Brandywine Snowshoe RatingBrandywine Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful park centred around the wonderful falls that plunge 70 metres down a vertical wall of glacier fractured rock.  The peculiar, angular cubes of rock that the cliffs surrounding the falls is the result of lava rapidly cooling against a glacier.  The rapid cooling causes solid rock to fracture in bizarrely angular ways known as columnar jointing.  From the viewing platform across from the falls you can make out four distinct layers of columnar jointing separated by glacial till.

  • Bungee Bridge is amazing!
  • Sea to Sky Trail is easy to follow
  • Interesting geology murals
  • Easy trail for small children
  • Seldom hiked in winter
  • Interesting interpretive signs
  • Dog friendly & bike friendly
  • Accessible year-round
  • Trail is not too scenic
  • No winter parking near falls

Whistler Snowshoe Trails

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Snowshoe Easy DogBrandywine Falls  Snowshoe Easy DogCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Steep Dog Friendly SnowshoeingSproatt East  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake 

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These layers, formed by separate lava flows impacting the glacier that once filled this valley.  Another viewing area faces the south, looking down the valley and over Daisy Lake.  Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located along the Sea to Sky Highway, 15 minutes south of Whistler and BC Parks has locked the parking lot during winter for years.  In 2021, despite the ever-increasing popularity of the park, has now put up tow away zone signs along the large turnaround area outside the gate.  With no decent parking alternatives nearby this has prevented thousands of people from enjoying this beautiful park and one of the best, and free attractions along the Sea to Sky Highway.  Some wintertime visitors to Brandywine Falls know to park at the Bungee Bridge down the very potholed Cal-Cheak forest service road.  As inconvenient as this sounds, it is actually a pretty nice alternative as the Bungee Bridge is a worthwhile sight on its own and the 3 kilometre trail to Brandywine Falls is nice and easy.  There are quite a few highlights along the Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls trail.  The Bungee Bridge is quite an impressive sight to see spanning Cheakamus River high above the tree tops.  Whistler Bungee is open year-round which is why the road is plowed in the winter and drivable.  When they have bookings you will see people bungee jumping off the bridge and there is a great viewing area across from the bridge at the edge of the cliffs.  Cheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing river cutting through a deep canyon far below and seeing it from such a height is fantastic.  The Sea to Sky Trail is another highlight of this hike as it is easy to follow, wide and well defined with signs at every junction.

After you cross the Bungee Bridge the Brandywine Falls viewpoint is just 2.7 kilomtres away.  The viewpoint hangs over the vertical cliff over the deep chasm that Brandywine Falls drops into.  There are nice information boards at the viewpoint explaining some of the interesting geology and history of the area.  Further along the trail leads you to another viewpoint and more informative boards depicting the geology of the area.  The viewpoint looks over Daisy Lake far below and on a sunny winter day the view is spectacular.

Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls Map

Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls Trail Stats:

Driving There: 25 minutes south of Whistler Village(17.8 kilometres/11.1 miles)  Hiking Distance: 3 kilometres/1.9 miles, one way from the Bungee Bridge parking to Brandywine FallsHiking Time: 1 hour there and 1 hour back.  Elevation Change: minimal   Fees: None  Campsites: No  Camping Allowed: No  Difficulty: Easy, well defined, wide gravel trail  Kid Friendly: Yes, short enough to be fun, not too exhausting  Dog Friendly: Yes

Whistler Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls

Easy, Dog Friendly SnowshoeingThe three kilometre Cal-Cheak forest service road takes you through the Cal-Cheak Campground.  The name Cal-Cheak is derived from Callaghan Creek and Cheakamus River which flow on either side of the campground and merge at its southern end.  The bridge you drive across on the Cal-Cheak FSR is over Cheakamus River just before it merges with Callaghan Creek.  The Sea to Sky Trail which runs through the campground merges, onto and overlaps the Cal-Cheak FSR all the way to the Bungee Bridge.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Parking

Whistler Bungee Bridge History

Bungee Bridge HisoryThe parking area for the Bungee Bridge is located directly under the bridge.  The 2 metre wide, 100 metre long, $300,000 bridge was built in 2002 by Whistler Bungee.  Spanning the large canyon its highest point is 50 metres above Cheakamus River.  Back in 1994 when there were competing bids for commercial tenures for bungee jumping in Whistler, Whistler Bungee Inc won, in large part by building the bridge for public use as well as for their commercial use. 

