Garibaldi Park Whistler A to ZRusset Lake sits in a wide, glacier carved valley at the base of The Fissile.  In the direction opposite The Fissile, up on a plateau less than a kilometre away are two small tarns called Adit Lakes.  Adit Lakes sit in a broad, boulder strewn alpine zone with an incredible view of Spearhead Range.  Just a few metres from Adit Lakes the plateau drops off quickly into the huge valley that separates the Spearhead Range and Fitzsimmons Range.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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The Spearhead Range is named for its jagged array of spearhead shaped peaks that extend to include Blackcomb Mountain.  Adit Lakes sit on a plateau in Fitzsimmons Range.  From Adit Lakes you can look across the Musical Bumps all the way to the summit of Whistler Mountain.  Musical Bumps is the collective name for the series of broad mountain peaks that have musical names.  Viewed from Adit Lakes are Oboe Summit, Flute Summit and Piccolo Summit.  The Singing Pass trail connects from the Musical Bumps trail and takes you down the valley between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain to Whistler Village.  The Singing Pass trail runs parallel to Fitzsimmons Creek which Adit Lakes drain into via Adit Creek.  Fitzsimmons Creek is named after Jimmy Fitzsimmons who had a small cabin down in the valley near Fitzsimmons Creek.  He was a miner that had a mining claim and hoped to find the other end of the copper vein that the Britannia Mine, opened in 1914, sat on.  Adit Lakes are evidently named after the word miners use to describe a horizontal mine used to explore for mineral veins.  The word adit comes from the latin aditus, which means entrance.  Adits are dug into mountain ridges in the hopes of hitting the mineral vein or lode.  Fitzsimmons was cutting adits here in the hopes of finding a vein of copper embedded between layers of rock.  There are no visible traces of mining around Adit Lakes, but a few kilometres down the Singing Pass trail you can find remnants of old mine shafts.

Little is known about Jimmy Fitzsimmons other than a picture of him from Myrtle Phillip's collection at the Whistler Museum, thought to have been taken in 1916 outside Rainbow Lodge.  On the back of the photo is written, "Around 1916, Bill Holloway prospector, Jimmy Fitzsimmons of Fitzsimmons mine. Bill Bailiff, Bill MacDermott, Alex Philip (senior), Tom Wilson, leaving for prospecting trip to Fitzsimmons Glacier area mine." 

Adit Lakes view of Fitzsimmons Range

Adit Lakes and Musical Bumps

Adit Lakes Whistler and Blackcomb

Adit Lakes Tarns in Whistler

Adit Lakes Tarns Aerial View

Tarn Aerial View: Adit Lakes

The Fissile Near Adit Lakes

Russet Lake is a surreal little paradise that lays at the base of The Fissile, in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Fissile is the strikingly bronze mountain visible from Whistler Village.  From the Village look into the distance at the Peak2Peak Gondola hanging between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and you will see The Fissile. Its pyramid shape in the distance perfectly separates the two mountains.

Peak2Peak, Overlord and The Fissile

The Fissile is quite a distinct mountain in Garibaldi Provincial Park because of its vivid red colour and symmetrical arrowhead shape.  There is another, even more remarkable feature of The Fissile, its age.  The sedimentary rock that would eventually become The Fissile was laid down more than 200 million years ago.  The Fissile began its life as sedimentary rock formed in a shallow sea along the coast of North America.  As tectonic plates pushed into the North American Plate from the Pacific, the Coast Mountains were formed over millions of years.  The Coast Mountains are almost entirely comprised of geologically young mountains comprised of volcanic rock as opposed to The Fissile's ancient, crumbling slate.  Black Tusk, for example is strikingly youthful at just over a million years old. 

Peak2Peak Gondola and The Fissile

Russet Lake Near Adit Lakes

Though Russet Lake is not terribly impressive in terms of size or colour, the valley around it is remarkably beautiful. The colours change from moment to moment in and extraordinary way. The distinctive colour of The Fissile and the stark grey of the mountains around contrast amazingly with the blue of the lake and green grass in the valley. So many different factors fill the place with colour.  There are several ways to get to hike Russet Lake.  The Singing Pass trail from the base of Whistler Mountain near the Whistler Gondola. The Musical Bumps trail that begins near the top of the Whistler Gondola.  Both routes take you deep into the magnificent Fitzsimmons Range.  The Fitzsimmons Range runs east from the summit of Whistler Mountain to Russett Lake.  Fitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, parallel to the Singing Pass trail.  Where the Fitzsimmons Range ends at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Spearhead Range begins and continues along a set of peaks resembling spearheads to Blackcomb Mountain.  These peaks include The Spearhead, Mount Trorey, Tremor, Shatter, Shudder, Quiver, and more.

