Whistler Aerial ViewsWhistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and Parkhurst Ghost Town certainly ranks as one of the most unusual, exotic and interesting. Parkhurst was a little logging town perched on the edge of Green Lake way before Whistler was Whistler.  Up on the ridge where Parkhurst sits, the views are sensational. Green Lake far below, a solid unnatural looking mass of green.  

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Whistler Aerial Views

 Aerial WhistlerAlexander  Aerial WhistlerBrandywine  Aerial WhistlerBlackcomb  Aerial WhistlerCallaghan  Aerial WhistlerCirque  Aerial WhistlerJoffre  Aerial WhistlerKeyhole  Aerial WhistlerLogger's  Aerial WhistlerMadeley  Aerial WhistlerPanorama  Aerial WhistlerSproatt  Aerial WhistlerParkhurst Aerial WhistlerRainbow  Aerial WhistlerRusset  Aerial WhistlerTrain Wreck  Aerial WhistlerWedge Glacier  Aerial WhistlerWedgemount  Aerial WhistlerWhistler

Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain out in the distance to the left and Rainbow Mountain across and beyond the lake.  As recent as the late 90's a few houses remained standing, but the merciless winters with crushing snow has collapsed all but one house. There are a couple half collapsed relics, but for the most part the town has disintegrated.  Unexpectedly, even in the deep snow of winter, stumbling on remnants of the old town are frequent. Countless half collapsed houses lay in the picturesque forest that has grown since the town was abandoned.  Finding the abandoned vehicles in the town is like a game as you wander around the maze of trails.  The old rusty car, the even older truck, and an ancient and enormous logging tractor perched as it was decades ago, on the edge of Green Lake.  Quite a marvel to see.  Like a giant museum exhibit that looks like it could still be there in a thousand years from now. Just steps from the impressive tractor, if you are lucky and persistent, you can find another extraordinary part of abandoned tractor. This huge and solid piece of steel, left so long ago, has had trees grow in and around it.  A large tree, over 65 years old now grows in a triangle shape through this ancient machinery.  Squeezing into the only shape it could, but bewildering to see. If you do find it you will probably circle it over and over, trying to figure out how it managed to grown its way through.

Parkhurst Plow Tree

Parkhurst Map Complete v13

Parkhurst Ghost Town Caterpillar

Parkhurst Caterpillar Aerial Views

The huge Caterpillar D8 tractor shown above is quite menacing up close.  Left here in 1956 when the old Parkhurst Sawmill closed and the town was abandoned. The aerial views below show it from above and as well as the triangle of land that juts out into Green Lake which was the site of the old sawmill.

Parkhurst Caterpillar Aerial

Parkhurst Caterpillar Aerial

Parkhurst Caterpillar Aerial 3

Parkhurst Aerial Photo 27

Parkhurst Aerial 28 Green Lake

Parkhurst Ghost Town CaterpillarParkhurst Sawmill SiteKups Blue Face ParkhurstParkhurst Plow TreeParkhurst RidgeParkhurst Sawmill Caterpillar

The Blue Face by Kups

Back in 2011 Kups, a Whistler local and now professional muralist painted a hauntingly surreal, blue face on the side of this house.  This beautiful mural, along with the fact that this is the last fully intact house in Parkhurst makes it the most well known and photographed structure in the old ghost town.  It is difficult to figure out why the Blue Face house outlasted all the others, but it appears to still be quite structurally sound.

Blue Face by Kups

The mural painted on the front of the house dates back to 2011 when local muralist Kups painted it.  Back then the house was a blank canvas, now the inside is mostly covered in colourful murals and graffiti.

