad having fun being in the driver’s seat, we got to share in many giggles as he splashed us through the puddles, intentionally trying to get us mucky. 

When we weren’t laughing as a family we were taking in the scenes, from driving through the forest trails, around and down muddy side trails, and out to the lookout, it was a scenic experience and adventure rolled all into one. 

TAG also offers a Wilderness Side by Side tour that is 2 hours in length (1.25 hours ride time) and is designed for true off-roaders, allowing guests to explore the wilds of Whistler’s backcountry.

Book your Whistler Side By Side Tour here!

10 Reasons Why Families Should Experience ATV Tours In Whistler

To quote the tour operator, TAG, “What if the journey and the destination became indistinguishable?” While you come to experience the epic, world-class scenery, your journey to get to and from each vista is just as much fun. One of the best parts about our adventure was hearing the kids scream their heads off as we were jostled along the bumpy road.

Here are a few more reasons why families should check out this tour…

1. Confidence – The “We Look Cool” Strut

family sitting in RZR during Whistler ATV tours

There’s something about gearing up for an adventure that makes everyone feel cooler… That little bit of confidence and swag that comes out once you throw on a helmet and goggles and head out of the shack. I call it the “strut”. I’ve seen my kids do it in wet suits while rafting in Jasper and saw it again on this tour. Chest up, chin up, and an energy filled with excitement as we belt up and get ready to head out.

2. Guided Exploration

Professional and expert guides lead the Whister ATV tours, ensuring your safety while sharing fascinating information about the local flora, fauna, and history of the Whistler area. The guide’s expertise will enhance your understanding and appreciation of the area. Fun paired with education is a win in my mom books!

3. All Skill Levels Welcome

Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, TAG Whistler ATV Tours are designed to accommodate all skill levels. With their in-depth instruction and support, the guides make sure it is a fun and safe experience for everyone.

4. Scenic Views

view from the top of a mountain during Whistler ATV Tours

Whistler is known for its breathtaking landscapes. An ATV tour lets you access secluded spots that are typically unreachable by foot, allowing you to explore hidden gems! You’ll enjoy views of mountains, forests, rivers, and wildlife that you wouldn’t normally see if you stuck to the Whistler Village area.

5. Thrilling Adventure

Riding a Side by Side is an adrenaline-pumping experience, as you drive through rugged terrain and muddy trails, all while having fun with your family.

6. Family-Friendly Fun

Their 4 seater Side by Side vehicles make it so that adults and kids can enjoy the thrill of riding and exploring together as a family.

7. Front Seat Envy

boy sitting in front seat of RZR during Whistler ATV Tours

The kids loved that they got to sit in the front seat, so much so that they didn’t want to get out at the viewpoints for fear of their seat being stolen by another family member (I didn’t get to drive or sit in the front seat!). That was okay though, everyone in the family was having so much fun that I got to sit back and take it all in… what an amazing day!

8. The Perfect Break

While riding a Side by Side is a high-energy adrenaline activity, it does offer a refreshing break from everyday life, making it an adventure that can be a great stress reliever, offering both excitement and relaxation out in nature.

9. Unique Experience

It’s not every day that you visit a destination that offers such a unique way to experience and explore an area. Whistler ATV tours allow you to see the area from another angle making it a memorable way to experience the wilderness of the region

10. Get Dirty

woman with dirt covered face after Whistler ATV Tours

After we finished our tour we were covered in dirt from head to toe. I looked like I had a beard! The kids loved that they could shake their clothes out and see a cloud of dust come off. I was glad we could head back to our hotel, where dirt is like a currency and their only concern when we walked through the doors was if we had enough towels!

Book your Whistler Side By Side Tour here!

What to Pack For a Whistler ATV Excursion

To make for the best experience be sure to pack the following essential items including: 

  1. Clothes that CAN and WILL get DIRTY! We’re talking mud and muck throughout your gear, so clothes that you can jump into a lake with afterward or that will go right into a laundry bag as soon as you get back to your hotel. 
  2. Phone / Camera – Away from Whistler Village, this tour will take you to experience a different side of the famous mountain town with beautiful vistas and lookouts unlike those in Whistler Village. I recommend bringing something to protect your gear, either a waterproof phone case or a ziplock bag for your camera. 
  3. Water Bottle – With the dust flying and the heat it’s important to have a couple of water bottles for the family. 
  4. Closed-toed Shoes – A necessity for safety and your comfort, make sure everyone in the family comes wearing closed-toed shoes

Other luxuries you could bring: 

  1. Bandana/Scarf – To help keep the dust out of your mouth, an important comfort item for younger riders.
  2. Pocket Snacks/Candy – If you have kids there’s never such thing as too many snacks… nothing like a little pocket granola bar to keep them fuelled. 

Where to Stay in Whistler

We love staying at the Aava Whistler Hotel. They have a variety of rooms and suites to suit every family size and needs, they are within a close walking distance to Whistler Village, they have an incredible outdoor pool and hot tub, plus they are very welcoming to adventure-loving guests. Learn more about the Aava Whistler Hotel here.

Book your stay at the Aava Whistler Hotel here!

Whistler ATV Tours FAQs

When Is The Best Time To Do A Whistler ATV Tour?

The Whistler ATV Tours start in May and run through November. My recommendation for the perfect Summer day in Whistler would be a morning ATV adventure and an afternoon at the lake to cool off and clean up. Finish up with some downtime at a hotel and an evening at Vallea Lumina and you have the perfect day!

Who Offers The Best ATV Tours In Whistler?

We were hosted by The Adventure Group (aka TAG Whistler) and had an incredible experience up on Cougar Mountain with them. I love booking with TAG because you can add on additional adventures and combine their tours to save money (I strongly suggest you add Vallea Lumina as an evening activity. I’ve been 5 times and can’t wait to go again).

Do you need experience to drive a Side by Side ATV?

You don’t need any previous ATV experience to drive a Side by Side on this tour. Drivers do need to be 16 years of age or older with at minimum, a valid learner’s license. Passengers must be 6 years of age or older.

Is the tour guided?

Yes, all of TAG’s daytime tours are guided experiences with expert guides.

How long are the Whistler ATV Tours?

The Side by Side tours are 2 to 2.5 hours in length.

Book your Whistler Side By Side Tour here!

We can’t say enough great things about The Adventure Group Whistler ATV Tours. It was the perfect way to combine adventure, nature, and education into a single, unforgettable experience!

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About The Author
Jami Savage
Jami Savage
Jami Savage is one of the top Family Travel Writers in Canada, and has been featured on CTV and Vancouver Sun, and more. Go here to read our families story about how we went from backyard adventurers to world travelers, and how you can do the same. If you want to send Jami a quick message, visit her contact page here.
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Jami Savage

Full Time Travel Writer, Mom who is passionate about empowering and educating travelers on how you can use your own tourism dollars as a catalyst for positive change worldwide. Click here to learn more about us, our family, and how we lead an adventure filled life!

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