The Whistler Golf Course is a fantastic trail to run right from Whistler Village. The beautiful and scenic Valley Trail runs around the perimeter of the course. This locals favourite, 4.8 kilometre running trail has some great views of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains as well as a stunning view down its length of the more distant Wedge Mountain, the highest mountain in the Garibaldi Park. The massive mountain opposite Whistler Mountain is Mt Sproatt. On a clear day you can also spot the snowy and distant Rainbow Mountain to the right of Mt Sproatt.
Dogs are welcome on this trail and finding it from Whistler Village is very easy. You just want to run under the pedestrian/car underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway near the Whistler Conference Centre.
The Whistler Golf Course is a very popular place to spot bears in Whistler from March to September. They are very fond of the grass and it is not unusual to spot two or even three if you keep your eyes out, on a run around the course. This is most likely early or late in the day. Bear attacks are so rare as to be insignificant in Whistler Village. The only real chance of having a bad encounter with a bear in Whistler Village is to run into one or somehow corner one.
If you are not running from Whistler Village, and instead arriving by car you can park for free at the end of Lorimer Rd. At the dead end of Lorimer Rd you will immediately see a clear trail sign indicating which direction to go. Rainbow Park points one way, Meadow Park another way and Whistler Village a third way. You want to follow the direction for Whistler Village as it takes you to the Whistler Golf Course before the Village.
The is one of the few trails suitable for running in the winter. It is snow plowed daily and part of the trail has good lighting for the short winter daylight hours. Despite the partial lighting a headlight is necessary for this run after dark. 4.8k
Why should you run the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k?
Convenient and easy to find. You can run right from the Village. Well laid out, wide, paved, two lane Valley Trail. Your dog is welcome. Suitable for jogging strollers as it is wide, smooth pavement. Good for running all year-round (snow plowed in the winter). Beautiful views all around the trail. Good running distance for doing 5k or multiples of 5k. So m
The Lost Lake trails are an amazing web of running routes located on the edge of Whistler Village. Just like the running route, you can run the Lost Lake trails right from your hotel in the Village. The main lost lake trail is a very wide, gravel trail that runs around Lost Lake, a small but very picturesque lake. 4.8k
In the summer it is home to Whistler's busiest beach. This huge sandy beach lays at the end of Lost Lake. There are dozens of named trails in the lost lake area and by picking up one of the nice Whistler Village maps that you see everywhere in the Village you can easily plot a more challenging route than the 6k one shown here.
Though the trails seem to run in all directions, overall they are hemmed in on all sides, and it would be difficult to get yourself lost. Much of the year Lost Lake is a great place to spot bears. Though there are frequent sightings, bears are generally timid and run for the trees when they hear you coming. It is very important to keep your distance and avoid surprising or antagonizing them. There has never been an unprovoked bear attack in Whistler so you don't have to be worried running in bear country. Dogs are welcome on the Lost Lake trails.
In the winter months, snow covers these trails and the area becomes a cross country and snowshoeing area and there is a $9 per day charge to access the trails during the winter season, but you must be on snowshoes or skis.
Why should you run the Lost Lake 6k?
Close to the Village, within five minutes from your hotel you are immersed in deep forest. Almost constant, beautiful views as you circle the lake. There is a large swimming pier that you will run past that is good for swimming off of. Also, you will be running past the big, sandy, main Lost Lake beach, good for swimming as well. The Lost Lake running trails can be varied in length and route as to make them always interesting.
The Whistler Trail Wreck 6k trail run is a magnificent jog through a surreal world of enormous paintings on and inside the scattered wreckage of a train from the 1950's. The seven mangled cars are distributed through an area about 1 kilometre long and trails have formed connecting them as well as various viewpoints to the Cheakamus River.
The train cars, some on their sides, some upside down have been painted with vibrant colours and extraordinary designs, that each one takes you into a different, bizarre world. One unexpected surprise in exploring the Whistler Train Wreck is that the Cheakamus River in the area is amazing. A wide and thunderous waterfall descends into a canyon. Several great rock outcrops jut out above the river allowing tremendous views of the falls and river as it passes.
The difficulty in jogging the Whistler Trail Wreck 6k is not finding your way, but not stopping at every amazing viewpoint or to look in every bizarre, wrecked car. The trail follows a small river from Function Junction at the Function trailhead to the Flank Trail, then cuts under the highway to reach the beautiful Cheakamus River some great viewpoints.
