Best Whistler Hiking Trails by MonthApril in Whistler is a wonderful time of year.  The winter deep freeze ends and T-shirt weather erupts.  The village comes alive with the World Ski & Snowboard Festival and the excitement of approaching summer.  The snow in the village starts the month measured in feet and ends the month, having mostly melted, about halfway up to mid-station on Whistler Mountain.  Early in April the usual favourite places to snowshoe are warm and wonderful.

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

 Ablation Zone WhistlerAblation Zone  Accumulation Zone WhistlerAccumulation Zone  Adit Lakes WhistlerAdit Lakes  Aiguille Whistler & Garibaldi ParkAiguille  Alpine Zone Whistler & Garibaldi ParkAlpine Zone  ArborlithArborlith  Arete Whistler & Garibaldi ParkArête  A River Runs Through It WhistlerARRTI  Armchair Glacier, Garibaldi Park, WhistlerArmchair Glacier  The Barrier in Garibaldi ParkThe Barrier  Battleship Islands in Garibaldi LakeBattleship Islands  Bears in Whistler & Garibaldi ParkBears  Bench Geology WhistlerBench  Bergschrund or SchrundBergschrund  BivouacBivouac  Whistler Bungee BridgeBungee Bridge  Bushwhacking in WhistlerBushwhack  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCairn/Inukshuk  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCarter,Neal  Garibaldi Park WhistlerChimney  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCirque  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCloudraker  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCoast Douglas-fir  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCoast Mountains  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCol  Garibaldi Park WhistlerColumnar Jointing  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCordilleran  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCornice  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCorrie Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerCrevasse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDalgleish,Alec  Garibaldi Park WhistlerDeadfall  Emerald Park in WhistlerEmerald Forest  Erratics in Garibaldi Park and WhistlerErratic  The Fissile in Garibaldi Park, WhistlerThe Fissile  Fitzsimmons Creek in WhistlerFitzsimmons Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFitzsimmons Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerFyles,Tom  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Ranges  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGaribaldi Volcanic Belt  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGemel  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGlacier Window  Garibaldi Park WhistlerGreen Lake  Garibaldi Park WhistlerHoary Marmot  Garibaldi Park WhistlerKrummholz  Lodgepole Pine Trees WhistlerLodgepole Pine  Glacier Moraines in Garibaldi Park WhistlerMoraine  Garibaldi Park WhistlerMt Garibaldi  Mount James Turner in Garibaldi Park, WhistlerMt James Turner  Mountain Hemlock Garibaldi Park WhistlerMountain Hemlock  Northair Mine in WhistlerNorthair Mine  North Arm FarmNorth Arm  Nunatuks in Whistler and Garibaldi ParkNunatuk  Nurse Stump or Log in WhistlerNurse Stump  Overlord Mountain and GlacierOverlord  Garibaldi Park WhistlerPacific Yew  Garibaldi Park WhistlerPaper Birch  Garibaldi Park WhistlerPeak 2 Peak  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRainbow Lodge  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRoundhouse  Garibaldi Park WhistlerRubble Creek  Garibaldi Park WhistlerScree  Garibaldi Park WhistlerSpearhead Range  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTarn  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Table  Garibaldi Park WhistlerTownsend,Charles  Usnea or Old Man's BeardUsnea  Waterbar or Cross DitchWaterbar  Western Hemlock Trees in WhistlerWestern Hemlock  Western RedcedarWestern Redcedar  Whistler SpruceWhistler Spruce  Mills Winram Whistler Coast Mountains MountaineerWinram,Mills

Unfortunately this year is starting off with the Covid19 Pandemic and many hiking and snowshoeing trails are temporarily closed.  Hopefully they will open soon and if they do.. Snowshoeing to Garibaldi Lake, Panorama Ridge, Taylor Meadows, Helm Creek, Cheakamus Lake, and many others become a lot more enjoyable when you can park your car closer, or even at the trailhead.  These places are amazing if you can hike and snowshoe to them in April as you will likely have the whole places to yourself.  They are tough hikes though to do on snowshoes, so be prepared.  Pristine, all white valleys, so peaceful in the winter, with the long and ever warming days of spring take hold in the mountains.  The temperatures in the mountains can still get below freezing, and certainly at night they always do in April, but the days are amazing.  Panorama Ridge and Helm Creek are quite difficult in the deep snow of April. Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows are quite a bit easier, however much tougher in April than on a sunny day in July.  Cheakamus Lake is an amazing option in April, though you will likely have to contend with a lot of snow on the access road.  If you have to hike in from the start of Cheakamus Lake FSR, you will have to add 8 kilometres to the hike to the lake!  The trail to Helm Creek begins 1.5 kilometres into the trail to Cheakamus Lake and has some difficulties of its own in April, May and June.  As it is a somewhat less hiked trail into Garibaldi Park, it remains snow covered and untracked by previous hikers.  Even with a couple feet of snow on the trail makes it very difficult to navigate.  Even with a GPS to guide you, it is easy to find yourself wandering off the already fairly steep trail to Helm Creek.

