Logger's Lake - Whistler Area Trails
Logger's Lake is an amazing little lake hidden up in the deep forest above the more well known Cheakamus River. The lake, almost unbelievably exists in a long extinct volcano. However, as soon as you see the lake up close, you quickly come to believe it. The lake sits in an almost cartoonish looking, volcano-shaped bowl, with one side of the bowl a crumbling array of truck sized boulders leading down to the lake.
The crater that Logger's Lake sits in was a volcano that pushed through the glacial ice in this valley about 10000 years ago. As the lava cooled it formed the wonderful basalt ridge that is crumbling into valley.
As Logger's Lake sits deep in this ancient volcano's vent, it is sheltered from the wind and soaks up the suns rays into the dark boulders all around. As a result makes it the warmest lake in Whistler, though most other lakes around are glacier fed(via rivers and creeks), so the comparison is not entirely fair. The surrounding cliffs and forest also add to the tranquility of the lake. Located a bit off the radar for most and requiring a short logging road drive and then a very steep, but short hike to get to also contributes to its serenity.
This serenity is broken at least once a year, however, when a new tradition formed in 2012. A yearly "" began, where hundreds congregate at Logger's Lake, most with rubber boats for an outdoor party, DJ an all. But aside from that one hilarious day, Logger's Lake is a secret-feeling oasis.
Another, though unexpected draw to Logger's Lake, is its good fishing. Occasionally the lake is stocked with rainbow trout and because of the steep shoreline, casting from almost anywhere along the shore is easy and effective. There is also an ancient and disintegrating log that is a pier of sorts that leads to a tiny wooden platform out in the lake. A good spot to cast from as well, though you will be standing in a centimetre of water as the platform partially sinks under your weight.
Logger's Lake has a surprisingly large network of hiking trails around it. As the area was logged quite extensively in past decades, you often hike along trails near the lake that are in fact overgrown logging roads. The ridge directly behind you, if you are facing Logger's Lake and the log pier is an excellent place to hike. Appropriately named the Crater Rim Trail, this trail takes you quickly up to a tremendous vantage point over the lake.
Further along and up the ridge you reach the outer edge of the volcano vent and can look outward across the valley in the direction of Cheakamus Lake. The trail then bends to the right and ascends back towards Loggers Lake. Bearing left at the next junction takes you further along the Crater Rim Trail, while bearing right takes you back down to Logger's Lake.
Although the trails around Logger's Lake and especially the basalt ridge above the lake look amazing for camping, the Interpretive Forest prohibits camping. The area is exceptionally dry as compared to the rest of the valley and the risk of forest fire may be part of the reason for this. Also, the Interpretive Forest is dedicated as an experimental "ecosystem-based managed forest" and the inclusion of campsites may add to the recreational popularity of the area making future logging of this forest to be seen by the public as undesirable.
The Logger's Lake trails are part of the much larger network of trails known as the Whistler Interpretive Forest. Several named trails(see the map below) run throughout the forest and along the wild and crashing, Cheakamus River. The Riverside Trail and the Farside Trail are the two beautiful trails that run along either side of Cheakamus River. The Cheakamus River suspension bridge is just a 5 minute hike from the parking area for Logger's Lake. The suspension bridge is one end a 4 kilometre circle route that is a great way to see this amazing river.
There are several places to park in Whistler's Interpretive Forest, and all are very convenient to access the hiking and biking trails. The enormous Sea to Sky Trail passes through this area as well(see the map below). It is a beautiful hiking, biking, walking trail that runs throughout Whistler for over thirty kilometres. It is an amazing way to see Whistler as it passes some amazing sights as well as running directly through Whistler Village.
More Trails Near Logger's Lake
Cheakamus River is the beautiful, crashing and turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through the Cheakamus Valley to Daisy Lake. Also a popular kayaking route, the main attraction of Cheakamus River are the wonderful and quite extensive network of hiking and biking trails that run along and near it. 8 kilometres south of Whistler Village and surrounding the recently constructed neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing is Whistler Interpretive Forest. This beautiful forest surrounds the Cheakamus River and has been cut and replanted in several areas. Hiking and biking trails have sprung up over the years making the area a wonderful place to explore. Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from . The trail begins on the far side of Whistler Mountain, 8 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway at Cheakamus Crossing across from Function Junction. This 8 kilometre stretch of logging road is fairly bumpy and potholed, but does have the benefit of allowing you to drive the elevation gain instead of hiking it. The 7 kilometre hiking trail to the lake is has very little elevation gain as the trail winds through the beautiful forest. Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler. The cost to clean up the mess was evidently deemed too high, so seven train cars were left scattered next to the Cheakamus River. As it turns out, time and local effort has transformed this mess into a wonderful work of art, an extraordinary bike park, and a great place to hike. The Whistler Train Wreck. The whole length of the train wreck and Cheakamus River hike is 3 kilometres (each way) and the trails go along the beautiful river as well as several, widely spaced train wrecks.
Parking & Trailhead Directions for Logger's Lake
Logger's Lake is fairly easy to find as Whistler's Interpretive Forest has excellent road and trail signs. From Whistler Village drive south on the Sea to Sky Highway as if heading toward Vancouver. In 8 kilometres you will come to the Function Junction intersection. Turn left onto Cheakamus Lake Road, then in about 400 metres turn left onto the gravel road(Cheakamus East Forest Service Road on the map above). You will immediately come to a fork in the road. Take the right fork and almost immediately cross a beautiful, one lane vehicle bridge across the Cheakamus River. Follow the signs for Loggers Lake from here and you will come to the Logger's Lake parking area in 2 kilometres on your left.
The trail to Logger's Lake begins on the other side of the road and is well marked with a trailhead sign and map. The hike up the hill is steep, but only takes about 5 minutes. The first trail you see on your left takes you up to the ridge above the lake and connects to the lake. The second trail you see, a few metres further on your left is the more direct route to the shore of the lake.