• Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental

A beautiful little lake dominates the area now with a dirt road running along its edge and to the surreal, cement skeleton-like foundations of what must have been quite a large building.

Northair Mine LakesideThe foundations are now adorned with brightly painted murals and several small fire pits.  Standing in the relic you can look across the beautiful lake, green forest beyond and Rainbow Mountain in the distance.  In the summer and fall you can drive to Northair as the Flank Trail that passes here is more accurately an old logging road, than a hiking trail.

Past Northair Mine, the Flank Trail slowly descends toward Whistler and the logging road finally gives way to a wide trail that you quickly discover is popular with bikes.  The length, width and beautifully gradual elevation gain and loss of the Flank Trail makes it an amazing trail on a bike.  You can cover a great distance, see dozens of amazing viewpoints and all the while along are comparatively relaxing route.

The Flank Trail continues to descend all the way to Function Junction, the southernmost neighbourhood in Whistler.  It then turns 90 degrees to the left and ascends quickly along the flank of Mount Sproatt.

Flank Trail Snowshoeing ViewTremendous views of Alpha Lake, then Nita Lake, and finally Alta Lake come into view as you appreciate how quickly you have climbed.  Paddle-boarders on the lakes are tiny specks that take a moment for your mind to comprehend what they are.

Along this section, more than any other on the Flank Trail, you see frequent side trails.  Almost always on your right, these purpose built bike trails, almost all black diamond in difficulty, plunge into the forest and along and over rock cliffs, over bridges and various ramps.

Hiking trails here inspire and enable more bike trails, which in turn enable more hiking trails.  This back and forth trail building frenzy has, and is, producing a bewildering and ever expanding trail network on this once sleepy side of the valley.

From Whistler Olympic Park to the Rainbow Trail, you will have hiked halfway around Mount Sproatt.  The Flank Trail seems to terminate at the Rainbow Trail, however a small sign directs you to turn right, follow the Rainbow Trail, for a couple hundred metres, then left after the water treatment building to the beautiful bridge over Twenty One Mile Creek.

Flank Trail at the Rainbow TrailA beautiful way to access the Flank Trail in March or any time of the year is via the Rainbow Trail near Rainbow Park on the far side of Alta Lake.  From the road-side parking at the trailhead you are immediately plunged into deep forest, deep snow, and the sound of crashing water nearby.

The Rainbow Trail winds through the forest fairly steeply upward.  In less than a kilometre you come to Rainbow Falls crashing down through huge pillows of snow.

Further up the trail takes you to the first signs for the Flank Trail.  The Flank Trail overlaps and crosses the Rainbow Trail for half a kilometre.

Following the Flank Trail to the right takes you to a very scenic bridge over 21 Mile Creek.  Following the Flank Trail to the left leads you to a steady ascent for 400 metres along the Rainbow Lake trail to the trail turnoff to the Flank Trail.

The Flank Trail from here quickly ascends through more deep forest and finally after 15 minutes opens up and flattens out.  The views become beautiful and trail less tiring.  Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge Rainbow Falls near the Rainbow Trail Crossingmountains all come dramatically into view and Alta Lake appears far below.  Just steps from the trail take you to pristine, snowy outcrops, perfect for taking in the view on a sunny day.. and with most of the Flank Trail south facing, sun will always be facing you over Whistler.

The Flank Trail is way more than a days hike on foot or snowshoes.  It is best tackled in pieces.  The great advantage of accessing it from the Rainbow Trail is that you  are roughly in the middle of the trail.  On snowshoes, it is especially good.  The Rainbow Trail is steep here, but very scenic and even small kids won't complain.  Every bend in the trail reveals another great view.  Dramatic views of the crashing creek, beautiful snow weighed down trees, wilderness waterfall and a wonderful, snowy bridge crossing, all in the first 15 minutes on the trail.  Fantastic.

Flank Trail Aerial Video of Tent Site

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe Trail in Whistler

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe Trail


Rainbow Falls is an Easy to Moderate Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls is a fantastic way go get yourself into some deep snow quickly from Whistler Village.  The trailhead is located just a couple hundred metres from Rainbow Park on Alta Lake which is another great place to snowshoe in Whistler.  The Rainbow FallsRainbow Falls Snowshoe Trail - Rainbow Falls trailhead is the same as the Rainbow Lake trailhead, located halfway along Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake.

