Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: NunatukPaper birch, also known as white birch is a type of birch tree that grows in northern North America. Named for its paper-like, white or cream coloured bark that easily peels off in large white, horizontal sheets. Leaves are rounded at the base and with a pointed tip and have a length ranging from 5-12cm or 2-5 inches. Wood is excellent for firewood and pulpwood. The bark is particularly flammable. Usually grow to 20 metres (66 feet), but have been known to grow at tall as 40 metres (130 feet).

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  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow 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  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMount Sproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

  Winter Hiking WhistlerJanuary  Winter Hiking WhistlerFebruary  Spring Hiking WhistlerMarch  Spring Hiking WhistlerApril  Spring Hiking WhistlerMay  Summer Hiking WhistlerJune  Summer Hiking WhistlerJuly  Summer Hiking WhistlerAugust  Fall Hiking WhistlerSeptember  Fall Hiking WhistlerOctober  Fall Hiking WhistlerNovember  Winter Hiking WhistlerDecember

Trunk diameters of white birch have been known to reach 76 cm or 30 inches. In cold climates such as Whistler they have been known to grow over 100 years, however they generally have a lifespan of about 30 years. The bright white coloured bark on mature trees is very durable due to its high oil content. Encountering a fallen paper birch in the forest, you often find hollow bark intact with the inside rotted away. Paper birch wood is sometimes used to make furniture, flooring, plywood and popsicle sticks. Historically it has been used to make spears, bows, arrows, snowshoes and sleds. The bark is often used as a fire starter and it easily burns even when wet. The bark is waterproof and can be used to waterproof a sod-roofed house. Paper birch trees are well adapted to grow after forest fires. Their numerous lightweight seeds spread great distances by wind and rapidly germinate to fast growing trees. This is why in the first few years after a forest fire, paper birch trees dominate. This dominance does not last however, as the short lived, shade intolerant paper birch trees are slowly overtaken by other longer living tree species. In fact, the paper birch relies on forest fires to thrive.  If a forest fire doesn’t decimate a forest every century, the paper birch will almost completely be overtaken by other tree species. So, a newly established forest after a forest fire may be almost entirely paper birch trees. After 50 years they are well under half as numerous as other trees move in. In forests older than a century, birch trees will have almost entirely disappeared.

Paper birch trees are a major cause of allergies in the spring months in Whistler and much of northern North America. From March to June birch trees release tremendous amounts of pollen into the air which swirls around in the wind and is inhaled by allergy sufferers. Settling in peoples eyes and noses, this pollen triggers immune systems and bodies fight off the threat with histamines. Histamines come with annoying side-effects such as itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose and scratchy throat. Interestingly, birch pollen allergy can also trigger allergic reactions to some food. So, you may eat apples, carrots, celery, hazelnuts, peanuts, walnuts, peaches or pears and get itching and swelling in your throat and mouth. Often attributed to a sudden allergy to these foods, when it is actually triggered by paper birch pollen.

Paper Birch or White Birch

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

Whistler spruce is a hybrid of the Sitka spruce and the interior Engelmann spruce. Sitka spruce trees thrive in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest ...
Read more
Coast Douglas-fir trees are medium to extremely large trees that you will encounter in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. They are the second tallest conifer ...
Read more
Glacier Window: the cave-like opening at the mouth of a glacier where meltwater runs out.  Glacier windows are often extraordinarily beautiful.  A blue glow ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
The Garibaldi Volcanic Belt is a line of mostly dormant stratovolcanoes and subglacial volcanoes largely centred around Whistler and extending through much ...
Read more
Green Lake is the marvellously vivid, green coloured lake just north of Whistler Village.  Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Green Lake appears ...
Read more
The Barrier formed as a result of huge lava flows from Clinker Peak on the west shoulder of Mount Price during the last ice age.  About thirteen thousand ...
Read more
Porteau Cove is a beautiful little stop on the drive to or from Whistler. You will notice the lack of convenient washroom stops on the way to or from ...
Read more

Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a gorgeous park with extraordinarily coloured lakes, waterfalls, stunning mountain peaks and ominous glaciers pouring into the valley.  Joffre Lakes is one of those incredible ...
Read more
Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
Read more
Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just a short drive south of Whistler and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked. Laying at the base of Mount Brew, Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous ...
Read more
Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village. The trail begins on the far side of Whistler Mountain, 8 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway ...
Read more

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

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). ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
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 ...
Read more
September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
Read more

Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
Read more

Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
Read more

Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
Read more

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
Read more

Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
Read more

The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
Read more