Brandywine Snowshoe RatingBrandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful park centred around the wonderful falls that plunge 70 metres down a vertical wall of glacier fractured rock.  The peculiar, angular cubes of rock that the cliffs surrounding the falls is the result of lava rapidly cooling against a glacier.  The rapid cooling causes solid rock to fracture in bizarrely angular ways known as columnar jointing.  From the viewing platform across from the falls you can make out four distinct layers of columnar jointing separated by glacial till.

  • Bungee Bridge is amazing!
  • Sea to Sky Trail is easy to follow
  • Interesting geology murals
  • Easy trail for small children
  • Seldom hiked in winter
  • Interesting interpretive signs
  • Dog friendly & bike friendly
  • Accessible year-round
  • Trail is not too scenic
  • No winter parking near falls

Whistler Snowshoeing

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Snowshoe Easy DogBrandywine Falls  Snowshoe Easy DogCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Parkhurst Snowshoeing Easy Dog FriendlyParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

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These layers, formed by separate lava flows impacting the glacier that once filled this valley.  Another viewing area faces the south, looking down the valley and over Daisy Lake.  Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located along the Sea to Sky Highway, 15 minutes south of Whistler and BC Parks has locked the parking lot during winter for years.  In 2021, despite the ever-increasing popularity of the park, has now put up tow away zone signs along the large turnaround area outside the gate.  With no decent parking alternatives nearby this has prevented thousands of people from enjoying this beautiful park and one of the best, and free attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway.  Some wintertime visitors to Brandywine Falls know 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.  There are quite a few highlights along the Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls trail.  The Bungee Bridge is quite an impressive sight to see spanning Cheakamus River high above the tree tops.  Whistler Bungee is open year-round which is why the road is plowed in the winter and drivable.  When they have bookings you will see people bungee jumping off the bridge and there is a great viewing area across from the bridge at the edge of the cliffs.  Cheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing river cutting through a deep canyon far below and seeing it from such a height is fantastic.  The Sea to Sky Trail is another highlight of this hike as it is easy to follow, wide and well defined with signs at every junction.

After you cross the Bungee Bridge the Brandywine Falls viewpoint is just 2.7 kilomtres away.  The viewpoint hangs over the vertical cliff over the deep chasm that Brandywine Falls drops into.  There are nice information boards at the viewpoint explaining some of the interesting geology and history of the area.  Further along the trail leads you to another viewpoint and more informative boards depicting the geology of the area.  The viewpoint looks over Daisy Lake far below and on a sunny winter day the view is spectacular.

Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls Map

Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls Trail Stats:

Driving There: 25 minutes south of Whistler Village(17.8 kilometres/11.1 miles)  Hiking Distance: 3 kilometres/1.9 miles, one way from the Bungee Bridge parking to Brandywine FallsHiking Time: 1 hour there and 1 hour back.  Elevation Change: minimal   Fees: None  Campsites: No  Camping Allowed: No  Difficulty: Easy, well defined, wide gravel trail  Kid Friendly: Yes, short enough to be fun, not too exhausting  Dog Friendly: Yes

Whistler Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls

Easy, Dog Friendly SnowshoeingThe three kilometre Cal-Cheak forest service road takes you through the Cal-Cheak Campground.  The name Cal-Cheak is derived from Callaghan Creek and Cheakamus River which flow on either side of the campground and merge at its southern end.  The bridge you drive across on the Cal-Cheak FSR is over Cheakamus River just before it merges with Callaghan Creek.  The Sea to Sky Trail which runs through the campground merges, onto and overlaps the Cal-Cheak FSR all the way to the Bungee Bridge.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Parking

Whistler Bungee Bridge History

Bungee Bridge HisoryThe parking area for the Bungee Bridge is located directly under the bridge.  The 2 metre wide, 100 metre long, $300,000 bridge was built in 2002 by Whistler Bungee.  Spanning the large canyon its highest point is 50 metres above Cheakamus River.  Back in 1994 when there were competing bids for commercial tenures for bungee jumping in Whistler, Whistler Bungee Inc won, in large part by building the bridge for public use as well as for their commercial use. 

Sea to Sky Trail Whistler Bungee Bridge

The Sea to Sky Trail

Sea to Sky Trail HikingSea to Sky Trail BikingA decade later when plans for the enormous Sea to Sky Trail were in the works, the Bungee Bridge was incorporated into the route.  It is also why the Sea to Sky Trail overlaps the Cal-Cheak forest service road here, despite there being a beautiful forest trail running through the campground, across Cal-Cheak Suspension Bridge and onto Brandywine Falls.  That route is arguably nicer to hike and bike, but of coarse misses the Bungee Bridge, which is too nice of an attraction to not include along the Sea to Sky Trail.