Sea to Sky Trail Whistler Bungee Bridge

The Sea to Sky Trail

Sea to Sky Trail HikingSea to Sky Trail BikingA decade later when plans for the enormous Sea to Sky Trail were in the works, the Bungee Bridge was incorporated into the route.  It is also why the Sea to Sky Trail overlaps the Cal-Cheak forest service road here, despite there being a beautiful forest trail running through the campground, across Cal-Cheak Suspension Bridge and onto Brandywine Falls.  That route is arguably nicer to hike and bike, but of coarse misses the Bungee Bridge, which is too nice of an attraction to not include along the Sea to Sky Trail.

Sea to Sky Trail Bungee Bridge

Mount Brew from the Bungee Bridge

The canyon above Cheakamus River is quite wide and the bridge starts back from the parking lot and you walk almost directly above where your car is parked far below.  There is only one pair of enormous girders that support the weight of the bridge near the middle and these are close to the parking area.  Looking through the grating below your feet you can see treetops far below and Cheakamus River comes into view very far below.  Looking up in the distance you can see Mount Brew's broad snowy form.  Brew Lake is a nice hike that used to begin by hiking along the train tracks south of Brandywine Falls and spotting the barely marked trail along the way.  In recent years the Brew Lake trailhead is found up a logging road past Whistler RV Park and has the benefit of being shorter and avoids illegally walking along the train tracks.

Snowy Whistler Bungee Bridge

Looking across the gorge you can see an old wooden fence that runs along the vertical cliff.  The fence extends along the cliffs to the viewing area for watching people bungee jump.  The Sea to Sky Trail continues past the viewing area then bends sharply right and into the forest toward Brandywine Falls.

Whistler Bungee Bridge View

Black Tusk from the Bungee Bridge

Partway across the bridge if you look south you will see Black Tusk looking amazingly distinct surrounded by smooth, snow covered hills.  On the snow covered hill next to Black Tusk you can see some towers.  These are microwave towers and there is actually a road that leads right up to them and from there you are very close to Black Tusk.  Unfortunately there is a locked gate near the start of this road preventing access to what would be the best access point to Garibaldi Provincial Park.  It would also divert people away from the Rubble Creek trailhead to Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake.  The Rubble Creek trailhead is located in the shadow of The Barrier which partly collapses ever couple centuries and fills the valley below with rubble.  It could happen any day, which is why there is no camping near the Rubble Creek trailhead, which at a moments notice could be swept away by a torrent of rock 40 metres deep and moving at over 100 kilometres per hour.  Despite pressure from hiking interests to open up the microwave tower road as a new trailhead to Garibaldi Park, BC Parks has instead quadrupled the size of the parking lot at Rubble Creek in recent years to accommodate the demand for the most popular trailhead to the park.

Black Tusk from Bungee Bridge

At the high point near the middle of the Bungee BridgeWhistler Bungee has the jump area.  They do jumps on demand and usually the bridge is deserted, especially in the winter months.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Kid Friendly

Cheakamus River Bungee Bridge

When Whistler Bungee is doing jumps the bridge erupts into a hive of activity with spectators, jumpers and employees.

Whistler Bungee Winter

Whistler Bungee Jump

At the far side of the Bungee Bridge you arrive at the Whistler Bungee desk and viewing room.  During busy times of operation this area is manned frequently, however in the winter it is usually empty. 

Whistler Bungee Desk

Down a short walkway there is a partly enclosed room that is a good shelter in bad weather.  There are a few places to sit and you have a partial view of the bridge, though not the best view of the jumpers.

Whistler Bungee House

In the opposite direction the Sea to Sky Trail enters Brandywine Falls Provincial Park.  The sign reads 2.7 kilometres to Brandywine Falls and in the opposite direction back across the Bungee Bridge, Whistler Village is 20.3 kilometres.

Entering Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

There is a nice picnic area here next to Pothole Lake which is frozen over during the winter and often has an area cleared for skating.

Brandywine Falls Sign

Pothole Lake at Bungee Bridge

Pothole Lake: Jump Ahead & Lakes of Fire Mural

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park has excellent interpretive murals depicting the interesting geology and creatures that inhabit the area.  Northern Red-legged Frogs inhabit the wetlands here and can sometimes be spotted in the summer.  The geology explaining the strangely flat, solid rock ground you find yourself walking on and the numerous shallow ponds throughout the forest is the result of a lava flow that solidified here about 13,000 years ago. 

Pothole Lake Frogs Mural

Pothole Lake Frogs Mural

The views of the Bungee Bridge get better and better the further you walk along the fenced off cliff high above Cheakamus River.  Booking a jump with Whistler Bungee is easy and can be done on their website, by phone: 6049389333, or by email: [email protected]

Whistler Bungee Jump View

Whistler Bungee Bridge Snowy Day

Whistler Bungee Bridge Snowy Day Jump

The Sea to Sky Trail between the Bungee Bridge and Brandywine Falls is not overly interesting.  It meanders for 2.7 kilometres through the forest and emerges at the Brandywine Falls trail running left and right.  In the winter the trail is often deep with snow and snow laden trees bending over the trail.

