Lakeside Park - Whistler Parks & Beaches
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 2kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away.
Similar to the also popular 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. The Lakeside pier is just one of many places on the lake good for fishing, but generally fishing on Alta Lake is best done by boat. There is a proper boat launch on Lakeside Drive just a couple hundred metres north of the beach.
Alta Lake is catch and release only as is the nearby Green Lake, and there is a bait ban on the lake. The two small lakes adjacent to Alta Lake, Alpha and Nita you can keep what you catch and they are stocked with hundreds of fish every June. Lost Lake on the other side of Whistler Village, you can keep what you catch as well as at Loggers Lake near Cheakamus Crossing.
The beach at Lakeside is south facing making it a fantastic place to watch the sun set over the towering Mt Sproatt across the lake. If you are looking for a quiet place to relax the main beach may be too chaotic for you, however there is a beautiful place to escape the noise just a 5 minute walk away. To the left of the beach, cross the small bridge, follow the Valley Trail and keep your eyes out on the right for a trail veering off the main trail into the trees.
This leads to a beautiful cement deck built on a rock prominence at the edge of the lake. Occasionally used for weddings, the area is quiet, surrounded in forest and with great views of Alta Lake through the trees.
If you continue along the trail past this beautiful area you come to a small one room log cabin in the trees near the edge of the lake. With no doors and windows it is has the feel of an elaborate kids fort. Beyond this the trail joins again with the Valley Trail heading south through the forest at the edge of Alta Lake. Wayside Park is just a 5 minute bike ride or 15 minute walk from here.
The beautiful Valley Trail system that runs through much of Whistler and connects almost all of the local parks is a great way to explore. At every fork in the trail there are elaborate signs pointing to what you will find in each direction and even the distance in kilometres. There are plenty of routes you can follow on bike or foot throughout Whistler, but the circle route around Alta Lake is a great one to start with.
If you start at Whistler Village(see the map below), continue to Lakeside Park, then to Wayside Park, then around the end of Alta Lake, turn right. Walk along the edge of the lake and in a couple hundred metres you will pass a house on your right, just about 50 metres past this you will see a trail into the trees. Follow this and bear right. This leads to Alta Lake Park, a cute little forest park with a surreal set of giant, oversized chairs on the lake, odd car wrecks along the trail, and yet another beautiful pier on Alta Lake.
If you continue back on the Valley Trail along Alta Lake you will cross the train tracks and come to Alta Lake Road. Continue along Alta Lake Road, keeping Alta Lake on your right. You will get some terrific views of the lake and after 1.3 kilometres look for Rainbow Park on your right.
This gets you back on the Valley Trail and around the top end of Alta Lake and to the River of Golden Dreams at the end of Lorimer Rd. From here the Valley Trail splits into two directions. Left goes to Meadow Park and right moves you toward Whistler Village again via the Whistler Golf Course. If you keep following the excellent signs at each juncture you will find your way OK.
Lakeside Park - Parking & Amenities
Walking, jogging or biking via the beautiful Valley Trail from Whistler Village is the nicest way to get to Lakeside Park, however driving is convenient and easy. The huge parking lot for the park is easy to find. From the Village drive south on the Sea to Sky Highway and look for the Lakeside Park sign on your right at Hillcrest Drive, take the first right again on Alpine Crescent and the parking entrance is immediately on your left. As with all the other parks in Whistler, parking is free, well laid out and just a stones throw from the beach. If you have a boat or canoe that you'd rather not carry to the beach, there is a proper boat launch just down the road at the junction of Lakeside Road and Carleton Way. You will also find road side parking on Lakeside Road if you want to park near where you launch. Always watch for no parking signs, but currently this is a free and convenient place to park.
Dogs are welcome at Lakeside Park, however it is far from the best option for you dog in Whistler. Alpha Lake Park and Lost Lake Park both have fantastic, dog park sections where you won't have to worry about your dog running around disturbing anyone. Blueberry Park just a short walk from Lakeside Park is very dog friendly as it is for the most part a wilderness forest on Alta Lake. For a list of dog friendly hiking trails in Whistler that includes the Sea to Sky Trail, Train Wreck, Nairn Falls, Ancient Cedars and many more try here..
Lakeside Park has proper washroom facilities near the main beach. Washrooms are located at most Parks along the Valley Trail and they are accessible during daylight hours. Along the route mentioned above that takes you around Alta Lake, starting and finishing at Whistler Village there are numerous washrooms. Wayside Park has proper washrooms, Alta Lake Park does not, Rainbow Park has proper facilities, there is an outhouse near the Valley Trail/Lorimer Rd junction and public restrooms at the top end of the Whistler Golf Course on the Valley Trail.
Lakeside Park is close to Whistler Village, so accommodation there is the most convenient option. Whistler has an excellent array of hotels, condo rentals and B&B's. A good way to search for a place to stay is via Booking.com. They compare all the available options in your search area, show reviews and photos of good places to stay, and you can book in just a few clicks. They somehow manage to get the price prices available and even offer free cancellation. One very odd aspect of the world we live in these days is that you can walk into a Whistler hotel and inquire about their best rate for the night. Often it will be almost double the rate you can get by stepping away from the desk and using your smartphone to book via Booking.com.
Lakeside 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 there are lots of parks along the Valley Trail and knowing where they are can be helpful.
"Start" indicated on the map above 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. 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). Follow the Valley Trail on the left as it continues in the deep forest along the edge of Whistler Golf Course. At the end of the golf course turn right, then left as the Valley Trail continues down St Anton Way, then Archibald Way, then Lakeside Road to Lakeside Park. 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.