Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: The FissileFitzsimmons Creek is the beautiful and huge creek that crashes through Whistler Village.  When walking from Whistler Village to the Upper Village, you will cross the nice, covered bridge over Fitzsimmons Creek.  It passes through Whistler Village and pours into Green Lake at the north end of Whistler.  Fitzsimmons Creek originates from Overlord Glacier and Russet Lake, about 12 kilometres up the valley that separates Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.

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The Singing Pass trail, one of Garibaldi Park's main access trailheads, runs parallel to Fitzsimmons Creek up to the alpine leading to Russet Lake, The Fissile, Overlord Glacier, Overlord Mountain, Musical Bumps, Whistler Mountain, and quite a lot more.  Fitzsimmons Creek, along with Mount Fitzsimmons and Fitzsimmons Glacier are named after Jimmy Fitzsimmons, a miner that worked the area a century ago.  Jimmy Fitzsimmons had a little cabin near the head of Fitzsimmons Creek in the meadow just before the the Singing Pass trail now splits left to  Russet Lake or right to the Musical Bumps trail.  The cabin was used by Neal Carter and Charles Townsend during their famous mountaineering expedition in the area in 1923.  There are lots of beautiful places to see Fitzsimmons River along its 15 kilometre length.  Fitzsimmons Fan Park is a cute little park on Green Lake where Fitzsimmons Creek flows into the lake.  Fine glacial till has settled here and created a large, fan-shaped sandy beach that juts out into Green Lake.  Even on the hottest, sunniest August days here Fitzsimmons Creek is still bitterly cold, glacier water.  Trails and forest run along most of the length of Fitzsimmons Creek as it winds through Whistler Village, but for most visitors to Whistler, the first time they see it is from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

The Peak 2 Peak Gondola crosses Fitzsimmons Creek at a staggering height of 436 metres(1430 feet).  Looking down you can trace the route Fitzsimmons Creek takes up the valley to its source, Overlord Mountain.  Shown here is Overlord Glacier on the north face of Overlord Mountain.  The Fissile is the prominent peak on the right.  The Fissile is visible from many places in Whistler, including on Village Gate Boulevard which was designed to face this stunning mountain.

Fitzsimmons Creek Source Overlord Glacier

Russet Lake shown below is another source for Fitzsimmons Creek.  This cute lake fills the valley below The Fissile.  Russet Lake flows down the valley via Russet Creek before merging into Fitzsimmons Creek.  Russet Lake is one of the main campgrounds for Garibaldi Provincial Park and accessible via the Singing Pass trail from Whistler Village or the Musical Bumps and/or High Note trail from Whistler Mountain.

Fitzsimmons Creek Source Russet Lake

Russet Lake Map v20

Adit Lakes, shown here below, is another source of Fitzsimmons Creek.  Hidden just north of Russet Lake, up on the other side of a bench these two cute little tarns flow down to Russet Creek, then connect to Fitzsimmons Creek.  Adit Lakes have a pretty spectacular view across the valley.  The two prominent peaks in the image below are Tremor Mountain and Mount Macbeth.  The lower glacier is Curtain Glacier and the upper one is Platform Glacier.  Fitzsimmons Glacier is hidden in the valley below Mount Macbeth in the far right of the picture.  All of these glaciers and lakes feed into Fitzsimmons Creek and flow down the valley to Green Lake.  Green Lake gets its remarkable emerald green colour from these glaciers.  Fine particles of glacial till suspended in the water reflect light and give Green Lake its beautiful colour.

Fitzsimmons Creek Source Adit Lakes

The two images below are taken from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola 436 metres above Fitzsimmons Creek.  The building visible in the lower picture is the hydroelectric dam that provides power to most of Whistler's mountain operations.  The Singing Pass trail runs roughly parallel to the right of Fitzsimmons Creek up the valley to Russet Lake.  Jimmy Fitzsimmons original trail actually ran up the left side of Fitzsimmons Creek and crossed approximately where this building is now and continued up the right side of the creek to his cabin.  The Singing Pass trail is entirely on the right side of the creek because a dirt road was made up the Whistler side of the creek and a trailhead parking area was installed.  The original Singing PassGaribaldi Provincial Park trailhead was actually of to the right of the hydro building.  A landslide wiped out a section of the road a few decades ago and was not fixed, so the trailhead is effectively in Whistler Village!  Eventually the old bridge crossing used by Jimmy Fitzsimmons will be rebuilt and the Singing Pass trailhead will be located near the hydroelectric building. 

Fitzsimmons Creek from the Peak2Peak

Fitzsimmons Creek from the Peak2Peak

There are many great places to see Fitzsimmons Creek in and around Whistler Village.  The bridge crossing to Upper Village mentioned above is good.  Next to the bridge is Rebagliati Park, which runs along the edge of the creek and into a nice forest that continues through to the skate park.  Nice paths run through the forest and frequently open up to great little access points to Fitzsimmons Creek.  Continuing further past the skate park you can follow the Valley Trail as it runs parallel to the creek and passes under Lorimer Road.  The trail then branches in a few directions, Valley Trail to Lost Lake, Valley Trail along Lorimer Road and the Fitzsimmons Trail.  The Fitzsimmons Trail runs through a nice old forest along Fitzsimmons Creek.  Along here you have plenty of fantastic places along the river to see.  The Fitzsimmons Trail come out under Nancy Green Drive and you can continue along the river via the Valley Trail for another couple kilomtres until you pass through Riverside Campground and emerge at their gravel parking lot between Fitszimmons Creek and Old Mill Road.  You can then continue down Old Mill Road where it merges with the Valley Trail and crosses Fitzsimmons Creek and into the vast network of Lost Lake trails.  The map shown below is a 9 kilometre circle route that takes you along Fitzsimmons Creek and returns via Lost Lake.

Fitzsimmons Creek

Fitzsimmons Creek 9km Trail Map

Two Fantastic Books About BC Hiking!

Scrambles in SW BCA Passion for MountainsHere are two excellent books on hiking and geology of British Columbia.  Matt Gunn's Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia includes the various routes to the summit of Wedge Mountain as well as summit routes to the neighbouring peaks, Weart, Cook, Parkhurst and Rethel.  Mount Weart is the second highest mountain in Garibaldi Park and is located just north of Wedge Mountain, separated by the Wedge-Weart Col.  Published in 2005, Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia is still the best guide in print or online.  A Passion for Mountains by Kathryn Bridge is a fascinating look at Don and Phyllis Munday's prolific exploration of the mountains in BC.  Based out of Vancouver, they were dominant figures of the climbing community in the early 1900's.  In 1923 they visited their friend Neal Carter in Alta Lake(Whistler) and explored the mountains around the valley.. many for the first time!

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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Gear Rental

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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