Top 7 Whistler Hikes

11th August, 2019

Whistler may be known for its amazing skiing and world-renowned mountain biking, but it is also packed with extremely beautiful hiking trails. There is a large number of hikes in whistler to explore which feature majestic waterfalls, enormous glaciers, heart pounding summits, stunning blue lakes and breathtaking views. Here is all you need to know about the top 7 hikes in whistler!

 

Nairn Falls

About Nairn Falls Provincial Park

Nairn Falls is perfect for an afternoon trip. The 1.5km hike to the viewpoint meanders along the shores of the Green River taking you to several viewing platforms that overlook the 60metre high waterfall. Usually, visitors come to Nairn Falls Provincial Park to view the spectacular Nairn Falls, however, if you take a short trail just left of the campsite, you will see the beautiful Green River in what seems to be a forgotten part of this beautiful park. One of the best parts of this hike is that it is Dog-Friendly, so you and your best buddy can enjoy what nature has to offer!

Trail Difficulty

Nairn Falls can be classified as a beginner’s hike as it is only a 3km round trip, approximately 1 hour. It is hike-able year-round even when there are large amounts of snowfall.

Location & Parking

Nairn Falls is located just a short drive north of Whistler (approximately 20minutes). A large parking lot is accessible just before entering downtown Pemberton, as you should see a sign for Narin Falls Provincial Park.  Google Map Directions

Camping

There is a large campground at Nairn Falls Provincial Park that is located right next to the parking lot. This campground is only open from May - September and will cost you $18 per group, per night.

Nairn Falls

 

Garibaldi Lake

About Garibaldi Lake Hike

Located approximately 30 minutes south of Whistler Village, the Garibaldi Lake Hike is one of the most scenic hikes you’ll walk on. With views of the beautiful turquoise, glacier-fed lake, and surrounding mountains, it’s not hard to figure out why it was voted one of the best hikes in Whistler!

Trail Difficulty

This hike is a must for anyone looking for a little more adventure and can definitely be a challenge. Even though it is well laid out, there are some never-ending switchbacks. Therefore, we’d recommend this hike for more experienced hikers. But believe us it is worth every second for the views of the stunning turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake.

Though you can complete this in a day trip, it is worth spending the night by the lake at the campground and then venturing further to some of the nearby hiking trails, in particular, Panorama Ridge which offers spectacular views of the entire valley.

Parking Location

Parking is best accessed through the Rubble Creek trailhead, which is located just off the Sea to Sky Highway, south of Whistler. Even though the parking lot is large, it is usually full and multiple cars can be seen parked along the road. View map here.

Camping

There are over 50 campsites that offer full services at Garibaldi Lake. These campsites are all just steps away from Garibaldi Lake and around 9km from the parking lot. Reservations are required at the campground from June to end of September and can be reserved here.

Garibaldi Lake

 

Cheakamus Lake

About Cheakamus Lake

The trail to the spectacular Cheakamus Lake is an amazing forest of giant cedars. There are dozens of beaches all along the trail with crystal clear water which many hikers swim in. But beware that it’s glacier-fed and very chilly! The lake is known for its good fishing so pack your rod, sit back and soak in the view!

Trail Difficulty

Running along the beautiful Cheakamus River, the hike is short, easy and a great way to enjoy what nature has to offer. Only a 7 km hiking trail, it hardly has any steep inclines or declines which makes it perfect for beginner hikers.

Location & Parking

Cheakamus Lake is located just 8 kilometers from the Sea to Sky Highway, which makes it a perfect hike to quickly travel to from Crystal Lodge. A free parking lot is located right off Hwy 99 which is 2.5km south of Whistler. Google Map Directions

Camping

There is a charge for camping, $10 per adult and $5 per child. These must be paid before entering the park. Find out how to pay here. There are two campsites located along the trail, one 3km from the parking lot, and the other 7km from the parking lot. 

