Whistler's incredible location in the mountains of BC gives it a staggering array of trail running choices. From the breathtaking Singing Pass trail that takes you from the top of Whistler Mountain and along the Musical Bumps series of peaks then back to Whistler Village. Whether you like brutal and amazing trails or shorter and scenic trails, you will find it all in Whistler.
For pure scenery and beauty, the Roundhouse to Whistler Village via Singing Pass trail run is hard to beat. 22km 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 to start a trail run is a pretty amazing start. The ride is both beautiful and a relief as you relax while climbing a big part of the elevation gain. You still face a lot hills and valleys on the trail but far more descent than ascent because of this. From the Roundhouse trailhead, over the Musical Bumps trail and finally down to Whistler Village via the Singing Pass trail takes about 2.5 hours at a decent pace. Unfortunately you get quite a bit of lingering snow on the trail, however, if the alpine is open for hiking, then the route should be mostly free of snow. If the ( 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). An interesting feature of this run is that you don't need to pack water as there are several pristine waterfalls on the second half of the run. The run itself can be summarized as a beautiful gondola ride from Whistler Village to the Roundhouse Lodge, high up on Whistler mountain. Then begin running, at first downhill as you run along nicely and unexpectedly established trails. Passing by unnatural and natural water reservoirs on solid wooden walkways, then uphill on a rugged trail that runs for 22k more. Breathtaking. The best trail run in Whistler? Of course it is. The Singing Pass 22k might be as good as it gets. In one of the most beautiful places in the world, the #1 trail run had better be this good. Trail running the Singing Pass 22k is.
Why should you run the Singing Pass 22k?
Singing Pass is an all-round spectacular trail run, tough and amazingly scenic. The 22 kilometre route is constantly beautiful, fantastically varied and brutally challenging. There are alpine views, creek crossings, small waterfalls and fields of brilliantly coloured flowers. The trail ends right in the middle of Whistler Village just steps from where you boarded the Whistler Gondola about 3 hours from when you set off.
The Rubble Creek Classic is a yearly trail run that takes place every year in September. This incredible run begins at the Cheakamus Lake trailhead and finishes at the Garibaldi Lake trailhead at Rubble Creek. This phenomenal run takes you along the beautiful Cheakamus Lake trail then steeply up to Helm Creek, then past Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge, through Taylor Meadows and then descends quickly to Rubble Creek. The distance is 25k and the linear route ensures that you don't run the same section twice making this run incredible. You of course need some pre-planning and a car at both ends. Also, the short summer season makes it only feasible between July and October as the snow in Garibaldi Park is considerable. There are excellent sign posts along the way directing you within Garibaldi Park. So, at first you need to follow the signs for Helm Creek, then at Helm Creek aim for Black Tusk or Garibaldi Lake. Once you near the Black Tusk area you will see signs indicate Taylor Meadows and the Rubble Creek trailhead. So as long as you know this you should be fine finding your way without a map. The trails are well worn and marked, and this area is very popular in the summer. The Rubble Creek Classic, the longest running trail run in Whistler, dates its beginning to back in 1985...
Why should you run the Rubble Creek Classic 25k?
Amazingly challenging and varied. The 25 kilometres takes you past and through a staggering array of Garibaldi Park sights. River crossings, creek crossing, endless meadows, flower filled valleys, and quite a lot more that you will see in such a short amount of time.
Cheakamus Lake is an incredible place to run. The trailhead is located 8 kilometres up a logging road off of the Sea to Sky Highway at Cheakamus Crossing. The first thing you notice while running the trail is the wonderful scent from the cedar forest you ascend into. The massive, very impressive trees give you the immediate sense of running through an untouched wilderness. Then the beautiful Cheakamus River comes into view again and leads to Cheakamus Lake. So close to Whistler, yet well within Garibaldi Park and aside from this trail you run on, the area is pristine forest. Trees, river, lake and serenity surround you on this run. Another great aspect of the trail is that in bends left and right, and up and down constantly, keeping you focussed on the trail as much as you try to focus on the beautiful surroundings. The trail goes for 3 kilometres along the Cheakamus River until it reaches the lake, then the trail continues along the lake. This 4k section between 3k and 7k is the nicest. The lake views are amazing and constantly changing vantage points. The view of the lake is constantly south facing which gives you a great, sunny vantage point for your entire run. And of course the sunrise and sunsets are magical. This run is beautiful if you make it 6k roundtrip, or 12k or 14k roundtrip. There are excellent signs along the way indicating kilometres and where you are so you can focus on the run instead of where you are. As this trail is in Garibaldi Park, dogs are not allowed. This is out of respect for the resident animals.
Why should you run the Cheakamus Lake 12k (or 6k or 14k)?
This is an all-round beautiful trail. The dirt trail is challenging with frequent small hills and bends, yet the overall elevation gain/loss is hardly noticable. Cheakamus Lake is very beautiful and running this trail gives you a real glimpse of the Canadian Wilderness. Although this trail is deep in the woods it is well defined and if you have a headlamp you can easily run it after dark.
The Whistler Golf Course is a fantastic trail to run right from Whistler Village. The beautiful and scenic Valley Trail runs around the perimeter of the course. This locals favourite, 4.8 kilometre running trail has some great views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains as well as a stunning view down its length of the more distant Wedge Mountain, the highest mountain in the Garibaldi Park. The massive mountain opposite Whistler Mountain is Mt Sproatt. On a clear day you can also spot the snowy and distant Rainbow Mountain to the right of Mt Sproatt. Dogs are welcome on this trail and finding it from Whistler Village is very easy. You just want to run under the pedestrian/car underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway near the Whistler Conference Centre. The Whistler Golf Course is a very popular place to spot bears in Whistler from March to September. They are very fond of the grass and it is not unusual to spot two or even three if you keep your eyes out, on a run around the course. This is most likely early or late in the day. Bear attacks are so rare as to be insignificant in Whistler Village. The only real chance of having a bad encounter with a bear in Whistler Village is to run into one or somehow corner one. If you are not running from Whistler Village, and instead arriving by car you can park for free at the end of Lorimer Rd. At the dead end of Lorimer Rd you will immediately see a clear trail sign indicating which direction to go...
