11 Best Places to Go Hiking in Whistler, BC

Hiking in the nature trails of Whistler is a true joy when you are surrounded by stunning mountains, breathtaking vistas, and serene lakes. The sweeping views and groomed trails are an experience both novice and experienced hikers are sure to enjoy. Whistler offers the thrill of a grueling climb for those that seek adventure, but it also has hidden gems for mellower hikers along the way. 

If you aren’t already convinced, hiking is best during the summer and spring seasons which means you can experience luxury accommodations in Whistler at less than half the price of the peak season!

Keep reading to discover our favorite spots to get an up-close and personal with Whistler nature.

Where to Hike in Whistler

We’ve taken the liberty of sorting each hike from easiest to most difficult to complete so that you can determine which is best for you! Enjoy browsing through all the trails Whistler has to offer. If you are an experienced hiker, challenge yourself with a new trail! 

#1. Brandywine Falls Hike

  • Location: Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
  • Hike Length: 1km round-trip
  • Duration: 0.5-1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

Brandywine Falls is a well-known destination in Whistler for both its variety of activities and wonderful environment for families. If you are thinking of having children or maybe the family dog to accompany you on your hike, Brandywine Falls is the perfect place to go! 

The climb to the Brandywine Falls is only about half a kilometer which makes it perfect for children, beginners, or anyone who wants to squeeze in a quick view of nature’s sights. Hikers will be greeted by a thundering waterfall that plummets from a height of over 70 meters – a magnificent view for sore eyes.

Verdant foliage cradles the waterfall along with caverns dotting the rockslides that have since crumbled over hundreds of years. Explore even more by walking past the waterfall to reach the viewpoint overlooking the Daisy Lake. 

#2. The Train Wreck Trail

  • Location: Interpretive Forest
  • Hike Length: 2km round-trip
  • Duration: 0.5-1 hour
  • Difficulty: Easy

Slightly south of Whistler in the Interpretive Forest is the Train Wreck Trail. Despite its name, this is a short, easy, all-natural trail. About 1km inside the forest is a colorful relic of a train that was wrecked decades ago!

This attraction is the center of attention that generates excitement from kids and pets alike.

With the help of a suspension bridge, hikers will traverse over the Cheakamus River on what is known as the Sea to Sky route. 

#3. Ancient Cedars Trail

  • Location: Cougar Mountains
  • Hike Length: 5km round-trip
  • Duration: 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

If you are looking for an easy hike with a little more substance, you can go north of Whistler towards the Cougar Mountains. 4.5km up the Cougar Mountains hikers will be greeted by a forested route that leads to a grove of humongous ancient cedar trees.

This trail is paved with a gravel service road that makes it easy to hike with several guiding signs to boot. Bring along your pets for your journey through a forest with magical charm. 

#4. High Note Trail

  • Location: Whistler Mountain
  • Hike Length: 10.7km round-trip
  • Duration: 3.5-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

To get to High Note Trail, save your legs and go for the gondola to reach Whistler Mountain. There, you will be airlifted in the peak chair to begin your hike! Your adventure begins well before you even begin walking as you take advantage of the rarely frequented sites of Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Provincial Park. You will not want to miss getting to the “Top of the World”, a monumental viewpoint of Inukshuk and grassy villages overlooking the valley.

While this is one of the more moderate trails on our list, this long trek will make you peckish. Do not hesitate to stop at the Roundhouse for a meal to keep you full and focused. 

#5. Cheakamus Lake Hike

  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Hike Length: 16.6km round-trip
  • Duration: 4-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

While the Cheakamus Lake Hike is slightly more difficult, the journey is worth the effort to get in a picnic with the family on the lakeside campground. The minimal elevation will spare your group’s legs from straining.

The beauty that surrounds the view and the gorgeous blue lake make it one of the most climbed trails in Whistler. The turquoise waters carry a unique hue that you must see to believe!

#6. Singing Pass Trail

  • Location: Whistler Mountain
  • Hike Length: 22km round-trip
  • Duration: 6-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Singing Pass Trail offers the ideal single-track trail for beginners looking for a bit of a challenge. The best way to experience this trail is to climb the way up and relax on the gondola on the way down. Make sure to keep an eye on the last gondola of the day to ensure you can rest after your hike! Alternatively, you can ride the gondola on the way up and take your time enjoying the sights on your hike down. 

During your hike, the lush forest with envelope you. On the way up to the Singing Pass, enjoy the scenes of meadows, the Musical Bumps, and the hoary marmot.

Have you ever wondered where Whistler gets its name? It’s because of the hoary marmot’s unique whistle!

#7.Joffre Lakes Hike

  • Location: Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
  • Length: ~12 km round-trip
  • Duration: 3-6 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

Driving past Pemberton you will reach the head of this lake-ringed hiking trail. Once you start climbing towards the third lake, you will enjoy a birds-eye view of the impressive Matier Glacier. You will not want to miss the incredible photo opportunity at the Middle Joffre Lake where you can balance on a log!

If you are willing, there are camping opportunities located at the rocks of the summit. Joffre Lakes is meant for hikers who can handle a steeper climb – all are warned to be cautious on the way down. 