Sea to Sky Trail Sign at Brandywine Falls

After just 100 metres you arrive at the Brandywine Falls lookout perched on the edge of the cliff directly across from the falls.

Brandywine Falls Snowy Viewpoint

Brandywine Falls Frozen

Brandywine Falls Top Frozen

Brandywine Falls Winter

Brandywine Falls Lower

Icicles hanging from the crumbling rock face.  You can see the symmetrical shapes in the angular blocks of rock that make up the cliff.  This columnar jointing is caused when lava pooled against the glacier that filled this valley over 13000 years ago.  When lava rapidly cools against solid ice it fractures in these strangely uniform shapes.

Icicles and Columnar Jointing

Brandywine Falls Sunny Day

Looking south from the Brandywine Falls lookout you get a great view down the valley with Daisy Lake hidden under the early morning mist.  Daisy Lake was originally much smaller, but was dammed several decades ago in order to build the hydroelectric power station that can be seen on the drive up to Whistler off the Sea to Sky Highway.

Brandywine Falls Lookout South

Like a Water Grindstone Mural

The interesting mural at the Brandywine Falls lookout explains the lava flows that solidified into layers of fractured basalt.  The basalt layers are separated by soft layers of ash.  Over time water penetrates the cracks in the basalt and washes away the soft layers of ask.  Without the support of the underlying ash layer, the basalt crumbles away.  This process has taken thousands of years to carve the canyon visible today.

Brandywine Falls Geology

From the Brandywine Falls lookout you will notice the trail continues further south.  A few metres along you come to a metal fence at the edge of the cliff and another great view of the falls, this time framed by snowy trees.

Brandywine Falls Trail View

Daisy Lake Viewpoint

A few metres past the second viewpoint you come to the end of the trail and a beautiful view overlooking Daisy Lake.  This nice, round area is south facing and very sunny on a clear day.  The view is sensational over the deep valley far below. 

Brandywine Falls Daisy Lake

On a clear day you can see Black Tusk at a slightly different angle than from the Bungee Bridge.  The viewpoint is fenced off as the drop off is quite sudden.  It is possible to hike down to the base of the falls if you hike along the gently sloping ridge to the left until it merges with the boulder field leading down into the valley.  It is definitely not easy and potentially quite dangerous, especially in the winter, but manageable by the adventurous and careful.

Daisy Lake and Black Tusk

The Earth Moves Mural at the Daisy Lake Viewpoint

The Earth Moves Under Your Feet mural at the Daisy Lake viewpoint is very interesting.  This one depicts the continental drift that causes the ground underneath us to move 4 centimetres per year.  The intense heat from earth's core creates currents that move plates around on the surface pushing up mountains and causing volcanoes and earthquakes.  Black Tusk was a volcano formed fairly recently and though it once had a fairly conventional volcano shape, its outer layers of rock have crumbled away revealing its distinct, tusk-like core.

Earth Moves Brandywine Falls

Back on the Brandywine Falls trail you cross the active train tracks.  In the winter you get a serene view of snow covered tracks disappearing into the distance.  Looking north you see the small bridge over Brandywine Creek.

Brandywine Falls Train Tracks

At the railway bridge over Brandywine Creek you get an interesting view of the creek just before it crashes 70 metres into the abyss far below.

Top of Brandywine Falls

Back on the Brandywine Falls trail you are just a short walk to the large parking area for the park.  BC Parks has a big yellow gate preventing access to the parking lot in the winter and since 2021 threatens to tow away cars parked in the big turnaround area outside the gate.  This is unfortunate as parking here makes visiting the falls very convenient and easy as the trail is less than a kilometre and very scenic.  In the parking lot you have more nice murals depicting more history of the area.

Brandywine Falls Murals

BC Parks Blocks Winter Access

Tow Away ZoneThe nice covered bridge over Brandywine Creek marks the trailhead to Brandywine Falls.  Covered bridges are useful in winter for keeping snow off and ensuring they are safe to cross.  It doesn't take long in winter for snow to pile up higher than the railings on a bridge and cause a collapse as well as making it sketch to cross, especially near the top of a waterfall.  Unfortunately this nice bridge is now not used for half the year as BC Parks actively discourages visitors to this beautiful park and the normal trailhead and parking is now an unnecessary side trail.

