Whistler Aerial ViewsThe Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, Rainbow Falls, Hanging Lake, Madeley Lake, Beverley Lake, Rainbow Mountain... and even Whistler Olympic Park if you are determined.  It is a consistently uphill and very beautiful trail with several water (bridge) crossings and waterfalls on the way to the picture-perfect lake.  

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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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

There are a few views of the valley across to Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain, and Wedge Mountain.  Rainbow Lake itself is in a gorgeous alpine valley with branching trails that extend further beyond the lake in at least three directions.  Along with the waterfalls, bridge crossings and valley views, the Rainbow Trail passes through deep forest with some impressively huge trees.  Plenty of birds can be heard and seen along the trail and though black bears frequent the area, they are infrequently spotted due to their migration down into the valley.  Cougars are also known to roam around this area, though also rarely spotted.  As recently as 2014 signs of cougar activity were identified on the Flank Trail near where it branches off from the Rainbow Trail.  In September 2018 an extremely rare sighting of a grizzly bear near Rainbow Mountain caused some concern for hiker safety in the following weeks.  An very rare occurrence attributed to increased trail use in the area.  The Rainbow Trail has a small side trail that takes you to Rainbow Falls. Not far from the trailhead, the small Rainbow Falls sign is easily missed.  It is located about five minutes into the Rainbow Trail and your best bet to find it is to keep bearing right along the first couple trail branches. Don't worry about getting lost here though as all the trails reconnect further along the trail when you briefly exit the forest at the water treatment building. Unfortunately, Rainbow Lake is the water supply for Whistler, so you cannot swim, fish or camp near the lake. There is decent camping available nearby at Hanging Lake as well as Beverley Lake in the direction of Rainbow Mountain.

Rainbow Lake Map v12

Rainbow Lake Aerial Views

Rainbow Lake Aerial View 37

Rainbow Lake Aerial View 33

Rainbow Lake Aerial View 39

Rainbow Lake Aerial View 35

Rainbow Lake Aerial View of Hanging Lake

Beverley Lake Aerial View

Rainbow Lake Aerial View

Rainbow Lake Hike in Whistler

Getting to the Rainbow Trailhead

Driving to the Rainbow Falls TrailheadPublic Transit to the TrailheadWalking to the Rainbow Falls TrailheadRainbow Lake is well within walking and biking distance from Whistler Village.  It takes about an hour to walk from Whistler Village to the trailhead or about 20 minutes by bike.  To walk or bike to the trailhead you take the Valley Trail from Whistler Village down to the end of Lorimer Road then continue of the Valley Trail to Rainbow Park.  From there it is just a 10 minute walk away along Alta Lake Road.  Taking a bus to the trailhead is not a great option as no buses go very close.  You can take a bus from the Village down to Whistler Cay, near the end of Lorimer Road, then start walking along the Valley Trail, but it only saves you about 30 minutes walking.  Driving directions to trailhead:  Zero your odometer at Village Gate Boulevard(in Whistler Village), drive north on Highway 99.  At 3.9km turn left onto Alpine Way, then at the next stop sign turn left onto Rainbow Drive.  Continue straight until at 7.3km you will see the trailhead sign, "Rainbow Trail" on your right, half buried in snow most of the winter.  There is room for several cars to park, but be careful if the parking area is packed with snow, you may be able to get in, but not be able to get out easily.  Keep that in mind and park in a way that allows you to get out easily.  Hike up the Rainbow Trail and to reach Rainbow Falls, bear right at the two obvious forks in the trail.  Signs do not indicate where the falls are, but there are several orange trail markers on the trees on the way.  Rainbow Falls are found before the water treatment building and the beautiful bridge over the river is just after the treatment building.

Rainbow Trail Directions Map

More info, details, maps and directions to Rainbow Lake

More Whistler Aerial Views!

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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Glossary A to Z

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July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

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