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. 

  • Tough, steep, yet relatively short trail to hike
  • Difficult winter trail keeps it quiet
  • Amazing little hut free to use by anyone
  • Snowy oasis surrounded by mountains
  • Wedge Mountain is the highest peak around
  • High alpine paradise all to yourself
  • You can easily walk to Wedge Glacier
  • Difficult & dangerous in winter
  • Hard to follow the snow buried trail
  • Trail is steep, brutal & not very scenic

Whistler Snowshoe Trails

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  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Steep Dog Friendly SnowshoeingSproatt East  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake 

 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

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.  Depending on conditions and traffic on the trail, you may get lucky and be able to follow previous tracks in the snow, however this is not reliable.  The final kilometre before Wedgemount Lake between the months of November and late June is almost always deep with snow, sometimes as late as mid July.  This part is very steep, and even on snowshoes painfully difficult, so consider that if you plan to go.

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Map v15

Wedgemount Lake Snowy Day

Wedgemount Lake Snowy Day

Also, losing the trail is always a consideration worth worrying about and having a GPS with you is a very good idea.  At a good pace, when the trail has snow top to bottom, expect to take over 3.5 hours from your car to the hut.  Some take as long as 6 hours.  You have to add an extra kilometre or two in the winter as well due to having to park 1.5k below the usual trailhead parking as it is inaccessible due to snow December to May. 

Snowshoeing Wedgemount Lake

One of the defining features of Garibaldi Park, and Wedgemount Lake in particular, is the staggering number of branching hikes from the main destination of the lake itself. For many, Wedgemount Lake and the "Wedge" Hut is the base for hikes to Wedge Mountain, Mount Cook, Mount Weart, Mount Moe, Mount James Turner and Mount Currie in Pemberton, crossing glaciers such as Wedge Glacier, Weart Glacier, Armchair Glacier, Mystery Glacier and the Needles and Chaos Glacier to name a few.  Dozens of unforgettable peaks can be reached from this quiet little hut overlooking this perfect, turquoise lake.  In short, if you were to design a paradise in the mountains, Wedgemount Lake would be the standard to which all others would pale.  The sheltered valley, beautiful turquoise lake, wonderfully huge glacier across the valley and brutally jagged mountains all around all contribute to making Wedgemount Lake something special.  It's challenging and exhausting to hike to and an absolute paradise to relax in.  Down by the lakeside you can actually find two recliner chairs, built out of the rocks by the lake.  Such a perfect way to enjoy the sun rising over the not-so-distant glacier across the lake.

Snowshoeing Wedgemount Lake

The hut at Wedgemount Lake is a wonderful thing. Built by the BC Mountaineering Club in 1970, and since donated to Garibaldi Park, it is free to use by anyone. It's cozy with two large tables and a loft. Often, during busy times you will find the tables used as beds, a couple on the floor and four people up in the loft.  The Wedgemount Lake hut is positioned in a spectacular part of the world.  High up overlooking Wedgemount Lake.  In the massive shadow of Wedge Mountain, the highest mountain in the entire Garibaldi Range.  It's a cozy and compact little house in the middle of the carnage of massive rocks, erratics left over the centuries by glaciers and rock slides.

Snowshoeing Wedgemount Lake

Back in the late 60's the British Columbia Mountaineering Club went forward with building five huts in the Coast Mountains of BC.  Two of the five were built in Garibaldi Park, they were The Russet Lake hut in 1968 and the Wedgemount Lake hut in 1970.  Because structures like these cannot be owned as they are in BC Parks, they are open for use by anyone.  There are two large wooden tables along the left and right walls and a little window across from the door.  On entering you notice a ladder going straight up to the loft.  Everything is bare, weathered wood, but tidy and secure.  It's simply a nice, solid, secure little house in a hostile wasteland of beauty.  As you walk in you notice right away a feeling of warmth hits you.  The Wedge Hut is as wonderful thing.

Snowshoeing Wedgemount Lake

The Wedge Hut

The Wedge Hut Inside

The Wedge Hut Inside

Wedgemount Lake in the Summer

Wedgemount Lake Wedge Glacier 5

Wedge Glacier from Cook

Glacier Window View of Wedgemount Lake

Wedgemount Lake Sunset Tent View

Facilities at Wedgemount Lake

There is an outhouse (toilet), at the trailhead to Wedgemount Lake.  Another one a few metres from the Wedge Hut and tent platforms at Wedgemount Lake.  And a third, almost hidden toilet down near the lakeside tent platforms.  You will spot an unusual looking, plastic box in the scree slope along the trail to the lake.  This is a futuristic looking outhouse that is more convenient to the campsites at the lake.  All the outhouses in Garibaldi Park are serviced frequently and even equipped with toilet paper, however, bringing your own is always a good idea as it inevitably runs out sometimes.  If you are unfamiliar with outhouses, they consist of, (usually) a very small wooden room with a small window for light.  Sometimes the outhouse is built above a pit in the ground for waste, but in the case of the Wedgemount Lake outhouse it is raised above a massive waste tank that is routinely replaced by helicopter.  They are unavoidably disgusting and fly ridden despite the frequent and heroic efforts of excellent BC Parks staff.

