Whistler is an incredible place to hike, unfortunately dogs are not welcome in Garibaldi Park where most of the best hiking is. This is a courtesy to the sensitive animals such as bears and marmots that inhabit the park. There are a few great spots outside the park, though less known or a bit of a drive away from Whistler. This is a summary of the best dog friendly walks and hikes in and around Whistler.
Best Easy Dog Friendly Trails Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking
Not included here is the wonderful, 40 kilometre Valley Trail that runs in several directions from the Village. Around the Whistler Golf Course, out to Green Lake, Alta Lake, Alpha Lake and Nita Lake as well as the spider web of trails in the Lost Lake area. All the Valley Trails are dog friendly and well laid out and very convenient from the Village. What is included is the massive, beautiful and mostly new, Sea to Sky Trail which extends from an overlaps much of the Valley Trail system. It is a continuous trail that extends south of Whistler all the way to Brandywine Falls, then continues to Squamish via some Sea to Sky Highway sections. The Sea to Sky Trail also extends north from Whistler Village from the very dog friendly Lost Lake trail system that runs in a seemingly infinite web of trails throughout the deep forest around Lost Lake. From Lost Lake the Sea to Sky Trail climbs above Green Lake via the newly built section of trail that seems almost luxurious as it meanders through the forest along a wide gravel path from one gorgeous viewpoint to the next. Very easy to follow, with frequent direction signs and very scenic. Easily the best dog friendly trail in Whistler for its convenience, beauty and staggering length. It effectively runs for 33 kilometres (this number seems to grow by the month) throughout Whistler and almost entirely through secluded and wild forest trails. If you and your dog want to get out into the wilderness to some of Whistler's hiking trails then these are some good bets. These dog friendly hikes are short and easy. For moderate, long and even difficult trails try here.
Sea to Sky Trail is a 180 kilometre multi-use trail that runs from Squamish to D'Arcy. The trail is still under construction in many parts, however, the amazing route through Whistler is finally in place. The Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail is 33 kilometres long between Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and WedgeWoods Estates just north of Green Lake (north of Whistler Village). The 33k Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail is either paved, dirt or crushed rock and often very wide. Much of the trail just north and south of Whistler Village is wide, two lanes and paved with plenty of signs and occasional mapboards. North of Whistler Village the trail can be challenging with several hills as it rises above and beyond Parkhurst Ghost Town. South of Whistler, the paved trail ends at Cheakamus Crossing and becomes a narrow at times dirt trail with some wider sections of crushed rock. This beautiful section follows the Cheakamus River making four dramatically beautiful river crossings. The Cal-Cheak area south of Cheakamus Crossing is more challenging and sometimes narrow and hilly, dirt trails. South of Cal-Cheak the forest opens up and the trail widens to the luxurious feeling, wide and hard packed gravel all the way to Brandywine Falls where the trail joins with the Sea to Sky Highway. The Whistler section of the Sea to Sky trail passes near and through an amazing array of whistler sights. The always impressive Brandywine Provincial Park at the southern end of the 33 kilometre area shown here. Heading north from Brandywine Falls you cross the huge bungee jumping bridge that spans the enormous chasm over the Cheakamus River. Soon after you cross the suspension Bridge at the Cal-Cheak Recreation area. At Cheakamus Crossing there are some amazing viewpoints of Cheakamus River and a short detour takes you to the amazing Whistler Train Wreck. Back on the Sea to Sky Trail heading towards Whistler Village you pass by three of Whistler's beautiful Lakes each with nice parks. Alpha Lake Park, Nita Lake Park and then on Alta Lake you pass Wayside Park and Lakeside Park.The
Why should you walk your dog along the Sea to Sky Trail?
The Sea to Sky Trail in Whistler is an amazing trail that stretches throughout Whistler, well into the wilderness. Your dog will be extatic at all the sights to see and for the most part, you will never see a car or road. There are trail signs everywhere you look and the Sea to Sky Trail passes just about every amazing sight in Whistler. Incredible!
It is hard to say enough about the Whistler Train Wreck. It is fantastic for so many reasons. First, its location. Just a short 10 minute drive gets you to the trailhead parking, just off of the Sea to Sky Highway on Alpha Lake Road in Function Junction. To get to the trailhead for the Whistler Train Wreck, drive 8k south of Whistler Village. At the traffic lights at Function Junction turn right onto Alpha Lake Road, drive across the train tracks and drive for about 200 metres. At the sudden 90 degree right bend in the road you will see Olive's Market on your left. This is an amazing new Organic grocery store. There is a huge parking lot to the left and behind this big building. Take a look in Olives Market, they have amazing coffee and unbelievably good cakes, cookies, etc, as well as organic grocery store items. From this parking lot you may spot the short cut to the Flank Trail. Immediately you will spot the old sign indicating Flank Trail to the right and Train Wreck straight. If you don't spot this short cut right away, just walk back to Alpha Lake Road, turn right (onto Alpha Lake Road) and you will immediately see the little Flank Trail, trailhead sign and the well used dirt trail descend into the trees along the river. Graffiti style paint brings the dingy wreckage to life with shockingly beautiful colours. The huge wrecks are enormous up close and mangled. Some on their sides, some upside down. Each one (there are several) is an interesting adventure to explore.
