Cheakamus River Snowshoe Trails
Cheakamus 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. These trails are frequently used year-round so the snow on the trail is often packed down. You may find that you don't need snowshoes for much or all of the trail.
One of 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. This trail, with Cheakamus River on your left will descend and ascend through a beautiful forest. Sometimes close to the river, sometimes 100 metres away.
Another very nice snowshoeing trail, the Ridge Trail, extends from the Cheakamus River trail. You can find it easily by several excellent trail signs at various junctures(see the map below). The Ridge Trail takes you up a and away from Cheakamus River to Loggers Lake where you can go around Loggers Lake, or just along one side before re-connecting to the Cheakamus River trail not far from the Suspension Bridge.
As these trails are popular in the summer for hiking and biking they are well marked with signs. The Cheakamus River Suspension Bridge, which is 2k from where you parked and should take about an hour to reach. There are wide and straight logging roads on either side of the Cheakamus River which ensure that you can't get lost if you stray from the marked trails.
Once you reach the suspension bridge you can cross it and return to your car from the other side of the river. You will see a trail on the other side of the bridge on your left. You can also snowshoe back via the Cheakamus Lake Westside Road which is just a hundred metres or so from the bridge (after you cross it from the side you just snowshoed). As long as you keep within the bounds of the Cheakamus Lake Road and the Cheakamus River on your way back to your car you can pick your own route as the trails branch in and out in this confined area as it ascends back to your car and starting point.
There are no facilities on the trail however in Cheakamus Crossing just a one minute drive past the trailhead you will see the large Hostel, the HI Whistler which has an amazing coffee shop where you can get a great selection of food and drinks and even a beer or glass of wine.
Cheakamus River Trailhead Directions
The winter trailhead parking for snowshoeing at Cheakamus River is easy to find. From Whistler Village, drive south on the Sea to Sky Highway for 8k until you reach the lights at Function Junction. Turn left and drive for about 300 metres and you will see Cheakamus Lake Road on your left. Snow covered in the winter it is undrivable and you will see plenty of room to park at the edge of the road just before the turnoff.
From where you park, snowshoe up Cheakamus Lake Road for just a few metres and you will see the snow covered vehicle bridge over the river, cross it and look for the trails running along the Cheakamus River.
Mt Fee Road Parking at the Ridge(Loggers Lake) Trail
There is also a large and very conveniently located parking area at the end of Mt Fee Road. Just steps from the Ridge Trail that leads to Loggers Lake. Loggers Lake has a beautiful trail that runs around it with various excellent viewpoints.
Click the image below to see an aerial video of Loggers Lake.
More Whistler Area Snowshoe Trails
There are several more excellent snowshoe trails a few minutes up the Sea to Sky Highway towards Whistler. At the lights to Function Junction, the southern end of Whistler you have two of the best easy to moderate snowshoe trails Whistler has to offer. If you turn right at the lights, drive a couple hundred metres and look for the area on your left cleared of snow for parking you will see a street sign for Cheakamus Lake Road. During normal winter months you will find this road buried in snow from December to April. This is the place to park to snowshoe Cheakamus River along one side, then across a suspension bridge and back along the other side of this beautiful river. As will the other snowshoe trails in Whistler, if it hasn't snowed in the last few days, you will probably manage without snowshoes. Take a look here for more info, directions and a trail map for the Cheakamus River, 4 kilometre roundrip snowshoe trail. On the other side of the Sea to Sky Highway in Function Junction, you will find the Rainbow Sproatt Flank Trail which almost immediately branches off to the trail to the Whistler Train Wreck. This is definitely one of the most scenic, amazing and unusual snowshoe or hiking trails you will find in Whistler. The trail begins by running along a cute, snowy stream before exiting the forest into a barren remnant of the Sea to Sky Highway's construction of the Function Junction overpass. At this point you pick up the trail and veer left and pass under the overpass and along the creek once again. Again the trail enters a narrow, yet very scenic old forest, now with the highway on your right. The trail then reaches the creek and abruptly turns you left and you come to the only train track crossing and the trail then ascends into the snowy forest to the first of several spectacular, Cheakamus River viewpoints. As you follow the trail to the various viewpoints, always keep the Cheakamus River on your left, you will eventually come out the the train tracks again. If you hike/snowshoe parallel to them, about 8 metres from them as walking along train tracks in BC is against the law and you may get a hefty fine(yes it does happen). After about 250 metres you can once again descend into the forest on your left and this time not only come to more amazing river views, but the extraordinary Whistler Train Wreck. There are 7, surreal train wrecks painted in wonderful graffiti that stretch for about 2 kilometres here, and each one a beautiful little world to explore. More information, details, directions and maps for the Whistler Train Wreck hiking/snowshoeing trail click here.