You still get the train going by, but its fun to watch it from above. This cliff has an amazing view of the setting sun over Rainbow Mountain every evening as well. Another great place is at Green River by the bridge next to the highway. Both sides of the bridge have several excellent places next to the river ideal for camping and with the added benefit of being steps from your vehicle.
There are no public restrooms or outhouses anywhere near Parkhurst. With the recent building of the Sea to Sky Trail above Green Lake here there may be some springing up in the future. There is an outhouse at the trailhead to Wedgemount Lake a couple kilometres from the highway turnoff. If you are accessing Parkhurst via the Sea to Sky Trail from Whistler Village then you will pass the washrooms at Lost Lake Park just before connecting onto the Sea to Sky Trail. If you take the slight detour past the Sea to Sky Trail and stop at the beautiful Nicklaus North Golf Course at the south end of Green Lake then you will find public restrooms there as well as an amazing restaurant that is very welcoming to non-golfers. The views are of course amazing and the food and drinks always seem to be on special, all year-round it seems.
Parkhurst is dog friendly along with the entire Sea to Sky Trail that runs the length of Whistler and beyond. The Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain hiking trails don't allow dogs for various good reasons and Garibaldi Provincial Park doesn't allow dogs either out of consideration of the local animals in the park. There are several excellent, dog friendly hiking trails in Whistler. Here are some of the best easy and short ones here... and the best longer and more challenging, dog friendly hikes here...
The Upper Shannon Falls Trail in Squamish
This beautiful and arduous trail takes you under the new Sea to Sky Gondola and to a spectacular ridge overlooking Howe Sound
The beautiful trail has several attributes that make it an amazing trail. First, it is fantastically beautiful. Sweeping, panoramic views of snowy mountains, Howe Sound, and Squamish far below. 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.
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
An incredible and well-concealed park that is usually overlooked
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. There are so many great aspects of this hike. The first is the beautiful drive to get there. Marine Drive spectacularly hugs the rugged and steep coast of West Vancouver.
Another is the wonderful variation of trails. They stretch out in several directions in the thick forest, each leading to breathtaking ocean viewpoints. Another is the variety of wildlife. Along with the majestic trees there are the occasional bald eagles, oystercatchers, seagulls, shore crabs, hermit crabs and starfish, among quite a lot else. Another is the seemingly endless array of picnic tables and even better, rock outcrops at the edge of the Georgia Strait and Pacific Ocean beyond. All this just a short and beautiful 90 minutes south of Whistler. Amazing.