Best Whistler Hiking Trails by MonthDecember hiking in Whistler is mainly done on snowshoes, though if it hasn't snowed for a few days, trails to Whistler Train Wreck and Rainbow Falls can usually be tackled fairly easily without snowshoes.  The wonderful, multi-use trail network in Whistler, the Valley Trail is amazing on foot all winter, though the overlapping Sea to Sky Trail is quickly buried in December snow.  Some sections of the Valley Trail are snowplowed and some sections are groomed for free cross country skiing.

Whistler 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  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  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 FriendlyMount Sproatt  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 Snowshoeing

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Brandywine Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBrandywine Falls  Cheakamus River Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Nairn Falls Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailNairn Falls  Parkhurst Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy, Flat, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Whistler Train Wreck Easy, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

The Valley Trail at the end of Lorimer Road that leads to Rainbow Park and in the other direction, to Meadow Park is one of these wonderful, groomed sections that are fun and free cross country skiing trails in Whistler in December.  You can easily hike these sections on foot, but after heavy snow you may wish you had snowshoes on!  Similar to November, in December the snow mostly falls on the higher elevations.  So, snowshoeing to Wedgemount Lake in the deep snow of January or February would be brutally difficult.  In December you may be able to hike on dirt for a while before reaching the snowline.  It varies from year to year, however, December often finds snowshoeing to Wedgemount Lake slightly less exhausting and difficult.  And of course you are almost guaranteed to have the whole valley to yourselves in the cute little Wedge Hut.  Wedgemount Lake is a steep and difficult hike in the summer when there is no snow.  It doesn't require technical skill, but it is just exhausting.  You gain 1220 metres of elevation in just 7 kilometres and hiking with a backpack takes about 2.5 hours to reach the lake.  In the winter, on snowshoes, the Wedgemount Lake trail is considerably harder.  First, the obscured trail is hard to follow, despite the frequent trail markers.  Second, on snowshoes, each step on steep ground is one step forward, half a step backward.

You plod on slowly and with each step slipping back part way.  If you can get past the difficulty of the exhausting winter trek to Wedgemount Lake you will reach an amazing paradise in the mountains.  The Wedgemount Lake hut is an extraordinary oasis of warmth in the middle of the beautiful Wedgemount Lake valley.  Anyone can use the hut, anytime.  It can sleep up to 8 reasonably comfortably and consists of two large tables on the lower level and a small loft that can fit four people.  Sporadically used by skiers in the winter, though rarely used by snowshoers due to the difficulty of the trail in the winter.  If you do make it up to Wedgemount Lake you will be rewarded with a phenomenally beautiful, snow filled mountain paradise of a valley.

Wedgemount Lake Hike in Whistler December

Snowshoeing Wedgemount Lake in December

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoeing is Very DifficultThe Wedgemount Lake trail is deep with snow from November to June most years.  If you snowshoe it November to mid December or mid June to early July, you will only need your snowshoes partway up the trail.  Depending on conditions and traffic on the trail, you may get lucky and be able to follow previous tracks in the snow, however this is not reliable.  The final kilometre before Wedgemount Lake between the months of November and late June is almost always deep with snow, sometimes as late as July! This part is very steep, and even on snowshoes painfully difficult, so consider that if you plan to go.  However difficult and exhausting you think the trail will be, it is far more brutal than you think!  In the snowy days of December, losing the trail is always a consideration worth worrying about and having a GPS with you is a very good idea.  At a good pace, when the trail has snow top to bottom, expect to take over 3.5 hours from your car to the hut.  Some take as long as 6 hours.  You have to add an extra kilometre or two in the winter as well due to having to park 1.5 kilometres down from the usual trailhead parking as it is inaccessible due to snow usually December to April.  