Sea to Sky Trail Bungee Bridge

Mount Brew from the Bungee Bridge

The canyon above Cheakamus River is quite wide and the bridge starts back from the parking lot and you walk almost directly above where your car is parked far below.  There is only one pair of enormous girders that support the weight of the bridge near the middle and these are close to the parking area.  Looking through the grating below your feet you can see treetops far below and Cheakamus River comes into view very far below.  Looking up in the distance you can see Mount Brew's broad snowy form.  Brew Lake is a nice hike that used to begin by hiking along the train tracks south of Brandywine Falls and spotting the barely marked trail along the way.  In recent years the Brew Lake trailhead is found up a logging road past Whistler RV Park and has the benefit of being shorter and avoids illegally walking along the train tracks.

Snowy Whistler Bungee Bridge

Looking across the gorge you can see an old wooden fence that runs along the vertical cliff.  The fence extends along the cliffs to the viewing area for watching people bungee jump.  The Sea to Sky Trail continues past the viewing area then bends sharply right and into the forest toward Brandywine Falls.

Whistler Bungee Bridge View

Black Tusk from the Bungee Bridge

Partway across the bridge if you look south you will see Black Tusk looking amazingly distinct surrounded by smooth, snow covered hills.  On the snow covered hill next to Black Tusk you can see some towers.  These are microwave towers and there is actually a road that leads right up to them and from there you are very close to Black Tusk.  Unfortunately there is a locked gate near the start of this road preventing access to what would be the best access point to Garibaldi Provincial Park.  It would also divert people away from the Rubble Creek trailhead to Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake.  The Rubble Creek trailhead is located in the shadow of The Barrier which partly collapses ever couple centuries and fills the valley below with rubble.  It could happen any day, which is why there is no camping near the Rubble Creek trailhead, which at a moments notice could be swept away by a torrent of rock 40 metres deep and moving at over 100 kilometres per hour.  Despite pressure from hiking interests to open up the microwave tower road as a new trailhead to Garibaldi Park, BC Parks has instead quadrupled the size of the parking lot at Rubble Creek in recent years to accommodate the demand for the most popular trailhead to the park.

Black Tusk from Bungee Bridge

At the high point near the middle of the Bungee BridgeWhistler Bungee has the jump area.  They do jumps on demand and usually the bridge is deserted, especially in the winter months.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Kid Friendly

Cheakamus River Bungee Bridge

When Whistler Bungee is doing jumps the bridge erupts into a hive of activity with spectators, jumpers and employees.

Whistler Bungee Winter

Whistler Bungee Jump

At the far side of the Bungee Bridge you arrive at the Whistler Bungee desk and viewing room.  During busy times of operation this area is manned frequently, however in the winter it is usually empty. 

Whistler Bungee Desk

Down a short walkway there is a partly enclosed room that is a good shelter in bad weather.  There are a few places to sit and you have a partial view of the bridge, though not the best view of the jumpers.

Whistler Bungee House

In the opposite direction the Sea to Sky Trail enters Brandywine Falls Provincial Park.  The sign reads 2.7 kilometres to Brandywine Falls and in the opposite direction back across the Bungee Bridge, Whistler Village is 20.3 kilometres.

Entering Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

There is a nice picnic area here next to Pothole Lake which is frozen over during the winter and often has an area cleared for skating.

Brandywine Falls Sign

Pothole Lake at Bungee Bridge

Pothole Lake: Jump Ahead & Lakes of Fire Mural

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park has excellent interpretive murals depicting the interesting geology and creatures that inhabit the area.  Northern Red-legged Frogs inhabit the wetlands here and can sometimes be spotted in the summer.  The geology explaining the strangely flat, solid rock ground you find yourself walking on and the numerous shallow ponds throughout the forest is the result of a lava flow that solidified here about 13,000 years ago. 

Pothole Lake Frogs Mural

Pothole Lake Frogs Mural

The views of the Bungee Bridge get better and better the further you walk along the fenced off cliff high above Cheakamus River.  Booking a jump with Whistler Bungee is easy and can be done on their website, by phone: 6049389333, or by email: [email protected]

Whistler Bungee Jump View

Whistler Bungee Bridge Snowy Day

Whistler Bungee Bridge Snowy Day Jump

The Sea to Sky Trail between the Bungee Bridge and Brandywine Falls is not overly interesting.  It meanders for 2.7 kilometres through the forest and emerges at the Brandywine Falls trail running left and right.  In the winter the trail is often deep with snow and snow laden trees bending over the trail.

