The Rainbow Falls Trail Whistler Snowshoeing
Rainbow Falls is a fantastic way go get yourself into some deep snow quickly from Whistler Village. The trailhead is located just a couple hundred metres from Rainbow Park on Alta Lake which is another great place to snowshoe in Whistler. The Rainbow Falls trailhead is the same as the Rainbow Lake trailhead, located halfway along Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake. The Rainbow Falls Trail is short, varied and relatively easy. This well used trail never goes in a straight line and goes up and down through a beautiful and deep forest.
There is only one small, easy to miss sign to Rainbow Falls, but finding the falls is easy. To find Rainbow Falls, begin at the trailhead parking for "Rainbow Trail" on Alta Lake Road. Follow the trail as it winds along the river. If you come to obvious forks in the trail, choose the right fork. In 0.8 kilometres from the trailhead parking you will arrive at Rainbow Falls.
After Rainbow Falls, you can backtrack a few dozen metres and then head off to the right and uphill towards the Rainbow Lake trail. In just a couple minutes you will see the water treatment building and a nice mapboard. If you take the wide path/service road on the immediate right of the building you will see, (in just a couple dozen metres) the cute, snow covered bridge over the river. This is a beautiful little area, and in the winter, very deep in snow. You can continue past this bridge, however, the bridge marks the end of the best sights to see.
This area is fairly popular even in Winter so the trail is easy to follow and the snow on the trail usually well packed down. The trails is wonderfully never in a straight line, some parts are steep, but at just 0.8k the shortness of the trail makes it suitable as a family snowshoeing trail. The topography and sheer volume of snow make this a very fun trail to snowshoe for everyone. Expect to take less than an hour, car to car, but much longer if you stop for a picnic or to play in the snow.
Rainbow Falls Trailhead Parking:
Directions to trailhead: Zero your odometer at Village Gate Boulevard(in Whistler Village), drive north on Highway 99. At 3.8km turn left onto Alpine Way, then at the next stop sign turn left onto Rainbow Drive. Continue straight until at 6.8km you will see the trailhead sign, "Rainbow Trail" on your right, half buried in snow most of the winter. There is room for several cars to park, but be careful as if the parking are is packed with snow, you may be able to get in, but not be able to get out easily. Keep that in mind and park in a way that allows you to get out easily.
Hike up the Rainbow Trail and to reach Rainbow Falls, bear right at the two obvious forks in the trail.
Signs do not indicate where the falls are, but there are several orange trail markers on the trees on the way. Rainbow Falls are found before the water treatment building and the beautiful bridge over the river is just after the treatment building.