Old Growth Forests
Whistler has some spectacular old growth forests that are well worth the effort to go and visit. The Ancient Cedars Grove is a popular destination about a 10 km drive north of Whistler on Cougar Mountain. Check the map at the trailhead for detailed directions. It's a great picnic and photo opportunity spot.
Or, if you are unsure of the way, hire a local Whistler guide. You'll have the chance to see and understand the importance of Whistler's old growth and ancient cedar and hemlock forests while exploring deep into Whistler's untouched, natural areas.
Ancient Cedars, a Tree-Huggers’ Paradise
Whistler's Interpretive Forest
Whistler's Interpretive Forest is an area of 3000 hectares / 9000 acres with an extensive road and trail network designed with educational signs along the way. Learn about the flora and fauna, tree growth, animal habitat, and local ecology.
The Whistler Interpretive Forest is a self-guided route that is fun for everyone and very picturesque. It is located 10 km south of Whistler and has six popular hiking trails with scenic views. Overnight camping is not permitted, but this is a great day trip!
A suspension bridge crosses the Cheakamus Gorge about 3 km from the entrance. Opportunities abound in the area for hiking, fishing, nature appreciation, mountain biking and kayaking. Drop into the Activity and Information Centre and pick up a map. Or, if you are timid about trekking out on your own, Whistler provides the opportunity to hire professional wilderness guides to lead the way.
Whistler has several significant wetland areas. AWARE is a local community group campaigning for the protection of Whistler's wetlands. A new viewing platform was built in the Lost Lake Park area. It features a series of interpretive signs detailing wetland ecology, hydrology, flora, fauna and the area's history.
Alluvial Forest Soils
Whistler's alluvial forest soils are rich in black organic material, very high in nutrients and support an unusual diversity and density of plants and trees such as ferns and spruce. Watch for the classic wetland indicator species throughout Whistler — the vibrant green and leafy skunk cabbage — noticeable if you're out biking the Valley Trail.