As soon as the sun makes an appearance, Whistler locals start getting excited for the change of seasons and the arrival of spring hiking.

I find there’s three types of hikers; type 1 do it for the summit, type 2 do it for the scenery, type 3 do it for the workout. Type 3 is also the kind to be out there before the snow even fully melts (likely running) – they don’t care if they can’t get all the way to the top.

At this time of year, early season wildflowers, ferns and devil’s club are in full bloom at the lower elevations and just starting to unfurl at higher elevations. Skunk cabbage is everywhere, which is always a good reminder to stay bear aware.

Spring snow line in Whistler

You’ll still find patches of snow, depending on your elevation and the season itself, so be prepared with the right equipment to carry on, or the acceptance to turn back if you don’t have the gear. Stop in and talk to the helpful Visitor Centre agents for real-time conditions and the team at Escape Route for any gear questions and rentals.  

Each year is different, but generally speaking, here’s what we can expect from spring hiking:


Snow Walls on Whistler Mountain

A favourite trail for witnessing the transition of winter to summer, this is where you can get a sense of how high the snow was all winter and what was hiding underneath. Accessible from the Roundhouse Lodge via the Whistler Village Gondola.

More Info | Difficulty: Easy | Roundtrip Length: 7 km

Three hikers explore the snow walls on Whistler Mountain.
Hiking the snow walls in spring is an annual favourite. Photo: Justa Jeskova

Cheakamus Lake

This trail follows Cheakamus River and winds through the Pacific temperate rainforest taking you to a beautiful glacier fed lake lined by mountains.

More Info | Difficulty: Moderate | Roundtrip Length: 14 km

Cheakamus Lake in Whistler

Train Wreck

This short hike takes you over a suspension bridge spanning the Cheakamus River to find brightly painted box cars scattered through the trees on the other side.

More Info | Difficulty: Easy | Roundtrip Length: 5 km

Ancient Cedars Trail

A hike to a stand of the largest (accessible) old-growth cedars in Whistler, the trial also features a view of Cougar Lake and a small waterfall. The trail currently still has patches of snow but is hike-able. We’ve had word from the Whistler Visitor Centre that the road up to the trailhead is quite rough at this point in the season, and suitable for 4×4 vehicles only – please take this into consideration. 

More Info | Difficulty: Moderate | Roundtrip Length: 5 km

Late June:

Rainbow Lake Trail

The trail offers peeks of the peaks across the valley before stunning hikers with views of Wedge and Blackcomb Mountains at the crystal clear alpine lake.

Note: Trail may be ready but Gin & Tonic Bridge may not be open.

More Info | Difficulty: Intermediate | Roundtrip Length: 15 km

Rainbow Lake in Whistler

Brandywine Meadows

This more remote hike is located in the Callaghan Valley. The trail gains most of the elevation in the beginning and rewards hikers with views of the surrounding mountains over the meadows.

More Info | Difficulty: Intermediate | Roundtrip Length: 6 km

JULY (Early to Mid-Month)

Garibaldi Lake

A Sea to Sky classic, this hike takes you to a big beautiful glacial fed lake surrounded by dramatic mountain views.

More Info | Difficulty: Moderate | Roundtrip Length: 18 km

Skywalk Trail

This trail takes you to the unique Iceberg Lake on Rainbow Mountain, there are various routes you can take as explained in our guide.

More Info | Difficulty: Intermediate | Roundtrip Length: Depends on Route

Whistler Mountain Apline Hiking
Whistler Mountain. JUSTA JESKOVA PHOTO

Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain Hiking Trails

Accessible by gondola, the alpine trails on Whistler Mountain and Blackomb Mountain should be ready to go around this time. There is no uploading or downloading from Blackcomb Mountain this summer so be mindful of Blackcomb alpine hiking trail times as you’ll need to take the PEAK 2 PEAK back to Whistler Mountain and download from there.

More Info | Difficulty: Various | Roundtrip Length: Various

July Late Month

Wedgemount Lake

A challenging and steep trail will take you past Wedgemount Falls and end at the glacier lined, turquoise Wedgemount Lake.

More Info | Difficulty: Advanced | Roundtrip Length: 14 km

Black Tusk (from Rubble Creek)

This trail takes you to the iconic pinnacle of volcanic rock that is Black Tusk. It is a long but rewarding hike that can be done in one day or two.

Difficulty: Advanced | Roundtrip Length: 29 km

Panorama Ridge Hike Whistler
Panorama Ridge. MIKE CRANE PHOTO

Panorama Ridge

The best hike in the area to gain perspective on the immensity of Garibaldi Provincial Park. The ridge overlooks Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Mountain, The Table and more.

More Info | Difficulty: Advanced | Roundtrip Length: 30 km

Spring hiking can mean dealing with snow patches, but you can expect all of Whistler’s hiking trails to be clear by August. August is a beautiful month for hiking as the alpine wildflowers are in bloom. Whistler’s hiking season can last anywhere from the beginning to end of October depending on how early the snow starts to fall in the alpine. Drop in at the Visitor Centre for current conditions, hiking maps and tips.

Happy trails!

Visiting Whistler solo? Check out guided hiking tours on Remember to tread lightly and leave no trace as you take on the trails for your spring hiking.


Nikkey got her start in Whistler as an outdoor guide and the habit of talking about the place has clearly stuck. Whistler’s general laid-back lifestyle and immediate access to fun is what’s kept her around. When not hanging out on the Whistler Insider team Nikkey works as a freelance creative for outdoor and wellness brands. Nikkey’s favourite Whistler animal is the marmot- she just wants to pinch those fluffy cheeks! (but never would because she respects wildlife and really likes having her fingers attached to her hands.)