Sea to Sky Trail Sign at Brandywine Falls

After just 100 metres you arrive at the Brandywine Falls lookout perched on the edge of the cliff directly across from the falls.

Brandywine Falls Snowy Viewpoint

Brandywine Falls Frozen

Brandywine Falls Top Frozen

Brandywine Falls Winter

Brandywine Falls Lower

Icicles hanging from the crumbling rock face.  You can see the symmetrical shapes in the angular blocks of rock that make up the cliff.  This columnar jointing is caused when lava pooled against the glacier that filled this valley over 13000 years ago.  When lava rapidly cools against solid ice it fractures in these strangely uniform shapes.

Icicles and Columnar Jointing

Brandywine Falls Sunny Day

Looking south from the Brandywine Falls lookout you get a great view down the valley with Daisy Lake hidden under the early morning mist.  Daisy Lake was originally much smaller, but was dammed several decades ago in order to build the hydroelectric power station that can be seen on the drive up to Whistler off the Sea to Sky Highway.

Brandywine Falls Lookout South

Like a Water Grindstone Mural

The interesting mural at the Brandywine Falls lookout explains the lava flows that solidified into layers of fractured basalt.  The basalt layers are separated by soft layers of ash.  Over time water penetrates the cracks in the basalt and washes away the soft layers of ask.  Without the support of the underlying ash layer, the basalt crumbles away.  This process has taken thousands of years to carve the canyon visible today.

Brandywine Falls Geology

From the Brandywine Falls lookout you will notice the trail continues further south.  A few metres along you come to a metal fence at the edge of the cliff and another great view of the falls, this time framed by snowy trees.

Brandywine Falls Trail View

Daisy Lake Viewpoint

A few metres past the second viewpoint you come to the end of the trail and a beautiful view overlooking Daisy Lake.  This nice, round area is south facing and very sunny on a clear day.  The view is sensational over the deep valley far below. 

Brandywine Falls Daisy Lake

On a clear day you can see Black Tusk at a slightly different angle than from the Bungee Bridge.  The viewpoint is fenced off as the drop off is quite sudden.  It is possible to hike down to the base of the falls if you hike along the gently sloping ridge to the left until it merges with the boulder field leading down into the valley.  It is definitely not easy and potentially quite dangerous, especially in the winter, but manageable by the adventurous and careful.

Daisy Lake and Black Tusk

The Earth Moves Mural at the Daisy Lake Viewpoint

The Earth Moves Under Your Feet mural at the Daisy Lake viewpoint is very interesting.  This one depicts the continental drift that causes the ground underneath us to move 4 centimetres per year.  The intense heat from earth's core creates currents that move plates around on the surface pushing up mountains and causing volcanoes and earthquakes.  Black Tusk was a volcano formed fairly recently and though it once had a fairly conventional volcano shape, its outer layers of rock have crumbled away revealing its distinct, tusk-like core.

Earth Moves Brandywine Falls

Back on the Brandywine Falls trail you cross the active train tracks.  In the winter you get a serene view of snow covered tracks disappearing into the distance.  Looking north you see the small bridge over Brandywine Creek.

Brandywine Falls Train Tracks

At the railway bridge over Brandywine Creek you get an interesting view of the creek just before it crashes 70 metres into the abyss far below.

Top of Brandywine Falls

Back on the Brandywine Falls trail you are just a short walk to the large parking area for the park.  BC Parks has a big yellow gate preventing access to the parking lot in the winter and since 2021 threatens to tow away cars parked in the big turnaround area outside the gate.  This is unfortunate as parking here makes visiting the falls very convenient and easy as the trail is less than a kilometre and very scenic.  In the parking lot you have more nice murals depicting more history of the area.

Brandywine Falls Murals

BC Parks Blocks Winter Access

Tow Away ZoneThe nice covered bridge over Brandywine Creek marks the trailhead to Brandywine Falls.  Covered bridges are useful in winter for keeping snow off and ensuring they are safe to cross.  It doesn't take long in winter for snow to pile up higher than the railings on a bridge and cause a collapse as well as making it sketch to cross, especially near the top of a waterfall.  Unfortunately this nice bridge is now not used for half the year as BC Parks actively discourages visitors to this beautiful park and the normal trailhead and parking is now an unnecessary side trail.

