Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several of the 2010 Olympic events were held. There is a nice viewing platform on the edge of the cliff across from the falls which crash fantastically into the valley below.

  • Very scenic drive to get there with bear sightings
  • Impressively beautiful falls in the wilderness
  • Amazing place for a picnic or glass of champagne
  • Lots of other sights to see in the Callaghan Valley
  • Effortless sightseeing as you drive to viewpoint
  • Beautiful & free camping nearby
  • Interesting history & information display
  • Not much to see except the falls
  • Camping is no longer allowed
  • No visible connecting route to base of the falls

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

  Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Barrier  Hike in Whistler GlossaryBears  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCloudraker Skybridge  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCoast Mountains  Hike in Whistler GlossaryErratic  Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Fissile  Hike in Whistler GlossaryFitzsimmons Range  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Ranges  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Volcanic Belt Hike in Whistler GlossaryGreen Lake  Hike in Whistler GlossaryHoary Marmot Hike in Whistler GlossaryKrummholz  Hike in Whistler GlossaryMount Garibaldi  Hike in Whistler GlossaryNorthair Mine  Hike in Whistler GlossaryOverlord  Hike in Whistler GlossaryPeak2Peak  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRoundhouse  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRubble Creek  Hike in Whistler GlossarySpearhead Range

The parking area and viewing platform at Alexander Falls is one big area just 40 metres from the main road, just before Whistler Olympic Park.  The adventurous can find the obscure trail that leads to both the top of the falls as well as, with great difficulty, to the base of the falls.  Alexander Falls is certainly one of the nicest spots for a picnic in Whistler.  The picnic areas are numerous, the surrounding forest is gorgeous and wild and Alexander Falls crashes loud and beautiful in the background.  Several picnic tables are located in forested clearings that were once used as campsites, so if you have a big group, you will have lots of room to spread out and enjoy the surroundings.  The free parking lot at Alexander Falls is enormous. Keep in mind that it is a day-use only parking area and camping or campfires are prohibited. If you are looking for a place to park overnight in the area the possibilities are endless.  Callaghan Valley is very wild, devoid of people and the spider-web of logging roads that cover the valley run for hundreds of kilometres. You often spot a camper van parked just off of Callaghan Valley Road on one of dozens of large, gravel areas that lead to logging roads.  When you drive to Alexander Falls you will notice several of these massive pull out areas, two of which are just south of the turnoff(on the right) to Alexander Falls.  Decades of logging activity in the Callaghan Valley have resulted in beautiful and accessible areas. The logging roads are, however, very bad to Callaghan Lake and Madeley Lake.  Deep washouts are common and though you do see non 4x4 cars and even motorhomes at both, the drivers must have been very cautious with the road.

Alexander Falls Provincial Park

Alexander Falls Provincial Park

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Viewing Area

The Alexander Falls viewing platform and picnic area was redesigned and reconstructed just before the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  Some of the Nordic competitions took place just a five minute drive north of the falls.  The facilities are still in operation and open to visitors year-round.  There is a cafe and visitor centre well worth visiting. The access road to Whistler Olympic Park is blocked by a security gate after hours so keep that in mind when going.  The hours change seasonally.  In the summer they are open 10am to 4:30pm daily and in the winter 9am to 4:30pm weekdays.  Check their website for current opening hours as their opening hours change annoyingly often.  Of impressive waterfalls in the Whistler area, Alexander Falls is one of many stunning ones you can fairly easily get to.  Others in the area include the geologically marvelous Keyhole Falls, the amazing(and near to Alexander Falls) Brandywine Falls, the scenic Rainbow Falls, the splendidly crashing Train Wreck Falls, and the churning caverns of Nairn Falls.  Along very difficult hike to Wedgemount Lake you will see the dramatically tall and loud Wedgemount Falls.  Down in Squamish, 45 minutes south of Whistler, you will find Shannon Falls.  Driving to or from Whistler from Vancouver, Shannon Falls and Brandywine Falls are two quick and very beautiful pit-stops to make.

Aerial View of Alexander Falls in Whistler

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Viewpoint

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Aerial View

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Aerial View

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Aerial View

Alexander Falls Aerial View Far

Camping Near Alexander Falls

Before the Olympic remodelling of 2009, there were several campsite areas at Alexander Falls.  They have now been replaced with several secluded picnic tables in the trees.  Picture a tent where each picnic table sits and you will recall what a beautiful campsite area Alexander Falls once was.  The area is very beautiful and possibly with the new, easier access resulting from the paved road, the campsites would be too busy and overrun with campers.  This may be the reason for Alexander Falls now being strictly day-use only, no camping and no campfires.  There are however, plenty of beautiful and free campsite alternatives very close by. Callaghan Lake and Madeley Lake are both located just a short drive from Alexander Falls and are excellent free, wilderness camping areas. Callaghan Lake is an 8 kilometre drive north of Alexander Falls and Madeley Lake about 4 kilometres from the falls.  Both are easy to find and the turnoff is just a couple hundred metres north of the Alexander Falls parking area.

