Best Whistler Wateralls - Brandywine FallsCirque Falls crashes down from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake, connecting these two remarkably beautiful and very different lakes.  Where Callaghan Lake is a large, easy to get to mountain lake, Cirque Lake is an extraordinarily serene and hidden lake that takes a bit of planning and effort to get to.  Though it is just two kilometres up a steep, yet easily manageable trail, the Cirque Lake trailhead is hidden at the far end of Callaghan Lake.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlySproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

 Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JanuaryJanuary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking FebruaryFebruary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MarchMarch  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AprilApril  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MayMay  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JuneJune  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JulyJuly  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AugustAugust  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking SeptemberSeptember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking OctoberOctober  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking NovemberNovember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking DecemberDecember

Whistler Waterfalls

Alexander Falls  Brandywine Falls  Cirque Falls  Keyhole Falls  Nairn Falls  Rainbow Falls  Shannon Falls  Train Wreck Falls  Wedgemount Falls

With the massive snowfall and long winters, combined with the rapid, trail-consuming forest growth in BC's Coast Mountains, finding the Cirque Lake trail is mangled, obscured and overgrown.  Keeping to the trail and even finding the trailhead would be nearly impossible without the help of Cirque Falls and Cirque Creek.  The trailhead, in fact, is so well concealed by the forest that it is completely invisible from the lake.  Paddling up to the end of Callaghan Lake and where you assume the trailhead to be leaves you some probable options that entice you away from the actual trailhead.  Flatter terrain, gaps in the forest and a more obvious entry point to the forest can be found on the right side of the end of the lake.  The left side and middle, you rule out quickly as they are both too steep and the impenetrable wall of the rainforest looks uninviting. 

Cirque Falls from the Middle of Callaghan Lake

If you park your canoe, kayak, or paddleboard on the enticing right side, you will find a beautiful ancient forest of big trees and few ground level bushes.  This wonderful, dark forest you find occasionally is the result of a big, thick ceiling of trees blocking the sunlight and not allowing a thick jungle to grow at the ground level.  Instead you step from the lake into the forest and find yourself in a remarkably wide open forest, shielded from the outside world by a wall to the lake and a nearly unbroken ceiling of trees.  This area you can immediately see is a gradually sloping valley that ascends up and eventually curves right, leading you to Telemagique Lake and then around and down to Madeley Lake, Whistler Olympic Park and Alexander Falls Provincial Park.  This route is rarely done as a hiking route, but frequently done as a ski touring route in the winter.  There is even the remains of an old cabin, just steps from the shoreline here that you can't help but visualize standing in this magnificently peaceful, wild and beautiful forest.  After a moment, you then wonder how many dozens, or hundreds of these little huts exist in the vast wilderness that stretches for hundreds of kilometres in all directions around the Callaghan Valley and the Whistler Valley.

Cirque Lake the source of Cirque Falls

Though this beautiful forest at the end of Callaghan Lake on the right side is well worth exploring, it is not where you will find the trailhead to Cirque Lake.  The key to finding the trailhead and where to park your boat is not something you see, but something you hear.  Cirque Falls, though a relatively thin waterfall, is very tall as it crashes down much of the almost two kilometres from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake.  You will have almost certainly heard Cirque Falls, long before seeing it as you paddle down the lake.  It is a odd feeling to hear loud crashing water that must be quite close, yet you are in the middle of a large lake with a clear view in all directions and nothing to explain it.  The source is of course Cirque Falls.  Halfway down the length of Callaghan Lake from where you started at the boat launch at the campsite, you will pass through the narrowest section of the lake, about a half kilometre wide.  This is when you first get a really good look at the far end of the lake, still over a kilometre away.  If you focus on the steep cliffs and narrow gap in the mountains in the distance, you will make out the source of the crashing water sound you have been looking for.