Brandywine Falls Covered Bridge

Brandywine Falls Trail

Brandywine Falls Trail

Brandywine Falls Snowshoeing

Getting to the Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls

Cal-Cheak FSR to Bungee BridgeAs of 2021 the area outside the gated parking lot to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a tow away zone during the winter.  The only reasonably close parking can be found at the opposite side of the park, 3 kilometres down the Cal-Cheak forest service road at the Whistler Bungee Bridge (aka Cheakamus Bungee Bridge).  The 3 kilomtre drive along the very potholed, though otherwise flat logging road that is snowplowed all winter long.  The turnoff to Cal-Cheak forest service road is north of the Brandywine Falls parking lot.  If driving from Whistler Village, zero your odometer at Village Gate Boulevard and drive south on Highway 99. There is no way to turn left on the highway at Cal-Cheak, so you have to continue past it and do a U-turn at Callaghan.  At 13.8 kilometres turn right onto Callaghan Valley Road, do an immediate u-turn and get back on the highway heading north toward Whistler.  Keep your eyes out for the signs for Whistler Bungee from now on.  At 14.7 kilometres turn right onto Cal-Cheak forest service road and drive down this very potholed, gravel road for 3 kilometres to arrive at the parking area directly under the Whistler Bungee Bridge.

Bungee Bridge Directions Map Winter v3

The Sea to Sky Trail runs through Whistler and overlaps the Cal-Cheak forest service road.  Passing by the Cal-Cheak Campground you will have driven past the Sea to Sky Trail where it emerges from the forest and continues along the road you drove in along.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Parking Directions

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Snowshoe Easy DogBrandywine Falls  Snowshoe Easy DogCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Parkhurst Snowshoeing Easy Dog FriendlyParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

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More Whistler Snowshoe Trails

More Snowshoe TrailsThere are plenty of beautiful and free snowshoe trails in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  From the surreal paintings of Whistler Train Wreck to the magnificent mountain serenity of Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Park.  Trails range from extremely easy, like the short, flat trails to Brandywine Falls and Rainbow Park.  To challenging and long trails to places like Elfin LakesTaylor Meadows and Wedgemount Lake.  Whistler even has a growing network of snowshoe trails to Parkhurst Ghost Town on the far side of Green Lake.  There are a couple pay-use snowshoeing areas in Whistler, however most free trails are as good or better.  Whistler Train Wreck is an easy/moderate snowshoe trail that takes you through a deep forest, over Cheakamus River via a very pretty suspension bridge, and to a series of decades old, wrecked train cars.  Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is another beautiful place to snowshoe.  Located at the south end of Garibaldi Park, the Elfin Lakes trailhead is found in Squamish.  The trail is not overly difficult, however it is quite long.  A consistently uphill, 11 kilometre(13.7 mile) trail through some spectacular scenery takes you to the marvelous Elfin Lakes hut.  For easier snowshoeing, Rainbow Falls is a good option.  Located just a short drive from Whistler Village, the Rainbow Trail is a beautiful trek through the forest in a winter wonderland to a hidden waterfall surrounded by deep pillows of powdery snow.  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.  Back in Whistler, an excellent place to snowshoe is to Parkhurst Ghost Town.  Sitting on the far side of Green Lake, Parkhurst was a thriving logging community several decades ago.  It has since been abandoned except for intermittent squatter communities over the years. 

Whistler Snowhoe Trails Map 2021

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Snowshoe RatingWhistler 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.  Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain out in the distance to the left and Rainbow Mountain across and beyond Green Lake.  If you have a good look around Parkhurst today, you can find remnants of its past almost everywhere you look.  From the old disintegrating truck from the 50's to the absurdly and improbably located car being consumed by the forest.  What makes Parkhurst Ghost Town such a great hiking trail and destination is where it is located and the trail to get to it.  The Parkhurst trail, one of several ways to get to Parkhurst Ghost Town, runs along the scenic Green River and next to the still active train tracks that run through Whistler.  There always seems to be something to see.  From the beautiful meadow along the train tracks, to the suddenly deep forest where you have to play a game of finding the next, pink tree marker or risk wandering off the trail.  The trail markers are numerous, and though getting lost is inevitable, you can only stray a few metres before, the river or steep terrain push you back onto the marked trail.  Once up on the ridge above Green Lake where Parkhurst is located, the forest takes on a spooky feel.  Trees are all far apart and with branches only high up give the forest a unnaturally lifeless look.  Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town Winter Map v4

