Parkhurst Ghost Town SnowshoeingWhistler 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 the edge of Green Lake way before Whistler was Whistler.  Up on the ridge where Parkhurst sits, the views are sensational. Green Lake far below, a solid unnatural looking mass of green.  Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain out in the distance to the left and Rainbow Mountain across and beyond Green Lake.

  • Unusual & surreal place
  • Historical artifacts hidden everywhere
  • Lots of amazing spots to put up a tent
  • Frozen Green Lake access in the winter
  • Famous Toad Hall house was here!
  • Stunning views of Green Lake
  • Forgotten, remote corner of Whistler
  • Little hidden world with lots to see
  • Easy to get lost in the maze of trails
  • Trails are almost all unmarked

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

If you have a good look around Parkhurst today, you can find remnants of its past almost everywhere you look.  From the old disintegrating truck from the 50's to the absurdly and improbably located car being consumed by the forest.  What makes Parkhurst Ghost Town such a great hiking trail and destination is where it is located and the trail to get to it.  The Parkhurst trail, one of several ways to get to Parkhurst Ghost Town, runs along the scenic Green River and next to the still active train tracks that run through Whistler.  There always seems to be something to see.  From the beautiful meadow along the train tracks, to the suddenly deep forest where you have to play a game of finding the next, pink tree marker or risk wandering off the trail.  The trail markers are numerous, and though getting lost is inevitable, you can only stray a few metres before, the river or steep terrain push you back onto the marked trail.  Once up on the ridge above Green Lake where Parkhurst is located, the forest takes on a spooky feel.  Trees are all far apart and with branches only high up give the forest a unnaturally lifeless look.

Parkhurst Ghost Town Blue Kups Face

Parkhurst Ghost Town Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Ghost Town Aerial View of Green Lake

Parkhurst Log Loader Aerial View

Parkhurst Ghost Town can also be reached by snowshoeing the wonderful section of the Sea to Sky Trail that runs along the far side of Green Lake.  The trail starts at both ends of Green Lake.  One end is near Whistler Village close to Lost Lake and the other is north of Green Lake at the turnoff to Wedgemount Lake from the Sea to Sky Highway.  In the winter the Lost Lake area has an access trail fee and therefore blocking the Sea to Sky Trail south access point to the Green Lake section of the trail.  The far end of the Green Lake section of the Sea to Sky Trail is free to enter and closer to Parkhurst Ghost Town.  It is easy to find and starts near the unmarked route along the train tracks that lead you to the Parkhurst trail.  Just north of Whistler, past Green Lake you will see the Wedgemount Lake sign on the highway.  Turn right and park where you can, just across the bridge from the Highway as the access road is snowy much of the winter.  If you have a 4x4 vehicle and are confident driving in snow you may be able to park at the Whistler Paintball parking area about 1k further along.  This will save you walking along the somewhat boring, access road, first part of the route.

Parkhurst Ghost Town Snowshoe Map

As recent as the late 90's a few houses remained standing, but the merciless winters with crushing snow has collapsed all but one house. There are a couple half collapsed relics, but for the most part the town has disintegrated.  Unexpectedly, even in the deep snow of winter, stumbling on remnants of the old town are frequent. Countless half collapsed houses lay in the picturesque forest that has grown since the town was abandoned.  Finding the abandoned vehicles in the town is like a game as you wander around the maze of trails.  The old rusty car, the even older truck, and an ancient and enormous logging tractor perched as it was decades ago, on the edge of Green Lake.  Quite a marvel to see.  Like a giant museum exhibit that looks like it could still be there in a thousand years from now. Just steps from the impressive tractor, if you are lucky and persistent, you can find another extraordinary part of abandoned tractor. This huge and solid piece of steel, left so long ago, has had trees grow in and around it.  A large tree, over 50 years old now grows in a triangle shape through this ancient machinery.  Squeezing into the only shape it could, but bewildering to see. If you do find it you will probably circle it over and over, trying to figure out how it managed to grown its way through.

Parkhurst Tractor Plow Tree

Parkhurst Log Mover in the Summer

Parkhurst Ghost Town Log Mover

Parkhurst Ghost Town Relics

Parkhurst Ghost Town Relics

Parkhurst Ghost Town Relics

Parkhurst Ghost Town Relics

History of Parkhurst Ghost Town

The small logging town called Parkhurst came into being in 1926 when the Barr Brothers Logging Company purchased the land from a recent widow looking to sell.  Mrs. Parkhurst sold the land and a small house which quickly transformed into several small houses, bunkhouses and a steam powered mill on the point of land that still conspicuously juts out from the shore.  Soon there were 70 loggers working the mill and living much of the year in the town that was now named after the original owners of the land, the Parkhurst's.  The Great Depression hit the logging industry hard and unable to sell what they produced and the mill went into receivership.  In 1932 the mill was purchased by another logging company and was back in business under a new name, Northern Mills.  It was to be short lived however, as a fire destroyed the mill in 1938.  It was rebuilt and the town once again grew in size to include a school and a store.  Parkhurst continued as a small logging town until the logging industry slowed down in the 1950's and in the 1966 Parkhurst was finally abandoned. 

