There are plenty of fantastic, easy and kid friendly hiking trails in Whistler. The amazing Whistler Train Wreck tops this list. Not only from the extraordinary train wreckage and paintings, but also for the numerous views of the Cheakamus River. Parkhurst Ghost Town is also an easy, yet beautiful trail that takes little exertion to get to. This is a top 5 list of the best easy trails in Whistler. If you are ambitious, you can fit all these into one beautiful day.
Whistler Train Wreck is possibly the nicest, easy hiking trail in Whistler. Less than 5 kilometres roundtrip, the trail has hardly any elevation gain/loss and is easy to follow. Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler. The cost to clean up the mess was evidently considered 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 hike. 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. The Whistler Train Wreck hike is much more than a hike through a beautifully, gnarled train wreckage. It has become a bizarre and beautiful adult playground of sorts. A technically amazing bike park has been built there. You will notice almost immediately on one of the first train wrecks that there is a wooden ramp extending off the top of one and a corresponding ramp, far below. On the other end of the car there is a ramp leading up to the roof of the car. It is stunning to think that this is part of the now, Whistler Train Wreck Bike Park. If you are after an amazing place to have a beer, toast champagne by a campfire in a spectacular and spectacularly odd place, the Whistler Train Wreck is hard to beat. There are even several remarkably beautiful, though unmarked places to put up a tent. The Cheakamus River is also quite and amazing attraction at the Whistler Train Wreck. It is violently loud and churning and there are several fantastic spots, high up on the rocks to watch it. The Whistler Train Wreck, though buried in snow half of the year is accessible year-round. You may have to hike through snow here and there, but it's a minor inconvenience for such an amazing spot...
Why is the Train Wreck the Best Easy Hike in Whistler?
Beautiful, easy, relaxing, so much to see. Convenient, just off of the Sea to Sky Highway in Function Junction(8k south of Whistler Village). Whistler Train Wreck is one of the best places in Whistler for a picnic or glass of wine. A very easy, interesting and definitely a kid friendly hike.
Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and easy hiking trails, however, ranks as one of the most amazing and unusual. The marked trailhead to Parkhurst is tricky to find, but once you find it the trail is well marked and easy to follow. Parkhurst was a little logging town perched on the edge of Green Lake way before Whistler was Whistler. Up on the ridge where Parkhurst sits, the views are sensational. Green lake far below, a solid unnatural looking mass of green. Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains out in the distance to the left and Rainbow Mountain across and beyond the lake. What makes Parkhurst Ghost Town such a great hiking trail and destination is where it is located and the trail to get to it. One route, one of several ways to get to it, runs along the scenic Green River and next to the still active train tracks that run through Whistler. There always seems to be something to see. From the beautiful meadow along the train tracks, to the suddenly deep forest where you have to play a game of finding the next, pink tree marker or risk wandering off the trail. The trail markers are numerous, and though getting lost is inevitable, you can only stray a few metres before, the river or steep terrain push you back onto the marked trail. Once up on the ridge above Green Lake where Parkhurst is located, the forest takes on a spooky feel. Trees are all far apart and with branches only high up give the forest a unnaturally lifeless look...
Why is Parkhurst the 2nd Best Easy Hike in Whistler?
Parkhurst Ghost Town is located next to the beautiful and new Sea to Sky Trail that runs high above the very scenic Green Lake just north of Whistler. This allows for including Parkhurst into a longer hike that can begin from Whistler Village, extend through the Lost Lake trails up to the Sea to Sky Trail, then descend to Parkhurst on the shore of Green Lake. Of all the routes to Parkhurst, none are boring and seeing a bit of pre-Whistler history is interesting and a bit surreal at times.
Brandywine Falls is one of the must see sights on the way to or from Whistler. At just 2 kilometres, roundtrip, this trail is very easy. Suitable for kids and you could even roll a stroller to the viewpoint. The falls drop from a 66 metre, 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 , 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 which runs between and beyond Whistler and Squamish. It is a wide, gravel biking and hiking trail that will eventually extend north to Pemberton. This is the end of the (almost) entirely uninterrupted Whistler section of the Sea to Sky Trail. With the exception of a few very short road sections, this 33 kilometre trail was on a beautiful, paved, sometimes dirt, but usually wide, crushed rock trail.
Why is Brandywine Falls the 3rd Best Easy Hike in Whistler?
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.
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. The easy, yet scenic trail takes you along the beautiful Green River which originates from Green Lake in Whistler. 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. There is quite a large and beautiful campground at Nairn Falls as well. Located right next to the parking lot there are 94 vehicle accessed campsites that disappear into the forest adjacent to the Green River. The campground is open May 11 - September 30...
Why is Nairn Falls the 4th Best Easy Hike in Whistler?
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.
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. 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...
Why is Ancient Cedars the 5th Best Easy Hike in Whistler?
The most impressive giant 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 on the Sea to Sky Highway.
More Easy Hiking Trails in Whistler...
The Blueberry Trail is a relatively unknown, though amazing trail that ascends quickly up to a cliff viewpoint, high above Alta Lake. Geographically, the Rainbow Trail is opposite of Rainbow Park and can be accessed by either the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay (at the end of Crabapple Dr), or at the other end of the trail in Alta Vista (at the end of St Anton Way). Either trailhead is just a five minute drive from Whistler Village. See below(the 2nd map shows a 6 kilometre walking, running or biking route from Whistler Village. If it has not snowed heavily in the last couple days, you will likely not need snowshoes for the Blueberry Trail as the snow will have been packed down by others. Blueberry Park gets its name from the hill that rises above it named Blueberry Hill. So well hidden that you won't find either trailhead unless you search for them despite being on all the maps in Whistler. The trailheads do have small trail signs and once you are on the trail it is easy to follow, even in deep snow. Though at times steep, the trail is short. The short, scenic and easy hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is located just a short, half kilometre from the Rainbow Lake trailhead. The trail begins by ascending into deep forest and the trail winds left, right, up and down constantly. 21 Mile Creek, always on your right can always be either seen or heard. 21 Mile Creek begins, 8 kilometres away as it drains from Rainbow Lake, making its way eventually to the River of Golden Dreams, before finally draining into Green Lake north of Whistler Village. A couple minutes into the Rainbow Trail and you come to a fork in the path. You can take either path as they rejoin further up the trail, however taking the right fork is more scenic and only a little more of a steep climb. A second fork in the trail appears a couple minutes later again, and once again taking the right fork is better. You will then come to a small trail sign indicating "Rainbow Falls". This short trail takes you to the little oasis that Rainbow Falls flows into. The 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.