Blue Face House Inside

Parkhurst Blue Face Aerial 184

Blue Face House Aerial 21

Blue Face House From Above

Blue Face House From Above 12

Parkhurst Aerial View Green Lake

Parkhurst Aerial Sunset 4

Parkhurst Green Lake Sunset 8

Parkhurst From Above 3

The Parkhurst Loop Trail

Parkhurst Loop Trail EasyThe Parkhurst Loop Trail is roughly a triangle with each side about 300 metres long.  This trail runs through the now deep forest where most of the houses once stood in Parkhurst.  Part of the loop trail was once an old gravel road which explains how the various wrecked vehicles managed to get there.  Wrecked, old trucks from the 1950’s, an old car from the 1970’s and dozens of collapsed houses lay rotting along this trail.  It is fun to wander through the forest here as you can never tell what you will find around the next bend in the trail.  The triangle shaped loop trail surrounded by deep forest is strangely disorienting.  You find yourself wandering for a while in a direction you are sure is away from Green Lake, only to suddenly emerge from the forest just steps from the water.  Unlike other hiking trails in Whistler where you have a set destination, at Parkhurst you have a non-stop series of curious structures, beautiful sections of forest and endless great lake views.

Parkhurst Loop Trail Map v3

The Parkhurst Sawmill Site

Parkhurst Sawmill Site IconThe old Parkhurst Sawmill was located on the peninsula adjacent to the old Caterpillar tractor.  A little bit of bushwhacking takes you into a surprisingly big clearing in tangle of forest.  The clearing is caused by the collapsed sawmill's metal roof covering the forest floor and preventing big trees from taking root.  You can only see some of the huge metal sheets as most of it lays under a carpet of forest that has settled in over the past 65 years.  The clearing is serene and cut off from the world by a thick perimeter of jungle, making it a sunny paradise on a nice day.

Parkhurst Sawmill Map v5

The History of Parkhurst

History of ParkhurstThe small logging town called Parkhurst came into being in 1926 when the Barr Brothers Logging Company purchased the land from a recent widow looking to sell.  Mrs. Parkhurst sold the land and a small house which quickly transformed into several small houses, bunkhouses and a steam powered sawmill on the point of land that still conspicuously juts out from the shore.  Soon there were 70 loggers working the mill and living much of the year in the town that was now named after the original owners of the land, Parkhurst.  The Great Depression hit the logging industry hard and unable to sell what they produced and the mill went into receivership.  In 1932 the mill was purchased by another logging company and was back in business under a new name, Northern Mills.  It was to be short lived however, as a fire destroyed the mill in 1938.  It was rebuilt and the town once again grew in size to include a school and a store. Parkhurst continued as a small logging town until the logging industry slowed down in the 1950's and in 1956 Parkhurst was finally abandoned.

Parkhurst in the 1950's

The Future of Parkhurst

In 2017 the Resort Municipality of Whistler purchased the Parkhurst lands (200acres/81 hectares), including the land where the famous Toad Hall picture was taken.  The intent is to preserve the historic land and remaining features into a park, however it is likely to remain mostly unchanged for the foreseeable future.

Parkhurst Lands Map v3

Trailhead & Parking Directions to Parkhurst

Trailhead Directions Parkhurst WhistlerThere are several ways to get to Parkhurst, but the access from the Wedgemount Lake turnoff on the Sea to Sky Highway is the most direct if arriving on foot or bike.  If you zero your odometer at Village Gate Blvd in Whistler Village and drive north on Highway 99, at 11.9 kilometres you will see the Wedgemount (Garibaldi) turnoff on your right.  Turn here, cross the train tracks and then the bridge over Green River, turn right and follow the gravel road for a few hundred metres.  You will pass Whistler Paintball on your left and then see a yellow gate and a sign for the Sea to Sky Trail.  Park on the clearing across from the yellow gate and walk straight ahead along the old gravel road, passing the yellow gate, road and Sea to Sky Trail on your left. Biking or hiking the 10 kilometres to Parkhurst from Whistler Village is a very nice option as well.  Biking from Whistler Village to Parkhurst takes only about 20-30 minutes and follows the beautiful Sea to Sky Trail up around Green Lake.  Hiking to Parkhurst from the Village will take the average hiker 2-3 hours each way.

Parkhurst Whistler Directions Map v5

More info, details, maps and directions to Parkhurst

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