Flank Trail - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Flank Trail Snowshoe RatingHiking and biking trails are so abundant in Whistler that many go unnoticed, neglected or taken for granted.  The Flank Trail is one of these.  Most people in Whistler don't even know about it, but the ones that do, love it.  Officially known as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, it runs the length of Whistler Valley, opposite Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, and connects to dozens of hiking, snowshoeing and biking trails.  At roughly the mid point of the Flank Trail you will come to a small, overlapping section of the Rainbow Trail, near Rainbow Falls.  From Whistler Olympic Park to the Rainbow Trail, you will have hiked halfway around Mount Sproatt.  The Flank Trail seems to terminate at the Rainbow Trail, however a small sign directs you to turn right, follow the Rainbow Trail, for a couple hundred metres, then left after the water treatment building to the beautiful bridge over 21 Mile Creek.  A beautiful way to access the Flank Trail on snowshoes or on foot any time of the year is via the Rainbow Trail near Rainbow Park on the far side of Alta Lake.  From the road-side parking at the trailhead you are immediately plunged into deep forest, deep snow, and the sound of crashing water nearby.  The Rainbow Trail winds through the forest fairly steeply upward.  In less than a kilometre you come to Rainbow Falls crashing down through huge pillows of snow.  This little waterfall sits in a beautiful little snowy enclave that feels as though it belongs in some movie.  Deep snow, crystal clear green water cascading down from a frozen cliff.  A little, hidden paradise.  One of many in Whistler.  Further up the trail takes you to the first signs for the Flank Trail.  The Flank Trail overlaps and crosses the Rainbow Trail for half a kilometre.  The Flank Trail - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Flank Trail Map Winter V3

Train Wreck - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Train Wreck Snowshoe RatingThe 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 River. Cheakamus River is a beautiful, wild and crashing river that snakes past the train wrecks. Numerous side trails take you to some marvelous viewpoints, several metres above the rushing water below.  If you follow a trail past the wrecks(heading north or in the direction of Whistler Village) you will emerge at the train tracks. If you are adventurous you will then walk along, beside the tracks for a couple hundred metres and some truly breathtaking views of Cheakamus RiverTrain Wreck - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Whistler Train Wreck Map Winter

Elfin Lakes - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Snowshoe Rating Elfin LakesElfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is an absolutely phenomenal, though long, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing trail that begins at the Diamond Head area in Squamish.  From Whistler Village, the trailhead is just over an hours drive away, located near the south end of Garibaldi ParkGaribaldi Provincial Park is the massive wilderness park of nearly two thousand square kilometres that stretches from Squamish to Pemberton.  If you are driving the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, Garibaldi Park will be the vast wilderness of snow-capped mountains on your right.  The Elfin Lakes trail is very well marked and maintained and leads to the wonderful, Elfin Lakes hut.  This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated.  There is a charge of $15/person(payable online) to stay the night there which is a small price to pay for the beautiful comfort after the long, 11 kilometre snowshoe or hike to get there.  This area is very popular with skiers as well as snowshoers in the winter and deep snow covers the trail usually from November to JuneElfin Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Garibaldi Park

Elfin Lakes Snowshoe Map

Wedgemount Lake - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Wedge Snowshoe RatingWedgemount Lake is a steep and difficult hike in the summer when there is no snow.  It doesn't require technical skill, but it is just exhausting.  You gain 1220 metres of elevation in just 7 kilometres(+2 in the winter) and hiking with a heavy pack takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours to reach the lake.  In the winter, on snowshoes, the Wedgemount Lake trail is considerably harder, as well as a couple kilometres longer owing to the undrivable, snow buried access road.  The snow covered trail is hard to follow, even with frequent trail markers.  Also, on snowshoes a step on steep ground is one step forward, half a step backward.  You plod on slowly and with each step slipping back part way. If you can get past the difficulty of the exhausting winter trek to Wedgemount Lake you will reach an amazing paradise in the mountains.  The Wedgemount Lake hut is an extraordinary oasis of warmth in the middle of the beautiful Wedgemount Lake valley.  Anyone can use the hut, anytime.  It can sleep up to 8 reasonably comfortably and consists of two large tables on the lower level and a small loft that can fit four people.  Sporadically used by skiers in the winter, though rarely used by snowshoers due to the difficulty of the trail in the winter.  If you do make it up to Wedgemount Lake you will be rewarded with a phenomenally beautiful, snow filled mountain paradise of a valley.  The Wedgemount Lake trail is deep with snow from late December to late June most years.  If you snowshoe it November to mid December or mid June to early July, you will only need your snowshoes partway up the trail.  Wedgemount Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Map

