“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle
There’s no simpler way to get outdoors than going for a walk. Depending on how much time you want to spend outside equipment needs can be minimal and planning as simple as finding and following a path.
Around Whistler no matter which direction you take you’ll quickly find yourself in the forest, or by a lake – even if you only have an afternoon to spend. We’ve collected 9 walks and hikes to try around Whistler this summer, so you can get a good dose of nature whether you are after something short and sweet to a longer day hike with a bit of elevation thrown in. We’ve split them up by timing – follow the links to find more information and photos on each hike.
Walks to Do in An Hour or So
Fitzsimmons Accessible Nature Trail
A walk close to Whistler Village on a wide gravel path suitable for strollers, wheelchairs and gentle meandering. The trail is short, but has plenty to see – look for the stand of giant trees, the rushing waters of Fitzsimmons Creek and the trees that have been used by bears as scratching posts. It’s a short walk back to Whistler Olympic Plaza for a post meandering snack. Learn more
Lost Lake Loop
Catch the free Lost Lake Shuttle or walk to Lost Lake Park from the Village and take the wide multi-use gravel path for views of the Lake, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Plan ahead and pack your swimsuit so you can take a dip when you finish, and keep an eye out for the food trucks if you want to have a meal as well. Learn More
Ride your bike or take the bus out to Cheakamus Crossing south of Whistler Village to do one of Whistler’s most famous short hikes to the Train Wreck – a set of abandoned rail cars turned art installation. When you finish you’re right across from Function Junction with multiple places to snack and a couple of local breweries to for a post walk beverage. Learn More
Preparation is Key
While some of the short walks mentioned here are close to the village, some of the longer hikes listed are further away from civilization and require more preparation. There’s no places to buy water out in the backcountry and you may not have cell coverage so plan accordingly. Check out this post for hiking essentials and safety tips.
A car is required to access this trailhead on Cougar Mountain, but the reward is a short hike to some of the biggest, oldest and most beautiful trees in the valley. Take extra time to sit amongst the behemoths and appreciate their size and age. Little waterfalls, magnificent moss and a lookout across the valley add layers of interest, with the option to extend the hike past a couple of lakes on the way back to the car .Stop past the Independent Grocer or Nesters for BBQ items on the way home, or pop in to Nicklaus North for a pint on the patio. Learn more
From the trailhead at the end of a forest service road, it’s a gentle hike in to the lake (which is also visible from the Whistler alpine hiking trails). You can add a couple of kilometers on the lakeside trail for a longer walk, and there are some campsites out here if you want to stay the night. You can continue the lake theme with a post-hike beverage at Nita Lake Lodge in Creekside on your way back through town. Learn More
Blackcomb Ascent Trails
One of Whistler’s newest hiking offerings, the Blackcomb Ascent trails go from the Upper Village all the way to the Roundhouse on Blackcomb Mountain – 1, 200 m elevation gain all in. These trails offer an excellent workout, but note they require lift tickets in order to download or go across to Whistler Mountain. You can grab a feed at Portobello or Legs Diamond in the upper Village if you come down the Blackcomb side, or hit up Black’s patio or the Dubh Linn Gate on if you come down on the Whistler side – you can also eat on the mountains if you prefer to stay up high. Learn More
A Full Day
Not too long, not too short and not too much elevation gain, the Rainbow Lake hike is a Whistler classic. Forest gives way to rushing creeks and meadows which roll up to the pristine lake, with wildflowers an added bonus through mid to late summer. There’s no swimming in Rainbow Lake as it is part of Whistler’s water supply, but time it right and you could have a swim in Alta Lake when you return and catch a food truck at Rainbow Park. Learn More
Recently completed, the Skywalk Trail is a true valley to alpine experience – so you know you’re in for a decent hike. Hike up to Iceberg Lake in the alpine and enjoy the views , your reward for 1000 m of elevation gain. Depending on your route this one can be a long day, so plan accordingly to make sure you have daylight to roll back into town. You’ll need a decent feed after that, so head to Main Street on Whistler Village to grab Sachi Sushi, Mexican at La Cantina or some smokey BBQ at Hunter Gather. Learn More
Wedgemount Lake Trail
Not for the faint-hearted, the hike to Wedgemount Lake is hard – but the views are worth it. Take a break and catch views of the 269 m Wedgemount Falls on the way up the rooty rocky trail, and top out with the actual lake for the perfect rest spot with views of Armchair Glacier, Mount Cook, Mount Weart and The Owls as well as Parkhurst Mountain and Wedge Mountain. Learn More
For more information on hiking as well as the other excellent summer activities on offer in Whistler, visit Whistler.com.