Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyThere are plenty of excellent, kid and family friendly hiking trails and destinations in and around Whistler. Kid and family friendly generally means an easy and somewhat short trail that a toddler can happily manage. Some of these trails are flat enough to be stroller friendly, such as Brandywine Falls, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. 

Whistler Hikes Kids Love

Others such as Logger’s Lake, Cheakamus River and Madeley Lake have short enough trails to reach them that you can manage with little kids that don't want to hike too far. Some of these hikes and walks are popular and close to Whistler Village, like Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain, Lost Lake Park, Rainbow Park and Meadow Park. Others are a beautiful, but far drive into the mountains and tricky to find. These include Madeley Lake, Parkhurst Ghost Town and Callaghan Lake. We have tried to rank these by order starting with the best, however with so many variables they can only be good estimates.  For example, if you take your kids to Madeley Lake and the weather is not good and you forgot to bring a fishing rod, or picnic, or inflatable boats, or a canoe or kayak, you might find they get bored quickly. Train Wreck, on the other hand, is pretty fun and interesting in all types of weather and year-round.  Logger’s Lake is similar to Madeley Lake in that you may want to bring inflatable boats or fishing rods to make a fun afternoon for kids.

Best Family Hiking #1: Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain Hike RatingWhistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain have stunningly beautiful hiking trails that are effortless to get to. The Blackcomb Mountain trails are somewhat contained and consistently nice and scenic. the Whistler Mountain trails are considerably more vast, numerous and wonderfully varied. Access to Whistler Mountain is reached in the summer by taking the Blackcomb Gondola up Blackcomb Mountain then crossing to Whistler on the amazing Peak2Peak Gondola. The Whistler Gondola up Whistler Mountain is reserved for mountain bikers so you can't take it up the mountain if you don't have a bike park pass. Hikers are allowed to ride it down however, which is nice as you see different scenery on the way down and makes your journey into a loop instead of backtracking. Whistler Mountain has a nice variety of kid friendly hiking trails just steps from the Roundhouse Lodge. The Spearhead Loop trail is an easy, 1.2 kilometre(0.7 mile) trail that takes you through a lovely, alpine forest and back.  Extending from the Spearhead Loop trail you can link onto the Harmony Lake Loop trail which is considerably steeper, though not too long and only moderately difficult. Most kids will enjoy this beautiful hike, though if you bring your toddler along, they will be riding your shoulders a lot of the ascent back.  If you are bringing a stroller along, you may be able to do some or all of the easy Spearhead Loop trail, but definitely not the Harmony Lake Loop. You may be able to roll a stroller up the beautiful Pika’s Traverse Road to the summit of Whistler, but it is a gravel access road and may be too bumpy for strollers. The good news is that you will know five minutes into the hike if you will want to take a stroller.  Your best bet, of course is having a baby/toddler backpack for these trails. The hike up to the summit of Whistler Mountain is just 2.3 kilometres(1.4 miles), but it is a constant ascent.  This hike is worth it though, as the entire length is gorgeous views. 

Kids Love Riding the Peak2Peak Gondola

Kids Love the Peak2Peak Gondola

The Carnival-Like Peak Express

Chairlift IconIf your kids are old enough to ride the Peak Express to the summit of Whistler Mountain, you can save yourself the hike up and instead ride up and walk down.  There is a kids height measuring board at the start of the trail to the Peak Express which you can check if your kids can ride the chairlift. Kids must be over 1 metre or 40 inches tall so if your child is over 4 years old, they will likely meet this requirement.  Of course kids must be accompanied by an adult. From the top of the Peak Express you are just steps from the amazing Cloudraker Skybridge which crosses a wide chasm to the Raven's Eye viewing platform. These are amazing and kids love crossing the swaying bridge and looking down through the grating underfoot. Everyone rushes to the Skybridge, but there is another wonderful thing to do on Whistler's peak that kids love and no one seems to know about, the Whistler Mountain Summit Trail. This very short trail stars on the other side of the Peak Express and immediately opens up to phenomenal views of the the valley and surrounding mountains. It also gives you a great view of the Peak Express and Raven's Eye.