Brandywine Falls Covered Bridge

Brandywine Falls Trail

Brandywine Falls Trail

Brandywine Falls Snowshoeing

Getting to the Bungee Bridge to Brandywine Falls

Cal-Cheak FSR to Bungee BridgeAs of 2021 the area outside the gated parking lot to Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is a tow away zone during the winter.  The only reasonably close parking can be found at the opposite side of the park, 3 kilometres down the Cal-Cheak forest service road at the Whistler Bungee Bridge (aka Cheakamus Bungee Bridge).  The 3 kilomtre drive along the very potholed, though otherwise flat logging road that is snowplowed all winter long.  The turnoff to Cal-Cheak forest service road is north of the Brandywine Falls parking lot.  If driving from Whistler Village, zero your odometer at Village Gate Boulevard and drive south on Highway 99. There is no way to turn left on the highway at Cal-Cheak, so you have to continue past it and do a U-turn at Callaghan.  At 13.8 kilometres turn right onto Callaghan Valley Road, do an immediate u-turn and get back on the highway heading north toward Whistler.  Keep your eyes out for the signs for Whistler Bungee from now on.  At 14.7 kilometres turn right onto Cal-Cheak forest service road and drive down this very potholed, gravel road for 3 kilometres to arrive at the parking area directly under the Whistler Bungee Bridge.

Bungee Bridge Directions Map Winter v3

The Sea to Sky Trail runs through Whistler and overlaps the Cal-Cheak forest service road.  Passing by the Cal-Cheak Campground you will have driven past the Sea to Sky Trail where it emerges from the forest and continues along the road you drove in along.

Whistler Bungee Bridge Parking Directions

Blueberry Park Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailBlueberry Trail  Snowshoe Easy DogBrandywine Falls  Snowshoe Easy DogCheakamus River  Elfin Lakes Moderate, Very Long Snowshoe TrailElfin Lakes  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailFlank Trail  Joffre Lakes Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailJoffre Lakes  Snowshoe Easy DogNairn Falls  Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailParkhurst Ghost Town  Steep, Short, Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Falls  Rainbow Lake Moderate, Steep & Long Snowshoe TrailRainbow Lake  Rainbow Park Easy Dog Friendly Snowshoe TrailRainbow Park  Steep Dog Friendly SnowshoeingSproatt East  Taylor Meadows Moderate, Steep Snowshoe TrailTaylor Meadows  Snowshoe Trail EasyModTrain Wreck  Wedgemount Lake Challenging, Steep Snowshoe TrailWedgemount Lake 

More Whistler Snowshoe Trails

More Snowshoe TrailsThere are plenty of beautiful and free snowshoe trails in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  From the surreal paintings of Whistler Train Wreck to the magnificent mountain serenity of Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Park.  Trails range from extremely easy, like the short, flat trails to Brandywine Falls and Rainbow Park.  To challenging and long trails to places like Elfin LakesTaylor Meadows and Wedgemount Lake.  Whistler even has a growing network of snowshoe trails to Parkhurst Ghost Town on the far side of Green Lake.  There are a couple pay-use snowshoeing areas in Whistler, however most free trails are as good or better.  Whistler Train Wreck is an easy/moderate snowshoe trail that takes you through a deep forest, over Cheakamus River via a very pretty suspension bridge, and to a series of decades old, wrecked train cars.  Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is another beautiful place to snowshoe.  Located at the south end of Garibaldi Park, the Elfin Lakes trailhead is found in Squamish.  The trail is not overly difficult, however it is quite long.  A consistently uphill, 11 kilometre(13.7 mile) trail through some spectacular scenery takes you to the marvelous Elfin Lakes hut.  For easier snowshoeing, Rainbow Falls is a good option.  Located just a short drive from Whistler Village, the Rainbow Trail is a beautiful trek through the forest in a winter wonderland to a hidden waterfall surrounded by deep pillows of powdery snow.  For more challenging snowshoeing, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is hard to beat.  A long, though beautiful drive into the mountains, north of Pemberton takes you to this moderately challenging, 11 kilometre(6.8mile) roundtrip snowshoe trail.  The frequently steep, winding trail takes you through a winter paradise and around, or over three frozen lakes.  Back in Whistler, an excellent place to snowshoe is to Parkhurst Ghost Town.  Sitting on the far side of Green Lake, Parkhurst was a thriving logging community several decades ago.  It has since been abandoned except for intermittent squatter communities over the years. 