Taylor Meadows Snowshoeing in Whistler

The various hot springs near Whistler are also great destinations in April.  Skookumchuck Hot Springs is open year-round and the two hour drive to reach it is really part of the fun.  It is a beautiful drive through Pemberton, Mount Currie and along the beautiful and massive Lillooet Lake and Lillooet River.  Sloquet Hot Springs is an hours drive past Skookumchuck and extraordinarily beautiful and desolate.  Though gaining popularity, the remoteness almost guarantees no one there but you on a typical April day.  You can normally drive right to the Sloquet Hot Springs, but lingering snow on the unmaintained logging road may be too deep so always be prepared to hike up to 8 kilometres if needed from your car to the campsite.  Though bumpy and with lots of potholes, the road to Skookumchuck and Sloquet are still drive-able with all types of cars.

Skookumchuck Hot Springs - Hike in Whistler

Sloquet Hot Springs Driving Map

Elfin Lakes - Best Whistler Snowshoeing in April

Elfin Lakes is AmazingElfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is another beautiful place to snowshoe.  Located at the south end of Garibaldi Park, the Elfin Lakes trailhead is found in Squamish.  The trail is not overly difficult, however it is quite long.  A consistently uphill, 11 kilometre(6.8 mile) trail through some spectacular scenery takes you to the marvelous Elfin Lakes hut.  This two level, heated hut even has electric lights that run on solar power.  A wonderful oasis in the mountains, the Elfin Lakes hut is surrounded by spectacular mountain views in all directions and deep snow well into May!  Camping at Elfin Lakes is an amazingly beautiful experience.  The valley is huge with stunning mountain peaks all around.  The hiking/snowshoeing possibilities seem endless.  Year-round the Elfin Lakes hut has bunk beds for 33 people(11 double bunks and 12 single bunks).  The hut also has 4 huge picnic tables inside as well as 2 propane stove-top burners, a washing sink as well as a giant propane stove and solar powered lights.  Adjacent to the hut is a row of outhouses.  The campsite area at Elfin Lakes is quite large and well organized.  35 tent platforms dot the landscape and on a typical summer weekend, you will find most of them occupied!  In the winter months, these tent platforms with be hidden under metres of snow and you can put up a tent nearly anywhere you want.  There are various excellent spots overlooking the vast valley just a few dozen metres from the hut.  For those seeking solitude, there are endless tent site possibilities further away.  Hardcore winter campers often shovel out snow caves to sleep in.  Often you will find them in the slopes adjacent to the hut.  Pretty amazing and surprisingly comfortable.  In 2015, the new campsite at Rampart Ponds was completed.  Just 1.5 kilometres before Mamquam Lake, this new campground replaces the old one at Mamquam Lake that was closed recently.  It is located 10 kilometres from Elfin Lakes on the trail to Mamquam Lake.  The new campground has 12 tent platforms, an outhouse and food storage facilities.

Elfin Lakes Snowshoeing Garibaldi Park

The Elfin Lakes Trail

Elfin Lakes Hut Buried in Snow

The Elfin Lakes Hut Upper Floor

Elfin Lakes Snowshoe Map

Wedgemount Lake - Best Whistler Hiking in April

Wedgemount Lake is a steep and difficult hike in the summer when there is no snow.  It doesn't require technical skill, but it is just exhausting.  You gain 1220 metres of elevation in just 7 kilometres(+2 in the winter) and hiking with a heavy pack takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours to reach the lake.  In the winter, on snowshoes, the Wedgemount Lake trail is considerably harder, as well as a couple kilometres longer owing to the undrivable, snow buried access road.  The snow covered trail is hard to follow, even with frequent trail markers.  Also, on snowshoes a step on steep ground is one step forward, half a step backward.  You plod on slowly and with each step slipping back part way. If you can get past the difficulty of the exhausting winter trek to Wedgemount Lake you will reach an amazing paradise in the mountains.  The Wedgemount Lake hut is an extraordinary oasis of warmth in the middle of the beautiful Wedgemount Lake valley.  Anyone can use the hut, anytime.  It can sleep up to 8 reasonably comfortably and consists of two large tables on the lower level and a small loft that can fit four people.  Sporadically used by skiers in the winter, though rarely used by snowshoers due to the difficulty of the trail in the winter.  If you do make it up to Wedgemount Lake you will be rewarded with a phenomenally beautiful, snow filled mountain paradise of a valley.  The Wedgemount Lake trail is deep with snow from late December to late June most years.  If you snowshoe it November to mid December or mid June to early July, you will only need your snowshoes partway up the trail.