The Peak Express to the Summit of Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain Peak Express Chair

Kids Love the Whistler Mountain Summit Trail

Kids Love the Whistler Mountain Summit Trail

Whistler Mountain Summit Trail View of Raven's Eye

Whistler Mountain Summit Trail View of Raven's Eye

Whistler Mountain Hiking Trails Map

Most Whistler Mountain hiking trails branch off from near the Roundhouse at the terminus of the Whistler Gondola. In the summertime going up the mountain on the Whistler Gondola is reserved for mountain bikers only, though everyone is allowed to ride it down. Hikers ride in style up the Blackcomb Gondola then take the Peak2Peak Gondola across to Whistler Mountain where you arrive next to the Roundhouse Lodge. From the Roundhouse you can start hiking in a few directions or take the short walk down to the Peak Chair and ride up to the summit of Whistler Mountain. A pretty amazing way to start your hike.

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Why is hiking Whistler Mountain fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyWhistler Mountain hiking is fun, varied and has plenty of easy trails to choose from.  Kids love the gondola rides and there are excellent food, beverage and washroom facilities at the Roundhouse Lodge.  If your kids are old enough to ride the Peak Express Chair, they will love it and talk about it for days.  It is a thrilling ride up and over steep cliffs and feels like a carnival ride to the summit of Whistler Mountain. The short trails on the summit of Whistler Mountain are wonderful with their constant panoramic views over the valley and the surrounding mountains. Just steps from the top of the Peak Chair you find the Cloudraker Skybridge which crosses a wide gap between cliffs. Safe and fun for the whole family and the views are spectacular. Riding the Peak Express up and walking back down to the Roundhouse Lodge is easy for most kids and packed with views as well as through the impressive snow walls!

Mathews' Traverse Snow Walls on Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain Mathews Traverse Ice Walls

The Cloudraker Skybridge from the Peak Chair

Whistler Peak Suspension Bridge from the Peak Express Chair

The only downsides to hiking Whistler Mountain is you have to buy a lift pass, whereas most other hiking trails in and around Whistler are free.  Also, both Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are only open for hiking when the snow melts in June and access closes in September. Also, access to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain is restricted to when the gondolas are open, whereas other hiking around Whistler is always accessible.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Whistler Mountain here.

Best Family Hiking #2: Whistler Train Wreck

Whistler Train Wreck RatingWhistler Train Wreck is an excellent, kid and family friendly hike in Whistler.  Located just south of Whistler Village in Cheakamus Crossing, the short trail takes you across the beautiful Cheakamus River to a bizarre world of wrecked train cars.  Several decades ago a train derailed here and it was decided that the easiest and most cost effective solution was to crane the seven mangled boxcars into the forest.  They lay hidden in this forest for nearly fifty years until in 2011 a group of local artists painted the wrecks into the magnificent and surreal art gallery of sorts we see today.  Each boxcar is its own bizarre little exhibit with bright graffiti and sometimes gorgeous murals painted over the broad walls.  Though much of the original stunning murals have been covered by bland graffiti, new murals appear occasionally bringing this ever-changing art exhibit back to life.

The Hidden Agenda Mural by Kups in 2011

Whistler Train Wreck Kups Art

The Whistler Train Wreck trail is fairly short and only takes 15 minutes to reach the wrecks.  The trail is not suitable for strollers, but short enough for toddlers to easily manage.  Along with the interesting train wrecks, the beautiful suspension bridge is a great highlight to see.  The boxcars are spread out quite a bit though you can hike to most of them just steps from the bridge.  There are a couple more that are found about five minutes further down the scenic and very fun trails.  The trails that zig-zag through the forest here became popular for mountain bikers in recent years and you will see this with several wooden bike sections that lead to some nice Cheakamus River viewpoints.

Whistler Train Wreck Hiking Map

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 Whistler 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 from Whistler Village, Whistler Train Wreck is easily within reach by bike.

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Why is Whistler Train Wreck fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyThe trail to Whistler Train Wreck is kid and toddler friendly, though you may have your little guy on your shoulders.  It is a gravel and dirt trail with a few ups and downs.  Once you reach Whistler Train Wreck you will find the train wrecks are quite fun to explore and spread out over a manageable distance to make it fun for kids.  The forest is very nice as wall and Cheakamus River is gorgeous from several viewpoints as well as the nice bridge crossing.  Whistler Train Wreck is accessible year-round and even on the snowiest of winter days, hiking there is easy.  Not a trail for strollers, but the trail is less than 15 minutes, scenic and fairly relaxing.  If you have a baby carrier the trail is easy, though carrying your little guy in your arms may get a bit tiring.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Whistler Train Wreck here.