Whistler Snowshoe Trails

Sproatt East - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Sproatt East Snowshoe RatingThe Sproatt East trail is one of the nicest snowshoe trails in Whistler.  With the trailhead high up in Stonebridge, partway up the flank of Mount Sproatt, you start snowshoeing already high up in the wonderfully secluded wilderness overlooking Whistler valley.  Just a few metres along the trail you catch glimpses of Black Tusk far across the valley before entering the forest along the Sirloin trail.  Sirloin ascends through the forest and soon crosses the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail and connects to Darwin's trail.  Darwin's bends further up Sproatt along beautiful and elaborate, wooden boardwalks that zig-zag up a steep section.  Soon the trail emerges from the forest for the first of many beautiful views over the valley.  Darwin's merges onto Flank and soon crosses Nita Creek and the the easy to miss, unmarked Sproatt East trail extends up the left side of Nita Creek.  Mount Sproatt is a big, sloping mountain with dozens of beautiful plateaus that are quite easy to get to.  Back on Flank, just before you crossed Nita Creek there is a faint trail that ascends quickly up to the first of many beautiful plateaus overlooking the valley.  At just 1.4 kilometres from where you started, this plateau is a excellent destination on its own and on a sunny day it is paradise!  If winter camping is your thing, this spot is pretty hard to beat with its convenience and sweeping views of the valley looking across to Blackcomb Mountain and Whistler Mountain.  Nita Creek can be heard crashing about 40 metres below, hidden by snow covered treetops.  This plateau is fairly easy to reach on snowshoes and Sirloin, Darwin's and Flank are a steady ascent, but only moderately challenging snowshoe trails.  The Sproatt East trail gets progressively more challenging as you climb every steeper into the vast wilderness of Mount Sproatt.  Virtually unknown and rarely hiked, even in the summer.  despite this it is surprisingly well defined and well marked with tree ribbons.

Sproatt East Snowshoe Map v2

Mount Sproatt - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Train Wreck - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Train Wreck Snowshoe RatingThe trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across the nice Train Wreck bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. The trail from your car to the wrecks only takes about 15 minutes, however once you reach one wreck, you see another, then another. There are seven wrecks in total that are spread over an area about 400 metres long.  Along with the surreal train wrecks painted with stunning murals, you find yourself in a thick forest that runs along Cheakamus RiverCheakamus River is a beautiful, wild and crashing river that snakes past the train wrecks. Numerous side trails take you to some marvellous viewpoints, several metres above the rushing water below.  If you follow a trail past the wrecks, heading north or in the direction of Whistler Village, you will emerge at the train tracks. If you are adventurous you will then walk along, beside the tracks for a couple hundred metres and some truly breathtaking views of Cheakamus River.  Whistler Train Wreck is definitely one of the best easy, short and kid friendly snowshoe trails in Whistler.  Unfortunately it has become quite popular and the snow gets packed down quite fast on the trails and you generally don't need snowshoes for the main trail to the popular section of train cars near the bridge.  Most visitors don't explore past this point, which is a shame because the trails extend in both directions leading to more wrecked train cars as well as some stunning viewpoints overlooking Cheakamus River.  The Trash Trail is another very nice trail often overlooked around Train Wreck.  It runs along one side of Cheakamus River and past the gorgeous Train Wreck Falls.  In the other direction it leads you to the other Train Wreck trailhead shown on the map below. 

Whistler Train Wreck Winter Map v9

Train Wreck - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Blueberry Trail - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Blueberry Park is a relatively unknown, though very scenic trail that ascends quickly up to a cliff viewpoint high above Alta Lake.  Another trail hugs the shoreline of Alta Lake through a wonderfully deep forest past five secluded piers.  The trails connect a few hundred metres past the fifth pier, so you can continue to the north end of the park in Tapleys and Whistler Cay or loop back to the south trailhead off St. Anton Way.  Geographically, the Blueberry Trail is directly across Alta Lake from Rainbow Park.  It can be accessed from either end via the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay at the end of Crabapple Drive, or in Alta Vista at the end of St Anton Way.  Either trailhead is just a five minute drive from Whistler Village and both are conveniently close to Whistler's Valley Trail.  If it has not snowed heavily in the last couple days, you will likely not need snowshoes for the Blueberry Trail as the snow will have been packed down by others.  Blueberry Park gets its name from the hill that rises above it named Blueberry Hill.  The park is well hidden despite being on all the maps in Whistler because both trailheads are found at the end of quiet streets.  The trailheads do have small trail signs and once you are on the trails they are easy to follow, even in deep snow.  Though at times steep, the trail is short.  The high point of the trail, about midway, is only 1.2k from either trailhead.  There is a small clearing at the edge of quite a high cliff that is a great vantage point to the lake.  People skating, cross country skiing or walking appear as little black dots scattered across the frozen lake.  As snowshoeing trails go, this one is a great, fun, short workout to a beautiful vantage point and five wonderful piers.  Dogs are allowed here as well.  Blueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about.  If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed four piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest.  These public piers sit along the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other. 