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Whistler December

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Whistler December

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Whistler December

Wedgemount Lake in the Summer

Wedgemount Lake in the Summer

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Map

Wedgemount Lake Trailhead in December

Good, Potholed, Gravel Road to Wedgemount ParkingThe free parking at the trailhead to Wedgemount Lake is easy to find as there are Garibaldi Provincial Park signs on the Sea to Sky Highway.  Located just a short and scenic, ten minute drive north of Whistler Village.  An excellent place to see Wedge Mountain on the way to the Wedgemount Lake trailhead is the Green Lake viewpoint at the edge of Highway 99.  Look for the obvious and large pullout on the right side of the Sea to Sky Highway at the far end of Green Lake. The pullout is easy to spot shortly after you lose sight of Green Lake.  The views across to Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain and Wedge Mountain are amazing.  There is also a nice information board indicating what you are looking at. Also, just after the highway turnoff to Wedgemount Lake there is a beautiful picnic area on Green River.  Picnic tables, serenity and the hugely crashing Green River make this a great spot to relax before your hike.  This is also a superb and free place to camp before and/or after hiking Wedgemount Lake.  Beautiful freshwater river and lots of places to put up a tent near the Green River bridge make it an ideal setting.  From Whistler Village at Village Gate Boulevard, zero your odometer proceed north on Highway 99. At 11.3km a sign will direct you to turn right to "Wedgemount(Garibaldi)". Cross the train tracks and the bridge over Green River and immediately (11.5k) turn left onto the Wedge Creek Forest Service Road. At 11.7km turn right and head up the bumpy but drivable to all types of cars to the parking lot at 13.2km.  In the winter months (December to March) this last portion of road will likely be too deep with snow to drive, so parking here at the 11.7km mark may be as close as you can get. The trailhead parking lot is large and well maintained with an information board and outhouse.  Though crime is almost non-existent in Whistler, be sure to secure your vehicle as leaving valuables visible in your car at a hiking trailhead is asking for trouble.

Green River at the Wedgemount Lake Highway Turnoff

Snowshoeing Joffre Lakes in December

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing Moderately ChalleningJoffre Lakes is an absolutely stunning place to snowshoe in December.  You can drive to the partially snowplowed trailhead parking all year-round and Joffre Lakes is so popular with skiers that you can almost always rely on ski tracks in the snow to follow.  The trail is fairly well marked with tree markings but having a track in the snow to follow makes the journey much easier. Joffre Lakes is a long, though beautiful 1.2 hour drive north of Whistler.  From the trailhead to the first of the three Joffre Lakes is just a few dozen metres so you almost immediately get some stunning views across the lake to distant mountains.  The trail then ascends a couple kilometres to the second of the Joffre Lakes which reveals even more amazing views.  The third of the Joffre Lakes is at the 5 kilometre mark and you will have gained 400 metres of elevation to get there.  The views at the third lake are, of course, more amazing still.  Though the snowshoeing trail to Joffre Lakes is only moderately difficult a considerable amount of caution should be taken.  For example, in snowy weather the trail may become obscured and wandering off the trail is a dangerous possibility.  Also, the days are short and lingering at the lake too long could leave you out in the dark.  Another risk is the cold temperatures.  Minus 12c is not unusual and being unaccustomed or unprepared for the cold could kill you.

Joffre Lakes Snowshoe Whistler December

Make sure you know what you are doing before snowshoeing the Joffre Lakes trail and if you are unsure of the weather or anything be prepared to turn around part way through the journey.  The trail is fairly well marked with tree markings but having a track in the snow to follow makes the journey much easier.  In the winter, with the lakes frozen and the trees weighed down with snow, Joffre Lakes takes on a serene beauty, with the low sun cutting through the trees and the forest brightly reflecting.  The third of the Joffre Lakes ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful.  The trailhead and parking lot will be buried in metres of snow in the winter months, however a small parking area is plowed throughout the winter.  There are plenty of signs, so even in snowy weather, you should easily spot them.  From the winter parking area you will likely have to climb over a plowed, wall of snow and then continue through the snow buried parking lot.  At the far end, the parking lot bends right and you will spot the trailhead sign.