Best Family Hiking #3: Logger's Lake

Logger's Lake RatingLogger’s Lake is found near Cheakamus River, hidden away in Whistler Interpretive Forest just a 15 minute drive south of Whistler Village.  A short, but steep 5 minute hike takes you to this very hidden feeling lake that sits in an ancient volcano.  A trail runs around the lake and branching trails extend from Logger’s Lake as well as very nice trails that run on either side of Cheakamus River. Though the shore of Logger’s Lake is a crumbling slope of huge boulders, for an adventurous kid it is a natural playground. Squirrels, lizards and mice poke their heads out from cracks in the rocks looking for food and trout can be seen and hear jumping in the lake. The fishing is pretty good, and even if you don’t catch anything, the peaceful atmosphere of the lake is wonderful.  Because Logger’s Lake was once a volcano, it is almost perfectly round and eerily deep.  You can jump into the water from the shore as the steep boulders slope abruptly down into the crystal clear water. Where most of Whistler’s lakes range from very cold to glacially cold, Logger’s Lake is comparatively warm. 

Wild and Beautiful Logger's Lake

Logger's Lake Far Shore

What makes Logger’s Lake a great place for kids and families is the easy, scenic and interesting trails around the lake as well as the rugged, though strangely beautiful rocky shore.  The rocky beach and the beautiful plateau above it are both sun facing and offer a marvellous geology lesson.  You can look over this long dormant volcano from several stunning vantage points and the hiking trails are easy enough for toddlers, but challenging enough to keep them interested.  You won’t be rolling a stroller up the steep and rocky trail to the lake, but you could easily carry your little guy in your arms.  The boulder shore is very inviting to relax in the sun as the huge blocks of rock are ideal chairs and tables.

Kids Love Logger's Lake

Kids Love Logger's Lake

Logger's Lake Trails Map

Logger’s Lake has quite a network of interconnected trails which can be done in a variety of ways. Logger’s Lake trail is the easiest and most popular trail that runs from the Logger’s Lake trailhead up and around the lake. The loop around Logger’s Lake is under one kilometre long and is quite easy. Along the way you will pass along the rocky shore on one side and the nice forest trail on the other side. The Logger’s Lake trail around the lake also has a shoreline trail that skirts the edge of the water and is considerably more scenic than the main trail. This shoreline trail takes you past some amazing places to swim. Another popular trail at Logger’s Lake is the Crater Rim trail which takes you up and around the rim of the the ancient volcano that was active here about 10000 years ago. This challenging trail branches off from the main Logger’s Lake trail and ascends quickly up to an amazing view over the lake. Most visitors to Logger’s Lake just hike this short section to take in the view, then return back down to the main trail. If you do continue, the Crater Rim trail runs for 3 kilometres up and around the rim of the volcano then descends down to connect with the Lower Ridge trail which brings you back to the Logger’s Lake trail in 780 metres.

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Why is Logger's Lake fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyLogger’s Lake is a short 10 minute drive from Whistler Village and the logging road to reach it is quite smooth and not very long. The trail to the lake is short and trails around and beyond the lake give you lots of hiking options.  Kids love the huge boulder field and the crystal clear water with sometimes visible fish swimming by.  Hiking with your kids in and around an ancient volcano is fun, interesting and memorable.  Fishing here with your kids is easy, fun, scenic and often successful!  You can give your kids a geology lesson as you hike the edge of the volcano.  Swimming is excellent here and there is even an old swimming platform out in the lake. Just steps from the Logger’s Lake parking area is the Cheakamus River suspension bridge which kids love to explore.  It is quite safe as it has wire fencing on the sides. Logger’s Lake is a great place to see in Whistler.  Kids love it, though the short, steep and rocky trail from your car to the lake is exhausting. The walk is less than 10 minutes, so you can easily carry your little guy to the lake and relax. 

Check out our complete guide to hiking Logger's Lake here.

