Parkhurst Ghost Town Whistler Hiking Trails in May
was once a busy logging community on the far shore of Green Lake in , abandoned six decades ago. Some large machinery, several houses, and an impressive behemoth of a tractor were left behind. Of the twenty houses only one stands still and has now become somewhat of an art exhibit of sorts just as Whistler's Train Wreck morphed into the magnificent art exhibit it is today.
The houses are spread out in a quite wide area and you can find yourself wandering for hours finding one amazing thing after another. From the unbelievable tree growing out of the abandoned tractor plow.
The tree evidently grew after it was abandoned sixty years ago and grew inside it forming inside the thick metal, filling the shape in an amazing way. And the abandoned car from the 70's which seems so improbable in such a place where you can't discern a road in, much less a reason for having a car once you got it here.
The last remaining house is quite something. Painted on the outside recently with a haunting apparition of a face. So unnaturally blue in a a place with only natural colours. The inside of the house is strangely large with three rooms and an opening to an attic. Every inch of the place looks full of history. It seems to have housed a considerable number of people since it's initial abandoning in the 50's.
River of Golden Dreams Route to Parkhurst Whistler Hiking in May
can be reached in several ways and all of them are beautiful. By hiking or biking in via the new Sea to Sky Trail from Whistler Village near Lost Lake. You can also hike/bike in from the other side. Start the Sea to Sky Trail from the far end of Green Lake near the highway turnoff to Wedgemount Lake. This is the way to access the "Parkhurst Trail", which is a nice, though tricky to find, trail to Parkhurst.
There are no signs yet to Parkhurst, except for the small Parkhurst Trail sign, so it is a good idea to print out the above map to hike or bike there. If you have a canoe/kayak or boat of some sort you can get to Parkhurst quickly and easily by launching directly across Green Lake at one of two boat launching areas.. one with a nice pier. Both are located just off of the Sea to Sky Highway on Summer Lane. From both you can spot the giant and ancient tractor at the edge of Green Lake. You can paddle there and park your boat...
A fun alternative to this quick and short route to Parkhurst is to canoe theA good and popular starting point is at the dead end of Lorimer Road near Whistler Village. There are plenty of free parking spots just steps from the canoe put-in/pull-out. This is a beautiful route that takes the very nice and usually tame River of Golden Dreams through the forest and parks between Alta Lake and Green Lake. You go with the current and paddle with little effort. Even in Green Lake the current pulls you slightly, leaving you to enjoy the scenery.
Paddling the whole time you can reach Parkhurst in as little as an hour from the Lorimer Rd. But at a relaxed pace it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. Once reaching Green Lake it is best to follow the coast on your right and in about 15 minutes you will spot the big tractor pictured below which is next to a nice grassy area to exit.
After Parkhurst you can paddle directly across Green Lake (from the giant tractor) to the easy to spot, dock and boat launch in the small bay. From here it's only a $15 taxi ride back to retrieve your car from Lorimer Rd.
Depending on how ambitious you are with paddling, you can even begin at Alta Lake at one of the many, convenient spots to launch a canoe. A quick and easy spot to launch a canoe/kayak is at the end of Carlton Way in Alta Vista. You can drive just steps from the water, drop your canoe in and park just a few metres away (free residential parking on Lakeside Rd). At a relaxed pace you can then paddle the length of Alta Lake to where the lake empties via The River of Golden Dreams (20-30 minutes). It is an adventurous route as it leads to a small portage of just a few metres, then a hilariously narrow section of river (about 2 metres wide for about 200 metres!). This hilarious and very fun section then connects with the nice, wide, sometimes fast, and enjoyable section of The River of Golden Dreams that takes you to Green Lake and Parkhurst.
The Upper Shannon Falls Trail Shannon Falls Provincial Park
Second, it is a thick forest trek through characteristically BC Coastal Rainforest. You walk through a varied jungle of massive trees, rock chasms, creeks and waterfalls.
Third is the length of the trail. It is very manageable at just 3.5k to the top of the trail, where there are several enormous rock plateaus to relax in the sun.
Finally, the attribute that is the most amazing. The trail is always deserted. You can, and probably will see several hundred hikers between the Shannon Falls trailhead and the turnoff to the Upper Shannon Falls trail (which branches off of the partway up). In this period of hiking you start to feel crowded on this amazingly popular trail. Then from the Stawamus Chief trail to step on to the Upper Shannon Falls Trail and an amazing thing happens. Silence. For the next 3k you might see two people.
This phenomenon is the result of two beautiful reasons. First, the Chief is just that good. It's amazing, beautiful, and a relatively easy hike. It is famous, visible for miles away, and towering above Squamish. The second wonderful reason is that this area is well known for Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief. You never hear the Upper Shannon Falls Trail mentioned. And no one gives the branching trail a second look.
So this amazing hiking trail, arguably on par with the Chief is almost always a perfectly serene paradise devoid of people.
WHISTLER HIKING - MAY
The beginning of the hike greets you with the breathtaking 335 metre Stawamus Chief are quite close, only about 1.5k apart. trailhead has the campsites and the Shannon Falls trailhead has the washrooms and concession stand. Both have large parking lots.. This crashing monster freezes you with spray as you pass close enough to feel its pounding force. Starting at the Shannon Falls trailhead is almost always the better option. The exception would be if you plan on camping at the large and well designed forest campsites at the start of the Chief trailhead. If you are unaware, the two trailheads, Shannon Falls and
trail is generally easy. It is only 3.5k from the trailhead to the end of the trail and the beautiful views. It is consistently uphill though and you do gain 450 metres in that short distance. There are a couple chain pulls on two steep sections, but no one should have difficulty with this. At about 3k you reach the picturesque Upper Shannon Falls which are of course not nearly as dramatic as the 335 metre Shannon Falls below.
But the real attraction to this trail is not the upper falls but the amazing rock plateaus at the top of the trail shortly beyond the upper falls. These plateaus are huge. One massive grass and tree covered one and a huge rock one similar, though much smaller than the Chiefs three mighty plateaus. The views are amazing and the area is quite large so you can wander for quite a while up in this mountain paradise. The Upper Shannon Falls trail can be hiked year round, however, May is the first month of the year that you won't be cold for much of the shaded trail and the winter snow will be completely gone except for the distant mountains.
Lighthouse Park in Vancouver Hiking Trails in May
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is an extraordinarily little know piece of paradise, so close to to Vancouver as to see its tall buildings, yet immersed into a dramatically beautiful coastal rainforest. A wonderful network of trails winds throughout massive Douglas-fir trees and Western Red Cedars as well as stretching toward the ocean.
Another is the wonderful variation of trails. They stretch out in several directions in the thick forest, each leading to breathtaking ocean viewpoints.
All this just a short and beautiful 90 minutes south of Whistler. Amazing.
WHISTLER HIKING - MAY