Joffre Lakes Snowshoe Whistler December

The first of the Joffre Lakes is just an easy and short 2 minute walk.  Here you can see directly across the lake and beyond to your destination.  The third of the Joffre Lakes will be at the foot of the distant mountain you see in the V of the closer mountains.  If you trust the thickness of the ice on the lake you can take a short-cut by walking across the lake and picking up the trail as it skirts the right side of the lake.  This doesn't cut off much distance, however, and finding the marked trail may be tricky.  Continuing along the trail you slowly ascend through deep forest and across some small creeks.  Past the far side of the first of the Joffre Lakes you then cross a huge boulder field which can be tricky to cross when wet, snowy or icy.  On a sunny day, this is a great place to stop and take in the view.  All around you are massive pillows of snow resting on massive boulders buried far beneath.  The mountains across the valley seem to glow impossibly white.  It's here that you will notice that much of the hike will be in the shade.  Partly because of the deep forest, but also because the trail is mostly on the hillside facing away from the sun.  Because of this you will want to have lots of warm gear and some hot drinks or you won't enjoy the sights on the trail nearly as much.

Joffre Lakes Snowshoe Whistler December

Joffre Lakes Snowshoeing

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Winter Map

Joffre Lakes Trailhead in December

Paved Road to Joffre LakesFrom Whistler, zero your odometer in Whistler at Village Gate Boulevard and follow highway 99 north toward Pemberton. At 32km you will arrive at Pemberton, an intersection, with a Petro Can gas station on your left and McDonalds to your right. Continue straight, through Pemberton. At 39km turn right at the sign to Lillooet. Follow this winding road, and soon you will pass Lillooet Lake on your right as the highway ascends steeply.  You are only 20 minutes from the parking lot now.  At 65km, you will see the large Joffre Lakes parking lot on your right (shown on the map below).  There are several worthwhile stops on the drive to Joffre Lakes.  Just five minutes from Whistler Village and you will drive along the edge of Green Lake.  There is an excellent pullout on the right side of the highway at a great viewpoint over the lake.  Wedge Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain, and Whistler Mountain lay beyond Green Lake.  Another 15 minutes driving and you will see the sign for Nairn Falls Provincial Park.  A short and easy 1.2 kilometre trail runs along the wild and crashing Green River to a viewing area on cliffs across from the falls.  In the winter the park gates are closed, so you will have to just park at the edge of the Sea to Sky Highway, next to the gates and walk in.  Continuing north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Pemberton is just another 5 minutes away.  This cute town is your last chance for a coffee shop, grocery store, liquor store or gas station before Joffre Lakes.  You will see two gas stations at the set of traffic lights, but if you want coffee, restaurants, etc, then turn left at these lights and you will find plenty of choices.

Joffre Lakes Parking in Winter

Free Winter Camping at Joffre LakesCamping is welcome year-round at Joffre Lakes and from November to May it is free and there is no need to register.   In the summer months, 26 camping areas can be found at the far shore of Upper Joffre Lake.  These are very rustic camping areas with no facilities other than two outhouses.  In the winter months this camping area becomes unusable due to its location being in the path of frequent avalanches.  Concern about the avalanche terrain becomes your main campsite consideration in the winter along with the lack of suitably flat areas to put up a tent around the lake.  Camping on the frozen, Upper Joffre Lake is often preferred by campers this time of year.  Keep in mind that winter camping is only suitable for the well prepared, equipped and experienced.  You will be sleeping just centimetres from solid ice in a brutally cold alpine environment.  For example, a cheap sleeping bag and sleeping pad will make your night painfully cold and miserable.  With the exception of some weekends and the occasional weekday, you can expect to be the only camper on the lake.  If you are equipped and can brave the cold, sleeping on Upper Joffre Lake is an experience you won't soon forget.

