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Whistler and Garibaldi Park hiking in June

Whistler & Garibaldi Provincial Park in June                Hiking Whistler By Month

Average low and high valley temps in Whistler in June range from 9c to 21c (48f/70f)

June in Whistler is the first month of the year where you feel proper summer weather, and much like May, Whistler hiking trails are almost completely empty.  This is of course due largely to the deep, lingering snow that makes the trails difficult and some requiring snowshoes to access.  All the lower elevation hikes will be free of snow such as Cheakamus Lake, Ancient Cedars, Alexander Falls, Brandywine Falls, Nairn Falls, Train Wreck and much of the trails to Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake.

Train Wreck - Whistler Hiking TrailsWhistler Train Wreck is beautiful in June as the snow is long gone and the forest alive with colour.  The first part of the train wreck is not train wreckage, but instead some amazing views of the Cheakamus River.  This extraordinarily beautiful river crashes violently through here and various viewpoints can be found along the trail.  After a few amazing viewpoints, the Cheakamus River forces you back towards the train tracks.  Walk past this bend in the river by keeping well left of, off and away from the train tracks.  The trail picks up again on the left and descends into the forest again.  This is the stretch of forest that contains seven train wrecked cars strewn over one kilometre.  Some perched at the edge of the Cheakamus River, others mangled against trees.  It is amazing to see the impossibility of where they rest.. with huge trees all around.  In the decades since they crashed and wrecked here, trees have grown all around.

Alexander Falls in WhistlerAncient Cedars often gets overlooked by hikers in Whistler.  Certainly there are other groves of massive cedars found in other Whistler area hikes.  If you hike the short 3k trail to Cheakamus Lake and you will marvel at the size, frequency and wonderful aroma of these massive and numerous giant cedars.  The Wedgemount Lake trail also has some majestic cedars along the hike.  You can even walk through an impressive grove of huge cedars on the Valley Trail at the north end of the Whistler Golf Club.  None of them compare, however, to the Ancient Cedars hike.  They are extraordinarily huge and some are estimated to be a thousand years old.  Most of these giants stretch toward the sky, but some lay along the forest floor giving you an even closer grasp of their size.  If you bring kids along, they will disappear into the endless, natural playground.  The snow usually recedes beyond Ancient Cedars in May, making this an almost guaranteed, snow-free hike in June.

Russet Lake and Singing Pass Trail in WhistlerThe hike to Russet Lake via Singing Pass is a good option in June.  The trail is not too steep, though long.  The trailhead is just a few hundred metres from the Whistler Gondola and runs in between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains on the Whistler side.  After 3k you walk directly under the Peak to Peak gondola, as it passes far overhead.  The trail continues steadily uphill through the deep forest, though very well marked trail which is used continuously in the winter by skiers doing the Spearhead Traverse.  Snow will be encountered in June around half way up the trail so having snowshoes might be handy to avoid post holing at times.  At 11k you reach the junction where you can turn right to hike Musical Bumps on Whistler (another 4k to the amazing summit), or turn left and reach Russet Lake and the beautiful little hut there (another 3k).

Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial ParkYou could easily argue that late June is the best time of year to hike in Whistler.  No crowds, not that there really ever is in Whistler, with the exception of the Garibaldi Lake area in the summer and on other Whistler trails the odd weekends.  In June there are no bugs.  An extraordinarily wonderful thing, as you will appreciate if you can contrast the lack of bugs in June with the swarms of flies and mosquitoes you can encounter in July and August.  Not that the Whistler area trails are notorious for bugs.  But once you hike in June and suddenly realize you've not seen one single irritating insect.  Hiking in July and August take on a previously unnoticed annoyance with bugs.  The third great reason June is great for hiking is the occasion to camp on snow, and yet not feel cold.  As the snow in many places you will find to camp would have reached 5 metres deep in the winter, it takes considerable days of hot weather to melt it by July, so in late June you may still be putting up your tent on snow, though be hot enough to walk around shirtless and shoeless.  What a great time of year to be outside in Whistler.

Black Tusk in Garibaldi Provincial Park, WhistlerThe difficult answer is when the snow is gone enough to hike comfortably without snowshoes in Whistler.  The simple answer is usually late June, but in 2011 that date was well into July due to the extraordinarily late accumulation of snow.  The BC Parks website has fantastic and frequent trail updates with regards to snow levels.  So for June, if you are motivated enough for a little extra exertion hiking in the snow, you will be rewarded with an unforgettable hiking experience.  Helm Creek, Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk, Wedge Mountain are examples of these incredible places to try in June.

Wedgemount Lake - Whistler Hiking TrailsWedgemount 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.  Solidly built, wooden tent platforms are everywhere you look at Wedgemount Lake.  Strategically positioned, these platforms manage to maintain an amazingly secluded feel despite their numbers.  In all Wedgemount Lake has 20 of these tent areas.  Most are wooden, but several down by the lake shore are gravel, yet every bit as nice.  Keep in mind that you will encounter significant snow on the trail in June and often snow persists at Wedgemount Lake well into July.  At a fast hiking pace you can reach Wedgemount Lake from the trailhead in just an hour and a half but at a leisurely or backpack laden pace you will likely take over two hours.  The trail is well marked and well used.  The steepness of the trail doesn't require any technical skill, however that last kilometre before the lake you will be scrambling on all fours quite a bit.