Blueberry Park Snowshoeing Map v8

Blueberry Park - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Elfin Lakes - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Snowshoe Rating Elfin LakesElfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is an absolutely phenomenal, though long, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing trail that begins at the Diamond Head area in Squamish.  From Whistler Village, the trailhead is just over an hours drive away, located near the south end of Garibaldi ParkGaribaldi Provincial Park is the massive wilderness park of nearly two thousand square kilometres that stretches from Squamish to Pemberton.  If you are driving the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, Garibaldi Park will be the vast wilderness of snow-capped mountains on your right.  The Elfin Lakes trail is very well marked and maintained and leads to the wonderful, Elfin Lakes hut.  This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated.  There is a charge of $15/person(payable online) to stay the night there which is a small price to pay for the beautiful comfort after the long, 11 kilometre snowshoe or hike to get there.  This area is very popular with skiers as well as snowshoers in the winter and deep snow covers the trail usually from November to June

Elfin Lakes Map v7

Elfin Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Garibaldi Park

Wedgemount Lake - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Wedge Snowshoe RatingWedgemount Lake is a steep and difficult hike in the summer when there is no snow.  It doesn't require technical skill, but it is just exhausting.  You gain 1220 metres of elevation in just 7 kilometres(+2 in the winter) and hiking with a heavy pack takes about 2.5 to 3.5 hours to reach the lake.  In the winter, on snowshoes, the Wedgemount Lake trail is considerably harder, as well as a couple kilometres longer owing to the undrivable, snow buried access road.  The snow covered trail is hard to follow, even with frequent trail markers.  Also, on snowshoes a step on steep ground is one step forward, half a step backward.  You plod on slowly and with each step slipping back part way. If you can get past the difficulty of the exhausting winter trek to Wedgemount Lake you will reach an amazing paradise in the mountains.  The Wedgemount Lake hut is an extraordinary oasis of warmth in the middle of the beautiful Wedgemount Lake valley.  Anyone can use the hut, anytime.  It can sleep up to 8 reasonably comfortably and consists of two large tables on the lower level and a small loft that can fit four people.  Sporadically used by skiers in the winter, though rarely used by snowshoers due to the difficulty of the trail in the winter.  If you do make it up to Wedgemount Lake you will be rewarded with a phenomenally beautiful, snow filled mountain paradise of a valley.  The Wedgemount Lake trail is deep with snow from late December to late June most years.  If you snowshoe it November to mid December or mid June to early July, you will only need your snowshoes partway up the trail. 

Wedgemount Lake Snowshoe Map v15

Wedgemount Lake - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Rainbow Falls - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe RatingRainbow Falls is a fantastic way go get yourself into some deep snow quickly from Whistler Village.  The short, winding, and ever-changing hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is the same as the much more popular trailhead for Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is marked as the Rainbow Trail, and the trail quickly ascends into the forest winding left, right, up and down almost constantly.  21 Mile Creek, always on your right can be either seen or heard as you snowshoe through the forest to the somewhat hidden Rainbow Falls.  The Rainbow Falls/Rainbow Lake trailhead is located just a couple hundred metres from Rainbow Park on Alta Lake which is another great place to snowshoe in Whistler.  The Rainbow Falls trailhead is the same as the Rainbow Lake trailhead, located halfway along Alta Lake Road on the far side of Alta Lake. The Rainbow Falls trail is short, varied and relatively easy. This well used trail never goes in a straight line and goes up and down through a beautiful and deep forest.  There is only one small, easy to miss sign to Rainbow Falls, but finding the falls is easy.  To find Rainbow Falls, begin at the trailhead parking for "Rainbow Trail" on Alta Lake Road.  Follow the trail as it winds along the river.  If you come to obvious forks in the trail, choose the right fork.  In 0.8 kilometres from the trailhead parking you will arrive at Rainbow Falls.  The trail to Rainbow Falls is fairly popular in the winter so the snow is usually well packed down so you often don't need snowshoes.  The route to the falls is never in a straight line.  Zig-zagging left and right, up and down, some parts are steep, but at just 0.8 kilometres, the shortness of the trail makes it suitable for kids.  The topography and sheer volume of snow make this a very fun trail to snowshoe for everyone.  Expect to take less than an hour, car to car, but much longer if you stop for a picnic or to play in the snow.  r