Restrictions and Concerns at Wedgemount Lake

Not Dog FriendlyNo Campfires AllowedNo Bikes AllowedNo Motorized VehiclesDogs are not permitted on the Wedgemount Lake trail or any other Garibaldi Provincial Park trails out of courtesy to the resident animals of the park. There are a large number of black bears in the park and encounters with dogs result in unpredictable and potentially dangerous conflicts. There are quite a few excellent hiking trails in Whistler that are dog friendly. Whistler's Valley Trail and Lost Lake trails are dog friendly and run throughout Whistler. The Sea to Sky Trail, which runs over 30 kilometres through Whistler is a paradise trail for dogs as it runs through numerous parks, beaches and forests. Ancient Cedars is a nice, dog friendly hike that is 5 kilometres roundtrip and takes you into a thousand year old forest. Whistler Train Wreck is also dog friendly. The trailhead, marked Flank Trail is located in Function Junction, just a short drive south of Whistler Village. Further south you will come to Brandywine Falls, which is a short, 2 kilometres (roundtrip) dog friendly hike to the amazing falls. About 25 minutes north of Whistler, Nairn Falls is another beautiful and dog friendly hiking trails.

Getting to the Wedgemount Lake Trailhead

Good, Potholed, Gravel Road to Wedgemount ParkingThe free parking at the trailhead to Wedgemount Lake is easy to find as there are Garibaldi Provincial Park signs on the Sea to Sky Highway.  Located just a short and scenic, ten minute drive north of Whistler Village.  An excellent place to see Wedge Mountain on the way to the Wedgemount Lake trailhead is the Green Lake viewpoint at the edge of Highway 99.  Look for the obvious and large pullout on the right side of the Sea to Sky Highway at the far end of Green Lake. The pullout is easy to spot shortly after you lose sight of Green Lake.  The views across to Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain and Wedge Mountain are amazing.  From Whistler Village at Village Gate Boulevard, zero your odometer proceed north on Highway 99. At 11.3km a sign will direct you to turn right to "Wedgemount(Garibaldi)". Cross the train tracks and the bridge over Green River and immediately (11.5k) turn left onto the Wedge Creek Forest Service Road. At 11.7km turn right and head up the bumpy but drivable to all types of cars to the parking lot at 13.2km.  In the winter months (December to March) snow will block part or all of the gravel road between the highway and the trailhead parking so you will have to park near the trailhead turnoff or further down next to the highway turnoff.

Parkhurst and Wedge Winter Parking

Parkhurst and Wedge Winter Parking

Wedgemount Lake Driving Directions Map

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  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Steep Dog Friendly SnowshoeingSproatt East  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake 

More Whistler Snowshoe Trails

More Whistler 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 Snowshoe Trails

Sproatt East - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Sproatt East Snowshoe RatingThe 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.  Darwin's merges onto Flank and soon crosses Nita Creek and the the easy to miss, unmarked Sproatt East trail extends up the left side of Nita Creek.  Mount Sproatt is a big, sloping mountain with dozens of beautiful plateaus that are quite easy to get to.  Back on Flank, just before you crossed Nita Creek there is a faint trail that ascends quickly up to the first of many beautiful plateaus overlooking the valley.  At just 1.4 kilometres from where you started, this plateau is a excellent destination on its own and on a sunny day it is paradise!  If winter camping is your thing, this spot is pretty hard to beat with its convenience and sweeping views of the valley looking across to Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain.  Nita Creek can be heard crashing about 40 metres below, hidden by snow covered treetops.  This plateau is fairly easy to reach on snowshoes and Sirloin, Darwin's and Flank are a steady ascent, but only moderately challenging snowshoe trails.  The Sproatt East trail gets progressively more challenging as you climb every steeper into the vast wilderness of Mount Sproatt.  Virtually unknown and rarely hiked, even in the summer.  despite this it is surprisingly well defined and well marked with tree ribbons.

