The Definitive Guide to Vallea Lumina in Whistler

The town of Whistler is full of adventurous activities from skiing, hiking, and ATVing. In addition to these fantastic outdoor excursions is Vallea Lumina. This otherworldly adventure is perfect for date nights, families, and groups who are looking for a unique outdoor experience in Whistler. 

For a special, illuminating experience, look no further than Vallea Lumina. 

What is Vallea Lumina? 

Vallea Lumina is a spectacular nighttime light show held in Whistler every summer and winter. This means you have two seasonal opportunities each year to catch this amazing show! Translating to “valley of light” in Italian, it is said to be a magical experience as visitors get to walk through the forest and see it in a new light.

As the sun sets, Whistler’s Cougar Mountain’s light up in a different way as the old-growth forest reveals hidden wonders through feats of light and added sound effects. 

The Vallea Lumina night walk is a collaboration between the Moment Factory and the Adventure Group in Whistler. The Moment Factory is an award-winning, innovative multimedia entertainment studio that specializes in creating immersive, captivating environments much like Vallea Lumina.

The group creates gorgeous light shows all around the world including Canada, Japan, and France. Even if you have never experienced Vallea Lumina, you might be familiar with the Moment Factory’s other productions including for the likes of Madona and Ed Sheeran. 

The Story Behind Vallea Lumina

vallea lumina map
Image credit: vallealumina.com

This late-night forest light show is more than just a wonderous sight. Vallea Lumina is an evening excursion filled with wonder and mystery. Between the trees and in the shadows of the mountains, creators bring this hidden valley to life with light and stardust. The journey begins with two long-ago hikers wandering the same scenic trailhead that you will! You will investigate cryptic radio transmissions and other hidden clues to discover the legends of Whistler. 

You will start the base camp and enter the command post to be sworn in as a deputy ranger. Your job will be to look out for two hikers and other clues. At the outpost, you will be serenaded as a hiker sings an old song that will guide you through the next chapter of the journey. Those cryptic transmissions will be discovered at the field lab. Next, you will be guided through bright trees that are guarding a secret to be discovered. Keep an eye out for clues near campfires between embers. Don’t forget to look up as there are also clues written in the stars – holograms or constellations? After collecting all the clues, you will circle back with the two hikers to learn about the Legend of Vallea.

There is much to do and see at Vallea Lumina. You will want to take your time and pay extra special attention to every single detail throughout the show.

Why go to Vallea Lumina? 

Vallea Lumina has more to offer than just a light show. Visitors will have so much to look at between the holograms, theatrical lighting, and interactive activities. To truly enhance the immersive experience, the creators of the show curate music and sound effects and bring the forest’s story to life. Visitors have compared the experience to that of a Disney production.

Who is Vallea Lumina for? 

Vallea Lumina is a fun, nighttime outdoor outing that is perfect for everyone. Lovers can enjoy a romantic summer evening under the lights. Families with children of all ages will find something exciting to see for everyone. Young or old, visitors are sure to enjoy this unique experience.

Vallea Lumina Shuttle Bus and Directions

The curators of the event are currently offer limited ticket sales including a shuttle bus service to and from the base camp. However, they are limited and may be sold out when you go to purchase your tickets. Not to worry, as the GPS directions and proper signage will take you exactly where you need to go.

You will need to reach Cougar Mountain to get to Vallea Lumina. About ten minutes north of Whistler, you will find the Adventure Group’s Cougar Mountain base. You can drive or book a local limo or taxi company to get to Cougar Mountain. Type “Sixteen Mile Creek Forest Service Road, Whistler BC” in any GPS application to be guided up the short road to Cougar Mountain Base Camp. 

cougar mountain directions from whistler

You will be greeted by warm fires, music, activities, and a concession stand with snacks to fuel your journey. It will be a hard sight to miss. Once you are settled, you can begin your walk! 

What about Parking?

There is complimentary parking available at the base of Cougar Mountain. 

What to Expect at Vallea Lumina

Vallea Lumina is open from sundown to 11 PM daily, every summer and winter. It is 1 kilometer of forest trail that will take visitors anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour depending on their speed. The trail can be up to 1.5 kilometers if the pathways are affected by snow or ice. Many visitors recommend taking your time walking through the trail, spending close to two hours in the forest!

The walk is self-guided with an easy, wide trail. While there are some sections with incline and decline, it is still considered an enjoyable stroll. During the summer, creators include several steep staircases to enhance the experience, so this means no strollers! 

By default, this also means that anyone with a walker or wheel assistance may find it difficult to complete the path. Those with mobility issues are suggested to visit during the summer where there are less chances of debris in the pathways.