The Wedge Hut

Depending on conditions and traffic on the trail, you may get lucky and be able to follow previous tracks in the snow, however this is not reliable.  The final kilometre before Wedgemount Lake between the months of November and late June is almost always deep with snow.  This part is very steep and even on snowshoes painfully difficult, so consider that if you plan to go.  Also, losing the trail is always a consideration worth worrying about and having a GPS with you is a very good idea.  At a good pace, when the trail has snow top to bottom, expect to take over four hours from your car to the hut.  Some take as long as 6 hours.  You have to add an extra kilometre or two in the winter as well due to having to park far below the usual trailhead parking as it is inaccessible due to snow December to May.  Why should you hike/snowshoe to Wedgemount Lake in April?  The sense of achievement in tackling such a strenuous and difficult trail is amazing.  Having the whole Wedgemount Lake valley to yourself is an extraordinary experience.  The Wedgemount Lake hut in winter is a luxury in such a hostile place.  Walking out to the middle of the frozen lake and looking up at the unbelievably bright stars is stunningly surreal and something you will never forget.  Wedgemount Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Map

Taylor Meadows - Best Whistler Hiking in April

Taylor Meadows, in Garibaldi Provincial Park is an amazing place to snowshoe in the winter near Whistler.  Beautiful snowy meadows surrounded by mountains everywhere you look.  Black Tusk towering in the distance so close and blanketed in wonderful, beautiful snow.  Garibaldi Lake is accessible as well on this snowshoeing hike.  The Taylor Meadows trail forks partway up, left goes to Taylor Meadows, right to Garibaldi Lake.  The trail joins again at the far side of both campsites.  Garibaldi Lake, so massive and dramatically beautiful in the winter, a huge frozen valley.  The downside to this hike is the length of hiking to get to the beautiful parts.  In the summer it's not so bad as the trailhead is a moderately difficult 9k from Garibaldi Lake.  In the winter however, the trailhead parking lot is unplowed almost down to the highway.  So just to get to the trailhead requires about a 2k uphill snowshoe slog.  If you are not troubled by a lot of exertion then it's a wonderful snowshoe destination.  Like Joffre Lakes it is frequented by skiers just enough to ensure an almost constant track throughout the winter so you can concentrate more on the scenery then keeping from getting lost.  Another nice attribute of this hike is the fact that you can snowshoe through the beautiful Taylor Meadows on the way up then across to Garibaldi Lake on the way back, therefore doing a little snowshoe circle route before doubling back to your car.  If you snowshoe the beautiful route to Taylor Meadows and return via Garibaldi Lake the route is 25 kilometres long and very strenuous as a one day snowshoe trip.  Camping at either Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake are great options if you can stand the cold and are well prepared.  If you plan to do this trip in one day be sure to leave very early and be well prepared for winter hiking.  In the winter the days are very short so always have lights with you.  Although the trail will likely be tracked out by previous hikers and skiers, having a gps is an excellent backup in case you lose the trail.  Taylor Meadows - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Taylor Meadows Snowshoeing Map

Rainbow Lake - Best Whistler Hiking in April

Rainbow Lake is a tough and beautiful 8 kilometre(5 mile)snowshoeing trail, high up in the mountains across the valley from Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The trail is generally well marked and easy to follow, however some sections are tricky to follow as the heavy snow bends the bushes down obscuring the trail.  The trail is a constant, fairly steep ascent and you may notice ski tracks along the route.  A somewhat popular skiing attraction in Whistler is to get heli-dropped on Rainbow Mountain and skiing back to Whistler.  Rainbow Falls is a nice detour near the beginning of the Rainbow Lake trail.  When you come to the small water purification building you will see a distinct fork in the trail and a sign directing you to Rainbow Lake turn left.  If you go right however, in just a few hundred metres you will come to the beautiful Rainbow Falls as well as a nice picturesque bridge over the river.  You of course have to backtrack to get back to the Rainbow Lake trail.  Though Rainbow Lake is only 8k from the trailhead, on snowshoes it will likely take nearly four hours to get there.  You can snowshoe around up there for quite a while so you have to be careful with the time as in the winter the sun goes down before 5pm.  The Rainbow Mountain trailhead is easy and close to Whistler Village.  You just need to drive to Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake, just a 15 minute drive away.  There is a big sign for the Rainbow Lake trailhead on your right if coming from the neighbourhood of Alpine.  The trailhead is about 200-300 metres from the Rainbow Park parking lot.  Rainbow Lake is a tough but rewarding snowshoe hike through a thick and beautiful forest.  There are several viewpoints looking across the valley to Wedge MountainBlackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain as well as Whistler Village.  It certainly is a good idea to combine this snowshoeing hike with a look at Rainbow Park and Rainbow Falls as both are nearby.  Rainbow Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Rainbow Lake Snowshoeing