Best Family Hiking #4: Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls Hike RatingBrandywine Falls is an excellent and easy place to take your kids hiking in Whistler.  Located just off the Sea to Sky Highway, 15 minutes south of Whistler Village, Brandywine Falls dramatically plunges from an abrupt cliff into a gorge 66 metres below.  A viewing platform gives you an excellent view from directly across from the falls.  The very short gravel trail from the parking lot to the viewpoint is stroller friendly and kid friendly.  Less than a 10 minute walk from your car takes you to the falls viewpoint and the Brandywine Falls trail continues to another excellent viewing area overlooking Daisy Lake and distant Black Tusk.  As with Logger’s Lake you get a geology lesson here with information boards depicting the origin of Brandywine Falls.  A glacier once filled this valley and blocked the flow of lava from a nearby volcano.  With the glacier long gone, the massive, crumbling cliff remains, with Brandywine Falls plunging over into the eroded chasm below. 

Fun, Easy and Very Kid Friendly Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls Trail View

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park has a few branching trails that take you to cute little lakes.  Swim Lake is a short, though steep trek into the deep forest.  Kids will love the short hike, though you would never get a stroller up the narrow trail.  The Sea to Sky Trail overlaps the Brandywine Falls trail and you will see it branch off near the Brandywine Falls viewing platform.  The Sea to Sky Trail is wide and smooth gravel and continues to the beautiful Whistler Bungee Bridge.  This towering bridge crosses high above Cheakamus River and is well worth the 30 minute hike to get there.  Alternatively, you can get back in your car and drive directly to it as the turnoff is easy to find, just 5 minutes north of Brandywine Falls on the Sea to Sky Highway.

Brandywine Falls Hiking Map

To find the trailhead to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park from Whistler is easy.  From Whistler Village, drive south on the Sea to Sky Highway for 17 kilometres.  You will see a large entrance and parking lot on your left and plenty of Brandywine Falls signs on the highway.  Parking is free, however camping is not permitted in the park. Biking to Brandywine Falls from Whistler Village is an excellent option, though too long for most, to get there. The Sea to Sky Trail is a beautiful, multi-use trail that connects the park to Whistler Village by a wide, often two lane and paved bike trail. As you leave Whistler Village the trail is wide, paved and passes one great lakeside park after another. There is no current bus service to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, however Whistler taxis will happily drive you to the park.

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Why is Brandywine Falls fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyBrandywine Falls is easy, very kid friendly and even stroller friendly.  The falls are gorgeous and the Daisy Lake viewpoint is an excellent spot for a picnic.  The parking lot also has several picnic tables as well as some informative boards about the area.  Part of the Sea to Sky Trail the trail to Brandywine Falls and beyond to the Whistler Bungee Bridge is great for bikes.  The wide, smooth gravel trail to the Bungee Bridge is about an hour to hike to, but just 15 minutes to bike to.  There you will find more picnic tables overlooking the crashing river far below. There is not much to complain about Brandywine Falls.  It is beautiful, convenient to see and fun for the whole family.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Brandywine Falls here.

Best Family Hiking #5: Parkhurst Ghost Town

Parkhurst Hike Rating 9/10Parkhurst Ghost Town is a remote feeling corner of Whistler that is a pretty fun and interesting place to see.  Located on the far short of Green Lake, Parkhurst was a logging community that was abandoned in the 1950’s.  Only one rickety house remains standing and it is colourfully painted with graffiti artist and muralists.  One side of the house is painted with a large, blue, hauntingly surreal face by the famous local artist Kups. Down along the shore of Green Lake sits an old hulking log mover tractor.  This massive relic of the old logging days is surprisingly beautiful.  It rests enormously on the edge of the lake, where seventy-odd years ago the operator shut it off and walked away.  The thick steel construction ensures that it will endure a few more lifetimes on this spot.  Wandering through the forest along the shore of Green Lake brings you to many more hidden curiosities. One bizarre one is a large tractor plow consumed by the forest.  A decades old tree has grown through the plow in a triangle gap in such an improbably way that you find yourself circling it several times to comprehend how strange it is. 

Tree Squeezing Through Plow Abandoned in 1956

Parkhurst Plow Tree

Parkhurst Ghost Town Hiking Map

The trail to Parkhurst is fairly easy and just a relaxing 20 minutes from your car.  Parkhurst itself is spread over quite a large, undefined area.  Much of the town was located on a ridge overlooking Green Lake and above the train tracks.  This ridge is very scenic with great views across the lake toward Rainbow Mountain.  If you walk down to the shore of Green Lake and head north you will come to an unexpectedly gorgeous ridge in between the train track and the lake.  You can walk this ridge for a while or just marvel at the serene view across Green Lake to Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain.  A great spot for swimming as the numerous old ropes dangling over the short cliffs can attest. There are several ways to access Parkhurst Ghost Town, but the access from the Wedgemount Lake turnoff on the Sea to Sky Highway is the most direct if arriving on foot or bike.

