Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: NunatukParkhurst Ridge is an incredible place for a lot of reasons.  Of course, the view is spectacular with Green Lake's absurdly vivid green coloured water.  Snowy mountains all around.  Wonderfully varied clifftop terrain with easily accessible cliff plateaus leading like giant steps down to the water.  The forest on the ridge is sparse enough to be always sunny, but with plenty of trees to make it feel secluded.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  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

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The trees on Parkhurst Ridge are quite impressive as well.  Many absurdly hardy and contorted lodgepole pines grow in bizarre ways.  Bent over from harsh winters they have a strange beauty in their hardy, weather battered forms.  One particular lodgepole pine on the ridge, judging by its trunk diameter must be over 50 years old, but stands only a couple metres tall.  Next to this extraordinary krummholz tree is an absolutely incredible place to camp.  A flat, mossy clearing at the edge of the cliff, surrounded by trees but plenty of views of Green Lake.  Just a couple metres away is the flat clifftop overlooking Green Lake with the sturdy, old picnic table nestled against the trees.  The Parkhurst Ridge Trail continues down from here and emerges at the train tracks.  If you cross the tracks and walk for a couple minutes keeping Green Lake on your right you will see a tiny wooden hut on your left.  This is an old crumbling relic that used to store supplies for maintaining the railroad.  Next to this little house you will see the continuation of the Parkhurst Ridge Trail as it quickly ascends from the train tracks back up to the ridge that leads to the main part of Parkhurst where most of the houses once were.

Parkhurst Map Complete v14

Below is the Parkhurst Ridge view across to Mount Sproatt through early morning mist in Whistler Valley.  The vibrant green colour that gives Green Lake its name is caused by suspended particles in the glacier water reflecting light.  Much of Green Lake is fed by Fitzsimmons Creek that flows down between Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain and is fed by several glaciers, but most notably by Overlord Glacier.

Parkhurst Ridge View of Green Lake and Mount Sproatt

Parkhurst Ridge Mt Sproatt View

Amazing Views from Parkhurst Ridge

Parkhurst Ridge has several flat, rocky areas overlooking Green Lake, the highest of which has a picnic table with this spectacular view.  Early morning is a particularly beautiful time to catch Green Lake with its vivid colours and glass-like surface.  In the picture below you can see the triangle of land in the middle distance on the left, this is the site of the old Parkhurst Sawmill.  For 30 years this point of land was a hive of activity with stacks of lumber, a sawmill with a tall smokestack and few trees.  Today it is a thick forest with several impressive relics of the past including two logging tractors from the 1930's and one from the 1940's.

Early Morning View From Parkhurst Ridge

Parkhurst Ridge Sunrise

Parkhurst Ridge Picnic View

Parkhurst Ridge Picnic View

Parkhurst Ridge Mangled Lodgepole Pines

Parkhurst Ridge is surrounded by incredible scenery and the rocky terrain results in some interesting arid features.  Many of the trees appear to be brutalized by the environment and in the case of the lodgepole pine pictured here, interestingly mangled.  It appears quite old, yet contorted in different directions by heavy snow, other trees and other unknown circumstances.  Hardy trees like this are know as krummholz, which translates from German to English as crooked, bent and twisted wood.

Parkhurst Ridge Green Lake Camp

Parkhurst Ridge Lodgepole Pines

Parkhurst Ridge Deadfall Viewpoints

The Parkhurst Ridge Trail takes you past one beautiful Green Lake viewpoint after another and often through strangely beautiful tangles of hardy trees and deadfall.  The skeleton-like tree seem strangely appropriate to a ghost town, especially moments after sunrise as picture below, where the forest is dark and shadowy and the morning mist is lingering in the valley.

Parkhurst Ridge Tangle of Trees

Most of the old houses in Parkhurst are found after you cross the train tracks, but this collapsed house can be found on the Green Lake side of the train tracks in Parkhurst.  As you wander further north toward the end of Green Lake the terrain becomes more hilly and tricky to follow.  You can continue down to the shore where Green River starts, but the forest is pretty dark and there is not a whole lot to see.

Parkhurst Ridge Collapsed House

Before the Parkhurst Ridge Trail bends away from Green Lake you get some more great views.  The trail then winds its way up, over and around several hills and valleys before emerging at the train tracks just a few metres from the Parkhurst Trail that ascends into the forest to a T junction.  Right takes you to Parkhurst via the Parkhurst Trail and left takes you back down the Parkhurst Trail to the Parkhurst Wye, then across Wedge Creek to the Parkhurst trailhead.

Parkhurst Ridge Green Lake

Parkhurst Whistler Map v13

Parkhurst Ridge in Winter

Parkhurst Ridge in the winter is similarly spectacular.  Snowshoeing there is pretty exhausting compared to hiking on a nice summer day and but few venture up here in the winter.  You don't get Green Lake at its bright green best, but the winter wonderland that surrounds you more than makes up for it.  In the picture here Green Lake is actually frozen, but so clear you can't tell.  From Parkhurst Ridge in November the surface of the lake is like a sheet of glass and just a couple centimetres thick.

Snowshoeing Parkhurst Ridge

Parkhurst Ridge Winter Camp

Snowshoeing Parkhurst Ridge

The Parkhurst Blue Face House

When you snowshoe to the old Parkhurst Blue Face House in the middle of winter, you find it wonderfully serene and haunting with few visitors this time of year.  Though the snow makes the forest bright and beautiful, as soon as you enter the house the world becomes shadowy and a bit spooky.  Graffiti all through the house fills it with a red, yellow and green glow that is far brighter from reflected light from the snow than in the summertime.

Parkhurst House Winter

The Parkhurst Caterpillar

Down at the lake you find the menacingly huge Caterpillar tractor covered in snow.  The enormous steel tracks can only be appreciated when you get up close to them and get a good look at how solid they built things in the 1930's.  Everything you see is made of thick, solid steel, even the steering wheel!

Parkhurst Caterpillar Winter

Parkhurst Whistler Map Snow v5

More Parkhurst Ghost Town in Winter | More Parkhurst Ghost Town in Summer

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z

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Erratic or glacier erratic is a piece of rock that has been carried by glacial ice, often hundreds of kilometres.  Characteristic of their massive size and ...
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The Garibaldi Volcanic Belt is a line of mostly dormant stratovolcanoes and subglacial volcanoes largely centred around Whistler and extending through much ...
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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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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

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Wedgemount Lake itself is a magnificent destination for a day hike or spectacular overnight beneath the dazzling mountain peaks and stars above Garibaldi Provincial Park. Many sleep under the stars on one of ...
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The Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, Rainbow Falls, Hanging Lake, Madeley Lake, Beverley ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

February is a great month for snowshoeing in Whistler and Garibaldi Park.  The days slowly get longer, but the temperatures stay consistently cold.  Expect ...
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In the(usually) deep March snow of Whistler you have an amazing array of snowshoeing options.  If you have not been to the Whistler Train Wreck, you have ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

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