Cirque Lake empties bottom left toward Cirque Falls

Cirque Falls and Cirque Creek make their way down from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake in one relatively smooth, yet very steep arc.  You can see it emerge from high up in the distance, through the thick forest, then disappear again into the unbroken and pristine looking forest that surrounds Callaghan Lake.  Though you will never see the Cirque Lake trailhead until you are right on top of it, you can find it easily by following the sound of crashing water.  The trailhead is where Cirque Creek meets Callaghan Lake.  There is a gravel bar, built up over the decades and a large fallen tree jutting out into the lake, giving you an unexpectedly easy and convenient exit from the lake.  It almost seems purpose built for a canoe to slide alongside and then dragged into the forest where you find the unmarked trailhead and a lovely clearing.

Cirque Lake Pours Out to the Falls Here

Cirque Creek leads you quickly up through the forest and alongside Cirque Falls.  Due to the chaotic terrain and thick forest, generally only hear the falls, though you do catch the occasional glimpse.  The falls are not as beautiful as Alexander Falls or Brandywine Falls, but more like a smaller version of Wedgemount Falls.  With the exception of from the middle of Callaghan Lake, Cirque Falls is hard to see.  You can, however, get close to the top of the falls relatively easily by hiking down from the edge of Cirque Lake.  Cirque Lake narrows into a channel, just below the cliffs where the trail first meets the lake.  You can scramble down and follow Cirque Creek for a few dozen metres before it steeply descends towards Callaghan Lake.

Callaghan Lake from the Cirque Lake Trail

Cirque Lake in the Callaghan Valley near Whistler

Cirque Lake Aerial View

Cirque Lake Tent View

Vancouver Garibaldi Hiking Camping Rental

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlySproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Barrier  Hike in Whistler GlossaryBears  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCloudraker Skybridge  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCoast Mountains  Hike in Whistler GlossaryErratic  Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Fissile  Hike in Whistler GlossaryFitzsimmons Range  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Ranges  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Volcanic Belt Hike in Whistler GlossaryGreen Lake  Hike in Whistler GlossaryHoary Marmot Hike in Whistler GlossaryKrummholz  Hike in Whistler GlossaryMount Garibaldi  Hike in Whistler GlossaryOverlord  Hike in Whistler GlossaryPeak2Peak  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRoundhouse  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRubble Creek  Hike in Whistler GlossarySpearhead Range

 Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JanuaryJanuary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking FebruaryFebruary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MarchMarch  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AprilApril  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MayMay  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JuneJune  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JulyJuly  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AugustAugust  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking SeptemberSeptember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking OctoberOctober  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking NovemberNovember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking DecemberDecember

Best Hiking by Month

November in Whistler is when the temperatures plummet and the first heavy snow falls in the alpine and often in Whistler Village.  The hiking opportunities ...
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July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long gone.  The ...
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May is an extraordinarily beautiful time of year in Whistler.  The days are longer and warmer and a great lull in between seasons happens.  Whistler is ...
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In the(usually) deep March snow of Whistler you have an amazing array of snowshoeing options.  If you have not been to the Whistler Train Wreck, you have ...
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Hike in Whistler Glossary

Hoary Marmots are the cute, pudgy, twenty plus pound ground squirrels that have evolved to live quite happily in the hostile alpine areas around Whistler.  In the ...
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The Roundhouse Lodge is the centre of activity on Whistler Mountain.  It is where the Whistler Gondola drops off and next to where the Peak 2 Peak Gondola ...
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The Peak2Peak Gondola connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain at a dizzying height of 436 metres(1427 feet).  It runs all winter and in the ...
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Whistler, the surrounding mountains, and Garibaldi Provincial Park are home to two types of bears.  Black bears and grizzly bears.  Black bears are ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

Nairn Falls is a wonderful, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the deluxe viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above.  The beautiful, green water rushes through the ...
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Taylor Meadows is a very scenic campsite and great alternative to the much busier and more well known, Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park between Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk, ...
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Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a gorgeous park with extraordinarily coloured lakes, waterfalls, stunning mountain peaks and ominous glaciers pouring into the valley.  Joffre Lakes is one of those incredible places ...
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Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and Parkhurst Ghost Town certainly ranks as one of the most unusual, exotic and interesting. Parkhurst was a little logging town perched on ...
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