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Why is hiking Parkhurst Ghost Town fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyKids will love Parkhurst for the nice wilderness and spider web of trails as well as the endless array of old curiosities.  Wandering into a pristine looking forest for a while invariably opens up to a surreal looking relic of the old logging town.  Enormous diesel tanks you can crawl into, skeletons of logging vehicles, piles of thousands of 70 year old boards that look ready to be made into a house, old house foundations, water pipes still gushing water from pressure deep underground, a old car, trucks and a lot more.  You could wander through Parkhurst a hundred times and find something new to marvel at every time.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Parkhurst Ghost Town here.

Best Family Hiking #6: Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls Hike RatingRainbow Falls is another excellent choice for a kid friendly hiking trail in Whistler.  The trail is short, though it is challenging enough to keep kids motivated and interested.  Zig-zagging through the forest, rarely in a straight line, the trail takes you along the edge of Twentyone Mile Creek.  An short trail from the main Rainbow Trail takes you to a nice viewpoint to the falls.  Surrounded by monster sized boulders the small falls tumble down a rocky cliff into the boulder filled creek below.  Back on the Rainbow Trail you will pop out of the forest at the water treatment building and notice the Flank Trail/Rainbow Trail continues left.  The Flank Trail also continues to the right and after only a couple minutes descends down to a nice log bridge over Twentyone Mile Creek and near the top of Rainbow Falls.  Most times of the year you will find the creek below the bridge a kids paradise.  Huge, erosion rounded boulders are inviting to climb around and over and the idyllic Twentyone Mile Creek flows at the edge of. This sunny little creek bed under the bridge is a beautiful spot for a family picnic and great fun for kids. Back down the Rainbow Trail, near Rainbow Falls you will see a faint, unmarked trail lead steeply down to Twentyone Mile Creek.  If you are careful, you can lead or carry your kids down to the beautiful creek below. Swirling pools of emerald green water flow past huge rounded boulders in the midst of deep caverns surrounded by forest. A little hidden paradise just steps from the Rainbow Trail.

Family Friendly Rainbow Falls

Family Friendly Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls Hiking Map

The trailhead parking area to Rainbow Falls is the same as for Rainbow Lake and one of many access points to the Flank Trail.  If you are driving from Alpine, a neighbourhood north of Whistler Village, you will find the parking area/trailhead on your right.  The Rainbow Falls side trail is somewhat easy to miss as it is unmarked.  Follow the Rainbow Trail and bear right at the two obvious forks in the trail.  Signs do not indicate where the falls are, but you will be able to follow the sound of crashing water.

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Why is Rainbow Falls fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyRainbow Falls is a great little world your kids will love to explore. They will especially love exploring the creek bed below the bridge and down the unmarked trail near the falls.  It is a Most hikers skip these areas so you often have them all to yourselves. A picnic in the sun while sitting on enormous, smooth boulders while your toddler crawls around exploring is a fantastic way to relax in Whistler.  The unmarked, though defined trail down to the wild and beautiful creek bed below the falls is tricky and steep. It is safe and not too hard if you are adventurous, but some might find it daunting and scary. Sadly fire prevention tree thinning done in 2018 has decimated the once wild and beautiful forest along much of the trail to Rainbow Falls.  Where it once looked like a wild and beautiful British Columbia coastal rainforest, now looks like a clearcut. Still, despite the depressing carnage you see on the trail, Rainbow Falls, the forest around the Flank Trail bridge and around Twentyone Mile Creek remain beautiful and mostly intact.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Rainbow Falls here.

Best Family Hiking #7: Northair Mine

Northair Mine RatingNorthair Mine is an old, abandoned gold mine located in the amazing wilderness of the Callaghan Valley.  The old cement foundations and the man-made lake are all that remains of the once thriving gold mine.  You can drive right to the shore of the unexpectedly beautiful lake after driving about 15 minutes up an increasingly bumpy logging road.  An average SUV would have no difficulty on this road, but some cars my have trouble with the potholes and at least one deep washout.  The cement foundations have been painted with graffiti and you find yourself wandering through figuring out what each part of the building was for.  A great place for a picnic in the sun deep in the wilderness above Whistler.  Getting to Northair Mine is half the fun as the drive up Callaghan Valley is beautiful.  Every bend in the road reveals another stunning mountain view and in the summer you will spot one or several bears grazing on the grass that grows along the hills adjacent to the road.