Snowshoeing Whistler Train Wreck in December

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoe Trail Dog FriendlyWhistler Train Wreck is a surreal array of colourfully painted train cars that derailed along Cheakamus River several decades ago.  The cars lay in a marvellously serene forest at a particularly gorgeous part of Cheakamus River.  Located in Cheakamus Crossing, just 8 kilometres south of Whistler Village, the Whistler Train Wreck trail is pretty easily accessible year-round.  Even during a snowy December you may get away with not having snowshoes to get to the wrecks.  There are several wonderful highlights of Whistler Train Wreck.  First, the seven colourful and mangled train cars are spread out over an area several hundred metres long.  This makes each car somewhat of a destination of its own.  One car is perched on the edge of a cliff over Cheakamus River.  Another lays in the middle of a clearing in the forest with elaborate bike ramps on, and extending from it.  Yet another lays on its side with the remnants of a small fire pit at its centre and the remnants of what must have been quite a memorable party.

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing December

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing December

Whistler Train Wreck Map

History of Whistler Train Wreck

The Whistler Train Wreck happened in 1956 and some of the details have emerged in recent years. The train, coming from Lillooet, was overloaded with lumber and was unable to get up the ascent to Parkhurst, behind Green Lake. To make it through, the train was split into two separate trains, two engines each. This caused the train to fall way behind schedule and the train conductor to ignore a section of construction on the train tracks. He sped through the 24 kilometre per hour section at a dangerously high speed of 56 kilometres per hour. The overloaded train sped through the construction area and the fourth engine turned a rail, jamming three heavily loaded boxcars loaded with lumber. They jammed in a rock cut, an area where rock is blasted out to allow tracks to pass through on the flattest possible route.  Pacific Great Eastern Railway attempted to move the trapped boxcars with no success. They turned to a local logging company for help. The Valleau family brought in a couple tractors and equipment and managed to free the cars. They dragged them out of the rock cut and pushed them into the forest where they still sit. This explains why so many trees older than the train wreck surround the wrecks to this day. It also explains why they are so mangled and spread out over quite a large area. One of the boxcars is precariously on the edge of a cliff overlooking Cheakamus River, quite a distance from the train tracks.

Trailhead & Parking Directions to Whistler Train Wreck

Parking & Trailhead DirectionsPublic Transit Directions to Whistler Train WreckThe Whistler Train Wreck is one of the easiest hiking trails in Whistler to get to by car, bike or public transit.  Public transit runs continuously between Whistler Village and Cheakamus Crossing for just $3 one-way.  The bus will drop you off at the HI Hostel and a short section of the Sea to Sky Trail connects you to the Trash Trail and Whistler Train Wreck.  If you would rather bike to the trailhead you are in for a treat.  From anywhere in Whistler the bike ride to Train Wreck is very nice.  Whistler's Valley Trail system and the Sea to Sky Trail connect you to Cheakamus Crossing from Whistler Village with only one road crossing!  The wide, two lane, paved Valley Trail takes you through some beautiful scenery and along three lakes.  Only 9 kilometres by bike, Whistler Train Wreck is easily within reach by bike.  Walking to the Train Wreck trailhead is a possible option as well.  The same route as by bike, you will pass by some amazing scenery and get from Whistler Village to the trailhead in well under 3 hours.  To get to the trailhead for Whistler Train Wreck, drive 7.6 kilometres south of Whistler Village.  At the traffic lights at Function Junction turn left onto Cheakamus River Rd, then immediately left again in the the huge parking lot for Whistler Interpretive Forest.  This is the official parking area for Train Wreck, though still without signs indicating the Trash Trail or Train Wreck.  There are much better and closer parking options to the Trash Trail located across from the Sea to Sky Trail entry in Cheakamus Crossing. One very large, though still unmarked parking area located a stone's throw, across from the Sea to Sky Trail trailhead has room for about 20 cars(pictured here below). Plenty of signs warn you to not park on the road in any way as the area is used by enormous construction vehicles.