The Rainbow Falls Trail is short, varied and relatively easy. This well used trail never goes in a straight line and goes up and down through a beautiful and deep forest.  There is only one small, easy to miss sign to Rainbow Falls, but finding the falls is easy.

To find Rainbow Falls, begin at the trailhead parking for "Rainbow Trail" on Alta Lake Road.  Follow the trail as it winds along the river.  If you come to obvious forks in the trail, choose the right fork.  In 0.8 kilometres from the trailhead parking you will arrive at Rainbow Falls.

The trail to Rainbow Falls is fairly popular in the winter so the snow is usually well packed down so you often don't need snowshoes.  The route to the falls is never in a straight line.  Zig-zagging left and right, up and down, some parts are steep, but at just 0.8 kilometres, the shortness of the trail makes it suitable for kids.

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe Trail - Flank Trail BridgeThe topography and sheer volume of snow make this a very fun trail to snowshoe for everyone.  Expect to take less than an hour, car to car, but much longer if you stop for a picnic or to play in the snow.

After Rainbow Falls, you can backtrack a few dozen metres and then head off to the right and uphill towards the Rainbow Lake trail.  In just a couple minutes you will see the water treatment building and a nice mapboard.

If you take the wide path/service road on the immediate right of the building you will see, (in just a couple dozen metres) the cute, snow covered bridge over the river.  This is a beautiful little area, and in the winter, very deep in snow.  You can continue past this bridge, however, the bridge marks the end of the best sights to see.

Back on the main, Rainbow Trail, you will notice signs for the Flank Trail.  In this section, the Rainbow Trail and the Flank Trail overlap for about 400 hundred metres.  If you follow this overlapping trail as it bends around the water treatment building, quickly ascending in the direction of Rainbow Lake, you will come to the Flank Trail junction.

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe Trail

The Flank Trail quickly ascends through deep forest and after about 15 minutes opens up and begins to gradually flatten out.  The views become beautiful and trail less tiring.  Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge mountains all come dramatically into view and Alta Lake appears far below.  Just steps from the trail take you to pristine, snowy outcrops, perfect for taking in the view on a sunny day.. and with most of the Flank Trail south facing, sun will always be facing you over Whistler.

The Flank Trail is way more than a days hike on foot or snowshoes.  It is best tackled in pieces.  The great advantage of accessing it from the Rainbow Trail is that you  are roughly in the middle of the trail.  On snowshoes, it is especially good.  The Rainbow Trail is steep here, but very scenic and even small kids won't complain.  Every bend in the trail reveals another great view.  Dramatic views of the crashing creek, beautiful snow weighed down trees, wilderness waterfall and a wonderful, snowy bridge crossing, all in the first 15 minutes on the trail.  Fantastic.

Rainbow Falls Aerial Video

Tenting Options Near Rainbow FallsIf winter camping is your thing, the Flank Trail, just up from Rainbow Falls is paradise.  Most of the 40 kilometre length winds its way to one amazing clifftop clearing to the next.  As you snowshoe or hike the trail you will notice dozens of easy-to-miss, buried in snow, side trails.  Many of these take you just metres from the Flank Trail to wonderful clearings, perched on the edge of rocky outcrops.  High above Alta Lake and Whistler Village beyond, the views are amazing.  This is pretty close to effortless winter camping as once you get on the Flank Trail it is pretty relaxing as the elevation changes only moderately.  The Rainbow Trail access to the Flank Trail, shown here is perfect for getting onto the Flank Trail and quickly finding a great place to put up a tent.  Snowshoe or hike up the Rainbow Trail and turn left onto the Flank Trail(as the Rainbow Trail continues to Rainbow Lake).  Within 5 minutes along the Flank Trail you will start seeing these side trails on your left and endless great tent spots overlooking Whistler.  Hotels, B&B's and hostels are of course plentiful in Whistler.

March Snowshoeing & Hiking in Whistler


March offers seemingly endless free snowshoe trails

Blueberry Park in WhistlerThe Blueberry Trail is a relatively unknown, though amazing trail that ascends up to a marvellous cliff viewpoint, high above Alta Lake.  Geographically, the Blueberry 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.  It 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...

