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Hiking in Whistler: Where to Begin?

Whistler is every hikers dream. With jagged mountain peaks, turquoise glacier-fed lakes, and beautiful alpine meadows, you don’t have to wander far to get some rewarding views. But with over 40km of valley trail alone, and even more alpine hiking trails up on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, where do you even start? From easy strolls to challenging climbs, there are plenty of walks for every level of hiker. Grab your map, and check out some of our favourite valley trails and alpine hikes.

 

For an easy wander, try…

 The Lost Lake Trails

At the edge of Whistler village, these easily accessible trails are great for hikers of all ages and abilities. Saunter along the popular gravel trail surrounded by deep forestry, and you’ll quickly arrive at Lost Lake. This picturesque lake has stunning sandy beaches, and hosts the coolest summer barbecues. It’s also one of the warmer lakes- so treat yourself to a quick swim if you’re feeling brave!

From there, there are dozens of named trails you can explore, such as the Lost Lake Loop, the Panorama trail, and Old Mill Road. All trails are hemmed in and keep close to the village, making it easy to find your way back.

Whistler Train Wreck

Arguably one of Whistler’s most infamous short hikes, this quiet trail near the Cheakamus crossing leads over a roaring river to abandoned rail carts in the middle of the forest. Derailed in 1956, these carts have become a must-see art installation, featuring the art of local graffiti artists.

The hike to the train wreck is fairly unchallenging, and is only 3km each way. If you find yourself with plenty of time to spare before the bus back to the Village, we recommend heading to Function Junction across the road for some well-deserved drinks and snacks.

 For a slight challenge, try…

The Harmony Lake Trail and Loop

For those who want a bit of exercise, and to tackle a little elevation, this 2.5km hike descends from the Roundhouse down towards Harmony Lake. There you can relax by the serene water against a picture-perfect mountain backdrop, before heading back up to the Roundhouse.

Seeing as this is a relatively short hike, why not stop off at the brand new Cloudraker Skybridge? Located right beside the Peak Chair’s summit station on Whistler Mountain, this incredible, 427-foot-long structure offers stunning panoramic views of the valley floor below. Access to the bridge is included in the Peak 2 Peak 360 Summer Experience ticket, so you can easily add it your hiking itinerary.

For a full day adventure, try…

The Rainbow Lake Trail

This 16km round trip is a Whistler classic that offers a steady workout. Winding its way through dense rainforest, this well-maintained trail features bridges and boardwalks passing beautiful waterfalls and serene mountain lakes. There’s no swimming in Rainbow as it’s part of Whistler’s water supply, but this hike is worth it for the spectacular views alone.

The High Note Trail

 

This one is a must. This 9.2km trail loops around the back of Whistler Mountain, before descending through the alpine area back to the Whistler Gondola. This epic trail offers amazing views of Black Tusk, Overlord Glacier, and Cheakamus Lake, and we highly recommend bringing your camera. For avid hikers, you can extend your hike by following the Musical Bumps Trail into Garibaldi Park to Oboe and Flute summits, then return along the High Note Trail.

If you have a personal favourite that’s not included on the list- please let us know! Even now, we’re still discovering new spectacular viewpoints and trails. Whiski Jack has a variety Townhomes and Condominiums within metres of the valley trail, making it easy for you to get out and explore. You can check out all of our properties here.