September 5th, 2022: Madeley Lake is a stunning wilderness lake high up in the Callaghan Valley that is easily accessible by a decades old logging road.  Until 2020, you could drive all the way to the end of the lake and walk the short trail to the old campsite nestled in the forest.  This little corner of paradise has been included in area granted to be part of Whistler Olympic Park built for the 2010 Winter Olympics.  

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

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Alexander Falls  Brandywine Falls  Cirque Falls  Best Whistler Waterfalls - Holloway FallsHolloway Falls  Keyhole Falls  Nairn Falls  Rainbow Falls  Shannon Falls  Train Wreck Falls  Wedgemount Falls

After the Olympics the huge and expensive facility was to continue operating as a sports and sightseeing facility.  In the winter they operate quite a large network of cross country ski trails throughout the area.  These trails are groomed smooth to create nice conditions for skiing.  About four years ago they managed to get the government to give them control of the Madeley Lake FSR.  They convinced the government that the road is part of their winter cross country ski area and needs to be groomed for skiing.  Apparently there is some regulation that prevents forest service roads from being groomed.  Soon after the Madeley Lake FSR was declassified as a forest service road, the kind folks at Whistler Olympic Park put up a gate near the start of the road, about 5 kilometres from Madeley Lake.  In 2022, evidently due to pressure from the public, they have moved the gate much farther up the road to the Hanging Lake trailhead.  It is still about 500 metres from Madeley Lake and well over a kilometre to the Madeley campsite.  At the gate there is a large area for parking and the hike to the lake is not too far.  This is a picture of the new gate and parking area.  On the right you can see the Madeley to Hanging Lake trailhead.  Public pressure forced them to move the gate to this location as they initially claimed the gate was to prevent drive in campers at Madeley Lake from leaving garbage in the campsite.  We can be certain this is a lie as the original gate put up in 2020 had a sign that read, "YOU ARE REQUIRE TO HAVE A TICKET OR YOU ARE TRESPASSING"  Also at the same time Whistler Photo Safaris advertised on their site that they have exclusive access to Whistler Olympic Park, "Visit lakes and waterfalls by 4x4 within our 2700 acre gated bear habitat..."  Clearly this gate was the one referred to on their site.  Almost immediately after inquiries to Whistler Olympic Park and Whistler Photo Safaris about this were made, the sign was taken down and the website removed the, "2700 acre gated bear habitat".

The New Madeley Lake Gate in 2022

Madeley Lake Trailhead Parking in 2022

Madeley Lake Map With the New Gate

The new gate is shown on this map.  The gate installed in 2020 was 4 kilometres back down Madeley Lake FSR, just a couple hundred metres from the turnoff from Callaghan Lake FSR (beyond the bottom of the map).  This new gate installed in 2022 is not nearly as bad as the previous one as it is only about 500 metres from Madeley Lake and just a couple kilometres from the campsite at the end of the lake.

Madeley Lake Map v8a

Madeley Lake Access Unblocked

July 8th, 2020: One of Whistler's most impressive drive-to mountain lakes, Madeley Lake is accessible once again. It appears a large public outcry forced, or at least embarrassed Whistler Olympic Park into opening the gate that was installed in the springtime barring public access. They have also removed the sign on the gate warning that entering the area is considered trespassing. Whistler Sport Legacies managed to gain control over this road in recent years by arguing the necessity to groom it in the winter.