Brandywine FallsBrandywine Falls, though extremely popular in the summer and fall months, hides behind a massive, snow plow formed, wall of snow from (usually) December to March.  The gate to the parking lot is closed and buried.  Attempting to hike to the falls on foot is tough as you find yourself thigh deep in snow right from the start.  But if you have snowshoes this trail becomes a winter paradise.  The snowplows intentionally clear a winter parking area for the park near the (buried) gate.  You just have to scramble over the mountain of snow, cross the parking lot and follow the signs.  The easy-to-follow trail begins just across the parking lot.  You then follow the trail to the bridge over the beautiful Cheakamus River and then turn right and snowshoe less than a kilometre along the wide and easy to follow trail until you reach the impressive and hugely beautiful viewing platform across from this thundering waterfall...

Whistler Bungee BridgeThe Brandywine Falls to the Whistler Bungee Bridge is a beautiful 6 kilometre, roundtrip snowshoeing adventure that takes you to two amazing Whistler area sights. Brandywine Falls, though extremely popular in the summer and fall months, hides behind a massive, snowplow formed, wall of snow from (usually) December to March.  The gate to the parking lot is closed and buried.  Attempting to hike to the falls on foot is tough as you find yourself thigh deep in snow right from the start.  But if you have snowshoes this trail becomes a winter paradise.  The snowplows intentionally clear a winter parking area for the park near the (buried) gate.  There are plenty of Sea to Sky Trail signs and even a beautiful mapboard in the parking lot.  Just across the bridge at the parking lot you will see the first sign for the Sea to Sky Trail...

Cheakamus River - Whistler HikingCheakamus River is located just 8k south of Whistler Village just off of the Sea to Sky Highway.  This well marked, though beautifully remote feeling snowshoeing trail takes you along both sides of the wildly crashing Cheakamus River.  Snow begins to fall in earnest in the Whistler area in November so the best months for snowshoeing the Cheakamus River are from late November to early April.  The best routes is to walk/snowshoe from your car for about 100 metres following the road to Cheakamus Lake.  At about 100 metres you will see a branching road go to the right and a large, vehicle bridge cross the Cheakamus River.  Cross the bridge and you will immediately see a trail on your left running along the river...

Elfin Lakes Snowshoeing TrailElfin Lakes in Garibaldi Park is an absolutely phenomenal, though long, snowshoeing trail that begins at the Diamond Head area in Squamish.  From Whistler Village, the trailhead is just over an hours drive away, located near the south end of the massive Garibaldi Park.  The Elfin Lakes Trail is very well marked and maintained and leads to the wonderful, Elfin Lakes Hut.  This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated.  There is a charge of $15/person to stay the night there which is a small price to pay for the beautiful comfort after the long, 11 kilometre snowshoe hike to get there.  This area is very popular with skiers as well as snowshoers in the winter and deep snow covers the trail usually from November to June...

Joffre Lakes Provincial ParkJoffre Lakes is yet another amazing snowshoeing trail near (kind of) to Whistler.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  Located up on the Duffy Lake Road north of Pemberton, Joffre Lakes is well known for its incredibly surreal, turquoise water.  In the winter of course all three of the Joffre Lakes are frozen over but the trail is popular with skier and snowshoers between the months of November and early June (depending on snowfall).  Though the trail is fairly well marked and often snowshoe and ski tracked in the winter it is possible to lose the trail after dark or after or during heavy snowfall.  So caution should be taken on this trail.  Make sure you don't go snowshoeing to Joffre Lakes immediately after heavy snow...

Nairn Falls Provincial ParkNairn Falls, located just 20 minutes north of Whistler Village is a nice, relaxing hiking/snowshoeing trail to a nicely constructed viewing area in the midst of Nairn Falls.  The popular trail is actually hike-able year-round, so you most likely will not need your snowshoes unless there has been lots of snow just before you go.  The nice trail runs along Green River for 1.2k.  The trail is well marked and doesn't gain any significant elevation, making it a very easy, kid friendly trail.  The viewing area is located within a bend in the falls/river and the churning waters rushes around where you stand, far below.  The water crashes through deep cuts Whistler Train Wreckin the rock and rushes into deep, green pools...

Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler.  Over the next fifty years this wreckage has evolved into an absolutely amazing place to snowshoe, the Whistler Train Wreck.  The cost to clean up the wreckage 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 in the summer, and a great place to snowshoe in the winter.  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...

Alpha Lake Aerial VideoPanorama Ridge Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsRusset Lake Aerial Video

Wedgemount Lake Aerial VideoWedgemount Lake Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsMadeley Lake Aerial Video - Whistler Trails

Joffre Lakes Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsAncient Cedars Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsBrandywine Falls Aerial Video - Whistler Trails

Whistler Trails Guide and Map

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