Whistler's social effervescence in summer belies the great, sleeping wilderness just beyond. Whistler hikes ascending local peaks enable you to survey the village in context. You'll see it's no less isolated than Shangri-La.
The mountains continue in every direction, high above and far beyond even the longest and most challenging Whistler hikes. All this impassable terrain sequesters not just Whistler but most of British Columbia, giving it the distinct feeling of a land apart. Some think of it as the Northern Hemisphere's New Zealand, just 350% bigger and not requiring a 12-hour flight.
The province does resemble New Zealand's mountainous south island. But no Kiwi town offers anything approaching Whistler's village atmosphere, urban sophistication, and winter-summer yin-yang. And Whistler hikes are far more accommodating than those in New Zealand, where trails tend to be much rougher and steeper.
Despite its lustrous, hard-candy appearance, Whistler is a simple, pantheist village at heart. Nature worship is what draws people here from all over the world. They come to kneel at her altar in a setting where she's clearly omnipresent and omnipotent.
Some do it on skis. Others on mountain bikes. But the truly reverent, those most intent on expressing their devotion to nature, do it on foot, by walking the Whistler hikes that spin off from the village in all directions, like mantras from a prayer wheel.
Go to http://www.hikingcamping.com/photos-whistler.php to see photos from the premier Whistler hikes.
Go to http://www.hikingcamping.com/hike-whistler.php to read about Done in a Day Whistler, The Ten Premier Hikes. That's the book you need if you're interested in Whistler hikes.