Rainbow Falls - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe RatingRainbow Falls is a fantastic way go get yourself into some deep snow quickly from Whistler Village.  The short, winding, and ever-changing hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is the same as the much more popular trailhead for Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is marked as the Rainbow Trail, and the trail quickly ascends into the forest winding left, right, up and down almost constantly.  21 Mile Creek, always on your right can be either seen or heard as you snowshoe through the forest to the somewhat hidden Rainbow Falls.  The Rainbow Falls/Rainbow Lake trailhead is located just a couple hundred metres from Rainbow Park on Alta Lake which is another great place to snowshoe in Whistler.  The Rainbow Falls trailhead is the same as the Rainbow Lake trailhead, located halfway along Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake. The Rainbow Falls trail is short, varied and relatively easy. 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.  Expect to take less than an hour, car to car, but much longer if you stop for a picnic or to play in the snow.  Rainbow Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Flank Trail Snowshoe Map

Rainbow Park - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Rainbow Park Snowshoe RatingRainbow Park is one of the hugely popular swimming beaches in Whistler in the summer.  In the winter it is a spectacular vantage point across Alta Lake to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The beautiful ski run lines snake down the mountains and by December Alta Lake is usually completely frozen.  Hockey games occur at various spots on the lake and the Valley Trail leading to and from Rainbow Park is buried in snow and unplowed all winter.  When the heavy snow of December comes, the valley trail becomes a snowshoeing and cross country ski trail.  It can still be hiked, but once you reach Rainbow Park you will be knee deep in snow.  The piers so well used in summer are frozen in place and, like everything else are buried in snow.  This snowshoe trail is excellent for the novelty of snowshoeing and great for kids.  Snowshoes are not really necessary due to short length of the trail and the relatively small size of the park.  If you have small kids, however, they will be in paradise.  By Christmas the park is often waist deep in snow, and if you are new to snowshoeing you will have a great time.  And if you do bring kids, you will have trouble getting them to leave.  Rainbow Park is a very easy, 1 kilometre trail from the parking area at the dead end of Lorimer Road to the park.  It is a relaxing trail that doesn't change in elevation.  It runs for a while along the River of Golden Dreams then crosses the river on a cute little bridge giving you your first view of Alta Lake.  Just past the bridge on your left you can walk to a viewing platform over the lake.  Back on the trail it is just another five minutes to the lake.  Rainbow Park - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Rainbow Park Snowshoe Map

Joffre Lakes - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Joffre Snowshoe RatingJoffre Lakes Provincial Park is a hiking paradise in the summer and a skiing and snowshoeing paradise in the winter.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  Located up on the Duffy Lake Road north of Pemberton, Joffre Lakes is well known for its incredibly surreal, turquoise water.  In the winter of course, all three of the Joffre Lakes are frozen over but the trail is popular with skiers and snowshoers between the months of November and April.  The Joffre Lakes trail is fairly well marked and almost always tracked out in the winter it is still possible to lose the trail after dark or or during heavy snowfall.  Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is centred around the three Joffre Lakes.  All of them are beautiful on their own and each more beautiful than the last.  Frozen over in the winter, you won't be able to marvel at the amazing turquoise colours the lakes, caused by light reflecting off of the particles of glacial silt suspended in the water.  In the winter, with the lakes frozen and the trees weighed down with snow, Joffre Lakes takes on a serene beauty, with the low sun cutting through the trees and the forest brightly reflecting.  The third of the Joffre Lakes ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful.  Joffre Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park Winter Map

Blueberry Trail - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Snowshoe Rating BlueberryThe 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.  Rainbow Park 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 gets its name from the hill that rises above it named Blueberry Hill.  So well hidden that you won't find either trailhead unless you search for them despite being on all the maps in Whistler.  The trailheads do have small trail signs and once you are on the trail it is easy to follow, even in deep snow.  Though at times steep, the trail is short.  The high point of the trail, about midway, is only 1.2k from either trailhead.  There is a small clearing at the edge of quite a high cliff that is a great vantage point to the lake.  People skating, cross country skiing or walking appear as little black dots scattered across the frozen lake.  As snowshoeing trails go, this one is a great, fun, short workout to a beautiful vantage point.  Dogs are allowed here as well.  Blueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about.  If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed four piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest.  These public piers sit along the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other.  Blueberry Trail - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Blueberry Park Snowshoe Map