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Why is Northair Mine fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyYour kids will love this surreal, wilderness world.  Canadian Wilderness Adventures have built ATV ramps that kids love running over.  The lake is beautiful.  Amazing place for a family drive and picnic.  Fun place for a swim.  Located on Crown Land so you can camp for free in paradise.  The drive to get there is gorgeous and scenic with frequent bear sightings.  Alexander Falls Provincial Park is nearby.  A perfect place for a family drive, picnic and destination your kids will love.  The last couple kilometres is bumpy and potholed with a couple deep waterbars to get your car past.  Another drawback of Northair Mine is that it is only accessible in the summer and fall months due to snow.

Check out our complete guide to Northair Mine here.

Best Family Hiking #8: Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain Hike RatingBlackcomb Mountain has an excellent array of hiking trails to choose from.  Right from the Rendezvous Lodge, where both the Blackcomb Gondola and the Peak2Peak Gondola drop you off the hiking begins.  The easy Alpine Loop trail gives you great views over Whistler Village and Green Lake, then climbs quickly up into a nice alpine forest.  The start of the trail is stroller friendly, though not after it ascends up into a narrow, rugged and winding trail above the Peak2Peak Gondola.  The Alpine Loop trail is definitely toddler and kid friendly at just 1.4 kilometres(0.9 miles) long(roundtrip).  This short and easy trail is packed with views and there are several interesting interpretive signs along the way to point out things you may come across.

View of Whistler Mountain from Blackcomb Mountain

The Alpine Loop trail loops back to where you started at the Rendezvous Lodge, or you can continue onto the Overlord Trail.  This trail continues along the flank of Blackcomb Mountain for another kilometre before reaching the Lakeside Loop trail.  This takes you up to Blackcomb Lake, a pretty little alpine lake nestled against the steep, rocky slope of Decker Mountain.  Hiking this far is pretty easy for most kids and even toddlers will enjoy this hike.  Beyond the Lakeside Loop trail, the Overlord Trail continues to yet another loop trail.  The Decker Loop trail takes you up the spine of Decker Mountain, then descends back down into an idyllic meadow with Decker Tarn at the end.  From here the Overlord Trail brings you back to where you began at the Rendezvous Lodge.  The Decker Loop trail is probably too strenuous for most young kids and certainly you will be carrying your toddler most of the way.

The Overlord Lookout on Blackcomb Mountain

Blackcomb Mountain Overlord Trail View

Blackcomb Mountain Hiking Map

Whistler Map IconYou can hike for as little as 15 minutes or more than 3 hours, depending on the trail or trails you choose to follow.  Blackcomb Lake and Blackcomb Peak that looms far above it are the most popular destinations for hikers and getting there and back can be done in a couple hours.  The trails begin at the Rendezvous Lodge at the heart of Blackcomb Mountain. You have two ways to get here and both require paying for access to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain. An adult day pass is about $150 and a pass good for the whole summer is just $180. These give you access to all the chair lifts and gondolas that access hiking trails as well as the Peak2Peak Gondola.

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Why is hiking Blackcomb Mountain fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyBlackcomb Mountain is easy access hiking with instant views and kids love all the gondola rides.  The interpretive signs along the trails are interesting and educational for kids.  Blackcomb Lake is fun to swim in.  Rendezvous Lodge has washrooms, restaurants, gift shops and an outdoor barbecue which kids love.  Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain are connected by the Peak2Peak Gondola which makes it easy to hike both in half a day.  You have to buy a lift pass to access Blackcomb Mountain, whereas most other hiking in and around Whistler is free.  Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain are only open for hiking when the snow melts in June and access closes in September.  Also, access to Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain is restricted to when the gondolas are open, whereas other hiking around Whistler is always accessible.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Blackcomb Mountain here.