This trail, after the viewpoints forces you back toward the train tracks further along where you have to run near the train tracks before you can again descend into the forest trails. This time the trails lead you throughout the train wrecked cars and over a couple of beautiful, wooden ramps before eventually leading to a dead end at the end of the trail. At this point you will have covered nearly 3k from your car and by running back, retracing your steps will end up being about 6k.
This run is very dog friendly and usually free of snow from April to November. It is fun to snowshoe during the winter months, though considerably more strenuous.
Why should you run the Whistler Train Wreck 6k?
Such a bizarre and amazing place to run. The trails are narrow, treed and never in a straight line which makes the route very fun and interesting. Very convenient to run when driving to or from Whistler as the trailhead parking is just off the Sea to Sky Highway in Function Junction on Alpha Lake Road.
The Alta Lake 7.7k is a beautiful run that takes you from Whistler Village, along the Whistler Golf course then all the way around Alta Lake. This run is amazing as it takes you through some fantastic scenery. It follow the beautiful, wide and paved Valley Trail for most of the way except for one stretch that runs along Alta Lake Road at the far side of Alta Lake.
This road is very quiet though and rises up above Alta Lake for some great views and then descends again to connect with the Valley Trail again at Rainbow Park. The beautiful trail then runs from Rainbow Park to the Lorimer Road junction, where the Valley Trail splits. Left goes to Meadow Park, but right takes you back along the Whistler Golf Course and the Village where you began. If you are not starting and finishing your run in the Village then this Lorimer Road junction is a great place to park for free.
This amazing running route takes you past three beautiful piers on Alta Lake and along two of Alta Lake's beautiful parks. There are washrooms at both parks as well as drinking fountains. There are several amazing viewpoints along way making this a very interesting and entertaining run. If you appreciate sunrises then do this run as there are breathtaking sunrise vantage points at several sections of Alta Lake.
This dog friendly running route is partially snow plowed in the winter, however much of it is not. The Rainbow Park to Lorimer section is not plowed as well as the far side of Alta Lake. Because of this, the trail is only good to run from April to November.
Why should you run the Alta Lake 7.7k?
Such a beautiful and varied running route. From the little, old growth cedar forest at the Whistler Golf Course, to the sweeping mountain views across the fairways, to the panorama views of Alta Lake framed by mountains, the Alta Lake run has it all. Dog friendly and starting and finishing in Whistler Village right where you want to be.
Lorimer Road near Whistler Village in Whistler Cay ends at a parking area at the junction where three Valley Trails connect. One leads to Meadow Park, another to Rainbow Park, and the third to the Whistler Golf Course on its way to Whistler Village. This makes for an excellent starting point for three different runs. The easy and short Whistler Golf Course 4.8k, the Alta Lake 7.7k and the Lorimer to Green Lake 9k. Each can start and finish at this parking area and all are circle routes that avoid retracing your steps making them very enjoyable routes.
The run out to Green Lake begins here by following the sign on the trail for Meadow Park. This run is the only one listed here that you should print the map out to guide you as there are several turns along the way. From Lorimer Road you run past Meadow Park (keeping Meadow park on your left). This will lead you to the intersection of Alpine Way and the highway. Cross the highway and then turn right again onto the Valley Trail. This leads to Green Lake and some amazing views. Also there is a beautiful, big pedestrian bridge just before you reach the Nicklaus North Golf Club. The Valley Trail cuts through their parking lot and veers back towards Whistler Village. This trail eventually leads back to the Village at Lorimer Road and the highway. You cross the highway here and follow Lorimer Road back to your starting point.
There are no significant hills on this route and dogs are allowed. Unfortunately the Valley Trail leading to Meadow Park is not snow plowed in the winter and is very difficult to run on during the months between November and April.
Why should you run the Lorimer to Green Lake 9k?
This run weaves through Whistler almost completely on the Valley Trail system. You get beautiful views as you run by the River of Golden Dreams, then Green Lake, and finally nice views through the Village.
Cheakamus Lake is an incredible place to run. The trailhead is located 8 kilometres up a logging road off of the Sea to Sky Highway at Cheakamus Crossing. The first thing you notice while running the trail is the wonderful scent from the cedar forest you ascend into. The massive, very impressive trees give you the immediate sense of running through an untouched wilderness. Then the beautiful Cheakamus River comes into view again and leads to Cheakamus Lake. So close to Whistler, yet well within Garibaldi Park and aside from this trail you run on, the area is pristine forest.
Trees, river, lake and serenity surround you on this run. Another great aspect of the trail is that in bends left and right, and up and down constantly, keeping you focussed on the trail as much as you try to focus on the beautiful surroundings. The trail goes for 3 kilometres along the Cheakamus River until it reaches the lake, then the trail continues along the lake. This 4k section between 3k and 7k is the nicest.
