#1 Trail Running the Singing Pass 22k (July-October)
July-October | Rugged, Steep Trail Between Mountain Peaks and Valleys | Trailhead is Next to Roundhouse Lodge on Whistler Mountain
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).
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.
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.
#2 Trail Running the Cheakamus Lake 12k (June-November)
June-November | Easy, Little Elevation Change (3k to Lake, 6k to End of Lake Trail ) | Allow 2-4 Hours | Trailhead is a 25 Minute Drive South of 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.
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. Then you now run with this surreal colour ahead, lighting up the already beautiful forest ahead.
The trail to the lake is in a 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.
With the irregular shoreline and dense forest there are plenty quiet beaches to get away and go for a swim.
#3 Trail Running the Whistler Train Wreck 5.4k (March-November)
March-November | Moderate, Hilly, Densely Forested Terrain (5.4k Roundtrip) | Spectacular River Views and Unbelievably Surreal Train Wreck | 10 Minute Drive South of Whistler
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 in Function Junction on Alpha Lake Road. 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.
Though somewhat short, running to the end of the trail at the dead end near the train tracks is only 2.7k then returning to your car the way you came makes the run 5.4k. And of course repeating the run, which allows for some variation within the spider web of trails near the wreck can enjoyably double the run distance to 10.8k.
It's recent evolution into a manicured bike park has made it into a wonderful trail run as well. It's growing use as a convenient running route from people arriving and departing Whistler on holiday is apparent, though barely.
It's still almost always wonderfully serene, and always wonderfully surreal.
#4 Trail Running the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k (Year Round, Plowed in Winter)
Year-round | Paved Trail, Gradual Hills, Beautiful Views | Access from Whistler Village or Free Parking on Lorimer Rd
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. Also, with the exception of the winter months you will likely spot a bear along the trail or on the golf course.
The trail runs continuously around the beautiful Whistler Golf Club. If you are staying in Whistler Village, check any village map and you will see the Whistler Golf Course and the trail depicted clearly there. This is the excellent tear off map provided by whistler.com. You will find these everywhere in Whistler.
#5 Trail Running Lost Lake (April-November)
April-November| Gravel Trail, Beautiful Views | Access from Whistler Village
This is a nice 5k 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.