Madeley Lake Gate Open

**14 July 2020: Apparently the gate is now locked again**  Evidently a forest service road cannot be legally groomed for skiing, so granting Whistler Sport Legacies the lease on Madeley Lake Road must have seemed like a harmless decision. To then parlay that decision into blocking the road in the summer to the public seems very dishonest. Considerable hiking trail maintenance work in the last few years has gone on around Madeley Lake, which links it to Hanging Lake and Rainbow Lake. Obviously the trail work would not have been done if the trail was to be blocked by Whistler Olympic Park. The most shocking thing about Whistler Sport Legacies installing the gate is that no one seems to have known about it. From the Resort Municipality of Whistler to the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia, and apparently everyone in between. We have received hundreds of shocked emails in just the past few weeks inquiring into what is going on. It appears there are two reasons that Whistler Olympic Park (Whistler Sport Legacies) has installed the gate. The main reason is to give Whistler Photo Safaris exclusive access to the area in order to enable them to charge $149 to see the bears in the wider area. The second reason is to get rid of the wonderful and free campsite at the far end of Madeley Lake in preparation for the proposed pay-use campsites at Whistler Olympic Park. If you want to contact Whistler Olympic Park at 604-964-0059 to ask them why they put up a gate blocking access to Madeley Lake, the answer is "because we can". If you call Whistler Photo Safaris at 1-855-558-2327 to inquire about the gate, the answer you get is, "we don't know about it".

In the last few weeks the gate looked like this...

Whistler Sport Legacies Gate

Madeley Lake Access Gate

Madeley Lake Access Blocked in 2020

June 13th, 2020: One of Callaghan Valley's beautiful places appears to be now blocked from the public. Madeley Lake, about as perfectly idyllic a lake can possibly get, and home to a wonderful, secluded, free and decades old campsite, is now blocked by a locked gate. Whistler Olympic Park, which was constructed for the 2010 Olympics resides at the end of Callaghan Road. Madeley Lake is found in the beautiful wilderness beyond, at the end of an old logging road.  Just before Whistler Olympic Park and near the end of the paved Callaghan Road, you can turn left onto Callaghan Lake FSR. After about 300 metres Madeley Lake Road veers off to the right. It seems that Whistler Olympic Park quietly expanded to encompass Madeley Lake Road and Madeley Lake. Though the Olympics came and went 10 years ago, only this year they have decided to prohibit the public from the access road to Madeley Lake that predates Whistler Olympic Park by several decades. The new gate reads, "Warning, entering Whistler Olympic Park core area, you are required to have a ticket or you are trespassing." Another sign prohibits motorized vehicles past the gate. As Whistler Olympic Park is closed until late June, it appears that Madeley Lake is closed to everyone. At least a dozen websites, including two run by Whistler have recent articles about Madeley Lake and Madeley Lake trail that connects it to Hanging Lake. None of the sites seem to have any knowledge of the closure and all recommend Madeley Lake as a beautiful, hidden paradise in Whistler.

Madeley Lake Access Gate

Beautiful Madeley Lake

Madeley Lake is a wonderfully remote feeling place and the campsite is not maintained.  There are a few picnic tables, an outhouse, several fire rings and several clearings for tents. Madeley Lake sits in a forgotten corner of Whistler's Callaghan Valley. Camping here is free and compared to every other campsite in and around Whistler, it is arguably the nicest. Tranquil, great rocky beach with a crashing river flowing by. Well laid out tent sites in a deep forest, sun facing and you can drink straight from the river which comes from a glacier at nearby Telemagique Lake.

Madeley Lake Directions Map v5

Madeley Lake Continued Here...

More Whistler Updates!

February 11th, 2023: What trails are good this week?  Driving up into the mountains is a great way to seek out some springtime snow.  Alexander Falls is ...
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Oct 10th, 2022: Jane Lakes consist of three lakes that are well hidden in the vast wilderness adjacent to Whistler’s Interpretive ForestWest Jane Lake, ...
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September 5th, 2022: Madeley Lake is a stunning wilderness lake high up in the Callaghan Valley that is easily accessible by a decades old logging road.  ...
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January 2nd, 2023: The Rubble Creek trailhead to Garibaldi Provincial Park is consistently snowplowed this season.  The two kilometre access road is still ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Glossary A to Z

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Erratic or glacier erratic is a piece of rock that has been carried by glacial ice, often hundreds of kilometres.  Characteristic of their massive size and ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking 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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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

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