Sept 25th, 2019: Newt Lake is a fantastic, emerald coloured and very hidden lake up on the far side of Cougar Mountain.  In the busy summer months you are not likely to see anyone on the trail or at the lake.  In the much quieter fall months, you almost certainly won’t.  The unmarked trailhead is found at the end of the Ancient Cedars trail between the “TREES IN THE ANCIENT CEDARS… DOUGLAS-FIR” info board and the bridge.

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

  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

Alexander Falls  Brandywine Falls  Cirque Falls  Best Whistler Waterfalls - Holloway FallsHolloway Falls  Keyhole Falls  Nairn Falls  Rainbow Falls  Shannon Falls  Train Wreck Falls  Wedgemount Falls

Unmarked and obscured by deadfall, the Newt Lake trail is actually very well marked with ribbons and tree markers.  After you climb over or around the fallen tree that blocks the trailhead, the trail is pretty easy to follow.  As long as you hike roughly parallel to the small creek which can be seen and/or heard on your right for a couple hundred metres.  The wildness of forest is readily apparent as the trail zig-zags around fallen trees and the creek is a continuous tangle of criss-crossing trees.  The sky is almost entirely blocked by the tangle of trees above and what light that does get through reflects off the sea of yellow, fall leaves.  Devils club grows in big patches at Ancient Cedars and along the start of the Newt Lake trail.  The Newt Lake trail is pretty tough, steep and wildly overgrown, but at just 2.4 kilometres it is short enough to be more fun than difficult.  And owing to the wildness of the forest and chaotic terrain, you focus a lot on the next tree marker and constantly changing topography and never get bored.  One minute you are marvelling at an ancient, fallen tree lined with dozens of baby trees growing out of it, the next you are staring at a decades old, octopus-like tree with roots grasping a car sized boulder.  In another moment the trail takes you up a sharp ridge and above the dark canopy of trees and you find yourself blinded by the sun and surrounded by weather battered, mangled trees(aka: krummholz) covered in usnea(aka: old man's beard).

The Ancient Cedars trail is 2.5 kilometres and the Newt Lake trail is 2.4 kilometres.  The Ancient Cedars trail is somewhat steep, but easy to follow and well laid out.  It takes about 40 minutes to hike to the end of the trail and the hidden Newt Lake trailhead.  Though similar in length, the Newt Lake trail is a lot steeper, wilder and exhausting.  It takes about 1 hour, 20 minutes to hike.  As you approach Newt Lake, the forest opens up to a thick carpet of green and a brutal looking, crumbling mountain a few hundred metres away.  The trail then dips back into the forest and soon emerges along the left side of Newt Lake.  Cougar Mountain rises almost vertically to the left, with giant boulders sloping down into the emerald coloured water.

Fall Camping in Whistler: Newt Lake Trail

Whistler Fall Camping Newt Lake

Standing on a truck sized boulder, piled on other truck sized boulders that you can see disappear into the startlingly deep water.  Looking down into the lake's near vertical slope you can see the brilliant green water fade to black several metres down.  Monster pieces of the mountain piled up under and all around.  Looking back you see these rocks continue sharply up to the crumbling mountain ridge high above.  Each one precariously propped up against, on or underneath another.  Walking along this side of Newt Lake involves a lot of crawling, climbing and jumping from boulder to boulder while wondering if your weight will tilt one and fling you into the lake.  The fact that many weigh thousands of kilograms gives you some hope that your light steps won't budge any.  Regardless, you feel much safer when reaching the rock outcrop jutting out from the boulders and stand on solid bedrock.  This little dome shaped hill is covered in moss and hardy krummholz trees.  It slopes into the emerald abyss and after you jump in, a marvellous, natural staircase a few metres away allows for a easy exit back to your little hill in the sunshine.

Newt Lake Boulders and Fall Colours

Fall Camping in Whistler: Newt Lake

Fall Camping Whistler: Newt Lake Boulders

Behind you the hill slopes down to a small grassy area before rising to the boulders and then up to the cliff far above.  With some work and creative positioning, you can manage to fit two, possibly three tents, despite the uneven ground and tangle of trees and bushes.  When you finish situating your campsite and look up at the surroundings, you can't help but feeling in the midst of paradise.  The brutal looking boulders rising to the ridge that extends to one end of the lake where it slopes down and meets the opposite shore.  This south facing mountain gap allows the sun to reach the lake all day and even in late September makes it feel like July.  The opposite, tree lined shore bends around to face you with an unbroken wilderness that the sun will soon set behind.  Fall camping in Whistler is pretty amazing and Newt Lake is a perfect combination of hostile wilderness and idyllic alpine paradise.

Fall Camping at Newt Lake in Whistler

Fall Camping Whistler Newt Lake

Fall Camping Whistler Newt Lake

Whistler Fall Camping Newt Lake Map

More info, details and directions to Newt Lake..

The pale green shub-like growths hanging from trees in the forests around Whistler is called usnea.  These bushy, coral-like fruticose lichens anchor to bark ...
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Waterbar and Cross-Ditch: the purpose of a waterbar or cross-ditch is to capture and redirect surface water from the road and channel it across the road ...
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The Roundhouse Lodge is the centre of activity on much of Whistler Mountain.  It is where the Whistler Gondola drops off and next to where the Peak 2 Peak ...
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Arête: a thin ridge of rock formed by two glaciers parallel to each other. Sometimes formed from two cirques meeting. From the French for edge or ridge.  Around ...
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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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The Spearhead Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that runs in an arc that connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The Spearhead ...
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Col: a ridge between two higher peaks, a mountain pass or saddle.  More specifically is the lowest point on a mountain ridge between two peaks.  Sometimes ...
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Rainbow Lodge was a popular wilderness lodge in the small community called Alta Lake, and what would eventually be called Whistler  It was a fishing 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

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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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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Holloway Falls is the beautiful waterfalls you see partway along the Joffre Lakes Provincial Park trail.  Located between Middle Joffre Lake and Upper ...
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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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Brandywine Meadows is a nice, relatively short hike to a massive flower filled valley high up in Callaghan Valley. Located 40 minutes south of Whistler, this tough and sometimes muddy trail gains a huge 550 ...
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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 the ...
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