Best Challenging Trails Top 5 Best Whistler Hiking
Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler. The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly distinct way that appears like an enormous black tusk plunging out of the ground. Whether you spot it in the distance from the top of Whistler Mountain or from dozens of vantage points along the Sea to Sky Highway, its unmistakable appearance is breathtaking. Whether you see it from the highway or from closer vantage points such as Taylor Meadows, Helm Creek, Panorama Ridge or Garibaldi Lake, all views make climbing to the top look impossible. In fact, Black Tusk seems to look more impossible to climb the closer you get to it. Wedgemount Lake is one of the most spectacular hikes in Garibaldi Park. Though it is a relentlessly exhausting, steep hike, it is mercifully short at only 7 kilometres (one way). The elevation gain in that short distance is over 1200 metres which makes it a much steeper hike than most other Whistler hiking trails. Compared with other Whistler hikes, Wedgemount Lake is half the roundtrip distance of either Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge, for example, at 13.5k and 15k respectively (one way). Wedgemount Lake itself is a magnificent destination for a day hike or spectacular overnight beneath the dazzling mountain peaks and stars. Many sleep under the stars on one of the many beautiful tent platforms that dot the landscape. Russet Lake is a wonderfully spectacular and varied destination. For a start it can be accessed by trail or by gondola. By the Whistler gondola, it’s an unbelievable, yet arduous trek along the High Note Trail. The 22 minute gondola ride with its wonderful views of Whistler Village in the summertime, then from the top of the gondola, a wonderful walk to the Peak chair where the best is yet to come. Any time of year the Peak Chair is like a carnival ride, exhilarating, and wonderful, but in the summer, it’s surreal as well. Great walls of snow pass under you far below, as you glide upward at times at a shocking degree. The incline of the ride is extreme, so steep as the breathtaking scenery cannot even distract fully from the nervousness you will surely feel as you glance down, 20 metres to the boulder field below. Then you arrive, the peak of Whistler, what a magnificent way to start a hike. You are still four hours from Russet Lake, but the adventure is well underway. Cirque Lake is an unbelievably beautiful paradise high up above Callaghan Lake in the Callaghan Valley. It requires a canoe to get you to the trailhead at the far end of Callaghan Lake and therefore is seldom hiked. The trailhead is tricky to find and the 2 kilometre trail is very steep, though surprisingly well marked with flagging tape. Once at the lake you find yourself in the wind shadow of the cirque and in a world of serenity and calm. It is an extraordinary thing to have a cirque valley to yourself. Feels like you are standing in a volcano of sorts. But a giant, tree filled meadow of a volcano with a mesmerisingly still and perfectly reflecting lake at its centre. A cirque lake is a wonderful thing, and Cirque Lake in Whistler takes you as close to a hiking paradise as a place can get. Panorama Ridge is certainly one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Park. Usually accessed by the Rubble Creek (Garibaldi Lake) trailhead, just off the Sea to Sky Highway 30 minutes south of Whistler. The hike to Panorama Ridge is comparatively long at 15k trailhead to ridge, but there is plenty to marvel at along the way. Though the first 5k is fairly uneventful as you gain altitude via several deeply forested switchbacks. After the switchbacks you come to a fork in the trail. You can take either fork to reach Panorama Ridge.
Best Beach Parks Top 5 Best Whistler Hiking
Lakeside Park at Alta Lake in Whistler is a beautiful beach park just a short distance from Whistler Village. Located on the Valley Trail, it is just 2 kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away. Similar to the also popular Rainbow Park across the lake, Lakeside has a concession stand for food and drinks, picnic tables, BBQ stands, canoe and kayak rentals a huge grass field, pier, a sandy beach and an elaborate little kids play are. Swimming and relaxing are the main draws to Lakeside Park, but fishing off the piers is a common sight as well. Rainbow Park is one of Whistler's most popular swimming beaches and for good reason. The beach is south facing so every morning the sun rises from behind Wedge Mountain and the whole park seems to glow. From the dazzling reflecting from the snow off of Wedge, Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, to the amazing blue glow from Alta Lake. All this framed in the dazzling green of the forest all around. Though there are many great places to watch the sun rise in Whistler, Rainbow Park is one of the best. Blueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about. If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed three piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest. These public piers sit at the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other. The beautiful, deep forest trail runs from the shores of Alta Lake in Alta Vista, up and across Blueberry Hill and descends again to reach Whistler Cay. Along the trail there are several beautiful viewpoints of Alta Lake in the foreground and the enormous Mount Sproatt beyond. Wayside Park in Whistler is one of several idyllic parks on Alta Lake. Rainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Blueberry Park are also along the shore of this huge lake that cover much of the valley edged by WhistlerVillage.In the summer months, swimming and relaxing in the sun are the main attractions to Wayside Park. The piers are a fantastic way to view Alta Lake as it stretches north, edged by forest, hills and mountains in the distance. Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all popular from Wayside Park. Lost Lake is a tranquil and secluded lake that hides in the forest extending from Whistler Village. Just a 20 minute, leisurely walk or 5 minute bike ride along the well signed Valley Trail will lead you to this beautiful little lake. The wide and paved Valley Trail turns into a wide and gravel trail as you enter Lost Lake Park. There are plenty of nice viewpoints along the main trail as well as quite a few short trails that lead to several access points to the lake, some with great places to sit and relax in the sun and take in the view.