The lake views are amazing and constantly changing vantage points. The view of the lake is constantly south facing which gives you a great, sunny vantage point for your entire run. And of course the sunrise and sunsets are magical. This run is beautiful if you make it 6k roundtrip, or 12k or 14k roundtrip. There are excellent signs along the way indicating kilometres and where you are so you can focus on the run instead of where you are. As this trail is in Garibaldi Park, dogs are not allowed. This is out of respect for the resident animals.
Why should you run the Cheakamus Lake 12k (or 6k or 14k)?
This is an all-round beautiful trail. The dirt trail is challenging with frequent small hills and bends, yet the overall elevation gain/loss is hardly noticable. Cheakamus Lake is very beautiful and running this trail gives you a real glimpse of the Canadian Wilderness. Although this trail is deep in the woods it is well defined and if you have a headlamp you can easily run it after dark.
The Alta & Green Lake 17k is a wonderful figure 8 running route that takes you through trails along both of these beautiful Whistler lakes. Conveniently, you can begin and end in the Village and run an amazing 17 kilometres and never the same stretch twice. This is the only run on this list that you will need to have a map for. Even though you stay on the easy to follow and well signed Valley Trail, you come to several forks in the trail and a few street crossings that may cause you to lose the trail. Grab one of the Valley Trail Maps that you see everywhere or print out the small one here... and make sure you pencil in the route or have it in your pocket for the run.
The run takes you along a beautiful and varied route along the very nice Whistler Golf Course with great mountain views and then along the Valley Trail that runs around Alta Lake. The trail then ends at Alta Lake road where you run along for almost two kilometres until you can veer back onto the Valley Trail at Rainbow Park. This carries you to the centre of the figure 8 and you then head out towards Green Lake via Meadow Park. After running along Green Lake you skirt the edge of the Lost Lake trails and Whistler Village before running back down the Valley Trail along Lorimer Road again and then back along the Whistler Golf Course to where you began.
You can of course park at the centre of this figure 8, at the end of Lorimer Rd. This is a convenient place to park if you are not staying in the Village or have parking there for free. Dogs are welcome along all of this route and it is entirely pavement so it is stroller friendly as well.
Why should you run the Alta & Green Lake 17k?
Running this beautiful route takes you past two amazing lakes with one amazing view after another. The 17k fly by as you take in all the sights. It is a challenging distance with lots of gradual hills. Despite its long distance, you only run a couple kilometres on roads and Alta Lake Road is a very quiet road. You see a considerable amount of Whistler in just one run.
The Rainbow Lake 16k trail run is an amazing escape into the alpine across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. This running route is located near Rainbow Park on Alta Lake Road. The well marked trailhead is equipped with a nice, detailed mapboard showing you where to run. The trail is immediately challenging as it ascends quickly up a narrow and windy dirt trail. The trail is well worn and you can't really get lost unless you lose the daylight.
Shortly after the trailhead you come to a junction where there is a small water treatment building. There is another mapboard here and clear directions to continue to Rainbow Lake. If you are interested in a 10 minute detour you can run up the wide path that continues to the right of the building. Almost immediately you can hear Rainbow Falls and it is just a short trail away to see. You have to return to the main trail to head back to Rainbow Lake.
It is 8k to the lake and mercifully gets easier as you go. The first 2k are by far the steepest, followed by the next 2k. By the last 2k you hit a relatively flat meadow and boardwalk and can look forward to the easy return journey. Keep in mind that dogs or swimming are not allowed on this trail and at the lake as this is Whistler's water supply. Good to run early July to early November most years.
Why should you run the Rainbow Lake 16k?
It is very challenging and an excellent distance to run. The trail is very nice as it winds its way through deep forest and often across bridges, creeks and near waterfalls. The lake is very beautiful and the views down to Whistler are wonderful. The trailhead is just 15 minutes from the Village.
The trail run is far beyond challenging. It is certainly the Whistler answer to the 14kGrouse Grind. The trail to Wedgemount Lake is relentlessly steep as you gain 1220 metres in just 7k. By way of comparison, the popular hike to Garibaldi Lake, you gain just 900 metres in 9k. This challenging trail is wonderfully rewarded by the varied and rugged terrain that makes every step a concern. Several boulder fields, constant tree root avoiding and countless sections you have to scramble up on all fours. The destination is amazing though.
