Hike in Whistler Glossary of Hiking TermsNorthair Mine is a surreal little world of colourful murals on abandoned cement foundations, surrounded by an astoundingly tranquil little lake in a secluded forest.  Just a short logging road off of the Callaghan Valley Road takes you to this unusual little abandoned mine.  You would have driven by the turnoff if you have been to Whistler Olympic Park or Alexander Falls, both of which are just a couple kilometres away.

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  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

  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 GlossaryNorthair Mine  Hike in Whistler GlossaryOverlord  Hike in Whistler GlossaryPeak2Peak  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRoundhouse  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRubble Creek  Hike in Whistler GlossarySpearhead Range

Northair Mine gets its name from the Vancouver based mining company the Northair Group.  The mine was in production from 1976 and extracted 5 tons of gold before being abandoned in 1982. Today it is a bizarre little world in the mountains that has become an incredible place to escape the world and camp out under the stars.  Northair Mine is tricky to find and even when you near it, the turnoff is not obvious(see the map below for directions).  The access road takes you high into the mountains and is only free of snow in May most years.  In 2016, for example, the snow melted enough for vehicle access during the first week in May.  Driving to Northair Mine is along a bumpy, potholed, old logging road drivable by most vehicles, though at least one deep washout may give even SUV's some difficulty.  Once Northair Mine comes into view it is quite a sight.  The area that surrounds the old ruins is unexpectedly huge.  About 2 kilometres long, edged by a cliff on one side and a beautiful lake on the other.

A nice, smooth gravel road runs through the area, along the edge of the lake toward Whistler Olympic Park.  Canadian Wilderness Adventures has been constructing ATV paths and features around the ruins, which hopefully won't overcome the serenity of the area with sounds of humanity.  They have a reputation for being very considerate and conscientious, so if anyone can blend into the area in a positive way, Canadian can.

Northair Mine Crumbling Foundations

Northair Mine Graffiti

Northair Mine Old Building Foundations

Northair Mine ATV Ramps

Another gravel road runs through the massive cement foundations of what must have been quite a large building.  Beautiful graffiti art covers some of the cement pilings and scattered remnants indicate that this skeleton of a building has been home to its share of gatherings since being abandoned.  Whistler's cherished Flank Trail passes right by Northair Mine near its terminus at Whistler Olympic Park.  Although, the Flank Trail effectively ends far south of the Northair Mine, it piggybacks on the logging road that extends up and past the mine.  With the massive construction that preceded the 2010 Olympics, the Callaghan Valley had a luxuriously wide, paved road built high up into the mountains here.

Northair Mine in the Callaghan Valley

This road has become a destination in its own with its wide sweeping arcs revealing wonderful views, one after the other.  Though Black Tusk can be seen from many vantage points, seeing it from the drive up the Callaghan Valley has got to be one of the best ways to view it from your car.  From 25 kilometres away it looks shockingly close and its wonderful, pure black colour looks striking, framed by snowy mountains.  The Callaghan Valley has, and continues to experience dramatic transformations as varying interest groups vie for sections of this expansive wilderness.  From the endless logging roads leading to decades old clear-cuts, to political wranglings over proposed ski resorts, to the creation of Whistler Olympic Park, this area is both wildly beautiful, and surprisingly developed.

The area seems now to have settled into a modern balance of limitless recreation possibilities and a seemingly infinite spider web of logging roads.  The Callaghan Valley is the wild and untamed cousin to the tidy and developed Garibaldi Park that exists across the valley and stretching down past Squamish.  Where motorized vehicles are not permitted in Garibaldi Park, ATV's and snowmobiles frequent the trails around the Northair Mine.  The easily visible, though unmarked trail that begins just across from the turn in to Northair Mine, is mainly used for these, and once in a while by hikers.  Due to the increased attention to the area however, the Flank Trail, and branching trails like this one are gaining the attention of local hikers.

Tent & Tarn in the Sproatt Alpine near Northair Mine

Mount Sproatt is the massive mountain that dominates the skyline across the Valley from Whistler Mountain.  If you continue driving past Northair Mine, the increasingly deteriorating logging road leads to one of Whistler's newest hiking/biking trails.  Still a work in progress by the folks at WORCA, the new trail network is designed and built by downhill bikers, however increasingly enjoyed by hikers.  The trail network stretches over this spectacular, wild and mostly untouched wilderness.  Dozens of lakes and tarns dot the hostile erratic and krummholz strewn valley.

The Flank Trail

The new trail spans the mountain from the Northair Mine side and down Mount Sproatt, intersecting with the Flank Trail about halfway between the Rainbow Trail and Function Junction.  The only reasonable explanation for the lack of hiking trail development in the area is simply the abundance of amazing trails in and around Whistler and in Garibaldi Park overshadowing the Callaghan Valley.  Certainly the beauty of the area is not in question and wonderful places like Northair Mine make for a unique and extraordinary starting point.

The Road to Northair Mine

Northair Mine and 4x4 Along the Lake

Northair Mine Lake on a Beautiful Day

Hike in Whistler Glossary

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 ...
Read more
The Coast Mountains run from the Yukon down to Vancouver along the west coast of British Columbia in a band that averages 300 kilometres wide(190 miles).  ...
Read more
Green Lake is the marvellously vivid, green coloured lake just north of Whistler Village.  Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Green Lake appears ...
Read more
Overlord Mountain is the highest peak in the Fitzsimmons Range.  Overlord is surrounded by several mountains that collectively are named the Overlord Massif.  ...
Read more

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  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

  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 GlossaryNorthair Mine  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

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 ...
Read more
June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler.  The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f).  The summer tourist ...
Read more
Joffre Lakes Provincial Park, if you don't mind the drive is possibly the nicest snowshoe trail you could try in January.  It is only moderately difficult and ...
Read more
Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
Read more

Best Whistler Waterfalls

Brandywine Falls is one of the must see sights on the way to or from Whistler. The falls drop from a 66 metre(216 feet), unnaturally abrupt looking cliff ...
Read more
Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
Cirque Falls crashes down from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake, connecting these two remarkably beautiful and very different lakes.  Where Callaghan Lake is a ...
Read more

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking and biking trails are so abundant in Whistler that many go unnoticed, neglected or taken for granted.  The Flank Trail is one of these.  Most people in Whistler don't even know about it, but the ones that ...
Read more
Cheakamus 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.  ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
Russet Lake is a surreal little paradise that lays at the base of The Fissile, in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Fissile is the strikingly bronze mountain visible from Whistler Village.  From the Village ...
Read more