Trailhead Parking for Whistler Train Wreck

Another good, possible the best place to park is just a couple hundred metres into the Jane Lakes Forest Service Road(see map). Drive just a couple hundred metres in and you will spot an old gravel road on the right ascend steeply up into the forest with a trailhead sign for Trash Trail.  There is room for a couple vehicles along the clearing next to the Trash Trail sign.  The road from the sign quickly narrows and finally blocked by boulders about 50 metres in.  You could certainly park here keeping mindful about not blocking other cars or being blocked in yourself.  Alternatively you could park at the edge of the Jane Lakes FSR where it met this road(next to the Trash Trail sign).  From here you continue up a briefly steep trail for about 1 kilometre before reaching a nicely signed and new junction directing you(for the first time) to the Whistler Train Wreck.  From where you park to the amazing new Train Wreck bridge should only take you 15 minutes. The Whistler Train Wreck, of course is located just beyond the bridge.

Whistler Train Wreck Trailhead Parking

Snowshoeing Cheakamus River in December

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing is Free and Dog FriendlyCheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing, turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through Whistler Interpretive Forest at Cheakamus Crossing, then down past Brandywine Falls to Daisy Lake.  Also a popular kayaking route, the main attraction to Cheakamus River is the wonderful and quite extensive network of hiking and biking trails that run along either side of it.  The Riverside trail and the Farside trail run on either side of Cheakamus River and connect at both ends by bridges.  Connecting to the Riverside trail is the short trail to Logger's Lake, which in turn is surrounded by more hiking and biking trails.  The Lake Loop trail, Crater Rim trail, the Ridge trail, Upper Ridge trail, and the Lower Ridge trail.  On the Farside trail along Cheakamus River you can connect to Cheakamus Road(gravel road) and hike 6 kilometres up to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.  On the other side of the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing, which Cheakamus River bends around keeping the Sea to Sky Highway and train tracks on its opposite side, you find still more hiking and biking trails.  Trash trail hugs the river all the way to the beautiful bridge to Whistler Train Wreck.  Or, continue past the bridge to connect with the Sea to Sky trail.  For the most part, however, if you are talking about the Cheakamus River trails you are likely talking about the Farside and Riverside trails in Whistler's Interpretive Forest.  Eight kilometres south of Whistler Village and surrounding the recently constructed neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing is Whistler Interpretive Forest.  This beautiful forest surrounds the Cheakamus River and has been cut and replanted in several areas in the past decades. Hiking and biking trails have sprung up over the years making the area a wonderful place to explore. Unfortunately, the Interpretive Forest is day-use only, no camping is permitted.  The main highlights of the Interpretive Forest are the Cheakamus River trails, and the extraordinary Logger's LakeLogger's Lake, just a short hike from the Cheakamus River suspension bridge, sits within a 10000 year old, extinct volcano and is a hiking destination on its own.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing

The Cheakamus River hiking and snowshoeing trails are located just 8 kilometres south of Whistler Village just off of the Sea to Sky Highway.  This well marked, though beautifully remote feeling snowshoeing trail takes you along both sides of the wildly crashing Cheakamus River.  Snow begins to fall heavy in the Whistler area in December, so the best months for snowshoeing Cheakamus River are from December to early April.  These trails are frequently used year-round so the snow on the trail is often packed down.  You may find that you don't need snowshoes for much or all of the trail.  One of the best routes is to walk/snowshoe from your car for about 100 metres following the road to Cheakamus Lake.  At about 100 metres you will see a branching road go to the right and a large, vehicle bridge cross the Cheakamus River.  Cross the bridge and you will immediately see a trail on your left running along the river.  This trail, with Cheakamus River on your left will descend and ascend through a beautiful forest.  Sometimes close to the river, sometimes 100 metres away.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing

