Blueberry Park - Whistler Parks & Beaches
Blueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about. If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed three piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest. These public piers sit at the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other. The park covers most of the hill beyond these piers and stretches between and connects the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay and Alta Vista(see map below). The beautiful, deep forest trail runs from the shores of Alta Lake in Alta Vista, up and across Blueberry Hill and descends again to reach Whistler Cay. Along the trail there are several beautiful viewpoints of Alta Lake in the foreground and the enormous Mount Sproatt beyond.
2013 saw considerable upgrading to Blueberry Park, which previously had been just a simple dirt trail through the forest and a faint trail to the piers. A new pier, gravel trail section, trail widening and new trail signs have been added. For most of the trail, however, it is steep, rocky, wild and natural looking. The forest is deep and dark. Massive tree roots criss-cross the trail and fallen trees and boulders are strewn everywhere. It has a wonderful remote and natural feeling to the forest that make you forget that you are so close to civilization.
Blueberry Park can be reached from both ends of Blueberry Trail. The Whistler Cay end of the trail is a bit tricky to find although it is being improved. There is a Blueberry Trail sign on the left, partway down Crabapple Drive. To find it drive down Crabapple Drive and keep your eyes out on your left for the Blueberry Trail sign. There are a few spots to park across from the sign at the edge of the road(see the map below).
Always be careful where you park in Whistler in residential areas, especially in the winter months. Look for no parking signs. Often you will see one side of a residential street with no parking signs. This is to allow for snow clearing and you may get towed if you block snowplows.
Blueberry Park is best reached by the Alta Vista side at the end of St Anton Way. As noted above keep an eye out for no parking signs, but at the moment parking is OK at the end of St Anton Way at the trailhead. This side of Blueberry Park is home to the three piers on Alta Lake making it the more scenic way to start the trail.
The Blueberry Park trailhead sign is easy to spot from St Anton Way and the nice, new gravel trail leads to to the three piers just a few dozen metres in. These piers are a great way to escape the crowds that you find in other Whistler parks such as Lost Lake Park, Alpha Lake Park, Wayside Park, Lakeside Park, and Rainbow Park. Rainbow Park is directly across Alta Lake from the piers at Blueberry Park.
Where these other parks are beautiful with their grassy fields, beaches, kids play-parks and other amenities, none of them match Blueberry Park's wonderful, wilderness feel. Added to that, these piers are beautiful for swimming or relaxing in the sun. As this side of the lake is west facing, you will get the sun far later into the evening than on the opposite shore.
From the piers you can continue on or backtrack a bit and take the right fork on the trail that you passed just after entering the forest from St Anton Way. This narrow, rocky, winding and steep, uphill trail takes you into the deep forest of Blueberry Hill. From one end to the other, the Blueberry Trail is just 1.4 kilometres long and fairly steep at both ends. You wouldn't want to push a baby stroller up the narrow and rocky path, but you could easily do so along the nice, smooth gravel trail to the three piers at the start of the trail. The trail ascends quickly and arrives at a beautiful viewpoint, high above the lake. Mt Sproatt dominates the view with Alta Lake far below. Out to the right you can see the always snowy Rainbow Mountain.
The trail continues through the forest and several more beautiful viewpoints just off the trail to your left. Finally the trail descends and ends at Crabapple Drive. If you are doing a circle route from Whistler Village you just have to follow Crabapple Dr for almost 1 kilometre and you will cross the Valley Trail just before Lorimer Rd.
If you turn right and onto the Valley Trail this will take you along the beautiful trail around Whistler Golf Course and leads to the Village. Instead, if you turn left you will follow the Valley Trail to the end of Lorimer Rd and then the Valley Trail splits again. Left goes to Rainbow Park and right goes to Meadow Park.
The circle route mentioned above is a great way to see Blueberry Park from Whistler Village. See the map below, it is just 5.8 kilometres roundtrip and has plenty of sights to see along the way. The Valley Trail(paved) from the Village along Whistler Golf Course is beautiful. The beginning of the Blueberry Trail (gravel) at St Anton Way starts with the three beautiful piers on Alta Lake.
The Blueberry Trail(dirt path with some stairs) along the edge of Blueberry Hill above Alta Lake has several nice viewpoints. The Valley Trail then pick up again at kilometre 4(shown on the map below), and continues on the Valley Trail at the beautiful, ancient cedar grove at the north end of Whistler Golf Course.
The final 1.8 kilometres is along the edge of Whistler Golf Course bringing you back to the Village via the underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway. With the exception of the 1 kilometre section of road on Crabapple Drive, this route is on trails. The trails all have frequent signs and occasional mapboards, however the Crabapple Drive section does not, but you just have to keep your eyes out for the Valley Trail crossing just before Crabapple Drive joins Lorimer Rd.