Overlord from Blackcomb Mountain

Russet Lake Map v20

Guides to the Best of Whistler

Best Whistler Dog Friendly Hiking TrailsBest Dog Friendly Hiking Trails

Whistler is very dog friendly and the number of wonderful hiking trails that your dog will love is huge. The massively varied hiking trails range from easy, short, close to Whistler Village to challenging, long and deep in the endless wilderness around Whistler. You can find dog friendly trails in and around Whistler Village that take you through deep, dark and magical forests. Or you can drive beyond Whistler Village and take your dog to spectacular alpine lakes. Some requiring little or no hiking, while others are found after hiking challenging and long trails. Many of these places are comparatively quiet and often you and your dog will have the the wilderness to yourselves. In and around Whistler Village you have Lost Lake with its spider web of trails... Continued here.

Best Free Camping in WhistlerBest Free Whistler Camping

Whistler is surrounded by an immense wilderness dotted with spectacular, hidden lakes and amazing places to set up a tent. Decades of logging activity has left a network of forest service roads that has opened easy access to these places. Some of these you can drive to and some you may need a 4x4 to comfortably get to. Some places to camp for free you can drive to, some require a short hike and others are fairly long hikes to reach. Beautiful Callaghan Valley is home to several incredible and free places to campCallaghan Lake has a great free drive-to campsite just steps from this spectacular alpine lake. If you have a canoe, you can paddle to the end of Callaghan Lake and hike the short, but steep trail up to Cirque Lake. This gorgeous lake is deep in the alpine wilderness... Continued here.

Northair Mine MuralsNorthair Mine Murals

Way up in the Callaghan Valley on the back side of Mount Sproatt is an abandoned gold mine.  Old cement foundations and two unexpectedly beautiful lakes mark the location of Northair Mine, abandoned in 1982. It was a fairly productive gold mine that extracted five tons of gold. Largely forgotten for years, in the last decade it has come to life in stunning colour by graffiti artists and professional muralists. In the summer of 2013, the first mural appeared on the blank foundation walls of Northair Mine. A creation of a professional Whistler artist PETKO. Painted on one of the inside, pillar walls, the mural is about 8 feet tall and five feet wide of what looks like a robot snake in front of a cube background. It stood out in striking contrast to the grey walls in the background... Continued here.

Neal Carter MountaineerNeal Carter Mountaineer

Neal Carter (14 Dec 1902 – 15 Mar 1978) was a mountaineer and early explorer of the Coast Mountains primarily in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Highly skilled as a mountaineer and climber, Carter also excelled at cartography and surveying which he used to map the vast unnamed and unexplored mountains of BC. He named a staggering number of mountains and alpine features, as well as making at least 25 first ascents, many around what we now call the Whistler Valley. Carter began climbing the mountains around Vancouver as a teenager and at the age of seventeen he met someone who would change his life forever. In 1920, while hiking with high school friends Carter had a chance encounter with Tom Fyles, arguably the greatest mountaineer of the era. Continued here.

Tom Fyles MountaineerTom Fyles Mountaineer

Tom Fyles (27 June 1887 - 27 March 1979) was an astoundingly skilled climber that figured prominently in the mountaineering community in Vancouver for more than two decades. From his introduction to mountaineering in 1912, to his prolific array of elite level climbing ascents that began in earnest just four years later. In 1916 he solo climbed The Table in Garibaldi Park, a mountain widely considered to be too difficult and dangerous to even attempt. Those that knew him well admired his friendliness, enthusiasm, boundless endurance and incredible ability to read a mountain and navigate the best route to the summit. He made many first ascents and inspired countless new climbers, some becoming giants of the era. Continued here. 

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

Whistler can be expensive.  Everything worth doing seems to cost a lot of money.  But if you step back from the noise and crowds you may spot some secret ...
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Arête: a thin ridge of rock formed by two glaciers parallel to each other. Sometimes formed from two cirques meeting. From the French for edge or ridge.  Around ...
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Armchair Glacier is one of the many easily identifiable mountain features around Whistler.  Along with Wedge Mountain and Black Tusk, Armchair Glacier has a ...
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Scree: from the Norse “skridha”, landslide.  The small, loose stones covering a slope. Also called talus, the French word for slope. Scree is mainly formed ...
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Tom Fyles (27 June 1887 - 27 March 1979) was an astoundingly skilled climber and mountaineer based out of Vancouver where he was an early explorer of the ...
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Cairns, inukshuks or inuksuks are a pile or arrangement of rocks used to indicate a route, landmark or a summit.  The word cairn originates from the ...
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Moraines are glacially deposited ridges of debris that accumulate at the sides or terminus of a glacier.  Lateral moraines form at the sides of glaciers ...
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Inosculation is the technical name for two or more trees that have fused together into a single bizarre looking tree. They are colloquially known as ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Hiking and biking trails are so abundant in Whistler that many go unnoticed, neglected or taken for granted.  The Flank Trail is one of these.  Most people in Whistler don't even know about it, but the ones ...
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Newt Lake is cute little hidden lake high up on the far side of Cougar Mountain near Ancient Cedars.  Its location is a wonderful mix of unexpected characteristics that combine to make it a gorgeous place to ...
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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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Jane Lakes are a very remote feeling set of lakes in the beautiful wilderness near Cheakamus Crossing.  Consisting of three lakes, West Jane Lake, East Jane Lake and Little Jane Lake, they have a great ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f). ...
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July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Garibaldi Park Camping Gear Rental

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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The West Coast Trail

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