Camping & Bivouacking at Parkhurst Ghost Town

Camping ProhibitedThe places to put up a tent in and around Parkhurst are too numerous to list here.  From the obvious camping among the crumbling houses at various places around the town to the less obvious areas down by the lake.  If you go down to the shore of Green Lake to where the giant tractor is you will notice that if you head along the shore of Green Lake north for about 200 metres you will come to the old cement foundations of the mill and some clearings hidden in the spooky forest there.  This area has some positives and negatives.  The bad of course is the train goes by at 2am and again at 6am, just 40 metres from your tent.  If you don't mind that then this area is great.  Spooky, though cute little forest, steps from the lake and nice, clean, grassy areas to wander around.  If you are a fan of history, you might revel in the fact that this is the once home of the iconic Toad Hall naked picture from the early 70's.  This picture can be seen at the Whistler Museum as several originals were donated.  Back up the trail to Parkhurst, you have the beautiful ridge, high above the train tracks with mossy and grassy fields overlooking the lake.  You still get the train going by, but its fun to watch it from above.  This cliff has an amazing view of the setting sun over Rainbow Mountain every evening as well.  Another great place is at Green River by the bridge next to the highway.  Both sides of the bridge have several excellent places next to the river ideal for camping and with the added benefit of being steps from your vehicle.  The land the Parkhurst sits on was recently purchased by the Resort Municipality of Whistler, so camping there is prohibited as it falls within the Whistler Municipal Boundary.  Parkhurst is so remote that you likely won't be bothered by surreptitiously spending the night.  An obnoxiously ostentatious campsite at Parkhurst, however, will likely attract attention of bylaw officers.  The concern from campers in Whistler is not so much the mess and wear and tear on the terrain, but the forest fire risk that comes with long term campers.  Every year it seems, a long-term camper in the woods around Whistler causes a fire of some sort that could have been catastrophic if not immediately contained.  So keep that in mind if you do bivouac in Parkhurst.  An innocent campfire could light up a forest.

Parkhurst Ghost Town Tent

Parkhurst Tent Overlooking the Train Tracks

Trailhead & Parking Directions to Parkhurst Ghost Town

Driving to the Parkhurst TrailheadPublic Transit to TrailheadAs mentioned above there are several ways to access Parkhurst, but the access from the Wedgemount Lake turnoff on the Sea to Sky Highway is the most direct if arriving on foot or bike.  If you zero your odometer at Village Gate Blvd in Whistler Village and drive north on Highway 99, at 11.3 kilometres you will see the Wedgemount(Garibaldi) turnoff on your right.  Turn here, cross the train tracks and then the bridge over Green River, turn right and follow the gravel road for a few hundred metres.  You will pass Whistler Paintball on your left and then see a yellow gate and a sign for the Sea to Sky Trail.  Park on the clearing across from the yellow gate and walk straight ahead along the old gravel road, passing the yellow gate, road and Sea to Sky Trail on your left.  If you you don't have a 4x4 and park near the highway turnoff the route is easy to follow. At the first Sea to Sky Trail sign under the Wedgemount Lake sign, follow the snowy road to the right.  This road runs parallel to the train tracks, Green River and Highway which will be to your right.  After 1 kilometre you will come to the Whistler Paintball parking area, bear right and continue along the snow buried road.  After a couple hundred metres you will see the Sea to Sky Trail branch off of the road to your left past a yellow gate.  This route is fairly difficult and at times hard to follow as the deep snow obscures the trail.  The better, easier and shorter route is to continue straight (don't go left at the Sea to Sky Trail sign and don't cross the yellow gate).  You will now be walking along the wide, snow buried logging road that runs parallel to the Green River and after a few minutes you will cross the Green River and have the train tracks to your right.  This is when the trail finally becomes very scenic as you will be snowshoeing through a huge meadow with some nice views.  Keep walking with the train tracks on your right and in a few minutes the meadow will narrow and keep your eyes out for the "Green Lake Loop/Parkhurst" trail sign.  This trail is very easy to follow as there are frequent yellow trail ribbons in the trees.  This trail takes you into the deep forest and gently ascends up to Parkhurst.  Once at Parkhurst the yellow ribbons stop and you will run into various Parkhurst Ghost Town sights spread over about a 4 kilometre square area.  It is possible to connect to the Sea to Sky Trail from Parkhurst and continue snowshoeing to Whistler.  It can be tricky to find however as the summer trails are unmarked and hard to follow when buried in snow.  You can however, quite easily walk in the direction of the Sea to Sky Trail and when you reach the power lines and the clear cut forest underneath, look for the wide path that connects to the Sea to Sky Trail.

Parkhurst Ghost Town Winter Parking

Parkhurst Ghost Town Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Ghost Town Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Ghost Town Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Ghost Town Trail Sign

Parkhurst Ghost Town House

Parkhurst Ghost Town Relics

Whistler Hiking Trails

Madeley Lake is a beautiful, remote mountain lake hidden high up in the Callaghan Valley.  From Whistler Village expect to take 40 minutes to drive there.  You can drive directly to the lake, however the ...
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Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just a short drive south of Whistler and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked. Laying at the base of Mount Brew, Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics.  ...
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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 AerialAlexander  Best Whistler AerialBrandywine  Best Whistler AerialBlackcomb  Best Whistler AerialCallaghan  Best Whistler AerialCirque  Best Whistler AerialJoffre  Best Whistler AerialKeyhole  Best Whistler AerialLogger's  Best Whistler AerialMadeley  Best Whistler AerialPanorama  Best Whistler AerialSproatt  Best Whistler AerialParkhurst  Best Whistler AerialRainbow  Best Whistler AerialRusset  Best Whistler AerialTrain Wreck  Best Whistler AerialWedge Glacier  Best Whistler AerialWedgemount  Best Whistler AerialWhistler

 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

August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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Best Whistler Aerial Views

Keyhole Falls are found just a couple kilometres upriver from Keyhole Hot Springs.  The unmarked trailhead and parking area for Keyhole Falls are just a ...
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Logger’s Lake is an amazing little lake hidden up in the deep forest above the more well known Cheakamus River. The lake, almost unbelievably exists in a long ...
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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 ...
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The Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, ...
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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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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several of ...
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The short, winding, and ever-changing hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is the same as the much more popular trailhead for Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is marked as the Rainbow Trail, and the trail quickly ...
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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 ...
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