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.  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.

  • Very easily accessible, park at various places
  • Public transit stop just steps from the trailhead
  • Connect to Logger's Lake & Whistler Train Wreck
  • Ideal trail running route & dog friendly
  • An easy & family friendly trail
  • Many great spots for a picnic
  • Usually quiet & has little elevation change!
  • Trails are not overly exciting
  • Not as impressive as other Whistler trails
  • No camping allowed in the area

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

 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

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 is Free and Dog FriendlyCheakamus River is located just 8k 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 in earnest in the Whistler area in November, so the best months for snowshoeing Cheakamus River are from late November 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

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Bridge View

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing View

Cheakamus River Bridge View Down

Cheakamus River Suspension Bridge

Cheakamus River Bridge View

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

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.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Whistler

Cheakamus River Trail Map

The Cheakamus River trails centre around two core trails that link via the Cheakamus River suspension bridge at one end and the Cheakamus Crossing bridge at the other. These two trails, Riverside & Farside, lay at the heart of Whistler Interpretive Forest, which encompasses the surrounding areas of beyond Cheakamus River. These areas consist of the Riverside trail, Farside trail, Discovery Loop, Ridge trail, Riparian Interpretive trail, Crater Rim trail, Craterview Loop, Plantation Loop, Biogeoclimatic Loop, Crater Lookout and more. The Riverside trail is an easy to moderate, 2 kilometre multi-use trail with a a few steep switchbacks and a couple very scenic viewpoints over the river. At the suspension bridge it connects to the Farside trail that hugs the opposite side of the river and brings you back to where you started in Cheakamus Crossing.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Map

Facilities at Cheakamus River

The Cheakamus River trails and the Interpretive Forest don't have a whole lot of facilities such as outhouses or picnic tables. This is quite nice as to maintain a wild and untouched feeling of the area.  You will find an outhouse at Logger’s Lake and of course the nearby Cheakamus Crossing has a few eateries with washrooms. The HI Whistler Hostel has a very nice little coffee shop with a few things to eat and drink. It is worth checking out, not least for a glimpse at Athletes Village. The name given to this neighbourhood for the 2010 Olympics as it accommodated hundreds of athletes. The HI Whistler Hostel is a huge hostel and looks inside and out like a hotel. Very modern and trendy feeling as you walk in the front door. The only drawback to this hostel is its location, as it is 8 kilometres south of Whistler Village, though on a regular bus route.

Cheakamus River Deep Snow

Restrictions and Concerns at Cheakamus River

No Campfires AllowedCamping ProhibitedNo Motorized VehiclesNo fires are allowed in Whistler's Interpretive Forest as the danger of forest fires is very high. No motorised vehicles on the trails either. Camping is not allowed, however the Interpretive Forest covers quite a large area of wilderness with dozens of idyllic places to sneak a nights sleep in the wilderness. For legal campsite options you have to look further up the Cheakamus Valley. Cheakamus Lake has two very nice, wilderness campsites(pay to use). Helm Creek campground is further up towards Black Tusk. These are both in Garibaldi Provincial Park, which is campsite friendly, but not dog or bike friendly. As mentioned above, the Cal-Cheak Campground and Whistler RV Park & Campground are good options for pay camping.

Cheakamus River Snowy Day

Wildlife at Cheakamus River

WildlifeThe chances of spotting a bear along Cheakamus River or anywhere in the Interpretive Forest are good, but only outside the winter months.  If you drive, hike or bike up the 8 kilometre logging road to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead in the summer, you will pass numerous piles of bear dung. Often on this road you will encounter bears as well as on the trails. The encounters on the hiking/biking trails can be quite unnerving due to the windy trails causing you to encounter them at close range. There is no great danger for bears in Whistler unless you provoke them. Of course provoking a bear is as easy as having lots of food around and luring one toward you. 

The Cheakamus Crossing Bridge

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

More Snowshoeing Near Cheakamus River

Logger's Lake is an amazing little lake hidden up in the deep forest above Cheakamus River.  The lake, almost unbelievably exists in a long extinct volcano.  However, as soon as you see the lake up close, you quickly come to believe it.  The lake sits in an almost cartoonish looking, volcano-shaped bowl, with one side of the bowl a crumbling array of truck sized boulders leading down to the lake.  The crater that Logger's Lake sits in was a volcano that pushed through the glacial ice in this valley about 10000 years ago.  As the lava cooled it formed the wonderful basalt ridge that is crumbling into valley.

Logger's Lake Near Cheakamus River Aerial View

On the other side of Cheakamus Crossing you will find several hiking and biking trails.  The wonderful Sea to Sky Trail cuts through the neighbourhood and extends south to Brandywine Falls and north to the far side of Green Lake beyond Whistler Village.  The Sea to Sky Trail actually runs from D'arcy, a town far north of Pemberton to Squamish, however there are considerable sections that run along the Sea to Sky Highway.  The huge section of the Sea to Sky Trail that runs from Brandywine Falls to the far end of Green Lake entirely avoids the Sea to Sky Highway and is almost always cutting through the deep wilderness that surrounds Whistler.  This beautiful, 33 kilometre stretch of the Sea to Sky Trail passes through Cheakamus Crossing and is found close to the beautiful Whistler Train Wreck trail.  Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across a great suspension bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. The trail from your car to the wrecks only takes about 15 minutes, however once you reach one wreck, you see another, then another. There are seven wrecks in total that are spread over an area about 400 metres long.  Along with the beautifully chaotic train wrecks, you get several stunning glimpses of Cheakamus River and if you are motivated, a set of gorgeous viewpoints of Train Wreck Falls.

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

Whistler Train Wreck Kups Art

Whistler Train Wreck Snowshoeing

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 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 the Cheakamus Community Forest(aka 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 trailhead has room for about 20 cars. Plenty of signs warn you to not park on the road in any way as the area is used by enormous construction vehicles.

Whistler Train Wreck Map

  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

Best Whistler Waterfalls

Cirque Falls crashes down from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake, connecting these two remarkably beautiful and very different lakes.  Where Callaghan Lake is a ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Wedgemount Falls can be seen along the trail to Wedgemount Lake.  As the falls flow directly from Wedgemount Lake, they are located about three quarters ...
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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

 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

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 ...
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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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April in Whistler is a wonderful time of year.  The winter deep freeze ends and T-shirt weather erupts.  The village comes alive with the Telus Snowboard ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite ...
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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 ...
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Rainbow Falls is located just a short hike from the start of the Rainbow Trail to Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is along Alta Lake Road on the far side of ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

Blackcomb Mountain holds an impressive and ever growing array of hiking trails. From the moment you arrive at the Rendezvous Lodge, you see hiking trails ascend into the distance. The Rendezvous Lodge is ...
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Sloquet Hot Springs is a wonderfully wild set of shallow, man-made pools fed by a small, all natural, and very hot, waterfall. The pools stretch from the waterfall to the large and crashing Sloquet River. The ...
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Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The 15 kilometre hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama Ridge takes you through beautiful and deep forests, ...
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Skookumchuck Hot Springs, located two hours north of Whistler along the edge of the huge Lillooet River. The name Skookumchuck means "strong water" in the language of the Chinook people of the Pacific ...
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