Alta Lake 7.7k - Whistler Trail Running
This is a beautiful 7.7k trail run with everything. Beautiful views above the Whistler Golf Club. Almost constant panoramic views of Whistler, Blackcomb and Wedge mountains. A little old growth forest of massive Western Redcedars, and more than half of the route along the majestic Alta Lake. This trail, like the Whistler Golf Course 4.8k, is accessible directly from Whistler Village, or from the convenient and free parking at the end of Lorimer Rd, just a 5 minute drive from anywhere in Whistler.
The trail run can be accessed by either running from Whistler Village under the Sea to Sky Highway via the underpass near the Conference Centre and getting on the Valley Trail heading in either direction. This connecting route is indicated on the above map in blue. If you are not staying in the Village, then you can drive to the free parking at the end of Lorimer Rd. From here you will see the excellent, Valley Trail signs directing you. The red line indicates the 7.7k route.
This beautiful trail runs along or near Alta lake for half of the 7.7k. The other half of the run goes through Rainbow park or along the beautiful Whistler Golf Course. There is a short section of Alta Lake Road that you run along but even this has some amazing views over the lake. There are several hills on this route, but none too difficult or long. Unfortunately this run becomes very difficult in the winter as the snow is not plowed around the Rainbow Park to Lorimer Rd section. It can still be run, however, about 2k's are slogging through some rough and messy snow. The 4.8k route around the Whistler Golf Course is regularly plowed of snow in winter and is ideal.
Alta Lake 7.7k - Convenient Parking
Excellent signs direct you after you park your car. You will immediately see a Valley Trail sign that points to Rainbow Park one way, Meadow Park another, and Whistler Village a third way. Follow the trail sign that aims for Whistler Village and in about one minute you will disappear into the forest and see the golf course. The trail runs continuously around the beautiful Whistler Golf Club (bear right at the first junction).
More Whistler Trail Running
Whistler is an absolute paradise for running. You can find easy, relaxing, paved running routes. Challenging, narrow and zig-zagging runs. Runs that take you along spectacular rivers and unbelievable sunsets over amazing lakes. In Whistler, you can even find a run that winds its way through a menagerie of decades old, train wreckage incredibly brought to life with elaborate paintings. You can even find runs that can safely be classified as brutal. The Wedgemount Lake 14k trail run is difficult, steep, rugged, yet takes you to a lake high above Whistler that will take your breath away. The unnatural, turquoise colour, the stark ruggedness of the valley and the spectacular glacier sliding down toward the lake all make the brutality of the run an unforgettable experience. Other runs are less traumatic, yet just as amazing. The Singing Pass 22k run takes you from the top of Whistler to Whistler Village by way of a staggering array of incredible views. Skirting the edge of Whistler Mountain, this running route is an exhilarating set of viewpoints. One after the other they open up to you as you run. The trail extends away from Whistler until it reaches Singing Pass. Singing Pass abruptly takes you down from the endless mountain views and ascends continuously and straight for twelve kilometres to Whistler Village. Singing Pass cuts between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains and you find yourself running under the Peak to Peak Gondola far above. Another brutal, yet popular running route in Whistler is known as the Rubble Creek Classic. This 25k linear run takes you from the Cheakamus Lake trailhead up into Garibaldi Park, past Helm Creek, Black Tusk, Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake and finishes at the Rubble Creek trailhead. This is a running race that takes place in September every year and attracts quite a few locals as well as regional, trail running athletes. A less brutal and still very challenging run is the Rainbow Lake 16k. This wonderful, deep forest trail takes you high into the alpine to the beautiful, Rainbow Lake. Located across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb, the views are amazing. Along the run to the lake you pass by several waterfalls, cross a few bridges, run through a meadow on a boardwalk and then hit the magnificent alpine lake ringed with more potential running routes. The Rainbow Lake 16k is definitely a challenging run as you gain 850 metres in just 8k to the lake. This is just gradual enough to be enjoyable and just as importantly, the 8k return is just gradual enough to not kill your knees. This of course cannot be said of the Wedgemount Lake run or the Singing Pass run. Both of these brutalize even the strongest knees. There are of course a beautiful array of relaxing running trails in Whistler. The Cheakamus Lake trail is definitely one of the most amazing, moderate runs around. You can run various lengths on this one. The trailhead to the start of Cheakamus Lake is 3k, so you can have a very enjoyable 6k run that has winding hills and river views though a forest of giant trees. If you extend the roundtrip to 12k or 14k, you will be following the trail along the edge of this beautiful lake. Always in the midst of the impressive forest of giant cedars and hemlocks, there are constant vistas that keep the run exciting and entertaining. Of all the runs in Whistler, Cheakamus Lake gives you the best views for least effort. Overall there is little elevation change, yet constant short and gradual ups and downs, and non-stop sights to take in.