Cheakamus Lake, Garibaldi Park Whistler Hiking Trails
Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village at just 16k to the trailhead.
The trail to the lake is in an amazing forest of giant cedars. Running along the beautiful Cheakamus River the hike is short and easy. The trail runs along the lake, passing some small, wonderful campsites, and very small beaches. The first 3k of the trail takes you along the beautiful Cheakamus River to the start of Cheakamus Lake and the first campsite area. There are 10 very nice and hidden tent pads on or near the lake shore. There is excellent water from several creeks in the area and a bear proof food hang as well as tidy outhouses here.
Another 4k further on the trail takes you to some beautiful viewpoints on the ever increasingly majestic Cheakamus Lake trail. Huge trees, turquoise lake, snow capped mountains, and even the occasional bear siting make this hike one of Whistler's best and most family and kid friendly hikes around. The trail is never strenuous and constantly beautiful with the wonderful smells that come with an old growth cedar forest.
The campsite at 7k on the Cheakamus Lake trail consists of another 7 tent sites beautifully blended into the surroundings, another bear proof food hang and outhouse. There are dozens of cute little beaches all along the trail which invite swimming in the crystal clear, though bitterly cold water.
Cheakamus Lake has always been known for its good fishing so bring your rod and sit back in the sun. Which you will see a lot of. The entire trail and mini beaches are south facing and capture the sun the entire day.
The road to Cheakamus Lake is covered in snow until about mid May every year, but from May to October it is clear enough to drive. There is no charge to park at the parking lot/trailhead, though there is a charge for overnight camping. $10/adults, $5/kid. Take a look at the BC Parks site for info on paying or just pay by cash at the drop box at the trailhead.
Directions to the Cheakamus Lake Trailhead:
From Village Gate Boulevard, drive south, toward Vancouver for 8km. At the lights at Function Junction, turn left, about 300 metres ahead you will see a sign on your left for Cheakamus Lake. Follow the unpaved, potholed road for 8km to the Cheakamus trailhead. From here it is a leisurely 3k to the lake and 7k to the end of the maintained trail. The further along the trail you go the nicer the lake views get.