Whistler Spring HikingMarch is usually a snowy month in Whistler, though in 2024 not a whole lot of snow has fallen. Snowshoes are already not necessary for lots of trails in and around Whistler. If you have not been to Whistler Train Wreck, you have to, it's a must see. It's a decades old train wreck which was turned into an art exhibit in 2011 when local artists painted extraordinary murals over the mangled train cars.  

March Whistler Trails Guide

It is an amazing surreal world hidden just a couple hundred metres from the busy Sea to Sky Highway, running along the spectacular Cheakamus River. An easy hike through the beautiful forest takes you to the Train Wreck bridge over Cheakamus River which crashes dramatically below. Over the years muralists and graffiti artists have continued to paint and though the incredibly surreal murals from 2011 have long since been painted over, Whistler Train Wreck is still worth seeing. For a look at Whistler Train Wreck over the years you can see it here. March is usually one of the nicest months for snowshoeing in Whistler. The days get considerably longer and warmer, yet snow falls almost daily. In March 2012, for example, over four metres of snow fell! With some sunny days mixed into these heavy snowfall days, makes March something amazing. This year spring has come early and you have to head up to higher elevation trails to find snowshoeing. One great trail to try is the Flank Trail. It cuts across Sproatt and Rainbow mountains, the two big mountains that you see directly across the valley from Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. There are several access trails to reach the Flank Trail, however the short and scenic Rainbow Trail is the best and most convenient way to reach it. This well used trail never goes in a straight line and goes up and down through a beautiful and deep forest.  There is only one small, easy to miss sign to Rainbow Falls, but finding the falls is easy.  To find Rainbow Falls, begin at the trailhead parking for "Rainbow Trail" on Alta Lake Road.  Follow the trail as it winds along the river.  If you come to obvious forks in the trail, choose the right fork.  In 0.8 kilometres from the trailhead parking you will arrive at Rainbow Falls. The trail to Rainbow Falls is fairly popular in the winter so the snow is usually well packed down so you often don't need snowshoes. The route to the falls is never in a straight line. Zig-zagging left and right, up and down, some parts are steep, but at just 0.8 kilometres, the shortness of the trail makes it suitable for kids. The topography and sheer volume of snow make this a very fun trail to snowshoe for everyone. 

Rainbow Falls Snowshoeing Map v6a

More Rainbow Falls Snowshoeing

Rainbow Falls to the Flank Trail

After Rainbow Falls, you can backtrack a few dozen metres and then head off to the right and uphill towards the Rainbow Lake trail.  In just a couple minutes you will see the water treatment building and a nice mapboard.  If you take the wide path/service road on the immediate right of the building you will see, (in just a couple dozen metres) the cute, snow covered bridge over the river.  This is a beautiful little area, and in the winter, very deep in snow.  You can continue past this bridge, however, the bridge marks the end of the best sights to see.  Back on the main, Rainbow Trail, you will notice signs for the Flank Trail.  In this section, the Rainbow Trail and the Flank Trail overlap for about 400 hundred metres.  If you follow this overlapping trail as it bends around the water treatment building, quickly ascending in the direction of Rainbow Lake, you will come to the Flank Trail junction.  The Flank Trail quickly ascends through deep forest and after about 15 minutes opens up and begins to gradually flatten out.  The views become beautiful and trail less tiring.  Whistler MountainBlackcomb Mountain and Wedge Mountain all come dramatically into view and Alta Lake appears far below.  Just steps from the trail take you to pristine, snowy outcrops, perfect for taking in the view on a sunny day.. and with most of the Flank Trail south facing, sun will always be facing you over Whistler Mountain.

Flank Trail View of Armchair Glacier

The Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail in the Winter

More Flank Trail Snowshoeing

 

Whistler Hiking & Snowshoeing March

Whistler Train Wreck in MarchWhistler Train Wreck

The trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across a great suspension bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. The trail from your car to the wrecks only takes about 15 minutes, however once you reach one wreck, you see another, then another. There are seven wrecks in total that are spread over an area about 400 metres long. Along with the surreal train wrecks painted with stunning murals, you find yourself in a thick forest that runs along Cheakamus RiverCheakamus River is a beautiful, wild and crashing river that snakes past the train wrecks. Numerous side trails take you to some marvellous viewpoints, several metres above the rushing water below. Whistler Train Wreck in March continued here...