Best Family Hiking #9: Madeley Lake

Madeley Lake is a fantastic, kid friendly place to hike near Whistler. Though it is over a 45 minute drive from Whistler Village, the drive is mostly beautiful. Twenty minutes south Whistler Village you turn off the highway and quickly ascend up into Callaghan Valley. Callaghan Valley is a vast wilderness in the mountains across the valley from Whistler Mountain. Not long ago the Callaghan Valley Road was a bumpy, old gravel road, but just prior to the 2010 Olympic Games, the road was paved all the way up the valley to the sight of several Olympic events.  If you drive up Callaghan Valley Road in the Spring, Summer or Fall you have a very good chance of seeing one or several black bears. They love feasting on the tall grass that covers the slopes along this scenic, alpine road.

Black Bear On Drive to Madeley Lake

Bear Near Madeley Lake

Alexander Falls Near Madeley Lake

Near the end of Callaghan Valley Road, just before the turnoff to Callaghan Lake and Madeley Lake, you pass Alexander Falls Provincial ParkAlexander Falls is a gorgeous, crashing waterfall viewable from the nice viewing area directly across from it.  The viewing area is adjacent to the parking area and if you have a car full of kids, you have a wonderful viewpoint and several picnic tables just steps from your car. 

Kids Love Alexander Falls

Alexander Falls View

Back in your car and back on Callaghan Valley Road you almost immediately turn left at the sign for Callaghan Lake and drive across the bridge just a couple hundred metres from the top of Alexander Falls.  Now driving on a bumpy and potholes gravel road you take the first right at Madeley Lake Road and follow the increasingly bumpy logging road to the yellow gate, 500 metres from the lake or about 2 kilometres to the Madeley Lake campsite at the far end of the lake.  This is the parking area for both Madeley Lake and Hanging Lake and you will see the Madeley-Hanging Lake trailhead to the right of the yellow gate. Though most cars should be able to make it to this parking area, you may encounter one or two sketchy waterbars that cut across the road.  Winter runoff tends to erode trenches across old roads like this and sometimes are deep enough to impede low clearance cars. From this parking area you have to walk the logging road for 2 kilometres to the end of the lake where the road abruptly ends at a decaying bridge.  Walking across this bridge and then hiking the short trail to the old campsite and idyllic beach takes only five minutes and is easily doable with little kids and toddlers.  A stroller would have a lot of difficulty with the bumpy, dirt trail, however the trail is short enough to easily carry your little guys to the beach.  The beach, on a sunny summer day is paradise.

Kids Love Fishing at Madeley Lake

Kid Friendly Madeley Lake

Madeley Lake Map

Map IconThe water is crystal clear and the view across the lake is of unbroken wilderness surrounding the stunning lake.  Finding no one else at Madeley Lake is not unusual and the serenity of this relatively easy-access mountain lake is hard to beat.  Paddling around the lake in an inflatable boat is wonderful, though swimming is breathtakingly cold, even on the hottest summer day.  If you have a canoe, you can avoid dragging it to the beach by launching it along the road that skirts the lake.  Fishing is pretty good here and laying on the warm, rocky beach with a fishing rod and a picnic with your kids is a pretty great way to spend a day.

Madeley Lake Map v8a

Why is Madeley Lake fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyMadeley Lake is great for toddlers as the rocky beach is safe, contained and lots to see and do.  Great for babies as you can sit in the sun with a wonderful paradise to look at.  Great for little kids as the fishing, boating, swimming and exploring is endless.  Driving from Whistler Village to Madeley Lake is beautiful and entertaining for the whole family.  Bear sightings are frequent on Callaghan Valley Road, Alexander Falls is a nice pit stop, and Madeley Lake makes for a great destination.  For a family picnic or camping trip, Madeley Lake is hard to beat.

Check out our complete guide to Madeley Lake here.

Best Family Hiking #10: Cheakamus River

Cheakamus River Hike RatingCheakamus 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 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 Lake.  Logger'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.  Logger's Lake is a beautifully hidden paradise for swimming, fishing, sightseeing and relaxing.

Maclaurin's Crossing Over Cheakamus River

MacLaurin's Crossing to Logger's Lake

Cheakamus River Trails Map

The Cheakamus River trails centre around two core trails that link via the MacLaurin's Crossing 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 Hiking Map v18a

Why is Cheakamus River fun for kids?