Why should you take your dog to see the Whistler Train Wreck?
The Whistler Train Wreck is very convenient to Whistler as it is just off of the Sea to Sky Highway in Function Junction. The train wreckage covers a large area with lots to see. The trails can be hiked as long as 6k or as short as 3k.
Ancient Cedars often gets overlooked by hikers in Whistler. Certainly the large numbers of centuries old, massive cedars found in much of the other Whistler area hikes makes looking for them on a specific hike less of a priority. For example, 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 end of the Whistler Golf Club. None of them compare, however, to the Ancient Cedars Trail. They are extraordinarily huge and some are estimated to be a thousand years old. The trailhead to Ancient Cedars is just a short drive north of Whistler. Just past Green Lake on Highway 99, you turn left on Cougar Mountain Rd and drive 4.5k up a bumpy logging road. As logging roads go it is not bad. If you are driving a car you should be OK as long as you take it slow. The Ancient Cedars trail is well marked and well worn and only gradually uphill for the 2.5k hike, trailhead to ancient forest. At the Ancient Cedars forest there is a short circle trail that takes you throughout the giants then leads you back to the main trail for the return journey. The whole 5k Ancient Cedars roundtrip should take you less than two hours. Unlike most other Whistler hiking trails, Ancient Cedars is dog friendly. Unfortunately snow makes the road undrivable much of the year, so you can only reliably get up there July to October. Depending on the snowfall June and November are often possible as well.
Why should you hike to dog friendly Ancient Cedars?
The most impressive cedars in Whistler and a nice, easy and relaxing hike. Can be combined with a scenic drive north of Whistler to see the Green Lake viewpoint.
Nairn Falls is a wonderful, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the deluxe viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above. The beautiful, green water rushes through the deep and angular channels of rock. Though the describes Nairn Falls as 60 metres high, the description is misleading. The falls crash through various narrow and wide areas, and though the cumulative drop is 60 metres, what you see is a series of 10 to 20 metre falls. There are a nicely constructed railing, fence and viewing area and walkway that guides you to the best views. With such abruptly steep rock all around, the area would be potentially dangerous. Evidently there have been deaths here before. A cross, reverently placed across the chasm from the viewing platform, indicates of some tragic event. Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located just a short 20 minute drive north of Whistler. From the large parking lot the well marked trail runs along the Green River for 1.2k to Nairn Falls. The trail is very easy and is hike-able year-round. Though considerable snow falls in the winter months here, the trail remains passable...
Why should you take your dog to Nairn Falls?
Nairn Falls is a short and easy, family friendly hike to a very impressive waterfall. Perfect for an afternoon drive/hike/picnic from Whistler. A relaxing and family friendly hike.
Brandywine Falls is one of the must see sights on the way to or from Whistler. The falls drop from a 66 metre, unnaturally abrupt cliff to the valley below. It is such a popular and beautiful sight that it is a Provincial Park complete with a large and elaborate viewing platform directly opposite the falls. Located just 20 minutes south of Whistler, Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is just off of the Sea to Sky Highway. If driving from Vancouver, keep your eyes out for the Brandywine Falls sign on your right about 25 minutes north of Squamish. The parking lot is immediately off the highway and the short 1 kilometre trail takes you over then alongside the Cheakamus River to the viewing area. The only facilities in the park are pit toilets and picnic tables and there is no charge for hiking or for parking your vehicle in the park. The gate off of the highway is locked at night and in the winter so at these times you simply park at the edge of the highway and hike past the gate. In the winter you often see people strapping on snowshoes for the short trek to the falls in the snow. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is attached to the wonderful Sea to Sky Trail mentioned at the top of this list, which runs between and beyond Whistler and Squamish. It is a wide, gravel biking and hiking trail that will eventually extend north to Pemberton.
Why should you take your dog to Brandywine Falls?
Brandywine Falls is amazingly beautiful and very easy and quick to hike to. Just a 20 minute pit stop on the drive to or from Whistler allows you to see this amazing falls. Brandywine Falls and Shannon Falls, just south of Squamish are both convenient, quick and beautiful stops on the drive from Vancouver to Whistler.
Dog Friendly Beach Parks Whistler and Garibaldi Park 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.