Rainbow Falls - Best Whistler Hiking in April

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 ascends into the forest winding left, right, up and down almost constantly.  21 Mile Creek, always on your right can be either seen or heard as you hike through the forest to the somewhat hidden Rainbow Falls.  For the adventurous, the best time to see Rainbow Falls is in August and September when the creek is low and you can get down to the marvellous creek bed.  To get there you hike down further along another path just a hundred or so metres back.  You will have passed the large, chain sawed tree along the right(creek) side of the trail.  At one end of the tree you will see a very visible trail descend steeply down to the creek.  You will see some beautiful views of the creek weaving its way through enormous boulders that have tumbled down over the centuries.  Continued here...

Rainbow Falls Best Hiking Whistler

Rainbow Falls Trail Map Best Hiking Whistler

Joffre Lakes - Best Whistler Hiking in April

Joffre Lakes Hike RatingJoffre Lakes is yet another amazing snowshoeing trail near(kind of) to Whistler.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  Located up on the Duffy Lake Road north of Pemberton, Joffre Lakes is well known for its incredibly surreal, turquoise water.  In the winter of course all three of the Joffre Lakes are frozen over but the trail is popular with skier and snowshoers between the months of November and early June (depending on snowfall).  Though the trail is fairly well marked and often snowshoe and ski tracked in the winter it is possible to lose the trail after dark or after or during heavy snowfall.  So caution should be taken on this trail.  Make sure you don't go snowshoeing to Joffre Lakes immediately after heavy snow.  Pick a nice, sunny day and leave yourself lots of daylight and be prepared with headlights as the winters bring very early sunsets, especially in the mountains.  The trail is sometimes steep as you gain 400 metres of altitude in just 5k trailhead to the third Joffre Lake.  On snowshoes expect to reach the third lake in about two hours.  On a sunny day the frozen lake is beautiful and almost warm feeling.  However, as soon as the sun goes behind the mountains the temperature gets bitter cold so be prepared with very warm clothing on any snowshoeing adventure there.  You do occasionally see people camp overnight at Joffre Lakes in the winter.  The usual campsite area is buried in snow as it lays at the base of the mountains so people usually put their tens directly on the frozen lake.  Extraordinary!  Joffre Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Winter Map

Whistler Train Wreck - Best Hiking in April

Whistler Hiking Trail RatingIn the lower elevations the snow line will have risen above Whistler Village by early April and some great hiking areas open up such as Whistler Train Wreck.  It is hard to say enough about the Whistler Train Wreck.  It is fantastic for so many reasons.  The huge wrecks are enormous up close and brutally mangled.  Some on their sides, some upside down.  Each one of the seven cars is an interesting adventure to explore.  A sort of wilderness art exhibit.  The wreckage stretches for almost a kilometre and can bring out the kid in anyone.  The area is very kid friendly as the trails are wide and generally flat.  There are several extraordinarily surreal places to put up a tent or, as many often do, sleep on the edge of the incredible river or even in a wrecked car.  There are indications in all the cars of thousands of past gatherings which gives the place a charm that seems characteristically Whistler.  Train Wreck is a spectacularly beautiful and interesting place, just like Whistler.  The trail to 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 surreal train wrecks painted with stunning murals, you find yourself in a thick forest that runs along Cheakamus River. Cheakamus River is a beautiful, wild and crashing river that snakes past the train wrecks. Numerous side trails take you to some marvellous viewpoints, several metres above the rushing water below.  If you follow a trail past the wrecks(heading north or in the direction of Whistler Village) you will emerge at the train tracks. If you are adventurous you will then walk along, beside the tracks for a couple hundred metres and some truly breathtaking views of Cheakamus RiverContinued here...

Whistler Train Wreck Kups Art

Whistler Train Wreck Map

Cheakamus River - Best Whistler Hiking in April

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.  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 ForestContinued here...

The Cheakamus Crossing Bridge

Cheakamus River Hiking Trails Map

Brandywine Falls - Best Whistler Hiking in April

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 to the valley below. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is such a popular, accessible and beautiful sight that it has a large and elaborate viewing platform directly opposite the falls. Located just 20 minutes south of Whistler, Brandywine Falls is just off of the Sea to Sky Highway.  The impressive falls are just one of a few sights to see in Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. Swim Lake, the Whistler Bungee Bridge and the Sea to Sky Trail running through the park make it a hiking, biking, jogging, snowshoeing paradise.  You can set off from Whistler Village by bike on the Sea to Sky Trail and reach the falls in about an hour or two.. and rarely emerge from forest!  The Sea to Sky Trail miraculously avoids roads and civilisation for most of its 33 kilometres!  Continued here...