Cheakamus River - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Snowshoe Rating CheakamusCheakamus 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.  Also a popular kayaking route, the main attraction to Cheakamus River is the wonderful and quite extensive network of hiking and biking trails that run along either side of it.  The Riverside trail and the Farside trail run on either side of Cheakamus River and connect at both ends by bridges.  Connecting to the Riverside trail is the short trail to Logger's Lake, which in turn is surrounded by more hiking and biking trails.  The Lake Loop trail, Crater Rim trail, the Ridge trail, Upper Ridge trail, and the Lower Ridge trail.  On the Farside trail along Cheakamus River you can connect to Cheakamus Road(gravel road) and hike 6 kilometres up to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.  On the other side of the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing, which Cheakamus River bends around keeping the Sea to Sky Highway and train tracks on its opposite side, you find still more hiking and biking trails.  Trash trail hugs the river all the way to the beautiful bridge to Whistler Train Wreck.  Or, continue past the bridge to connect with the Sea to Sky Trail.  For the most part, however, if you are talking about the Cheakamus River trails you are likely talking about the Farside and Riverside trails in Whistler's Interpretive Forest.  Eight kilometres south of Whistler Village and surrounding the recently constructed neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing is Whistler Interpretive Forest.  This beautiful forest surrounds the Cheakamus River and has been cut and replanted in several areas in the past decades. Hiking and biking trails have sprung up over the years making the area a wonderful place to explore. Unfortunately, the Interpretive Forest is day-use only, no camping is permitted.  The main highlights of the Interpretive Forest are the Cheakamus River trails, and the extraordinary Logger's LakeLogger's Lake, just a short hike from the Cheakamus River suspension bridge, sits within a 10000 year old, extinct volcano and is a hiking destination on its own.  Cheakamus River - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Map

Nairn Falls - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Nairn Falls RatingNairn Falls Provincial Park is located just a twenty minute drive north of Whistler Village.  There is a nice, relaxing 1.2 kilometre hiking/snowshoeing trail that runs along Green River to a gorgeous viewing area in the midst of Nairn Falls.  The popular trail is actually hike-able year-round, so you most likely will not need your snowshoes unless there has been lots of new snow in the last couple days.  The trail is well marked and doesn't gain any significant elevation, making it a very easy, kid friendly trail.  The viewing area is located within a bend in the falls/river and the churning waters rushes around where you stand, far below.  The water crashes through deep cuts in the rock and rushes into deep, green pools.  There is a wonderful sign depicting how the area was formed over thousands of years.  A short side trail from the main viewing area takes you over to an abrupt edge, where you can look down on the Green River below.  Nairn Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Nairn Falls Snowshoeing Trail Map

Taylor Meadow - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Taylor Meadows Snowshoe RatingTaylor 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.  The downside to this hike is the length of hiking to get to the beautiful parts.  In the summer it's not so bad as the trailhead is a moderately difficult 9k from Garibaldi Lake.  In the winter however, the trailhead parking lot is unplowed almost down to the highway.  So just to get to the trailhead requires about a 2k uphill snowshoe slog.  If you snowshoe the beautiful route to Taylor Meadows and return via Garibaldi Lake the route is 25 kilometres long and very strenuous as a one day snowshoe trip.  Camping at either Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake are great options if you can stand the cold and are well prepared.  If you plan to do this trip in one day be sure to leave very early and be well prepared for winter hiking.  In the winter the days are very short so always have lights with you.  Although the trail will likely be tracked out by previous hikers and skiers, having a gps is an excellent backup in case you lose the trail.  Taylor Meadows - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Taylor Meadows Snowshoeing Map

Rainbow Lake - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Rainbow Lake Snowshoe RatingThe 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.  Rainbow Lake is a tough and beautiful 8 kilometre snowshoeing trail high up in the mountains across the valley from Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The trail is generally well marked and easy to follow, however some sections are tricky to follow as the heavy snow bends the bushes down obscuring the trail.  The trail is a constant, fairly steep ascent and you may notice ski tracks along the route.  A somewhat popular skiing attraction in Whistler is to get heli-dropped on Rainbow Mountain and skiing back to Whistler.  Rainbow Falls is a nice detour near the beginning of the Rainbow Lake trail. When you come to the small water purification building you will see a distinct fork in the trail and a sign directing you to Rainbow Lake turn left.  If you go right however, in just a few hundred metres you will come to the beautiful Rainbow Falls as well as a nice picturesque bridge over the river.  You of course have to backtrack to get back to the Rainbow Lake trail.  Though Rainbow Lake is only 8k from the trailhead, on snowshoes it will likely take nearly four hours to get there.  You can snowshoe around up there for quite a while so you have to be careful with the time as in the winter months the sun goes down well before 5pm.  Rainbow Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Rainbow Lake Snowshoe Map