These trails are equipped with urine diversion toilets and food storage units for when you work up an appetite. You will need to follow the standard camping courtesy of “pack-it-in and pack-it-out”, otherwise known as “leave the place how you found it”!

#8. Garibaldi Lake Hike

  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Length: 18 km round-trip
  • Duration: 5-7 hours
  • Difficulty: Intermediate

One of the most picturesque Whistler trails is located at Garibaldi Provincial Park. Perched just south of Whistler, the glacier-fed lake is cupped in the valley of high mountain peaks and alpine meadows.

This 9km long hike (18 km round-trip) is worth the trek once you experience the scenic views of the turquoise lake. There is much to see among the trees, expansive meadows, and alpine wildflowers. 

Garibaldi Lake’s moreish beauty is bound to convince you to stay longer than planned. Be sure to reserve a tent pad in advance of an overnighter! For more information on camping, click here.

#9. Wedgemount Lake Hike

  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Hike Length: 15.6km round-trip
  • Duration: 6-8 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Wedgemount Lake is another trail originating in Garibaldi Provincial Park, but it is much more difficult. At the park’s highest peak, you will get a view of the aquamarine Wedgemount Lake as it emerges before you.

The beauty of the lake is almost indescribable as it is surrounded by snow-robed placid peaks. 

The difficulty of getting to Wedgemount Lake is the sapping trail. This is not a hike recommended to be completed within a day, so take the option of an overnighter if it’s available.

Even for the most ambitious hikers, the view at dusk from the campsite is one of the world’s most stunning sights. 

#10. Black Tusk Hike

  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Hike Length: 26.1km round-trip
  • Duration: 9-11 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Looking down High Note Trail, you will not be able to miss the way Black Tusk sticks out like a sore thumb. From a distance, you would have no idea this climb boasts a whopping 1393 meters of elevation gain to reach the top of the trail!

You will start your trail at the Garibaldi Lake and traverse through Taylor Meadows to get to Black Tusk. With every step upward, you will notice the dramatic evolution of the landscape.

You will find peace in the beauty of the alpine wildflowers and the sound of the bubbling streams around you. After this, you will reach the fake summit of Black Tusk. 

Past the summit lies the Chimney – an extremely treacherous trail. Interwoven with loosely knit rocks and should only be attempted by the most experienced and confident climbers. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise!

#11. Panorama Ridge Trail

  • Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
  • Hike Length: 30.9km round-trip
  • Duration: 9-12 hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Panorama Ridge Trail is the reward for going the extra mile. While it is just as scenic as the park’s sisters, it is even more magnificent. While approaching the summit, take advantage of the 360-degree views of Garibaldi Lake, Mount Price, and Black Tusk. 

On the way to the romantic panoramas, you will climb an elevation gain of over 1800 meters. The trek will be worth it as you pass through lush forests, alpine meadows, and a picturesque ridge.

The climb up might feel cruel, but it’s the climb down that gives this trail its difficulty status. The Panorama Ridge is a slippery, frosty ground that you should only slide down if you are experienced.

What You Will Need

No hike is complete without the proper gear. Whether you are a novice or experienced hiker, you will need to be prepared for the trails. A prepared hiker is a safe and comfortable one. Use the following list as a guide for your next adventure:

Comfortable hiking shoes 

You can’t enjoy a hike without comfortable shoes, even for the shortest trails. Depending on the level of difficulty, you can even use a cushy pair of trainers. Consider the season you are choosing to hike. You will want your shoes to be waterproof for rain or appropriate for the snow. 

Proper clothing

If you are going hiking in the spring or summer, you will want to pack a long sleeve shirt or a light jacket to protect from the sun or in case of rain. Alternatively, you will want to bring additional layers to beat the cold of winter. Extra shields from the sun and other elements include a hat, cap, sunglasses, and sunblock. 

A versatile backpack

You will want to take a small backpack or cloth bag to carry any items during the hike such as a water bottle, keys, or a camera. Being hands-free during a hike will allow you to focus on the trails and enjoy the scenery. Comfort is key, so make sure the style of the bag (backpack, messenger, fanny pack) is one you will be able to handle.

Light food and water

A treacherous hike will have you burning many calories! There are so many trails with picnic spots and lookout views to grab a quick bite. To avoid getting lightheaded or dehydrated on the trails, bring a few snacks and a water bottle for the duration of the journey. Snacks best for hiking include granola bars, apples, and trail mix.

Hiking poles 

The more difficult trails will be harder to navigate due to their uneven, natural terrain. Even the lesser sure-footed hikers should consider taking hiking poles for support. Hiking poles are also a great tool to move debris and stabilize yourself with higher elevations. 

Packing it in – Whistler Hiking

Whistler may be a small town, but there is so much to see in its surrounding nature. There is no end to the lakes, forests, and mountain peaks to be experienced in every park that dots the region.

As you have already seen, many parks have several trails for a variety of hiking levels. Embark on the journey of a lifetime on any of these gorgeous hikes in Whistler today!

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