In the winter, trails can get icy, so be sure to wear appropriate boots. Do note that there are park rangers in case you should need any help, along with wooden benches if you would like to take a break or take in the light show. There are bathrooms posted at the beginning and end of the trail – use this information to plan your walk accordingly!

Getting Vallea Lumina Tickets

When you’re ready to book your Vallea Lumina experience, you can do so directly on their website.

Summer Rates (May to October): 

  • Adults: $39.99
  • Youth (6-15): $34.99
  • Children: Free

Winter Rates (November to April):

  • Adults: $34.99
  • Youth (6-15): $29.99
  • Children: Free

There you will be able to specify if you would like to purchase for summer or winter shows. 

When to visit Vallea Lumina

For those visiting with children, visiting Vallea Lumina as early as possible is recommended. The 9-10 PM slots are the best for large groups and families. 

If this is a date night excursion, make it a late night! Grab dinner and drinks to wait out the kiddie crowd and then stroll the forest for a more intimate experience. 

What to Bring

Wear boots that were made for walking! If you are walking the forest during winter, come equipped with proper winter boots and ski gear to stay warm. Otherwise, bring a light jacket to shelter the breeze from those cool winter nights. Depending on the humidity factor, you will also want to bring insect repellent during the summer!

Vallea Lumina operates during rain, shine, or snow. Unless there is an announcement from The Adventure Group Whistler, the show will go on. Much like concerts or movie experiences, this means no refunds. It is highly recommended that you book your tickets in advance because tour times do fill up! Plan to arrive early, because if you are late, you might not be able to join the next group depending on how booked up it is. 

No umbrellas are allowed, so bring a rain jacket with a hood and rainboots to prepare. At the base camp there are hand warmers and a hot chocolate station to keep visitors warm and toasty! With fireplaces dotting the trails, feel free to pack marshmallows for roasting. 

While flash photography is prohibited, it is highly encouraged to bring a camera to document the journey. The dynamic light structures will light up any camera with ease! You will be so drawn in by the attractions, do not be surprised if you forget your phone even exists.   

The Family Experience at Vallea Lumina

The beauty of Vallea Lumina is the availability of activities for children in the evening that other attractions in Whistler do not offer. This unforgettable experience is worth keeping kids up past their bedtime. While strollers are not allowed on the trail due to the staircases, parents should consider bringing a backpack carrier in case the little ones get tired along the way. Visitors have noted the trail’s ease stating their toddlers ages three to five had no issues walking the entire path.

Parents opt to take their children in their pajamas to enjoy the hot chocolate at the snack stand and then embark on the evening stroll. Once they are back in the car, children are dreaming peacefully! It’s the perfect activity to end the day.

Is Vallea Lumina Worth It?

Vallea Lumina is visited by thousands of people every single year. A simple search of the event will have your screen flooded with positive, exciting reviews about the experience. If you don’t believe us, take it from previous visitors below: 

Vallea Lumina is said to be like “landing on another planet” as you step into the captivating light shows, exciting structures, and the intriguing storyline. This “ten out of ten” experience is one that visitors would do again and again. 

Many people who come to Vallea Lumina are repeat visitors because they simply can’t get enough of the show! Even those who experienced the show in the rain had nothing but good things to say about the experience. This is something you will not want to miss out on if you are in Whistler.

According to Tripadvisor, parents and toddlers alike are “mystified and mesmerized” by the show. Parents are also surprised at how incredibly easy it is to walk with children or stroll with them in a carrier! 

Visitors compared the Vallea Lumina trail to experiences in that of Avatar attractions and Lord of the Rings. The towering trees and bubbling streams add a lovely textural element to the experience.

For a short preview of what you can expect to see during the show, several tourists and bloggers have taken the liberty to uploading virtual tours on YouTube. While videos and pictures will never do the tour justice, this is a great opportunity to take a peak of what’s to come!

Here’s a video from 2018 to give you an idea of what the experience will be like:

Current Vallea Lumina Coupon and Offers

If you book now before May 31st, you can save 25% on your trip to Vallea Lumina for trips between June 3rd and October 30th, 2022. 

For a limited time, families can save 50% on youth tickets on tours from February 19th-25th.

For the most current offers, you can browse the offers tab here or call 1-800-944-7853 for more information. 

Promotions are also posted on The Adventure Group Whistler Facebook page. Keep an eye out for deals and special events on holiday weekends to get the most out of your trip!

Summary

Whether you are planning a date night or an intimate experience with family, Vallea Lumina is sure to bring the right magic to your evening. Don’t hesitate to book this late-night experience while in Whistler!