Whistler Snowshoe Trails

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 ...
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Wedgemount Lake is a steep and difficult hike in the summer when there is no snow.  It doesn't require technical skill, but it is just exhausting.  You gain 1220 metres of elevation in just 7 kilometres(+2 in ...
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Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a hiking paradise in the summer and a skiing and snowshoeing paradise in the winter.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  ...
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Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful park centred around the wonderful falls that plunge 70 metres down a vertical wall of glacier fractured rock.  The peculiar, angular cubes of rock that the cliffs ...
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More Waterfalls From Brandywine Falls

More Waterfalls from Brandywine FallsThere are several beautiful waterfalls in Whistler.  Train Wreck Falls is located just 10.7 kilometres away, at the south end of Whistler, in Cheakamus Crossing.  These beautiful falls can be found on the beautiful, year-round accessible Whistler Train Wreck trail.  Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141foot waterfall just up the Callaghan Valley, just 15 minutes up Callaghan Valley Road. The turnoff to Callaghan Valley road is just a couple minutes up the highway towards Whistler on your left.  Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several of the 2010 Olympic events were held.  There is a nice viewing platform on the edge of the cliff across from the falls which crash fantastically into the valley below.  The parking area and viewing platform at Alexander Falls is one big area just 40 metres from the main road (to Whistler Olympic Park). The adventurous can find the obscure trail that leads to both the top of the falls as well as, with great difficulty, to the base of the falls. The drive to Alexander Falls is fantastic and with lots to see.  As soon as you turn off from the Sea to Sky Highway into the Callaghan Valley you ascend quickly into the mountains. Bears along the roadside are frequently seen as they seem to have a particular fondness for the fields of grass that grow in the sunny meadows that surround this recently constructed, paved road.  Nairn Falls Provincial Park is a 20 minute drive north of Whistler.  An easy and mostly flat, 1.2 kilometre trail to the falls.  Nairn Falls is a wonderful, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the elaborate viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above.  The beautiful, green water rushes through the deep and angular channels of rock.  Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located just a short 20 minute drive north of Whistler.  From the large parking lot the well marked trail runs along Green River for 1.2 kilometres to the falls.  The trail is very easy and is hike-able year-round.  Though considerable snow falls in the winter months here, the trail remains passable and usually can be hiked without snowshoes if it hasn't snowed significantly for a few days.

Train Wreck Falls is 10.7 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Alexander Falls is 12.8 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Rainbow Falls is 18 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Shannon Falls is 45.2 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Nairn Falls is 45.9 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Keyhole Falls is 124 Kilometres from Brandywine Falls

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Snowshoe Easy DogBrandywine Falls  Snowshoe Easy DogCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Flank Trail Moderate Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Parkhurst Snowshoeing Easy Dog FriendlyParkhurst Ghost Town  Rainbow Falls Steep & Very Short Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake

Cornice: a wind deposited wave of snow on a ridge, often overhanging a steep slope or cliff.  They are the result of snow building up on the crest of a ...
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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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The Rubble Creek trailhead is the main access point for many of the best hikes and sights in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  Rubble Creek is located midway ...
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If you make it to the summit of Wedge Mountain you will notice off in the distance a beautifully symmetrical mountain that stands out among the rest.  ...
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When hiking to Parkhurst Ghost Town, the first area you will encounter after you cross the disintegrating bridge over Wedge Creek is the wye.  In railroad ...
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Western hemlock (tsuga heterophylla) is a large evergreen coniferous tree that is native to the west coast of North America. Unlike many other trees in ...
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Cirque: a glacier-carved bowl or amphitheater in the mountains.  To form, the glacier must be a combination of size, a certain slope and more unexpectedly, a ...
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Deadfall means a tangled mass of fallen trees and branches.  There are several name variations for fallen trees that are commonly used in Whistler.  ...
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Hiking Gear Rental Whistler and Garibaldi Park

Whistler & Garibaldi Park 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

  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JanuaryJanuary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking FebruaryFebruary  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MarchMarch  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AprilApril  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking MayMay  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JuneJune  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking JulyJuly  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking AugustAugust  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking SeptemberSeptember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking OctoberOctober  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking NovemberNovember  Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking DecemberDecember 

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 ...
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Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain. The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation. Evidence of this can be seen in the ...
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Logger's Lake is an amazing little lake hidden up in the deep forest above the more well known Cheakamus River. The lake, almost unbelievably exists in a long extinct volcano. However, as soon as you see ...
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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 ...
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