Brandywine Falls Aerial View

Brandywine Falls Hiking Trail Map

Sea to Sky Trail - Best Whistler Hiking in April

The Sea to Sky Trail is a 180 kilometre multi-use trail that runs from Squamish to D'Arcy. The trail is still under construction in many parts, however, the amazing route through Whistler is finally in place. The Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail is 33 kilometres long between Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and WedgeWoods Estates just north of Green Lake(north of Whistler Village).  The 33 kilometre Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail is either paved, dirt or crushed rock and often very wide. Much of the trail just north and south of Whistler Village is wide, two lanes and paved with plenty of signs and occasional mapboards.  North of Whistler Village the trail can be challenging with several hills as it rises above and beyond Parkhurst Ghost Town.  South of Whistler, the paved trail ends at Cheakamus Crossing and becomes a narrow at times dirt trail with some wider sections of crushed rock. This beautiful section follows Cheakamus River making four dramatically beautiful river crossings. The Cal-Cheak area south of Cheakamus Crossing is more challenging and sometimes narrow and hilly, dirt trails. South of Cal-Cheak the forest opens up and the trail widens to the luxurious feeling, wide and hard packed gravel all the way to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park where the trail joins with the Sea to Sky Highway. The Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail passes near and through an amazing array of whistler sights. The always impressive Brandywine Falls Provincial Park at the southern end of the 33 kilometre area shown here. Heading north from Brandywine Falls you cross the huge bungee jumping bridge that spans the enormous chasm over the Cheakamus River. Soon after you cross the suspension bridge at the Cal-Cheak Recreation area.  Continued here...

The Sea to Sky Trail Map

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Whistler Hiking in April

Whistler 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 the lake.  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.  Continued here...

Parkhurst Blue Face House

Parkhurst Whistler Snowshoe Map

Whistler Parks Map

Rainbow Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Rainbow ParkRainbow Park is one of Whistler's most popular swimming beaches and for good reason.  The beach is south facing so every morning the sun rises from behind Wedge Mountain and the whole park seems to glow.  From the dazzling reflecting from the snow off of Wedge MountainBlackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain, to the amazing blue glow from Alta Lake.  All this framed in the dazzling green of the forest all around.  Though there are many great places to watch the sun rise in Whistler, Rainbow Park is one of the best.  Rainbow Park gets its name from Rainbow Lodge, a popular stop along the train line from 1914 to 1974.  It was a popular fishing and relaxing destination and easily accessible from Vancouver via the train route that still runs through the park.  Run by Myrtle and Alex Philip, the original lodge burned down in 1977.  Some of the remaining log houses have been restored into the outdoor museum of sorts you see there today.  Interpretive panels with photos and descriptions of life in the area almost a century ago.  These houses go mostly unnoticed as the main interpretive area is just off of the main beach across the Bridge of Sighs.  Named by Alex Philip, the current bridge is a reconstruction of the original.  There is a photo and description of the original that you can compare with the reconstruction. You will notice as you read the various panels how everything in Whistler now seems to be named after the people that once lived in and around the Rainbow Lodge community.  Rainbow Park has a beautiful and very long pier that stretches far out on Alta Lake.  Beyond the pier there are two amazing swimming(island) platforms.  Volleyball nets, a concession stand and washrooms sit further back from the beach.  There is a large area of beach set aside as a dog park and several picnic tables.  The popularity of Rainbow Park is largely due to the incredible setting.  Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain look incredible.  Wedge Mountain, the highest mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park to the left of Blackcomb Mountain looks both enormous and definitely wedge shaped.  Every direction you look you are captivated by the surroundings.  Out on the pier you look left and right along the huge valley that contains Alta Lake and at the far end you trace Whistler Mountain from the water to the sky.  You can see where the Peak Chair, or at least the alpine rock and snow where it sits on top of high up above the treeline. Rainbow Park sits on the far side of Alta Lake.  From Whistler Village it is just over 3 kilometres and the entire route to walk there is scenic.  Continued here...