Why should you run the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k?
Convenient and easy to find. You can run right from the Village. Well laid out, wide, paved, two lane Valley Trail. Your dog is welcome. Suitable for jogging strollers as it is wide, smooth pavement. Good for running all year-round (snow plowed in the winter). Beautiful views all around the trail. Good running distance for doing 5k or multiples of 5k. So m
The Lost Lake trails are an amazing web of running routes located on the edge of Whistler Village. Just like the running route, you can run the Lost Lake trails right from your hotel in the Village. The main lost lake trail is a very wide, gravel trail that runs around Lost Lake, a small but very picturesque lake. In the summer it is home to Whistler's busiest beach. This huge sandy beach lays at the end of Lost Lake. There are dozens of named trails in the lost lake area and by picking up one of the nice Whistler Village maps that you see everywhere in the Village you can easily plot a more challenging route than the 6k one shown here. Though the trails seem to run in all directions, overall they are hemmed in on all sides, and it would be difficult to get yourself lost. Much of the year Lost Lake is a great place to spot bears. Though there are frequent sightings, bears are generally timid and run for the trees when they hear you coming. It is very important to keep your distance and avoid surprising or antagonizing them. There has never been an unprovoked bear attack in Whistler so you don't have to be worried running in bear country. Dogs are welcome on the Lost Lake trails. In the winter months, snow covers these trails and the area becomes a cross country and snowshoeing area and there is a $9 per day charge to access the trails during the winter season, but you must be on snowshoes or skis. 4.8k
Why should you run the Lost Lake 6k?
Close to the Village, within five minutes from your hotel you are immersed in deep forest. Almost constant, beautiful views as you circle the lake. There is a large swimming pier that you will run past that is good for swimming off of. Also, you will be running past the big, sandy, main Lost Lake beach, good for swimming as well. The Lost Lake running trails can be varied in length and route as to make them always interesting.
Amazingly beautiful, trail running in Whistler is as good as it gets
Whistler is an absolute paradise for running. You can find easy, relaxing, paved running routes. Challenging, narrow and zig-zagging runs. Runs that take you along spectacular rivers and unbelievable sunsets over amazing lakes. In Whistler, you can even find a run that winds its way through a menagerie of decades old, train wreckage incredibly brought to life with elaborate paintings. You can even find runs that can safely be classified as brutal. The Wedgemount Lake 14k trail run is difficult, steep, rugged, yet takes you to a lake high above Whistler that will take your breath away. The unnatural, turquoise colour, the stark ruggedness of the valley and the spectacular glacier sliding down toward the lake all make the brutality of the run an unforgettable experience. A less brutal and still very challenging run is the Rainbow Lake 16k. This wonderful, deep forest trail takes you high into the alpine to the beautiful, Rainbow Lake. Located across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb, the views are amazing. Along the run to the lake you pass by several waterfalls, cross a few bridges, run through a meadow on a boardwalk and then hit the magnificent alpine lake ringed with more potential running routes. The Rainbow Lake 16k is definitely a challenging run as you gain 850 metres in just 8k to the lake. This is just gradual enough to be enjoyable and just as importantly, the 8k return is just gradual enough to not kill your knees. This of course cannot be said of the Wedgemount Lake run or the Singing Pass run. Both of these brutalize even the strongest knees. The Whistler Train Wreck is a 5.4 kilometre running route that has become a secret favourite for weekend visitors. This route is very convenient on the drive in and out of Whistler. The trailhead parking is located on Alpha Lake Road in Function Junction (8k south of the Village on the Sea to Sky Highway). From your car you run through the forest away from Function Junction, under the highway overpass and eventually across the train tracks to the amazing Cheakamus River. The trail continues past a few beautiful river viewpoints then forces you back toward the train tracks where you skirt a bend in the river. Past the bend you, once again run left into a trail, this time leading to the elaborate and expansive train wreck. The amazing paintings inside and outside of the wrecked train cars are extraordinarily beautiful. Combined with the amazing river viewpoints make this run impossible to do without stopping a few times to marvel at the sights. It is because of this convenience and beauty that has made this a popular run to do a 5k lap, or two laps (10k), or three laps (15k) through just before arriving at your hotel in Whistler to start your weekend. An extension of the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k can easily be done by following the Valley Trail off one end and continuing on to Alta Lake and circling the lake via Rainbow Park and returning to the Whistler Golf Course where you began. This running route is 7.7k long and takes you past the far side of Alta Lake and some stunning views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. This 7.7k route can also be extended to 17k by running along the Valley Trail to Green Lake and thereby forming a giant figure-8, (17k) trail. This amazing running route takes you past the beautiful, Whistler Golf Course, then Alta Lake, though to Meadow Park, then along Green Lake to the edge of the Lost Lake trails and finally back through Whistler Village to where you began. Of course, the Lorimer Road to Green Lake running route is amazing in its own right. It takes you along the beautiful section of Valley Trail that runs along the River of Golden Dreams and continues past the beautiful boardwalk along the south end of Green Lake before returning to Lorimer Road via Whistler Village.