Another very nice snowshoeing trail, the Ridge Trail, extends from the Cheakamus River trail.  You can find it easily by several excellent trail signs at various junctures.  The Ridge trail takes you up a and away from Cheakamus River to Logger’s Lake where you can go around Logger’s Lake, or just along one side before re-connecting to the Cheakamus River trail not far from the suspension bridge.  As these trails are popular in the summer for hiking and biking they are well marked with signs.  The Cheakamus River suspension bridge, which is 2k from where you parked and should take about an hour to reach.  There are wide and straight logging roads on either side of the Cheakamus River which ensure that you can't get lost if you stray from the marked trails.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Map

Once you reach the suspension bridge you can cross it and return to your car from the other side of the river.  You will see a trail on the other side of the bridge on your left. You can also snowshoe back via the Cheakamus Lake Westside Road which is just a hundred metres or so from the bridge (after you cross it from the side you just snowshoed).  As long as you keep within the bounds of the Cheakamus Lake Road and the Cheakamus River on your way back to your car you can pick your own route as the trails branch in and out in this confined area as it ascends back to your car and starting point.  There are no facilities on the trail however in Cheakamus Crossing just a one minute drive past the trailhead you will see the large Hostel, the HI Whistler which has an amazing coffee shop where you can get a great selection of food and drinks and even a beer or glass of wine.

Parking & Trailhead Directions to Cheakamus River

Parking & Trailhead DirectionsPublic Transit to TrailheadParking for the Cheakamus River trails and Whistler's Interpretive Forest are numerous. The main Whistler Interpretive Forest parking lot is located just off the Sea to Sky Highway. Easy to spot and just metres from the highway. There is a bus stop very close to the parking lot, so it is convenient by bus as well. Biking to the Cheakamus River trails is very easy because the Sea to Sky trail and Whistler's Valley Trail system connects to Cheakamus Crossing from the Village. The route is very scenic and on a wide, two lane purpose build, multi-use trail. This trail actually cuts through the Interpretive Forest's parking lot. Other parking areas for Cheakamus River are mostly unmarked, but excellent and convenient. You can in fact park just steps from the suspension bridge over the river at the parking area, best for the short trek up to Logger's Lake. Cheakamus Crossing also has a nice and huge parking area that sits next to is the Ridge trail leading to Logger's Lake.  In the winter, however, you will find the access roads on both sides of Cheakamus River buried in snow.  Parking at the big Whistler Interpretive Forest parking lot just off the Sea to Sky Highway is a good idea.  From there you just walk the beautiful Valley Trail for five minutes to reach the Cheakamus Lake Road on your left and quickly see the Cheakamus Crossing bridge.  Here you can choose to snowshoe either side of Cheakamus River.  Each side is similar with winding, beautiful trails, both two kilometres to reach the Cheakamus River suspension bridge.  Another excellent place to park in the winter is found in Cheakamus Crossing at the end of Mount Fee Road.  This huge parking lot is about a third of the way from the Cheakamus Crossing bridge and the Cheakamus River suspension bridge.  It is also just a couple hundred metres from the Lower Ridge trailhead that takes you up to Logger’s Lake which you can then link back to Cheakamus River at the suspension bridge and snowshoe back to your car.

Cheakamus River Snowshoe Parking Map

Snowshoeing Brandywine Falls in December

Brandywine Falls Snoeshoe Trail is Easy and Dog FriendlyJust south of the Cheakamus River and Train Wreck trails is a wonderful place to snowshoe in December, Brandywine FallsBrandywine Falls Provincial Park is just 8 minutes south of Cheakamus Crossing on the Sea to Sky Highway.  A mountain of snow will likely be blocking the gated entrance to the parking lot in December so you will have to park outside the gate.  The falls drop from a 66 metre or 216 feet cliff to the valley below.  Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is such a popular, accessible and beautiful sight that it has a large and elaborate viewing platform directly opposite the falls.  The park is just off the Sea to Sky Highway about 15 minutes before you reach Whistler. The snowplows intentionally clear a winter parking area for the park near the gate.  You just have to scramble over the mountain of snow, cross the parking lot and follow the signs.  The easy-to-follow trail begins just across the parking lot.  If you don't have snowshoes, take a look anyway on your drive by as it only takes a few people to hike/snowshoe to the falls before you to pack down the trail and make it easy to walk.  You will be able to tell as soon as you climb to the top of the mound of snow, plowed from the highway next to where you will park.

