Whistler & Garibaldi Park in January Snowshoeing & Hiking by Month
January in Whistler is a paradise for skiing and snowboarding, but also a paradise for snowshoeing. There are several excellent, and free trails to get away from the crowds. With the massive variety of available snowshoeing trails in and around Whistler, there is a great range of easy, moderate and brutal trails to try. Joffre Lakes is one of the nicest winter snowshoeing trails, though a bit difficult and over an hours drive away, but well worth the drive. Joffre Lakes snowshoeing is featured in the April edition of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine.
Closer to Whistler there is the Rainbow Trail to . It's easy, short and beautiful. The Blueberry Trail, another easy and relatively short snowshoeing trail, takes you high above Alta Lake for fantastic views. Train Wreck is another great snowshoeing trail, though a bit longer. About 4k roundtrip. Located in Function Junction, 10 minutes south of Whistler Village, the trail runs along the Flank Trail, then along the beautiful Cheakamus River, then to an amazingly surreal train wreck. Take a look here for more info and directions to Whistler's Train Wreck.
While in the area of Function Junction, just across the highway from Train Wreck is a beautiful snowshoe route along the Cheakamus River to a beautiful suspension bridge across the river, then back to where you started from the other side of the river. For a list of the best easy to moderately difficult Whistler snowshoeing trails check here..
There are several amazing, intermediately difficult snowshoeing trails. Take a look at a top 5 list of the best moderate to difficult snowshoeing trails in and around Whistler here.. They include Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Park, Squamish. Joffre Lakes, mentioned above. Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake. Elfin Lakes snowshoeing is featured on the cover of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine April 2012.
If you would rather get out hiking on foot rather than snowshoes then you have to drive south 45 minutes to Squamish. The cluster of three breathtaking trails in the and kShannon Falls Provincial Park are amazing, and astonishingly hike friendly year-round. (with the exception of very snowy weeks in the winter).
The Upper Shannon Falls trail is featured in the May edition of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine. Though a continuously steep trail, you gain 450 metres in 3.5k, it is so sheltered in deep forest as to remain possible to hike even in January. Shannon Falls (the lower falls) are spectacular and just a short walk from the parking lot/trailhead of Shannon Falls Provincial Park. The very famous and popular Stawamus Chief trail leads to that massive mountain of rock that towers over Squamish and is a rock climbing paradise as well as a beautiful hiking destination.
Another 45 minutes down the highway from Squamish towards Vancouver leads you to an amazing year-round hiking trail through an amazingly huge coastal forest to some breathtaking views of Vancouver. This is the magnificent Lighthouse Park. Featured on the cover of Vancouver's Ultimate Hiking Magazine in May 2012, this gorgeous park is a convenient and easy pit stop on the way to or from Vancouver and Whistler. Take a look at the Best Sights Between Vancouver and Whistler for more great sights not to miss on the beautiful Sea to Sky Highway between Whistler and Vancouver.
For something out-of-the-ordinary to do in January, taking a beautiful two hour drive north of Whistler to Skookumchuck Hot Springs is an amazing adventure. These rustic hot springs are located on the beautifully crashing Lillooet River at the far end of the beautiful Lillooet Lake. It is easily manageable to do as a wonderful day trip from Whistler, or if you have a tent or camper as an overnight trip at the nice, adjoining campsite. Take a look at the April edition of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine for an article on the history of Skookumchuck Hot Springs that will surely entice to out for a visit.. even in January.
The average low and high valley temperatures in Whistler in January range from -8c to -2c. (18f to 28f)
Whistler & Garibaldi Park in February Snowshoeing & Hiking by Month
February continues to be great for snowshoeing in and around Whistler. The days slowly get longer, but the temperatures stay consistently cold. Expect several days of -12c and of course much colder in the mountains. February is a great month for trying some overnight snowshoeing trips. There are even several huts that are available to use. Most are free and some have a small cost to cover maintenance. The Elfin Lakes Hut is one of the nicest around, boasting solar powered lights and propane stoves and heating. It does cost $15/night to stay, but well worth it. Elfin Lakes snowshoeing is featured in Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine in April, and should hopefully inspire a trip to this spectacular place.. and at least a bit unexpectedly, a spectacular mountain hut as well.
Other huts around, include the Wedgemount Hut at Wedgemount Lake. This is quite a brutal snowshoeing trip, but the hut at the lake is wonderful. At the far end of the frozen Garibaldi Lake is yet another beautiful hut. These are all usable by anyone, but as a courtesy to the people that take the time to maintain them, there is a small charge for the Garibaldi Lake hut and the Elfin Lakes hut.
Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows are amazing in February, though it is quite a strenuous snowshoe hike as it is consistently uphill most of the way. But seeing Garibaldi Lake frozen over and surrounded by beautiful, white mountains is just great. The fact that the trail to Garibaldi Lake is popular in the winter ensures that it is continuously packed down and easy to follow and snowshoe on with the exception of very snowy weeks. Taylor Meadows is featured in the June 2012 edition of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Magazine.
Take a look at the top 5 easy snowshoeing trails in Whistler here... and the top 5 moderate to difficult snowshoeing trails here...
If you are interested in driving south to Vancouver there are some great places to snowshoe there. Certainly a lot warmer than Whistler, and most have great ocean views. The Lions, West Lion Trail is only an hours drive south of Whistler in Lions Bay between Squamish and North Vancouver. It's a fairly long, though well marked trail, 15k roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1282 metres in 7.5k. You can't actually reach the summit of the West Lion in the winter, but the plateau before the summit has spectacular views of Howe Sound.
For something a lot easier and with views just as amazing Vancouver is an amazing snowshoeing option. Only 1 hour, 20 minutes from Whistler in the beautiful Cypress Provincial Park, this trail is well marked, though at times, a steep 7k roundtrip. It is easily done as a pit stop half day on a trip to or from Whistler or Vancouver.further south towards
Seymour Mountain Ski Resort. This is another easy, half day snowshoeing trip as it is only 2.2k from your car to the beautiful views at the summit of Dog Mountain.in Vancouver is another great snowshoeing destination not terribly far from Whistler. Just 30 minutes further south in Vancouver at the
The average low and high valley temperatures in Whistler in February range from -5c to 3c. (23f to 37f)
Whistler & Garibaldi Park in March Snowshoeing & Hiking by Month
March is one of the nicest months for snowshoeing in Whistler. The days get considerably longer and warmer, yet snow falls almost daily. In March of 2012, over four metres of snow fell. With some sunny days mixed into these heavy snowfall days, makes March something amazing.
Cypress Mountain Ski Resort. With all the services available there, you would expect there to be parking and trail use charges, but there are none for the Hollyburn Mountain trail. You can park metres from the trailhead for free and if you don't have snowshoes rent them there for quite a good price.in North Vancouver is a fantastic snowshoeing day trip from Whistler. It only takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the snowshoeing trailhead at
There are a couple other good Vancouver snowshoeing options, such as Seymour Ski Resort in Vancouver., more difficult and longer than Hollyburn and the trailhead is located close to the Hollyburn trailhead. Dog Mountain and Suicide Bluffs are great in March as well. The trailhead is located at the
If you are not too into snowshoeing, the Lighthouse Trail in Vancouver is amazing, and snow free year-round and only, just over an hours drive from Whistler. It has an amazing array of trails that run through a beautiful and deep rainforest with several beautiful ocean vantage points. The hiking trails run from 2k to 10k in distance so you can make the hike as short or as long as you want. Take a look at the best places to see on the way too or from Vancouver and Whistler here..
Closer to Whistler in Squamish is the trailhead to Elfin Lakes. If you have not done this hike you should make a point to do it soon. It is amazing, relatively easy and will amazing views high up in the mountains of Garibaldi Park. There is a popular ski route that goes from the Elfin Lakes Hut, past Garibaldi Lake called the Garibaldi Neve Traverse, that an increasing number of hikers do on snowshoes. Elfin Lakes snowshoeing is on the cover of Whistler's Ultimate Hiking Guide, April 2012.
Back in the 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 to, it's a must see. An incredible 50 year old train wreck, turned art exhibit, turned bike park. It is an amazing surreal world hidden just a couple hundred metres from the busy Sea to Sky Highway, running along the spectacular Cheakamus River.
The Garibaldi Lake area is fantastic in March. The lake is frozen over and the hike across the lake leads to an amazing hut at the far end which is available to use by anyone, though there is a small fee requested by the good people that help maintain it.
Other amazing places to snowshoe in Whistler are the Rainbow Trail overlooking Alta Lake, the Rainbow Park Trail on the shores of Alta Lake, with amazing views across to Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge Mountains. Rainbow Falls is an easy and beautiful trail up to the crashing Rainbow Falls that you can reach out and touch. On very snowy days, the Whistler Golf Course is a beautiful and very easy and relaxing place to snowshoe with nice views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains as well as a nice little old growth giant cedar forest at one end.
For a list of the best, easiest and free places to snowshoe in Whistler check here... And for more difficult, longer and beautiful snowshoeing places check here...
The average low and high valley temperatures in Whistler in March range from -3c to 8c. (27f to 46f)