Best Whistler Parks - Rainbow Park Map

Lost Lake Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Lost Lake ParkLost Lake is a tranquil and secluded lake that hides in the forest extending from Whistler Village.  Just a 20 minute, leisurely walk or 5 minute bike ride along the well signed Valley Trail will lead you to this beautiful little lake.  The wide and paved Valley Trail turns into a wide and gravel trail as you enter Lost Lake Park and.  Trails circle the lake and extend in all directions.  The main trail around the lake is a popular running route from Whistler Village as roundtrip from the Village, around Lost Lake and back to the Village is just 6 kilometres.  There are plenty of nice viewpoints along the main trail as well as quite a few short trails that lead to several access points to the lake, some with great places to sit and relax in the sun and take in the view.  Lost Lake has a very popular beach at one end and in the height of summer can get busy as it is the most convenient beach from Whistler Village.  There are several swimming platforms out in the lake as well as a wonderful and huge pier along the right hand side of the lake.  An amazing place to catch the sunsets over Whistler Mountain.  In the winter months when there is snow in Whistler, Lost Lake becomes a cross country and snowshoeing area and there is a charge to access the main trails around the lake.  Usually from mid December to early April.  If there is snow on the ground in Whistler Village, you will likely find the park gated for admission only snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.  Continued here...

Lost Lake Park Map

Green Lake Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Green Lake ParkGreen Lake is stunning, vivid turquoise coloured lake just north of Whistler Village.  The Sea to Sky Highway runs along the edge of the lake for most of its length, giving you excellent view of its stunning colour surrounded by thick forests rising up to mountains.  Along the highway there is a nice pull-out viewpoint that gives you a fantastic view of Green Lake, Wedge Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain beyond.  There is a small neighbourhood with houses lining the shore of Green Lake near the highway.  Tucked into this neighbourhood is a very small, easy to miss park right on the waterfront.  Green Lake Park is a small section of land along the shore of this beautiful lake.  Squeezed between two houses, the park looks like a vacant lot where a house would have been built.  Instead of a house there is a small building with washrooms and a nice little forest with picnic tables.  The rocky shore is perfect for launching a canoe and there is a public storage area for canoes and kayaks.  Green Lake Park is directly across from Parkhurst Ghost Town, a derelict old logging town long abandoned.  The ghost town is easy to spot with its abandoned log loader perched on the edge of the lake, almost directly across from the park.  This huge, very solid metal machine that looks somewhat like a tractor has been sitting there for several decades.  Looking like a museum piece, this beautiful piece of history marks the entrance to Parkhurst if you are arriving by boat.  A trail cuts through the bushes, crosses the train tracks, then ascends up a short hill into the forest where you will find many collapsed houses, one still standing and dozens of interesting curiosities.  There is a hiking and biking trail to Parkhurst, but paddling across the Green Lake from Green Lake Park is the easiest and nicest way to get there.  Continued here...

Green Lake Park Map

Alpha Lake Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Alpha Lake ParkAlpha Lake Park is a beautiful little park on the shores of Alpha Lake in Creekside, just 5 kilometres south of Whistler Village.  Located partway along Lake Placid Road just past the Husky gas station and Nita Lake Lodge.  This quiet residential street leads to this park that is home to tennis courts, a basketball court, a huge waterfront dog park, an elaborate kids play park, a floating dock, two piers and biking/walking/running trails everywhere you look.  Alpha Lake Park has a much more local feel to it than other Whistler parks such as the popular Rainbow ParkLakeside Park and Lost Lake Park.  The abundance of trees and the irregular shoreline make the relatively small size of Alpha Lake seem quite a bit bigger than it is.  Trails run around both sides of Alpha Lake.  The wide and paved Valley Trail runs along the shore on the near side and a gravel trail runs along the far side.  This gravel trail, squeezed between the train tracks and the lake takes you to Pine Point Park, a nice rocky outcrop in the top-middle of the lake.  Here the trails zig-zag through the forest to several hidden vantage points over the lake.  These spots are always facing the sun and amazing on a sunny day.  Continued here...

Alpha Lake Park Map

Alta Lake Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Alta Lake ParkAlta Lake Park is one of several scenic parks on Alta LakeLakeside Park, Blueberry ParkRainbow Park and Wayside Park are also along the shore of this huge lake that covers much of the valley edged by Whistler Village.  These parks, all on Whistler's beautiful Valley Trail system, ensure that you are never far from one of several spectacular vantage points over Alta Lake.  Alta Lake Park is on the far side of Alta Lake, just 4 kilometres from Whistler Village.  It is just an hours walk or 10 minute bike ride away on the Valley Trail.  The Valley Trail is a huge spider web network of paved walking, biking and running trails that connect Whistler Village to dozens of beautiful parks and sights.  Over 40 kilometres of trails throughout Whistler, with direction signs at every junction make the Valley Trail much more than just a transportation network.  It's an interpretive tour of the area, where you can wander on foot or by bike and use the signs at each junction to choose your route  Located on the opposite shore to Wayside Park, Alta Lake Park is unlike all the other parks around this huge lake.  It is secluded feeling where the others are often crowded and chaotic.  The two Alta Lake Park piers are far more serene and the views of Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are excellent.  One of the piers is quite old and sits directly across from the Wayside Park pier.  Continued here...