Sproatt East Snowshoe Map v2

Mount Sproatt - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Train Wreck - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Train Wreck Snowshoe RatingThe trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across the nice Train Wreck 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.  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 River.  Whistler Train Wreck is definitely one of the best easy, short and kid friendly snowshoe trails in Whistler.  Unfortunately it has become quite popular and the snow gets packed down quite fast on the trails and you generally don't need snowshoes for the main trail to the popular section of train cars near the bridge.  Most visitors don't explore past this point, which is a shame because the trails extend in both directions leading to more wrecked train cars as well as some stunning viewpoints overlooking Cheakamus River.  The Trash Trail is another very nice trail often overlooked around Train Wreck.  It runs along one side of Cheakamus River and past the gorgeous Train Wreck Falls.  In the other direction it leads you to the other Train Wreck trailhead shown on the map below. 

Whistler Train Wreck Winter Map v9

Train Wreck - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Blueberry Trail - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Blueberry Park is a relatively unknown, though very scenic trail that ascends quickly up to a cliff viewpoint high above Alta Lake.  Another trail hugs the shoreline of Alta Lake through a wonderfully deep forest past five secluded piers.  The trails connect a few hundred metres past the fifth pier, so you can continue to the north end of the park in Tapleys and Whistler Cay or loop back to the south trailhead off St. Anton Way.  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 gets its name from the hill that rises above it named Blueberry Hill.  The park is well hidden despite being on all the maps in Whistler because both trailheads are found at the end of quiet streets.  The trailheads do have small trail signs and once you are on the trails they are 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 and five wonderful piers.  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 Park Snowshoeing Map v8

Blueberry Park - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 June

Elfin Lakes Map v7

Elfin Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Garibaldi Park

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 Snowshoe Map v6

Rainbow Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 Snowshoe Map v4

Rainbow Park - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 Snowshoe Map v4

Joffre Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Snowshoe RatingAt the north end of Green Lake hides one of the most unusual, interesting and scenic snowshoe trails in Whistler, Parkhurst Ghost Town.  From the 1920’s to 1950’s a small logging town with several dozen houses and a sawmill, the town quickly vacated in 1956 when the sawmill ceased operating.  Decades of snowy winter crushed the old sawmill and all but two of the old houses.  Various types of logging machinery, old vehicles, trucks, Caterpillar tractors and a Cletrac tractor lay in the forest unmoved for almost seventy years.  Most of the more interesting features of Parkhurst are hidden by the rapidly growing forest that has buried the once treeless area along Green Lake where the sawmill operated.  The heavy machinery is not only enveloped by the forest, but in the case of one of the huge tractor plows is being lifted off the forest floor.  Quite a remarkable sight considering that it must weigh close to 4000 kilograms (8818 pounds). Another similar 4 ton plow has managed to resist the lifting force of the forest, but instead has forced a tree to grow in a confined, triangular shape through it.  For over sixty years this now large tree has continued to grow to a substantial size while its trunk, within the plow is confined and spilling over the top of the plow.  The plow is effectively part of the tree like a giant, triangular collar.  The base of the tree has half the diameter within the plow, but fused together they are substantially stronger than the thick trunk that stretches up to the forest canopy.  What a marvellous sight that makes you stare in wonder for quite some time.  The Parkhurst Plow Tree appears to be an old birch tree is grizzled and cracking with age, much harder to recognize than the smooth, white bark of younger birch trees plentiful in the forests around Whistler. 

Parkhurst Whistler Snow Map v5

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Brandywine Falls & Bungee Bridge - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

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.  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 Brandywine Falls Map v2

Brandywine Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 snowshoe 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 snowshoe 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 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 Snowshoeing Map v6

Cheakamus River - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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. 

Flank Trail Map Winter v3

The Flank Trail - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 Snowshoe Map v7

Nairn Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 Snowshoe Map v7

Taylor Meadows - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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 Snowshoe Map v13

Rainbow Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

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.  ...
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Rainbow 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 ...
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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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Elfin 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 ...
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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.  ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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November in Whistler is when the temperatures plummet and the first heavy snow falls in the alpine and often in Whistler Village.  The hiking opportunities become ...
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December hiking in Whistler is mainly done on snowshoes, though if it hasn't snowed for a few days, trails to Whistler Train Wreck and Rainbow Falls can ...
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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Gear Rental

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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Skookumchuck Hot Springs(aka T'sek Hot Springs and St. Agnes Well), located two hours north of Whistler along the edge of the huge Lillooet River. The name Skookumchuck means "strong water" in the language ...
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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 ...
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Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several ...
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Cirque Lake is a wild and beautiful lake that hides high above and beyond Callaghan Lake in Callaghan Lake Provincial Park.  What makes Cirque Lake special among the other sensationally beautiful lakes in the ...
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