5 Easy to Access Hikes in Whistler
5 Easy to Access Hikes in Whistler
Hiking is a great way to spend a day. Rain or shine, fresh air brings life to your brain. The heel toe motion trodding on pine needles, crushed gravel, and the forest floor is therapeutic at the least and exhilarating to many. Spending a morning or afternoon outside the constructs of society’s concrete footpaths between buildings and inside the towering ancient Cedars and old growth Douglas Firs exploring what nature and the mountains have to offer. If you are short on time, these are some easy-to-access hikes within a 15-minute drive from Whistler Village.
Rainbow Falls is an easy-to-access waterfall on the west side of the Whistler Valley. The hike starts 400m north of Rainbow park at the rainbow falls trailhead parking lot. A short 2.1 km loop brings you straight back to the Rainbow Lake trailhead. The walk begins parallel to the river flowing out from the bottom of the falls. The twisting trail takes you up a total of 124 meters to a big bridge crossing the river just before the falls. Rainbow Falls is a great easy-to-access hike that takes most under 2 hours to complete. Great for a morning or afternoon excursion between other activities.
The Ascent Trail
The Ascent Trail is the closest hike to the Whistler Village, making it the most accessible hike in Whistler. The Blackcomb ascent trail takes you from the base of Blackcomb up the mountain 1200 meters over six kilometers to Rendezvous. The sustained steep trail is consistent the whole way up. Luckily along the way, there are many bright yellow benches to take breaks on. If you venture up on days the mountain is in operation, you can take the gondola back down from the halfway point that takes you to mid-station or download from the top. The trail takes a couple of hours, so it is best to leave enough time to get to the top before the gondola closes to avoid a long walk back down if you were not planning on it.
The Train Wreck
The Train Wreck hike is a classic regarded by many as a must-do when you’re in Whistler. The start is at Cheakamus Crossing, taking you through the forest and over a suspension bridge to the old train cars from the historic Whistler train crash. The old train carriages have been graffitied and painted, showing off some wonderful art in the forest with bike jumps all around. Plan to take one to two hours for most, making it a great afternoon in the shade before heading back to the lake in the evening.
The Wedgemount Lake hike is the furthest out of the Whistler Village, a 15km drive north. Many do the hike overnight, staying at camping spots around Wedge Lake. But the hike is also achievable in a single day or even an afternoon. The hiking is sustained steep climbing for six kilometers gaining nearly 1400 meters of elevation. The hike takes you to the beautiful blue lake under the peak of Wedge Mountain and Wedgemount glacier. The stunning amphitheater is a great backdrop for an afternoon picnic or a night camping. The hike is an out and back, so you must return the way you came, finishing back at your car.
Iceberg Lake is a great day hike that takes you into the Whistler alpine on Rainbow Mountain. The hike has multiple access points that you can choose to get up the lake from the subdivision of Alpine. You can take the 19 Mile Creek trail, Ricks Roost, or the Flank Trail to get you to the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail takes you to the lake. Accessing the lake from Kevin’s Home Run trail is also an option. The average distance for the hike is 14 kilometers. It’s best to take your time and bring snacks and water.
When hiking, you are in more unpredictable situations than when in the controlled environments of the city. In the mountain environment, it’s important to be prepared. Packing food, water, extra layers, emergency supplies, and a communication device (cell phone) is a good idea. In the unlikely event, something goes sideways, you will have some tools to make the best of the situation.
In the forest there is wildlife. If you see wildlife, keep your distance and don’t feed them. It is not uncommon to see bears, deer, and other critters running around the mountains. If you come in contact with a bear, it is best to make yourself large, stay together, and make noise. Back away slowly from the bear until it goes on its way.