Cheakamus Lake

 

Ancient Cedars Loop

About Ancient Cedars Loop

This 8km loop hike takes you through the most impressive cedars in the Whistler area. Though you will find cedars on many of the Whistler hiking trails, none compare to the ancient cedars estimated to be a thousand years old on this beautiful hiking loop.

Trail Difficulty

This hike is only an 8km roundtrip with a gradual uphill climb, which should take around 3 hours, making it a great hike for hikers of all skill levels.

Location & Parking

Parking is located just 10 minutes north of Whistler Village. View a map of Driving Directions to the Ancient Cedars Trail.

Camping

There is no designated campground around the trail, but it is suggested that you find a safe area a ways from the trail to set up camp.

Ancient Cedars Loop

 

High Note Trail

About High Note Trail

A long-time Whistler favourite, the High Note Trail is located on Whistler Mountain and can be accessed by the gondola from the base of Whistler village, just a 2-minute walk from the Crystal Lodge Hotel. On this hike, the trail itself is the destination with constant views which will have your camera in hand from start to finish!

Trail Difficulty

The High Note Trail is well worn and marked, and a 9.4km roundtrip which lasts around 3-4 hours. This trail is not a walk in the park with its narrow pathway and multiple inclines and declines. However, it is by no means an advanced hike and is very family-friendly.

Location & Parking

There is free parking in Whistler Village if you’re able to snag a spot in Lot 4, however, Lots 1, 2, & 3 are all paid parking. These parking lots are very easy to find.

Camping

Since the High Note Trail is a busy route, camping is located around Russet Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park, which rests between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.

High Note Trail on Whistler Mountain

Photo Credit: Mike Crane | TW & Sea to Sky Parks

 

Blackcomb Meadows Trail

About Blackcomb Meadows Trail

Regardless if you are a local or not, the views from this hike will amaze you! If you’re used to being up the mountain in the winter, get your camera out for a whole new view! You’ll get a glimpse of Blackcomb Lake, Fitzsimmons Valley, and Overlord Glacier. This hike as it all! There’s even another lookout point and small lake beyond the lake as a bonus.

Trail Difficulty

The Blackcomb Meadow Trail is an intermediate, 8km hike at the top of Blackcomb Mountain. This 3-hour hike has an elevation gain of 200m and is open from July to October every year. Nonetheless, stunning look-out views along the way.

Location & Parking

This trail begins at the top of the Blackcomb Gondola. From Whistler Village, you can take the Whistler Gondola up and take the Peak2Peak Gondola across to Blackcomb Mountain. Look for the clearly marked “Alpine Walk” trail to get started.

There is free parking in Whistler Village if you’re able to snag a spot in Lot 4, however, Lots 1, 2, & 3 are all paid parking. These parking lots are very easy to find.

Camping

Camping is not allowed at Blackcomb Meadows.

 

Rainbow Lake Trail

About Rainbow Lake Trail

Rainbow Lake itself is a source of Whistler’s drinking water. Along this long and beautiful trail, you will have views of Black Tusk in the distance, walk past Rainbow Falls, and if you visit in August, the Wildflowers will be present. Because this lake is a used for drinking water, no swimming is allowed in the lake at any time.

Trail Difficulty

Rainbow Lake Trail is an intermediate, 16km round-trip hike located at the top of Whistler Mountain. This hike has a steep elevation gain of 850m and runs from July to September. 

Location & Parking

Trailhead is clear and easy to follow. Driving directions can be found here!

Parking can be found off Alta Lake Road. Roadside parking is somewhat limited but go early enough and you’ll find a spot!

Camping

There is no camping permitted at Rainbow Lake, however, camping is allowed at Hanging Lake, 1.5km p Rainbow lake.

Ready to go on an adventure? Stay within walking distance of these and many more hikes at the Crystal Lodge Hotel.  Call our Reservations Team at 1.800.667.3363  to make a reservation or email [email protected].  View our Rooms here