Alta Lake Park Map

Blueberry Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Blueberry ParkBlueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about.  If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed three piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest.  These public piers sit at the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other.  The park covers most of the hill beyond these piers and stretches between and connects the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay and Alta Vista.  The beautiful, deep forest trail runs from the shores of Alta Lake in Alta Vista, up and across Blueberry Hill and descends again to reach Whistler Cay.  Along the trail there are several beautiful viewpoints of Alta Lake in the foreground and the enormous Mount Sproatt beyond.  For most of the trail, however, it is steep, rocky, wild and natural looking.  The forest is deep and dark.  Massive tree roots criss-cross the trail and fallen trees and boulders are strewn everywhere.  It has a wonderful remote and natural feeling to the forest that make you forget that you are so close to civilization.  Continued here...

Blueberry Park Map

Lakeside Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks Lakeside ParkLakeside Park on the shore of Alta Lake in Whistler is a beautiful beach park just a short distance from Whistler Village.  Located on the Valley Trail, it is just 2 kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away.  Similar to the popular Rainbow Park across the lake, Lakeside Park has a concession stand for food and drinks, picnic tables, BBQ stands, canoe and kayak rentals a huge grass field, pier, a sandy beach and an elaborate little kids play are.  Swimming and relaxing are the main draws to Lakeside Park, but fishing off the piers is a common sight as well.  The Lakeside Park pier is just one of many places on the lake good for fishing, but generally fishing on Alta Lake is best done by boat.  There is a proper boat launch on Lakeside Drive just a couple hundred metres north of the beach.  Alta Lake is catch and release only as is the nearby Green Lake, and there is a bait ban on the lake.  The two small lakes adjacent to Alta LakeAlpha Lake and Nita Lake you can keep what you catch and they are stocked with hundreds of fish every June.  Lost Lake on the other side of Whistler Village, you can keep what you catch as well as at Logger’s Lake near Cheakamus Crossing.  The beach at Lakeside Park is south facing making it a fantastic place to watch the sun set over the towering Mount Sproatt across the lake.  If you are looking for a quiet place to relax the main beach may be too chaotic for you, however there is a beautiful place to escape the noise just a 5 minute walk away.  To the left of the beach, cross the small bridge, follow the Valley Trail and keep your eyes out on the right for a trail veering off the main trail into the trees.  Continued here...

Lakeside Park Map

Meadow Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Meadow ParkMeadow Park is a huge recreation area in Whistler that has a hockey rink, huge gym, swimming pool, squash courts, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, basketball courts, ball hockey court and a wonderfully elaborate kids play park.  Meadow Park is wonderfully located along the River of Golden Dreams, a cute little, slow, winding river that connects Alta Lake and Green Lake.  Along the River of Golden Dreams you will find impossibly idyllic picnic tables and park benches.  Wedge Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain are stretched out before you with the serene river flowing past.  The kids play park has a variety of the usual slides and swings, but also a fun water park activated by a hidden button on a metal, ride on blue whale.  The button activated two opposing water guns, a little water slide and several fountains.  Surrounding the water park are lovely, grass areas for the parents to lay in the sun.  There are also several picnic tables between the water park and the rest of the kids area with slides and climbing walls.  Adjacent to the kids park is a ball hockey court that doubles as two basketball courts.  Next to that are some very nice tennis courts.  Continued here...

Best Whistler Parks - Meadow Park Map

Nita Lake Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Nita Lake ParkNita Lake is a tranquil little lake located in Creekside, just 4 kilometres south of Whistler Village.  Whistler's beautiful Valley Trail runs right along the edge of Nita Lake and continues past the beautiful Nita Lake Lodge.  A small gravel beach with a creek flowing through it gives the park consistently good fishing.  Two picnic tables sit in a forest clearing next to the creek.  At the end of the lake there are two piers.  One is a public pier and the other is for Nita Lake Lodge guests.  Nita Lake is comparatively quiet as compared to other Whistler lakes and parks.  The main reason is that it lacks a sizable beach and facilities to go along with it.  Though this may seem like a drawback, it is also an attraction.  On a busy summer day you may find hundreds of people in and around the neighbouring Alpha Lake, yet less than a dozen on Nita Lake.  It is relaxing and serene when everywhere else is not.  Nita Lake Park is just 4 kilometres from Whistler Village along the Valley Trail and walking, running or biking there is a great option.  From the Village the Valley Trail takes you along the edge of Whistler Golf Course, then past Blueberry ParkLakeside Park and Wayside Park.  Blueberry Park is a wonderful, deep forest and secluded feeling park on the edge of Alta Lake.  Lakeside Park is a big, lively and fun park on Alta Lake with boat rentals, concession stand, piers and a sandy beach.  Wayside Park is similar to Lakeside Park, though a bit smaller, and is near the end of Alta Lake.  Alta Lake and Nita Lake are separated by just a few dozen metres and the Valley Trail branches in three directions here.  Nita Lake to the south and to the north the Valley Trail goes on either side of Alta Lake.  Continued here...