Madeley Lake Campsite Near Alexander Falls

Madeley Lake Near Alexander Falls

Callaghan Lake Campsite Near Alexander Falls

Facilities at Alexander Falls

Lots of nice picnic tables, just a few metres from the viewing platform(and where you park your car), making Alexander Falls a pretty great place for a picnic. There are two large and regularly serviced outhouses at Alexander Falls. Just a 5 minute drive north of Alexander Falls is the beautiful Whistler Olympic Park with proper washrooms and even a nice cafe. The Brandywine Cafe is open various hours depending on the season. Usually 9-4:30pm daily and has hot and cold beverages and a pretty good selection of food such as pizza by the slice and sandwiches.  Unfortunately outside of Whistler Olympic Park's opening hours the access road is barred by a gate so you can't even get close after hours.

Alexander Falls Parking Area

Picnic Tables and Viewing Area at Alexander Falls

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Picnic View

Restrictions and Concerns at Alexander Falls

No Fires Allowed - Whistler Hiking TrailsCamping ProhibitedAlexander Falls before the 2010 Olympics had some very nice, convenient and somewhat hidden campsites. The parking lot was enlarged and a viewing platform made. The parking lot has covered the old campsite spots that were in a forest where the information board is now. Camping is not allowed at Alexander Falls anymore. The area is pretty far removed from civilisation, however, and you could easily sneak a tent up in the small remaining forest, or sleep under the stars on the viewing platform, but only under the cover of darkness. With the wealth of other tent site opportunities in the area, Alexander Falls would be mediocre at best. A car or even a RV can make the short drive to Madeley Lake or a bit of a longer drive to Callaghan Lake. Both are free and quite nice. Northair Mine is another good spot to camp out. Hidden up in the forest about a 15 minute drive up an increasingly bad forest service road. Halfway along you will find a high clearance 4x4 is necessary to get through a deep washout. A typical Jeep Cherokee, for example, would have no problem. As with much of British Columbia, fires are prohibited in the summer due to the extreme forest fire danger.

Wildlife at Alexander Falls

WildlifeAlexander Falls and everywhere in the Callaghan Valley is dog friendly. Unlike Garibaldi Park across the valley beyond Whistler, the Callaghan Valley is wild and remote and dogs are welcome everywhere. You do have to exercise caution however and bears, both black bears and grizzly bears are numerous. Grizzly bears are reclusive and seldom seen, however, black bears are frequently spotted, especially along the Callaghan Valley Road. For the most part, they will avoid humans, however, dogs tend to antagonize bears and make them potentially dangerous. If you bring your dog to Alexander Falls and the surrounding areas, be very cautious. Have a good look around for bears before letting your dog out of your vehicle. If you don't and your dog spots a bear, and out-of-control situation will almost certainly occur. Separating your dog from a bear can be extremely difficult and usually involves the dog owner having to get in between the two animals, putting yourself and your dog in a life threatening situation. Keep that in mind and be very cautious.

Bear Near Alexander Falls and Madeley Lake

The History of Alexander Falls

History of Alexander FallsThere is a nice information board with as short history of the areas surrounding Alexander Falls, complete with museum-like pictures of the regions logging history.  One depicts, "A Land of Giants" and describes, with photos, how incredibly huge trees were cut down and moved.  One picture from 1910, shows 10 men sitting on an enormous, felled tree and looking tiny by comparison.  The depiction goes on to show how First Nations people felled trees as long as 8000 years ago. The history of logging continues to present day logging practices in British Columbia and around Whistler are depicted in another nice museum-like mural on BC's "Green Advantage" and sustainable future.  The drive to Alexander Falls is very nice.  As soon as you turn off from the Sea to Sky Highway into the Callaghan Valley you ascend quickly into the mountains.  Bears along the roadside are frequently seen as they seem to have a particular fondness for the fields of grass that grow in the sunny meadows that surround this recently constructed, paved road.

History of Alexander Falls Photo of Logging in the Region

On the viewing platform there is a memorial plaque that reads: "In Memory of F/O Gerald S. Stubbs and F/O James E. Miller. Members of 409 Squadron who perished in this area on 22 March 1956." This memorial refers to a mysterious plane crash of a Canadian fighter plane who's occupants have never been found. For several years it was thought that the plane went down in the Pacific as it was flying over from Vancouver Island on a routine training flight in a T-33 Silver Star. Indeed, the search took place over an area 32 kilometres northeast of Comox(Vancouver Island). A considerable distance from where you are at Alexander Falls. The search eventually wrapped up with the assumption that the plane went down in the ocean. Two decades later, in the early 1970's, a hiker named Howard Rode found the canopy of the long lost T-33 high up on Mt Callaghan. Rode wrote down the serial number off the canopy and notified the military, who were surprised to discover was the canopy of Stubbs and Miller's plane. A search of the area found no other wreckage. Not surprising if you have hiked in the area. The terrain is a chaotic mix of deep forest, steep terrain, and a maze of enormous erratics and fallen trees. In this type of terrain, you can rarely make out landmarks or get a clear sight of where you are going. Searching the area is extremely difficult and the search area that seems small on paper, is monstrous on the ground.

