Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: NunatukCoast Douglas-fir trees are medium to extremely large trees that you will encounter in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. They are the second tallest conifer trees in the world after the coast redwood and the third tallest of all trees in the world after Eucalyptus regnans. Coast Douglas-fir, also known as Pacific Douglas-fir, Oregon pine and Douglas spruce range along the coast of British Columbia, Washington and Oregon and have been known to reach heights of 120 metres (390 feet).

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

 Ablation Zone WhistlerAblation Zone  Accumulation Zone WhistlerAccumulation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAdit Lakes  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAiguille  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAlpine Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArête  Garibaldi Park WhistlerARRTI  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArmchair Glacier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Barrier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBattleship Islands  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBears  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBench  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBergschrund  BivouacBivouac  Whistler Bungee BridgeBungee Bridge  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  Garibaldi Park WhistlerLithophyte  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

Named after David Douglas, a Scottish botanist that brought specimens of the tree back to Scotland in 1827. Douglas-firs resemble fir trees but are not true firs, which is why the spelling is usually shown to be hyphenated as Douglas-fir. Nineteenth-century botanists had such difficulty classifying Douglas-firs that they have been wrongly classed as pine trees, spruce trees, hemlock trees and fir trees. Interestingly, the final classification became the new genus Pseudotsuga, which translates as "false Hemlock". There are lots of great places in Whistler to see big and old coast Douglas-fir trees. Emerald Forest has several beautiful, close to 400 year olds. Next to the playground at Alpha Lake Park has a grove of huge 300 year old coast Douglas-firs. Hanging over the valley trail along Nita Lake is a beautiful 600 year old. Not as impressively huge as you would expect for its age, this old tree is slow growing due to its rock cliff location that deprives it from water. Yet another excellent place in Whistler to encounter big coast Douglas-firs is along the Sea to Sky Trail along Green Lake. Here you will find countless big and beautiful monsters between 400 and 500 years old. Spotting coast Douglas-fir trees in Whistler is pretty easy. One thing to look for is deeply furrowed and orange tinted bark. Though in young trees bark is thin, smooth, gray and contains numerous resin blisters, on mature trees it is extremely thick. Long vertical ridges of thick bark with furrows up to 20cm or 8 inches deep. The only other tree in Whistler you may mistake for a coast Douglas-fir based solely on the bark is an old mountain hemlock. Compared side by side, the difference is quite obvious. Mountain hemlock bark is furrowed as well, but the furrows are much less deep and the bark overall is smooth. Also, coast Douglas-fir bark has an uneven and chunky look to it, whereas mountain hemlock is comparatively smooth. Also, coast Douglas-fir bark has very noticeable orange highlights to it, whereas mountain hemlock is fairly uniformly grayish brown.

Coast Douglas-fir Bark

Another easily recognizable feature of the coast Douglas-fir can be found on the seed cones. If you look closely at a coast Douglas-fir seed cone you will see what is usually described as the back half of a mouse, two feet and a tail, poking out from between the scales. This three pointed bract is easy to spot and guarantees you have a coast Douglas-fir.

Coast Douglas-fir seed cone mousetails

To identify a coast Douglas-fir from a distance, look for upswept branches near the top which resemble smiles. Most other trees in the forest have downswept branches. The top of coast Douglas-fir trees, called its leader, points straight up, which differentiates them from western hemlocks and western redcedars which does not. Western hemlock leaders bend over and Douglas-fir leaders are flat. Coast Douglas-fir trees require a lot of sun to survive and are easily outcompeted by western hemlocks and western redcedars, which are far less shade intolerant. Interestingly in forests dominated by large coast Douglas-firs, you generally don't find many coast Douglas-fir seedlings. In the battle for growth on the relatively dark forest floor, western hemlock and western redcedar seedlings survive and grow in shade, while the coast Douglas-fir seedlings die off.

Coast Douglas-firs Young and Old

Whistler has an interesting and very old Douglas-fir that hangs over the Valley Trail next to Nita Lake (pictured below). In recent years a tree survey was done and compiled in Whistler's Old and Ancient Trees guide. This deceptively small tree was estimated to be almost 600 years old.

600 Year Old Whistler Hanging Fir

Whistler Tree Silouettes

Books About Whistler Trees

Plants of the Whistler RegionPFlora and Fauna of the West Coast of BClants of the Whistler Region is an excellent book that includes great pictures and descriptions of most trees you will find in Whistler. Small enough to fit in your pocket and comprehensive enough to identify most things you will encounter growing in the forests of Whistler. Along with conifer trees and broadleaf trees the book has chapters on flowers, berries, ferns and shrubs. You can find Plants of the Whistler Region on Amazon, the Whistler Library and at Armchair Books in Whistler Village. The author Collin Varner has a wonderful series of Plants of.. books on various regions beyond Whistler. Plants of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, Plants of the Gulf and San Juan Islands and Southern Vancouver Island, and Plants of the West Coast Trail. In the last couple years he has started a new series of books. The Flora and Fauna of Coastal British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest and Edible and Medicinal Flora of the West Coast: British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Glossary

 Ablation Zone WhistlerAblation Zone  Accumulation Zone WhistlerAccumulation Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAdit Lakes  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAiguille  Garibaldi Park WhistlerAlpine Zone  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArête  Garibaldi Park WhistlerARRTI  Garibaldi Park WhistlerArmchair Glacier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerThe Barrier  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBattleship Islands  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBears  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBench  Garibaldi Park WhistlerBergschrund  BivouacBivouac  Whistler Bungee BridgeBungee Bridge  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  Garibaldi Park WhistlerLithophyte  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

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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Whistler, the surrounding mountains, and Garibaldi Provincial Park are home to two types of bears.  Black bears and grizzly bears.  Black bears are ...
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Deadfall means a tangled mass of fallen trees and branches.  There are several name variations for fallen trees that are commonly used in Whistler.  ...
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Moraines are glacially deposited ridges of debris that accumulate at the sides or terminus of a glacier.  Lateral moraines form at the sides of glaciers ...
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Cirque: a glacier-carved bowl or amphitheater in the mountains.  To form, the glacier must be a combination of size, a certain slope and more unexpectedly, a ...
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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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Fitzsimmons Creek is the beautiful and huge creek that crashes through Whistler Village.  When walking from Whistler Village to the Upper Village, you will cross ...
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Whistler can be expensive.  Everything worth doing seems to cost a lot of money.  But if you step back from the noise and crowds you may spot some secret ...
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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

Wedgemount Falls can be seen along the trail to Wedgemount Lake.  As the falls flow directly from Wedgemount Lake, they are located about three quarters ...
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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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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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Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC.  The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old ...
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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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*Temporarily closed in 2020* Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a gorgeous park with extraordinarily coloured lakes, waterfalls, stunning mountain peaks and ominous glaciers pouring into the valley.  Joffre ...
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Newt Lake is beautiful little lake high up on the far side of Cougar Mountain near Ancient Cedars.  Its location is a wonderful mix of unexpected characteristics that combine to make it a gorgeous place to ...
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Russet Lake is a surreal little paradise that lays at the base of The Fissile, in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Fissile is the strikingly bronze mountain visible from Whistler Village.  From the Village ...
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