Rainbow Falls Snowshoe Map v6

Rainbow Falls - Best Snowshoeing in Whistle

Rainbow Park - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Rainbow Park Snowshoe RatingRainbow Park is one of the hugely popular swimming beaches in Whistler in the summer.  In the winter it is a spectacular vantage point across Alta Lake to Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The beautiful ski run lines snake down the mountains and by December Alta Lake is usually completely frozen.  Hockey games occur at various spots on the lake and the Valley Trail leading to and from Rainbow Park is buried in snow and unplowed all winter.  When the heavy snow of December comes, the valley trail becomes a snowshoeing and cross country ski trail.  It can still be hiked, but once you reach Rainbow Park you will be knee deep in snow.  The piers so well used in summer are frozen in place and, like everything else are buried in snow.  This snowshoe trail is excellent for the novelty of snowshoeing and great for kids.  Snowshoes are not really necessary due to short length of the trail and the relatively small size of the park.  If you have small kids, however, they will be in paradise.  By Christmas the park is often waist deep in snow, and if you are new to snowshoeing you will have a great time.  And if you do bring kids, you will have trouble getting them to leave.  Rainbow Park is a very easy, 1 kilometre trail from the parking area at the dead end of Lorimer Road to the park.  It is a relaxing trail that doesn't change in elevation.  It runs for a while along the River of Golden Dreams then crosses the river on a cute little bridge giving you your first view of Alta Lake.  Just past the bridge on your left you can walk to a viewing platform over the lake.  Back on the trail it is just another five minutes to the lake. 

Rainbow Park Snowshoe Map v4

Rainbow Park - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Joffre Lakes - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Joffre Snowshoe RatingJoffre Lakes Provincial Park is a hiking paradise in the summer and a skiing and snowshoeing paradise in the winter.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  Located up on the Duffy Lake Road north of Pemberton, Joffre Lakes is well known for its incredibly surreal, turquoise water.  In the winter of course, all three of the Joffre Lakes are frozen over but the trail is popular with skiers and snowshoers between the months of November and April.  The Joffre Lakes trail is fairly well marked and almost always tracked out in the winter it is still possible to lose the trail after dark or or during heavy snowfall.  Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is centred around the three Joffre Lakes.  All of them are beautiful on their own and each more beautiful than the last.  Frozen over in the winter, you won't be able to marvel at the amazing turquoise colours the lakes, caused by light reflecting off of the particles of glacial silt suspended in the water.  In the winter, with the lakes frozen and the trees weighed down with snow, Joffre Lakes takes on a serene beauty, with the low sun cutting through the trees and the forest brightly reflecting.  The third of the Joffre Lakes ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful. 

Joffre Lakes Snowshoe Map v4

Joffre Lakes - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Parkhurst Snowshoe RatingAt the north end of Green Lake hides one of the most unusual, interesting and scenic snowshoe trails in Whistler, Parkhurst Ghost Town.  From the 1920’s to 1950’s a small logging town with several dozen houses and a sawmill, the town quickly vacated in 1956 when the sawmill ceased operating.  Decades of snowy winter crushed the old sawmill and all but two of the old houses.  Various types of logging machinery, old vehicles, trucks, Caterpillar tractors and a Cletrac tractor lay in the forest unmoved for almost seventy years.  Most of the more interesting features of Parkhurst are hidden by the rapidly growing forest that has buried the once treeless area along Green Lake where the sawmill operated.  The heavy machinery is not only enveloped by the forest, but in the case of one of the huge tractor plows is being lifted off the forest floor.  Quite a remarkable sight considering that it must weigh close to 4000 kilograms (8818 pounds). Another similar 4 ton plow has managed to resist the lifting force of the forest, but instead has forced a tree to grow in a confined, triangular shape through it.  For over sixty years this now large tree has continued to grow to a substantial size while its trunk, within the plow is confined and spilling over the top of the plow.  The plow is effectively part of the tree like a giant, triangular collar.  The base of the tree has half the diameter within the plow, but fused together they are substantially stronger than the thick trunk that stretches up to the forest canopy.  What a marvellous sight that makes you stare in wonder for quite some time.  The Parkhurst Plow Tree appears to be an old birch tree is grizzled and cracking with age, much harder to recognize than the smooth, white bark of younger birch trees plentiful in the forests around Whistler. 