Brandywine Falls Trailhead

Brandywine Falls Trail Train Crossing

Brandywine Falls Snowshoeing Whistler

The trail to Brandywine Falls starts at a covered bridge over Brandywine Creek and then follows alongside the creek for less than a kilometre until you reach the impressive viewing platform across from this thundering waterfall.  Brandywine Falls is amazing to see in the summer, but in the winter it is even more extraordinary.  The sounds are echoed louder as they echo off the frozen chasm the water falls into, yet the area is magically serene with rarely anyone to break the peacefulness of the park.  The trail to Brandywine Falls is pretty short and if you are looking for another great place to snowshoe to in the area, the Whistler Bungee Bridge is a great option.  Just a few metres back from the Brandywine Falls viewpoint you would have passed the Sea to Sky Trail.  The Sea to Sky Trail runs almost entirely through the wilderness from here to Whistler Village.  It then continues through Lost Lake Park and up the back side of Green Lake before emerging from the forest at the north end of Whistler past the Wedgemount Lake trailhead.  From Brandywine Falls it is just two kilometres to the very impressive Whistler Bungee Bridge.  High above the Cheakamus River, this amazing bridge spans at a dizzying height.  From the Brandywine Falls trailhead/parking to the Whistler Bungee Bridge is a beautiful 6 kilometre, roundtrip snowshoeing adventure that takes you to both these amazing Whistler sights.

Bungee Bridge Snowshoe Whistler

Bungee Bridge Snowshoeing Whistler

Brandywine Falls Map Winter

Nairn Falls Snowshoeing is Easy and Dog FriendlyBrandywine Falls Provincial Park is about 15 minutes south of Whistler Village and another beautiful waterfall park is located about the same distance north.  Nairn Falls Provincial Park has a relaxing 1.2 kilometre hiking/snowshoeing trail that runs along Green River to a gorgeous viewing area in the midst of Nairn Falls.  The popular trail is actually hike-able year-round, so you most likely will not need your snowshoes unless there has been lots of new snow in the last couple days.  The trail is well marked and doesn't gain any significant elevation, making it a very easy, kid friendly trail.  The viewing area is located within a bend in the falls/river and the churning waters rushes around where you stand, far below.  The water crashes through deep cuts in the rock and rushes into deep, green pools.  There is a wonderful sign depicting how the area was formed over thousands of years.  A short side trail from the main viewing area takes you over to an abrupt edge, where you can look down on the Green River below.  Railings have been constructed as a precaution to prevent people falling off the cliff

Nairn Falls Provincial Park Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing to Nairn Falls

Snowy Nairn Falls

Nairn Falls Provincial Park Snowshoeing

 

 

 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 in Whistler & Garibaldi Park by Month

Whistler Hiking Trails

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  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJoffre 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 Glossary

Northair Mine is a surreal little world of colourful murals on abandoned cement foundations, surrounded by an astoundingly tranquil little lake in a ...
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The Cloudraker Skybridge and the Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk are new additions to the summit of Whistler Mountain.  The Cloudraker Skybridge stretches 130 ...
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Erratic or Glacier Erratic is a piece of rock that has been carried by glacial ice, often hundreds of kilometres.  Characteristic of their massive size and ...
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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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Whistler Hiking Trails

Meager Hot Springs(aka: Meager Creek Hot Springs) is located 93 kilometres northwest of Whistler, was beautifully developed into gorgeous pools, with a caretaker and usage charge.  At its height of ...
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Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler.  The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly ...
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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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Ring Lake is a fantastically beautiful and wonderfully remote lake similar to Cirque Lake but considerably farther to hike to reach it. The 10 kilometre hike takes you through a tranquil forest, then to an ...
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