Callaghan Plane Crash near Alexander Falls

It took two more decades for another clue to be found. In 1997 a member of Whistler Search and Rescue spotted plane wreckage as he flew over the area. Four kilometres south and down the valley of where the original canopy was found! Finally, the wreckage could be examined for clues to what had happened. The cause was determined to be fuel starvation. No sign of Stubbs and Miller were found, despite a lot of searching. Another decade would pass before a clue to the two missing airmen was found. A helmet was found directly between the wreckage and the canopy. Just a helmet. Another set of searches went on, and remarkably, still nothing else found.  Somewhere between the wreckage and the canopy, the ejected seats of the fighter plane still lay hidden. Pilots eject from a T-33 with the seats and parachute down to safety. It now seemed evident that Stubbs and Miller ejected the plane before it crashed and possibly survived. Surviving the crash may have been the easy part. Finding civilisation over brutal terrain, deep with snow and in freezing winter temperatures. In March 1956, just like most years, the snow on Mt Callaghan is measured in metres. Eventually another clue will be found as hiking trails continue to be developed in the area and the number of hikers combing the dense forest increase.

Alexander Falls Provincial Park Driving Directions

Driving to Alexander FallsCell coverage is reliable on the road and at the viewpoint to Alexander Falls so you will be able to access the internet if you have a data plan, however saving this map to your smartphone or tablet might be helpful. From Whistler Village: Drive south on Hwy 99(Sea to Sky Highway), 13.8 kilometres from Village Gate Boulevard, turn right onto Callaghan Valley Road at the sign to Whistler Olympic Park. Follow this road for 9.6 kilometres, keep an eye out on your left for a little sign that directs you to Alexander Falls. The sign/turnoff is just before Whistler Olympic Park.

Printable Directions Map to Alexander Falls

You might want to save this map to your phone or print it out for reference.  To print: right click on the map below, click "Save Image As...", save it to your desktop and open and print.

Alexander Falls Driving Directions Map

From Vancouver/Squamish: Head north on Highway 99 towards Whistler. Turn left onto the new Callaghan Valley access road at the sign for Whistler Olympic Park, 40 kilometres from the set of lights at Garibaldi Way in Squamish. Follow this road for 8km, keep an eye out on your left for a little sign that directs you to Alexander Falls.  The sign/turnoff is just before Whistler Olympic Park.

When to Go

Anytime of the year is great to go to Alexander Falls.  In the summer, the weather makes the drive more scenic and you are likely to see bears on the way there.  At the viewing area you have several picnic tables that are wonderful in the summertime.  In the winter months, the valley is a massive, snowy playground.  Almost the entire Callaghan Valley is pristine looking in the winter, with snowy trees, and snowy mountains as far as you can see.  Springtime is when you see the volume of water crashing over the falls increase rapidly.  More dramatic, more beautiful and much louder.  The fall months can be quite beautiful as well. Despite the deteriorating weather and frequent rainfall, the drive up the Callaghan Valley will be flanked by fall coloured leaves. Another benefit of going to Alexander Falls in the fall is that you will likely have the valley to yourselves.

More Great Places Near Alexander Falls

The Callaghan Valley is home to some other great places to visit. Just past the Alexander Falls parking lot on your left you will see a sign for Callaghan Lake Provincial Park. If you turn left here you can either drive straight up a very bad logging road for 8.5 kilometres to Callaghan Lake. Callaghan Lake Provincial Park has only a couple short trails.  There is, however, a the Cirque Lake trail at the end of the lake takes you to paradise! Cirque Lake is found high above Callaghan Lake and up quite a steep, but short 2 kilometre trail.  Well worth the hike, but you have to have a canoe/kayak to get to the trailhead.  If you want a quick look at a very pretty mountain lake, take the first right at the start of this logging road that takes you to Madeley Lake. On a sunny summer day, few places in Whistler are more serene and beautiful. A short trail from the end of the road, behind the lake takes you down to a lovely and sunny shore of this crystal clear lake. It is also a free campground that is very nice. Northair Mine is close by and a very interesting place to see, though you need a 4x4 to get up the increasingly deteriorating forest service road.

Alexander Falls Area Map

April 8th, 2019: The Rubble Creek trailhead to Garibaldi Provincial Park is finally accessible by car.  The snow buried access road is mostly free of snow.  ...
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September 20th, 2018: Alexander Falls, high up in the Callaghan Valley in Whistler has some interesting historical murals and a mysterious plaque. The ...
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May 5th, 2019: The summer of 2011 was the time when some local Whistler artists ventured into the wilderness between the crashing Cheakamus River and ...
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May 16th, 2019: The Prism mural can be found perched at the edge of Cheakamus River near the Whistler Train Wreck suspension bridge.  After you cross the ...
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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

 

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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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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and ...
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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 ...
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Meager Hot Springs(aka: Meager Creek Hot Springs) is located 93 kilometres northwest of Whistler, was beautifully developed into gorgeous pools, with a caretaker and usage charge.  At its height of ...
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