Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Mt James TurnerEmerald Forest is a cute little forest that is well hidden between Whistler Cay and Alpine.  From Whistler Village, if you go down to the end of Lorimer Road you will see the Valley Trail branch off in three directions.  If you take the direction toward Meadow Park, you will immediately cross the bridge over the River of Golden Dreams.  The paved trail then continues to Meadow Park, but if you take the first left after crossing the train tracks, you will come to the old gravel pit and the start of the Emerald Forest trails.

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  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow 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  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  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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In the winter the gravel pit is a sledding hill and in the summer it is the gateway to a few hiking and biking trails.  If you follow the trail up the edge of the gravel pit and look back you will get a great view of Wedge MountainBlackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain.  Unfortunately this view is through power lines, but still the view is fantastic.  At the top of the gravel pit you will see two trails that enter Emerald Forest.  The first trail takes you through the middle of the forest along a wide and relatively smooth dirt path.  This path immediately immerses you in the emerald coloured surrounding of the forest.  You immediately understand how the forest got its name as everywhere you look you see green.  Green moss on the ground and green trees around and above you.  The forest above is so thick that the sun can barely get through.  What rays of sun get through light up the green surroundings to illuminate the darkness. This gives Emerald Forest a magical feel to it.  It may be a sunny, summer day, yet the forest is surprisingly sealed off from the outside world with the dense forest and thick canopy above.  Despite the thick forest cover, walking through the forest is wonderfully bright and actually glows green all around. 

Beautiful Emerald Forest

The second entrance takes you along the more rugged and wild ridge trail that takes you roughly parallel, though high above the Valley Trail.  This trail zig-zags around fallen trees, boulders and several rock outcrops as well as a couple of small sunny areas with partial views east toward Wedge Mountain.  Occasionally this trail meanders into what feels like bushwhacking before rejoining the lower, wider trail that runs through the middle of Emerald Forest.  The further you walk from the gravel pit end of Emerald Forest the wilder, more overgrown, and more interesting Emerald Forest becomes.  Fallen trees everywhere and strangely out-of-place looking, truck sized boulders force the trails in interesting directions.  The terrain is so chaotic with forest growth and boulders that you can often only see a few dozen metres in any direction despite the lack of very much forest floor growth.

This makes the forest quite fun to walk through as you never quite know what you will find around each bend in the trail.  Though it is a wonderfully messy spider web of interconnecting trails, you can't get lost for very long.  If you start at the gravel pit near Loirmer Road, you will eventually come out at either the Valley Trail on the right or the old gravel road on your left.  The old gravel road is the more scenic and serene route to return to where you started.  A few decades ago it was a connecting road between Alta Lake Road and Lorimer Road.  Now it is a wide and scenic connecting trail that is not very well known.  Just before this road connects to Alta Lake Road you will see a trail descend down into the forest on your left.  This is the beautifully wild and challenging bike trail know as A River Runs Through It.  It traces a fantastically winding route through this deep and dark forest for several kilometres before coming out at Rainbow Park.  The old road is the easiest and direct route back to Lorimer Road as it is fairly straight and mostly gradually downhill.

Emerald Forest in Whistler

Emerald Forest Map

Emerald Forest in Whistler

Emerald Forest Boulders

Two Interesting Historical Books!

A Passion for MountainsSlumach's GoldIf you have been to Sloquet Hot Springs, you likely had no idea that you were in the midst of a century old mystery of a lost gold mine.  Several books have been written about it and the History Channel even made a six episode show called Curse of the Frozen Gold.  The show was quite entertaining with the characters exploring the mountains around Sloquet.  The hot springs even appeared in one episode as they searched nearby for the mysterious hidden vein of gold.  The excellent book, Slumach's Gold: In Search of A Legend lays out the history and theories in enticing detail.  The next time you find yourself lounging in Sloquet Hot Springs, you will inevitably glance around and wondering if you are sitting near the hidden gold mine.  A Passion for Mountains by Kathryn Bridge is a fascinating look at Don and Phyllis Munday's prolific exploration of the mountains in BC.  Based out of Vancouver, they were dominant figures of the climbing community in the early 1900's.  In 1923 they visited their friend Neal Carter in Alta Lake(Whistler) and explored the mountains around the valley.. many for the first time!

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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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Corrie Lake is the surreal looking lake that can be seen across the valley from Whistler Mountain.  While hiking the High Note trail along Whistler ...
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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Gear Rental

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  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow 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  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  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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