Best Running Trails Top 5 Best Whistler Hiking
For pure scenery and beauty, the Roundhouse to Whistler Village via Singing Pass trail run is hard to beat. 24km and all of it up and down. This is arguably the #1 trail run in Whistler. It is spectacular, just spectacular. Taking the gondola up to the Roundhouse start is both beautiful and a relief as you relax on a big part of the elevation gain. You still face a lot hills and valleys. Takes about 2.5 hours and of course only free of snow and doable when the alpine opens for hiking in Whistler and the Whistler Gondola is open. If the (late July to October), then this route should be free enough of snow to run. If you don't want to pay for the gondola, you can do this route in reverse for free by taking the Singing Pass Trail up from near the Whistler Gondola and return via the Whistler Gondola (they don't check for tickets when downloading).... Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get trail running in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village. There are so many aspects of this trail run that make it exceptional. First is the terrain. It is gently rolling hills in deep forest. Not your average forest. This forest is wonderful. It's big. Big, wild and amazing. Then the Cheakamus River appears. Beautiful. It's that bright, surreal turquoise that seems almost normal in Whistler. Cheakamus Lake has it. Garibaldi Lake has it. Green Lake has a more green hue to it, which gives it it's name. After about two beautiful kilometres you run along this incredible river, still amongst the absurdly dramatic trees. Then you spot it. Through the trees. The turquoise. The impossibly blue colour... The Whistler Train Wreck is a very convenient and amazingly beautiful trail run. It's convenient as it is just south of Whistler with parking just metres from the Sea to Sky highway. And it's amazingly beautiful as it runs through a wonderfully varied terrain of dense forest, train tracks, sunny clearings overlooking the crashing Cheakamus River and of course the wildly beautiful train wreck itself. Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler. The cost to clean up the mess was deemed too high, so seven train cars were left scattered next to the Cheakamus River. As it turns out, time and local effort has transformed this mess into a wonderful work of art, an extraordinary bike park, and a great place to trail run. For half of the year in Whistler, from mid November to April, jogging and trail running becomes difficult due to snow. During this time there are only a few areas of the Valley Trail system that are plowed consistently. The beautiful 4.8k route around Whistler Golf Course is a great, scenic and convenient option to run year round, and right in the Village. Convenient and free parking can be found at the dead end of Lorimer Rd near Whistler Village. As you run around this beautiful golf course you will run through a magnificent grove of ancient cedars, see jaw dropping views of Rainbow Mountain, Whistler and Blackcomb as well as Wedge Mountain in the distance.... This is a nice 6k trail running route that runs from Whistler Village out and around Lost Lake and back. This beautiful lake is linked to Whistler Village by the wonderful and seemingly endless Whistler Valley Trail. Grab one of the ubiquitous whistler.com Valley Trail maps. You will find them just about everywhere to go in Whistler, and marvel at the running possibilities. This run is worthy of being in the top 5 of Whistler trail runs because of its beauty, convenience and variety. The route possibilities are limitless.
Best Snowshoe Trails Top 5 Best Whistler Hiking
The extraordinary Parkhurst Ghost Town can be reached by snowshoeing the wonderful new section of the Sea to Sky Trail that runs along the far side of Green Lake. The trail starts at both ends of Green Lake. One end is near Whistler Village close to Lost Lake and the other is north of Green Lake at the turnoff to Wedgemount Lake from the Sea to Sky Highway. In the winter the Lost Lake area has a entry fee and the Sea to Sky Trail can only be accessed from that end by going through Lost Lake. The far end of the Green Lake section of the Sea to Sky Trail is free to enter and closer to Parkhurst Ghost Town. It is easy to find. Just north of Whistler, past Green Lake you will see the Wedgemount Lake sign on the highway. Turn right and park where you can... The Brandywine Falls to the Whistler Bungee Bridge is a beautiful 6 kilometre, roundtrip snowshoeing adventure that takes you to two amazing Whistler area sights. Brandywine Falls, though extremely popular in the summer and fall months, hides behind a massive, snowplow formed, wall of snow from (usually) December to March. The gate to the parking lot is closed and buried. Attempting to hike to the falls on foot is tough as you find yourself thigh deep in snow right from the start. But if you have snowshoes this trail becomes a winter paradise. Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler. Over the next fifty years this wreckage has evolved into an absolutely amazing place to snowshoe, the Whistler Train Wreck. The cost to clean up the wreckage was deemed too high, so seven train cars were left scattered next to the Cheakamus River. As it turns out, time and local effort has transformed this mess into a wonderful work of art, an extraordinary bike park in the summer, and a great place to snowshoe in the winter. The Cheakamus River winds its way, crashing and emerald green along the length of the Whistler Train Wreck, and there are several spectacular river vantage points that shouldn't be missed. To wind your way in and out of the trails between the Cheakamus River and the train tracks runs for 2.7k... Cheakamus River is located just 8k south of Whistler Village just off of the Sea to Sky Highway. This well marked, though beautifully remote feeling snowshoeing trail takes you along both sides of the wildly crashing Cheakamus River. Snow begins to fall in earnest in the Whistler area in November so the best months for snowshoeing the Cheakamus River are from late November to early April. Rainbow Falls is a fantastic way go get yourself into some deep snow quickly from Whistler Village. The trailhead is located just a couple hundred metres from Rainbow Park on Alta Lake which is another great place to snowshoe in Whistler. The Rainbow Falls trailhead is the same as the Rainbow Lake trailhead, located halfway along Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake. The Rainbow Falls Trail is short, varied and relatively easy. This well used trail never goes in a straight line and goes up and down through a beautiful and deep forest.