Legend has it there’s a long-lost trail that winds through the old-growth forests of Cougar Mountain near Whistler, which leads to a hidden valley.
And with the help of Montreal-based Moment Factory, visitors now have an opportunity to explore this enchanted trail via Vallea Lumina and help solve the mysterious disappearance of a lost father and daughter who vanished decades ago while walking the woods. Without giving too much away, the experience, brought to Whistler by The Adventure Group (TAG), is based just eight-minutes north of the village and is inspired by local culture and legends.
Here are 10 things to know before you go — without spoiling the experience.
What is Vallea Lumina? The multimedia experience is a combination of emotive lights, videos, sounds, theatrical scenery and holograms that lead visitors through the woods at night in hopes of solving a decades-old mystery.
When you arrive: At the base of the mountain visitors are greeted with fire pits, colourful Adirondack chairs, music, washrooms and activities. A concession stand sells snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
How long is the walk? Visitors can walk at their own pace, but it takes about an hour to complete the 1.5-kilometre trail. Park rangers are based along the trail to help guide participants.
Accessibility: The path is made up of steep sets of stairs and paths that zigzag up the side of Cougar Mountain. Not recommended for anyone with mobility issues. There are logs and wooden benches set up along the trail where visitors can catch their breath when needed — or to relax a little longer while taking in a particularly enchanting scene. The trail can be quite dark in some places so you have to watch your footing. Note: there are no washrooms along the trail.
How to get there: A complimentary shuttle service is provided to transport visitors between Whistler Village and Cougar Mountain.
What to bring: Closed-toed shoes or hiking boots, insect repellent, loose comfortable clothing — dress according to the weather. There are water stations set up along the path so a water bottle is optional.
What is TAG? The Adventure Group’s mandate is to offer wilderness experiences that are fun, safe and memorable for locals and visitors. By providing a diverse collection of activities in one place, and with a variety of offices located throughout Whistler, TAG also wants to make it convenient way for everyone to book their Whistler adventure. Other tours offered by TAG include, Superfly Ziplines, Wedge Whitewater Rafting, snowmobile tours, RZR all-terrain tours, snowshoe tours on Whistler Mountain and the Treetop Adventure Course.
What is Moment Factory? The Moment Factory is a multimedia studio with a team of professionals specializing in in video, lighting, architecture, sound and special effects to create remarkable experiences. Based in Montreal, the studio also has offices in Los Angeles, Tokyo, London, New York City and Paris. Since its inception in 2001, Moment Factory has created more than 400 unique shows and destinations. Clients include the Los Angeles Airport, Microsoft, the NFL, Sony, Toyota and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Madonna and Royal Caribbean.
Days and hours of operation: Vallea Lumina runs daily now until Oct. 15. The experience begins at sundown (around 10 p.m. at this time of year) and takes place every 20 minutes. Exact times vary depending on the time of year.
Cost: Tickets are $29 for adults 16 and older, $24 for youth six to 15, and children five and under are free.
For more information, visit vallealumina.com.