Whistler Hiking Trails Kids FamilyCheakamus River is a gorgeous, large and crashing river that is very impressive to see up close. The hiking and biking trails in Whistler’s Interpretive Forest are never busy and often you see nobody else. Fun and relaxing for kids. You can park at various places on either side of the river and go for a short hike or a longer hike, depending on how motivated your kids are. Children find the winding, ever changing trails fun and challenging. The Cheakamus River trails are bike friendly and dog friendly.

Check out our complete guide to hiking Cheakamus River here.

Guides to the Best of Whistler

Best Sights Along the Sea to Sky

Best Sights Sea to Sky 99

The Sea to Sky Highway links Vancouver to Whistler and has several stops along the way that are often overlooked. Porteau Cove, for example, is surprisingly unknown even to locals that have driven past hundreds of times. Just off the highway the parking area is just steps from the huge pier stretching way out over the ocean. This gigantic pier is actually a rarely used emergency dock for BC Ferries, though more often used by visitors for its stunning views of Howe Sound. Porteau Cove is an excellent pit stop on the way to Whistler, not only for the spectacular views of Howe Sound, but one of the nicest picnic spots and most convenient restrooms! Other attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway are more obvious, such as Shannon Falls, the Sea to Sky Gondola... Continued here.

Best Whistler WaterfallsBest Whistler Waterfalls

There are lots of beautiful waterfalls in and around Whistler.  From the towering drop of Brandywine Falls to the awesome, up close and breathtaking view of Keyhole Falls. Some are absurdly convenient and easy to see and others require some tough hiking, or tricky driving to get to. All of them, however, are well worth a visit. Brandywine Falls is the most well known, impressive and easy to find along the Sea to Sky Highway. The viewing platform positioned across from the falls gives you a direct view of its 66 metre(216 feet) plunge into the chasm below.  Located 17.1 kilometres(10.6 miles) from Whistler Village. The short, 1 kilometre long, dog friendly trail to the viewpoint is wide and smooth gravel. Alexander Falls, located up... Continued here.

Best Whistler Dog Friendly Hiking TrailsBest Dog Friendly Hiking Trails

Whistler is very dog friendly and the number of wonderful hiking trails that your dog will love is huge. The massively varied hiking trails range from easy, short, close to Whistler Village to challenging, long and deep in the endless wilderness around Whistler. You can find dog friendly trails in and around Whistler Village that take you through deep, dark and magical forests. Or you can drive beyond Whistler Village and take your dog to spectacular alpine lakes. Some requiring little or no hiking, while others are found after hiking challenging and long trails. Many of these places are comparatively quiet and often you and your dog will have the the wilderness to yourselves. In and around Whistler Village you have Lost Lake with its spider web of trails... Continued here.

Best Free Camping in WhistlerBest Free Whistler Camping

Whistler is surrounded by an immense wilderness dotted with spectacular, hidden lakes and amazing places to set up a tent. Decades of logging activity has left a network of forest service roads that has opened easy access to these places. Some of these you can drive to and some you may need a 4x4 to comfortably get to. Some places to camp for free you can drive to, some require a short hike and others are fairly long hikes to reach. Beautiful Callaghan Valley is home to several incredible and free places to campCallaghan Lake has a great free drive-to campsite just steps from this spectacular alpine lake. If you have a canoe, you can paddle to the end of Callaghan Lake and hike the short, but steep trail up to Cirque Lake. This gorgeous lake is deep in the alpine wilderness... Continued here.

Best No Car Whistler TrailsNo Car? No Problem! Whistler Trails

Whistler as a resort has a wonderful car-free core. The Village Stroll runs through the heart of Whistler Village and is entirely car free. If you are visiting Whistler or living here and you don't have a car, it's no problem. On foot or on a bike you can travel the extensive network of non-motorized trails. The Valley Trail snakes through Whistler Village and extends in several directions, all of which lead to beautiful parts of Whistler. The Sea to Sky Trail and the Lost Lake trails continue this massive, car-free network of trails running almost everywhere in Whistler. When it comes to many of the best hiking trails, getting to the trailheads on foot, by bike or public transit can be tricky at best or complicated and impractical at worst. Many trailheads are far from Whistler Village and... Continued here.

Whistler's Best Hiking Trails!

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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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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Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The 15 kilometre(9.3 mile) hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama Ridge takes you through beautiful and deep ...
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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 ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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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 high.  ...
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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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West Coast Trail Highlights

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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