Parkhurst Whistler Snow Map v5

Parkhurst Ghost Town - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Cheakamus River - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Snowshoe Rating CheakamusCheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing, turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through Whistler Interpretive Forest at Cheakamus Crossing, then down past Brandywine Falls to Daisy Lake.  Also a popular kayaking route, the main attraction to Cheakamus River is the wonderful and quite extensive network of hiking and biking trails that run along either side of it.  The Riverside trail and the Farside trail run on either side of Cheakamus River and connect at both ends by bridges.  Connecting to the Riverside trail is the short trail to Logger's Lake, which in turn is surrounded by more snowshoe trails.  The Lake Loop trail, Crater Rim trail, the Ridge trail, Upper Ridge trail, and the Lower Ridge trail.  On the Farside trail along Cheakamus River you can connect to Cheakamus Road(gravel road) and hike 6 kilometres up to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.  On the other side of the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing, which Cheakamus River bends around keeping the Sea to Sky Highway and train tracks on its opposite side, you find still more snowshoe trails.  Trash trail hugs the river all the way to the beautiful bridge to Whistler Train Wreck.  Or, continue past the bridge to connect with the Sea to Sky trail.  For the most part, however, if you are talking about the Cheakamus River trails you are likely talking about the Farside and Riverside trails in Whistler's Interpretive Forest.  Eight kilometres south of Whistler Village and surrounding the neighbourhood of Cheakamus Crossing is Whistler Interpretive Forest.  This beautiful forest surrounds the Cheakamus River and has been cut and replanted in several areas in the past decades. Hiking and biking trails have sprung up over the years making the area a wonderful place to explore. Unfortunately, the Interpretive Forest is day-use only, no camping is permitted.  The main highlights of the Interpretive Forest are the Cheakamus River trails, and the extraordinary Logger's LakeLogger's Lake, just a short hike from the Cheakamus River suspension bridge, sits within a 10000 year old, extinct volcano and is a hiking destination on its own.

Cheakamus River Snowshoeing Map v6

Cheakamus River - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Flank Trail - Best Whistler Snowshoeing

Flank Trail Snowshoe RatingHiking 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 that do, love it.  Officially known as the Rainbow-Sproatt Flank Trail, it runs the length of Whistler Valley, opposite Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, and connects to dozens of hiking, snowshoeing and biking trails.  At roughly the mid point of the Flank Trail you will come to a small, overlapping section of the Rainbow Trail, near Rainbow Falls.  From Whistler Olympic Park to the Rainbow Trail, you will have hiked halfway around Mount Sproatt.  The Flank Trail seems to terminate at the Rainbow Trail, however a small sign directs you to turn right, follow the Rainbow Trail, for a couple hundred metres, then left after the water treatment building to the beautiful bridge over 21 Mile Creek.  A beautiful way to access the Flank Trail on snowshoes or on foot any time of the year is via the Rainbow Trail near Rainbow Park on the far side of Alta Lake.  From the road-side parking at the trailhead you are immediately plunged into deep forest, deep snow, and the sound of crashing water nearby.  The Rainbow Trail winds through the forest fairly steeply upward.  In less than a kilometre you come to Rainbow Falls crashing down through huge pillows of snow.  This little waterfall sits in a beautiful little snowy enclave that feels as though it belongs in some movie.  Deep snow, crystal clear green water cascading down from a frozen cliff.  A little, hidden paradise.  One of many in Whistler.  Further up the trail takes you to the first signs for the Flank Trail.  The Flank Trail overlaps and crosses the Rainbow Trail for half a kilometre. 

Flank Trail Map Winter v3

The Flank Trail - Best Snowshoeing in Whistler

Cheakamus River is a beautiful, crashing, turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through Whistler Interpretive Forest at Cheakamus Crossing, then down past Brandywine Falls to Daisy Lake.  ...
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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 that ...
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Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located just a twenty minute drive north of Whistler Village.  There is a nice, relaxing 1.2 kilometre hiking/snowshoeing trail that runs along Green River to a gorgeous viewing ...
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Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a hiking paradise in the summer and a skiing and snowshoeing paradise in the winter.  About 1 hour and 20 minutes north of Whistler gets you to the Joffre Lakes trailhead.  ...
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December hiking in Whistler is mainly done on snowshoes, though if it hasn't snowed for a few days, trails to Whistler Train Wreck and Rainbow Falls can ...
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There are plenty of beautiful and free snowshoe trails in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  From the surreal paintings of Whistler Train Wreck to ...
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February is a great month for snowshoeing in Whistler and Garibaldi Park.  The days slowly get longer, but the temperatures stay consistently cold.  Expect ...
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In the(usually) deep March snow of Whistler you have an amazing array of snowshoeing options.  If you have not been to the Whistler Train Wreck, you have ...
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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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Blackcomb Mountain holds an impressive and ever growing array of hiking trails. From the moment you arrive at the Rendezvous Lodge, you see hiking trails ascend into the distance. The Rendezvous Lodge is ...
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Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village. The trail begins on the far side of Whistler Mountain, 8 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway ...
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Taylor Meadows is a very scenic campsite and great alternative to the much busier and more well known, Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park between Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk, ...
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Keyhole Hot Springs (aka Pebble Creek Hot Springs) is located 100 kilometres from Whistler (Village Gate Blvd). Closed from Apr 1- Nov 15 due to Grizzly Bears habituated to humans in the area. Though most of the ...
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