Best Whistler Parks - Nita Lake Park

Wayside Park - Best Whistler Parks

Best Whistler Parks - Wayside ParkWayside Park in Whistler is one of several idyllic parks along the shore of Alta LakeRainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Blueberry Park are also along the shore of this huge lake that covers much of the valley edged by Whistler Village.  These four parks, all on Whistler's beautiful Valley Trail system, ensure that you are never far from one of several amazing vantage points over Alta Lake.  Wayside Park sits near the bottom end of Alta Lake and at just 3 kilometres from Whistler Village is just an hours walk or 10 minute bike ride away.  The Valley Trail is a huge spider web network of paved walking/biking/running trails that connect Whistler Village to dozens of beautiful parks and sights.  Over 40 kilometres of trails throughout Whistler, with directions at every junction make the Valley Trail much more than just a transportation network.  It's an interpretive tour of the area, where you can wander on foot or by bike and use the signs at each junction to choose your route.  Whistler's Valley Trail is in fact, now part of the 180 kilometre Sea to Sky Trail that runs from Squamish to D'Arcy.  In the summer months, swimming and relaxing in the sun are the main attractions to Wayside Park.  The piers are a fantastic way to view Alta Lake as it stretches north, edged by forest, hills and mountains in the distance.  Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all popular from Wayside Park and Whistler Eco Tours has a popular rental area here in the summertime. They also do canoe rentals where you can start canoeing at Wayside Park and finish at Green Lake.  This 7 kilometre route takes you the length of Alta Lake then down the River of Golden Dreams to Green Lake.  The current moves with you the entire journey making it a very relaxing route to paddle.  Continued here...

Best Whistler Parks - Wayside Park

  Best Whistler Parks - Alpha Lake ParkAlpha Lake Park  Best Whistler Parks - Alta Lake ParkAlta Lake Park  Best Whistler Parks - Blueberry ParkBlueberry Park  Best Whistler Parks - Green Lake ParkGreen Lake Park  Best Whistler Parks - Lakeside ParkLakeside Park  Best Whistler Parks - Lost Lake ParkLost Lake Park  Best Whistler Parks - Meadow ParkMeadow Park  Best Whistler Parks - Nita Lake ParkNita Lake Park  Best Whistler Parks - Rainbow ParkRainbow Park  Best Whistler Parks - Wayside ParkWayside Park

The Parkhurst Sawmill operated on the triangle of land that juts out into Green Lake and also extended along the shore between the train tracks and the ...
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Bergschrund or abbreviated schrund: a crevasse that forms from the separation of moving glacier ice from the stagnant ice above. Characterized by a deep ...
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If you make it to the summit of Wedge Mountain you will notice off in the distance a beautifully symmetrical mountain that stands out among the rest.  ...
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The Pacific yew or western yew is a coniferous tree that grows in Whistler and along the coast from Alaska to California. The Pacific yew’s unique ...
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Western redcedar is a very large tree commonly found in the Pacific Northwest. Frequently growing up to 70 metres and with a trunk diameter of 7 metres, ...
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The Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered most of north-west North America for much of the last 2.6 million years.  At the Last Glacial Maximum during the Last ...
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Scree: from the Norse “skridha”, landslide.  The small, loose stones covering a slope. Also called talus, the French word for slope. Scree is mainly formed ...
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Accumulation Zone: the area where snow accumulations exceeds melt, located above the firn line.  Snowfall accumulates faster than melting, evaporation and ...
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Rent Hiking Gear Whistler Garibaldi Park

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  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  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  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  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

Mount Meager erupted here 2400 years ago and filled the valley with debris that cemented into rock that blocked Lillooet River.  Eventually water erosion ...
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Cirque Falls crashes down from Cirque Lake to Callaghan Lake, connecting these two remarkably beautiful and very different lakes.  Where Callaghan Lake is ...
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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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Whistler Train Wreck is a hidden little world of brightly graffiti painted, wrecked train cars along a gorgeous stretch of Cheakamus River.  One ...
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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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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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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.  ...
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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 extinct volcano. However, as soon as you see ...
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