 

Parkhurst Ghost Town MarchParkhurst Ghost Town

In March, an excellent place to snowshoe in Whistler is to Parkhurst Ghost Town. Sitting on the far side of Green LakeParkhurst was a thriving logging community several decades ago. It has since been abandoned except for intermittent squatter communities over the years. Most famously, it was the home of Toad Hall, an idyllic collection of ski bums that will forever be memorialized by Chris Speedie's Toad Hall picture of 14 naked people posing with ski gear. Toad Hall is long gone along with all, but one of the old Parkhurst houses which is painted with a large, haunting blue face. Wandering around Parkhurst you will stumble upon many old relics. Parkhurst Ghost Town continued here...

 

Alexander Falls in MarchAlexander Falls

Driving up into the mountains is a great way to seek out some springtime snow.  Alexander Falls is beautiful these days with deep snow everywhere.  Not really a hike as the walk from your car to the viewpoint is just a hundred metres or so, it is worth the drive, especially on a sunny day!  High up in the Callaghan ValleyAlexander Falls is easy to get to in any weather and amazing in March. The falls crash down 43 metres into the snow filled valley below.  When Whistler Valley is slushy and wet, everything in the Callaghan Valley is insanely buried in snow. Anytime of the year is great to go to Alexander Falls. In the winter months, the valley is a massive, snowy playground. Alexander Falls continued here...

 

Blueberry Park in MarchBlueberry Trail

The Blueberry Trail is a relatively unknown, though very scenic trail that ascends quickly up to a cliff viewpoint high above Alta Lake. Geographically, the Blueberry Trail is directly across Alta Lake from Rainbow Park. It can be accessed from either end via the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay at the end of Crabapple Drive, or in Alta Vista at the end of St Anton Way. Either trailhead is just a five minute drive from Whistler Village and both are conveniently close to Whistler's Valley Trail.  If it has not snowed heavily in the last couple days, you will likely not need snowshoes for the Blueberry Trail as the snow will have been packed down by others. Blueberry Park continued here...

 

Joffre Lakes in MarchJoffre Lakes

For more challenging snowshoeing, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is hard to beat.  A long, though beautiful drive into the mountains, north of Pemberton takes you to this moderately challenging, 11 kilometre(6.8mile) roundtrip snowshoe trail.  The frequently steep, winding trail takes you through a winter paradise and around, or over three frozen lakes.  In the summer Joffre Lakes is insanely popular with hikers.  In the winter, on snowshoes, you will find Joffre Lakes wonderfully serene.  Positioned high up in the mountains, Joffre Lakes gets tremendous amounts of snow and on a sunny winter day you'd have trouble finding more of a winter wonderland anywhere else in the world! Joffre Lakes continued here...

 

Sproatt East in MarchSproatt East

The Sproatt East trail is one of the nicest snowshoe trails in Whistler.  With the trailhead high up in Stonebridge, partway up the flank of Mount Sproatt, you start snowshoeing already high up in the wonderfully secluded wilderness overlooking Whistler valley.  Just a few metres along the trail you catch glimpses of Black Tusk far across the valley before entering the forest along the Sirloin trail. Sirloin ascends through the forest and soon crosses the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail and connects to Darwin's trail. Darwin's bends further up Sproatt along beautiful and elaborate, wooden boardwalks that zig-zag up a steep section.  Soon the trail emerges from the forest for the first of many beautiful views over the valley. Sproatt East Trail continued here...

 

Taylor Meadows in MarchTaylor Meadows

Taylor Meadows, in Garibaldi Provincial Park is an amazing place to snowshoe in the winter near Whistler. Beautiful snowy meadows surrounded by mountains everywhere you look. Black Tusk towering in the distance so close and blanketed in wonderful, beautiful snow. Garibaldi Lake is accessible as well on this snowshoeing hike. The Taylor Meadows trail forks partway up, left goes to Taylor Meadows, right to Garibaldi Lake. The trail joins again at the far side of both campsites. Garibaldi Lake, so massive and dramatically beautiful in the winter, a huge frozen valley. Taylor Meadows is then just 7.5km from the Rubble Creek trailhead. Garibaldi Lake similarly beautiful and just 9km from the trailhead. Taylor Meadows continued here...