Blueberry Park - Parking & Amenities
Parking for Blueberry Park is located at both ends of the Blueberry Trail. There are small trailhead signs at each end but no indication of where to park at either end of the trail. At the Whistler Cay end of the trail, parking can be found halfway down Crabapple Drive. Park at the edge of the road across from the trailhead sign. Be sure to take a look for no parking signs as parking rules change by the season. The south end of Blueberry Park is a bit better organized and you can park at the edge of the road at the end of St Anton Way just a few metres from the visible trailhead and Blueberry Park sign. This side of the park is also just steps from the three beautiful piers on the lake and for the most part, the nicer side of the trail. Another parking option is to leave your car in Whistler Village and walk, run or bike the beautiful 5.8 kilometre circle route shown on the map below. If you bike, however, keep in mind that you may have to walk a couple sections on the Blueberry Trail as some parts are very steep, rocky and with tree roots everywhere. Also, expect to find snow on the trail December to April every year, but it remains walkable if you don't mind a little snow.
Blueberry Park is possibly the most dog friendly park in Whistler. It is wild, remote feeling and has a deep forest to run through and three piers on Alta Lake your dog will love to jump off. With other Whistler parks such as Rainbow and Alpha, that have specific areas within them that are dog friendly, at Blueberry the whole place is dog friendly. Dogs are not welcome in the nearby Rainbow Lake trail as well as all of Garibaldi Park, so finding a hiking trail in Whistler to go with your dog can be annoyingly restrictive. For a list of dog friendly hiking in Whistler that includes the Sea to Sky Trail, Train Wreck, Nairn Falls, Ancient Cedars and many more try here..
There is one portable outhouse in Blueberry Park located at the south end trailhead. The closest washrooms can be found at Lakeside Park on Alta Lake, just a 15 minute walk south from the piers. From the north end of Blueberry Park there are public restrooms at the top end of Whistler Golf Course. Look for the sign on the Valley Trail at the 4k mark shown on the map below. These washrooms are only open when the golf course is open. There is also a nice concession stand here open to the public as well as golfers.
Blueberry Park is not designed for camping so setting up a tent in the park would be a little weird and technically prohibited. What you do see on occasion is the wonderful Whistler phenomenon of pier . With dozens of beautiful, public piers in Whistler. All of them on serene lakes and most of them in remote feeling areas of Whistler. You often see a pair of sleeping bags on one of these piers. A bivouac is a primitive campsite or simple, flat area where camping is possible. Often used interchangeably with the word "camp", however, bivouac implies a shorter, quicker and much more basic camp setup. Where putting up a tent would be obnoxious in a Whistler park, bivouacking on a pier is is not.
If you want a place to put up your tent you have to look a little further out from Whistler Village. Train Wreck is a great place to try. Green River has some amazing spots for a tent near the turnoff to Wedgemount Lake. Parkhurst Ghost Town is amazing for camping, located on the far side of Green Lake not far from the Sea to Sky Trail. These are free places to camp so don't expect visible camping facilities or signs.
Blueberry Park - Map from Whistler Village
Printer, smartphone and tablet friendly. Designed to fit standard printers and copiers. To print: Right click on the map below, save image as, save to desktop, then open the image and print on standard size printer paper. Cell coverage is reliable everywhere in Whistler so you will be able to access the internet if you have a data plan, however saving this map to your smartphone or tablet may be a good idea as Blueberry Park can be tricky to find. "Start" indicated on the map is located in Whistler Village at the pedestrian and car underpass off of Whistler Way. If you walk between Buffalo Bills and the Conference Centre you will come to Whistler Way and see this underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway. This is where the Valley Trail in Whistler exits the Village heading south. Walking/biking/running under the underpass you will come to the Whistler Golf Course parking lot and clubhouse with the Valley Trail branching both left and right. On the map below this is where the 5.8k route shown in red starts and finishes. Here you will find a nice mapboard showing the Valley Trail and the Sea to Sky Trail(both trails follow the same route in this section of Whistler). The Valley Trail is wide, with two lanes divided by a yellow line and with frequent directional signs, so once you are on it it is easy to follow.
Other Whistler Parks Near Blueberry Park
Lakeside Park at Alta Lake in Whistler is a beautiful beach park just a short distance from Whistler Village. Located on the Valley Trail, it is just 2 kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away. Similar to Rainbow Park across the lake, Lakeside has a concession stand for food and drinks, picnic tables, BBQ stands, canoe and kayak rentals a huge grass field, pier, a sandy beach and an elaborate little kids play are. Swimming and relaxing are the main draws to Lakeside Park, but fishing off the piers is a common sight as well. Alpha Lake Park is a beautiful park on the shores of Alpha Lake in Creekside, just 5 kilometres south of Whistler Village. Located partway along Lake Placid Road just past the Husky and Nita Lake Lodge. This quiet residential street leads to this park that is home to tennis courts, a basketball court, beach volleyball, dog park, a kids play park, a floating dock, a pier and biking/walking/running trails everywhere you look. Alpha Lake Park has a much more local feel to it than other Whistler parks such as the popular Rainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Lost Lake Park. The abundance of trees and the irregular shoreline make the relatively small size of Alpha Lake seem quite a bit bigger than it is. Trails run around both sides of Alpha Lake. The wide and paved Valley Trail runs along the shore on the near side and a gravel trail runs along the far side. For more walking trails, parks and beaches in Whistler click here..