Helm Creek hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park Whistler BCHelm Creek is a cute, meandering creek that winds its way from beyond Black Tusk, down the valley to the wonderful campground that takes its name. From the Helm Creek Campground it descends further along the Helm Creek Trail, until it joins the Cheakamus River not far from where it leaves Cheakamus Lake.  The location of Helm Creek Campground is pretty amazing for a variety of reasons.  First it is just a great location. About halfway between Cheakamus Lake and Black Tusk it lays in some amazingly scenic areas. Beautiful, climbable mountains all around. Amazing fields of snow that run all the way to the base of Black Tusk well into July.  Rivers, creeks and waterfalls everywhere you look from the idyllic campground. A large, grassy field ringed by trees and Helm Creek.  What you always want from a campground is a convenient and clean water source and of course Helm Creek is both.  Another aspect of a great campground is a variety of beautiful views and a serene setting and again Helm Creek has both of these.  The campground is so widespread that even if the area becomes busy, you can still manage to not hear your neighbours.

Brandywine Meadows hiking in Whistler BCBrandywine Meadows is a nice hike in a massive flower filled valley high up in the Callaghan Valley.  In early June you will encounter quite a bit of snow, however, by late June the flowers should be appearing in the valley between patches of snow.  Located 40 minutes south of Whistler, this tough and sometimes muddy trail gains a huge 550 metres of elevation in just 3k (trailhead to valley).  The trailhead is tricky to find and involves a fairly long gravel road journey that is passable without a 4x4, but barely.  Not that the road is potholed, which it is, but that it is at times very steep and strewn with loose boulders.  Brandywine Meadows is used mainly for snowmobiling in the winter months and the bumpy ex-logging road to the trailhead is in poor condition in the summer.  The hike is consistently very steep for the first two kilometres.  It is at times scenic though, despite being in very deep forest.  The trail runs parallel to Brandywine Creek, which is steeply flowing, very loud and quite beautiful at various vantage points.

Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial ParkPanorama Ridge, an unbelievable 30k roundtrip hike that passes the flower filled Taylor Meadows Campground, Black Tusk and beautifully turquoise Garibaldi Lake and of course best done via these other sights over 2-4 days.  Panorama Ridge is beautiful and challenging hike and the views from the ridge are unbelievable.  Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Park.  The 15 kilometre hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama Ridge takes you through beautiful and deep forests, across countless idyllic streams, through meadows filled with flowers, and past dozens of jaw dropping viewpoints.  The amazing views start once you reach Taylor Meadows and get even more spectacular as the trail progresses.

Joffre Lakes hiking trail near Whistler BCJoffre Lakes is one of the best hikes in June as it's reliably free of snow, usually.  The snow disappears faster from the trail there, and what snow remains is consistently packed down by skiers, snowshoers and hikers.  To hike Joffre Lakes in June you just need good warm clothes, good waterproof shoes for the mud and snow patches and the foresight or luck to go on a sunny day.  The lake is amazing in good weather so try your best to go on nice days.  Lots of trail construction work happened in 2013 and even a new section of trail was built just before the third(Upper Joffre) lake. The third Joffre Lake ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful.  July brings quite a number of hikers and campers as well as the occasional tour bus.  This is a testament to the beauty of the park, but also a warning that if you are looking for tranquility in July, you may have to venture beyond the third Joffre Lake or just simply avoid weekend hiking.

Cheakamus Lake hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park WhistlerCheakamus Lake is an easy, relaxing June hike in Garibaldi Park just a short, 16k drive from Whistler Village.  The trail to the lake is in an amazing forest of giant cedars. Running along the beautiful Cheakamus River the hike is short and easy.  The trail runs along the lake, passing some small, wonderful campsites, and very small beaches.  The first 3k of the trail takes you along the beautiful Cheakamus River to the start of Cheakamus Lake and the first campsite area.  There are 10 very nice and hidden tent pads on or near the lake shore.  There is excellent water from several creeks in the area and a bear proof food hang as well as tidy outhouses here.  Another 3k further on the trail takes you to some beautiful viewpoints on the ever increasingly majestic Cheakamus Lake trail.

Skookumchuck Hot Springs near Whistler BCThe various hot springs around Whistler are great in June as the roads are all free of snow leading to them.  Skookumchuck Hot Springs and Sloquet Hot Springs can be done on one trip as they are on the same road (2hrs for Skookumchuck and 3hrs for Sloquet from Whistler).  Both have excellent campsites.  Meager Creek Hot Springs is still technically closed due to the massive slide in 2010 but can be accessed by the adventurous by wading through the river.  Keyhole Hot Springs is also for the adventurous as it's tricky to get to, but well worth the 1.5-2 hour drive from Whistler.  Sloquet Hot Springs is a Sloquet Hot Springs near Whistler BCwonderfully wild set of shallow, man-made pools fed by a small, all natural, and very hot, waterfall.  The pools stretch from the waterfall to the large and crashing Sloquet River. The large, spread out campsite for the hot springs lies a short 5 minute walk from the springs.  You have to follow a dark and quickly descending trail toward the crashing river. As you near, you can smell the unusual, but kind of nice hot springs scent, and you see steam rising all around you, some steam rising, bizarrely, out of the grass clearing on the edge of the river. On your left a rising cliff, on your right the crashing river.  The Keyhole Hot Springs near Whistler BCpath narrows and steepens, leading to a large fallen tree which the trail seems to run to. So huge though as to not worry you walking the length of. Then, there it is. The massive fallen tree flanks it. Nestled between the tree and a cliff, in a large triangular area, with the river forming the third side are the Sloquet Hot Springs.   Sloquet is quite a contrast to its neighbour to the south, Skookumchuck Hot Springs.  Skookumchuck is shabby, institutionalized and far from natural.  Sloquet is beautiful, natural and serene. It consists of seven pools formed with rocks positioned to segment pools out of what must have been one huge pool.  Recently, in late 2013, dozens of volunteers did a massive cleanup of the pools, forming them into a more natural and even more beautiful place to be...

Beaches & Walking Trails From Whistler Village             June Hiking in Whistler

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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Guide for June

 

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