 

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing in MarchCheakamus River

Cheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing, turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through Whistler Interpretive Forest at Cheakamus Crossing, then down past Brandywine Falls to Daisy Lake. Cheakamus River has a wonderful and quite extensive network of trails that run along either side of it. The Riverside trail and the Farside trail hug both sides and connect at both ends by bridges. This well marked, though beautifully remote feeling snowshoeing trail takes you along both sides of the wildly crashing Cheakamus River. These trails are frequently used year-round so the snow on the trail is often packed down. You may find that you don't need snowshoes for much or all of the trail. Cheakamus River continued here...

 

Brandywine Falls in MarchBrandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls is a beautiful park centred around the wonderful falls that plunge 70 metres down a vertical wall of glacier fractured rock. The park is located along the Sea to Sky Highway, 15 minutes south of Whistler and BC Parks has blocked the parking lot during winter for years. With no decent parking alternatives nearby this has caused wintertime visitors to Brandywine Falls to park at the Bungee Bridge down the very potholed Cal-Cheak forest service road. As inconvenient as this sounds, it is actually a pretty nice alternative as the Bungee Bridge is a worthwhile sight on its own and the 3 kilometre trail to Brandywine Falls is nice and easy. Brandywine Falls Via Bungee Bridge continued here...

 

Hot Springs in MarchSkookumchuck Hot Springs

The various hot springs near Whistler are also great destinations in March. Skookumchuck Hot Springs is open year-round and the two hour drive to reach it is really part of the fun.  It is a beautiful drive through Pemberton, Mount Currie and along the beautiful and massive Lillooet Lake and Lillooet River. The gravel In-Shuck-Ch Forest Service Road which branches off the Sea to Sky Highway is plowed in the winter and accessible for most cars. Though gaining popularity, the remoteness almost guarantees no one there but you on a typical spring day. Skookumchuck Hot Springs continued here...

 

Sloquet Hot SpringsSloquet Hot Springs

Sloquet Hot Springs is an hours drive past Skookumchuck and extraordinarily beautiful and desolate. They are a wonderfully wild set of shallow, man-made pools fed by a small, all natural, and very hot, waterfall. The pools stretch from the waterfall to the large and crashing Sloquet River. The large, spread out campsite for the hot springs lies a short 5 minute walk from the springs. You have to follow a dark and quickly descending trail toward the crashing river to reach the amazing Sloquet Hot Springs. The 11km logging road to Sloquet is not snow plowed in winter and in March you may have to park and hike part of this road to the springs. Sloquet Hot Springs continued here...

 

Hiking in Whistler and Garibaldi Park by Month!

April in Whistler is a wonderful time of year.  The winter deep freeze ends and T-shirt weather erupts.  The village comes alive with overflowing patios and ...
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May is an extraordinarily beautiful time of year in Whistler.  The days are longer and warmer and a great lull in between seasons happens.  Whistler is fairly ...
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June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park.  The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f).  ...
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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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Incredible West Coast Trail Guide

Whistler Hiking Glossary A to Z

Tom Fyles (27 June 1887 - 27 March 1979) was an astoundingly skilled climber that figured prominently in the climbing community of Vancouver for more than two ...
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The Fissile is the stunning Matterhorn-looking mountain that is visible from Village Gate Boulevard in Whistler.  Looking up from Village Gate you will see ...
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Whistler, the surrounding mountains, and Garibaldi Provincial Park are home to two types of bears.  Black bears and grizzly bears.  Black bears are ...
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Surprisingly often in Whistler's forests you will find a tree growing on an old fallen tree or out of a decaying tree stump. Decaying logs and stumps in ...
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The rocky and narrow row of islands in Garibaldi Lake just offshore from the Garibaldi Lake campsite are known as Battleship Islands.  Named by the ...
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The second Caterpillar tractor in Parkhurst Ghost Town is considerably harder to find despite being just a few metres from the hulking Caterpillar at the shore ...
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Western redcedar is a very large tree commonly found in the Pacific Northwest. Frequently growing up to 70 metres and with a trunk diameter of 7 metres, ...
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Emerald Forest is a cute little forest that is well hidden between Whistler Cay and Alpine.  From Whistler Village, if you go down to the end of Lorimer ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

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The West Coast Trail

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