Wedgemount Lake is a huge, turquoise alpine lake ringed with hostile cliffs and scree fields. But also, waterfalls, a massive glacier, and sometimes bright orange flowers growing out of the harsh terrain. The boulder field that the Wedgemount Hut lays in leads down to the rocky shore of the lake and there are a few amazing places to dive into the surreal water.
Though you have to brace yourself, not just for the 5 metre jump, but the just over freezing temperature of the water. Wedgemount Lake is not for everyone. A brutal 7k up and a terrific, knee shredding descent. But it is amazing to run. Good to run from mid July until November most years.
Why should you run the Wedgemount Lake 14k?
It is incredibly challenging. Convenient to Whistler Village. Wonderfully varied trail keeps you interested. Amazing sights at the lake. Trail running to a glacier is amazing.
The Singing Pass 22k trail run begins on Whistler Mountain from either the Roundhouse Lodge or from the top of the Peak Chair. You can take a couple different routes and both are spectacular. Though you have to buy a summer sightseeing lift pass to access this one, the cost is well worth it. You ride in luxury up to the top of Whistler then run along ridges and valleys with constantly amazing views. You make your way along Musical Bumps which are the names of several mini mountains that extend from Whistler. Oboe, Flute, etc.
This makes for a very challenging trail as you are constantly either descending, steeply into a valley or running uphill quickly. Mercifully, the gondola ride up avoided much of the elevation to start with, however you also have to deal with the relentless 12k, almost straight downhill slog to reach the village. This is very tough on the knees and feet, so if you have problems with these, beware.
The difficultly of this amazing 22k running route is easily overshadowed by the amazing views you get. Distant glaciers, waterfalls, meadows, Lord of the Rings looking valleys. Much of the trail is just amazing. If you are tough enough, the route can be run in reverse for free. By starting at the Singing Pass trailhead in Whistler Village you can make that 12k, gradual uphill run and then take in the astonishingly beautiful next 12k and ride the gondola down for free.
Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on this trail as Singing Pass is in Garibaldi Park. Also, the gondola is open seasonally and may not be open when you want to go. Snow covers the trail usually from November to June every year.
Why should you run the Singing Pass 22k?
Singing Pass is an all-round spectacular trail run. Challenging and amazingly beautiful.
The Rubble Creek Classic is a yearly trail run that takes place every year in September. This incredible run begins at the Cheakamus Lake trailhead and finishes at the Garibaldi Lake trailhead at Rubble Creek. This phenomenal run takes you along the beautiful Cheakamus Lake trail then steeply up to Helm Creek, then past Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge, through Taylor Meadows and then descends quickly to Rubble Creek.
The distance is 25k and the linear route ensures that you don't run the same section twice making this run incredible. You of course need some pre-planning and a car at both ends. Also, the short summer season makes it only feasible between July and October as the snow in Garibaldi Park is considerable.
There are excellent sign posts along the way directing you within Garibaldi Park. So, at first you need to follow the signs for Helm Creek, then at Helm Creek aim for Black Tusk or Garibaldi Lake. Once you near the Black Tusk area you will see signs indicate Taylor Meadows and the Rubble Creek trailhead. So as long as you know this you should be fine finding your way without a map. The trails are well worn and marked, and this area is very popular in the summer.
Why should you run the Rubble Creek Classic 25k?
Amazingly challenging and varied. The amazing things you will see in such a short amount of time. The race record is one hour, fifty minutes, 51 seconds.
The Panorama 30k trail run is a testament to how amazing the view is from Panorama Ridge. The trail from the Rubble Creek trailhead is constantly ascending for almost all of the 15k trailhead to ridge. You gain 1520 metres in this 15k. This run is absolutely amazing though. You can run a partially different route there and back as the trail forks partway in, one way going to Taylor Meadow and the other to Garibaldi Lake. The trails eventually join again nearer to Panorama Ridge.
The route is very well marked along the way and very popular all summer. Dogs are not allowed in Garibaldi Park. The winter snow takes a long time to melt this high up in the mountains so Panorama is really only suitable for running from mid July to late October most years.
In August and September the valley will be filled with amazing flowers of various colours. On valley will be bright yellow, the next white, the next blue, the next red.. There are dozens of streams along the way which reduces the amount of water you have to bring. The final ascent to Panorama Ridge is up a fairly steep, though short glacier. It is safe, compact snow, that is easy to run/hike on. Previous hikers will have tracked out the route nicely and it will easy to follow to the impressive summit.
Why should you run the Panorama Ridge 30k?
An incredibly challenging distance to a phenomenal viewpoint. The route is amazing and spectacularly beautiful.