Hiking Trails in Whistler

THE 5 BEST Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails in Whistler

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What travellers are saying

  • diswix
    Gloucester, UK513 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Loved all aspects of this trail as a hiker and runner.
    However one tiny Downsideto tranquility is the deluge of bikes. Fast moving electric bikes, crazy youths on mountain bikes and unsteady tourists cycling for first time in their lives.
    All of the above, going too fast, churning up dust, driving crazy and not being respectful to other cyclists and walkers.
    To avoid the deluge, go out early. Running at 0630 am no cyclist at all, walking after 10am they seem to come from every direction down from varòus tracks taking out less able walkers.
    Written June 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • johng88888
    Lake Havasu City, AZ502 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The easy/better way to get to the train wreck is to turn off Hwy 99 at Cheakamus Lake Rd then go right on Legacy Way and turn right onto Janes Lake Rd to either parking lot. Go to sign for Train wreck follow trail & sign. Go over suspension bridge and your there.
    Written August 30, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • cymry
    Montreal202 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We did the half-hike (to the lake and back) on a beautiful sunny, cool day. We did the detour to the river (5 mins) and it was definitely worth it! The hike took us about 3.5 hours in total and we're not in the best shape! The views of the lake were stunning and it was great to get to sit by the shore and take in the views at our leisure. Highly recommend!
    Written October 1, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Caroline D
    14 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was worth a walk on a wet day. Short loop with some good view points over the ocean, which was wild on this blowy day. Glad we went for a look.
    Written June 11, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • JoJo S
    Sunshine Coast, Australia297 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This trail is a must do if you have the stamina. I did little burn and big burn then download gondola at mid-station. The scenery is just beautiful, moss forests are gorgeous. The hike will get your heart rate going, you climb in elevation around 450m but it is so worth it and you may just see yourself a bear.
    Written August 2, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Nitsanw
    Toronto, Canada938 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trail. Beautiful views and quite a workout with a good ascent that might be hard for some. Highly recommended.
    Written July 24, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TnJAdvents
    Winnipeg685 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Hiked Rainbow Falls again on our last visit to Whistler. It's an easy trail however the trailhead it already up the mountain a bit and then you gain more elevation on the hike. You can quickly go from a thin layer of snow to a foot of snow so wear appropriate footwear. Scenic views of the river as the bridge crosses. The hike takes about an hour.
    Written July 14, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Bottomshelfhockey
    Richmond, Canada8,971 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    There maybe a different way to get to the trail head but the directions below worked for us.

    Note: Right by Highway 99 after making the first turn at Function Junction, you will see a parking lot which I will call “Parking Lot 1”.

    By vehicle, once you turn at the Function Junction intersection onto Cheakamus Lake Road, drive 400 meters up the main road pass Parking lot 1 and then take the left fork, the Forest Service Road. You will cross a very short single lane bridge and continue driving less than 2 kilometres on the uneven gravel road to get to the 2nd parking lot that connects to the Riverside trail.

    This lot holds about 10 cars; possibly more. We parked here and hiked about 1.6 km / 1 mile on the Riverside trail consisting of compact dirt and gravel with uphill switchbacks at the start. Approximately 1 kilometre into the hike you will reach the suspension bridge that connects to the “Farside Trail” and just pass the bridge, about 500 meters farther, you will end up at parking lot 3.

    Your other option is to drive up the hill from parking lot 2 to parking lot 3. This will save you a 1.6 km trek at the start but remember it will be uphill to get to your car at the third parking lot as the Ridge Trail comes out at parking lot 2. The Logger’s Lake trail starts by the big yellow steel gate across the road from parking lot 3.

    Once you enter the trail head, there is a short uphill hike about 1/4 mile to the Crater Rim trail head. If you continue straight the trail will take you to the lake. Take the left turn at the marker for the Crater Rim trail. After a very short hike, maybe less than 1/2 mile, you will see Logger’s Lake from a lower altitude. Some parts of this part of the trail in this section are narrow; at most 3.5 feet wide.

    Follow the trail head markers at strategic locations. In between the trail head markers there are yellowish diamonds nailed to trees to guide you. We got lost after the first half of the hike as we were told the Ridge trail looped backed to the start. Unfortunately after awhile the Ridge trail markers on the trees disappeared plus there were no information posts directing us and we eventually ended up at the Basalt trail/road signpost marker with no Ridge Trail marker in sight.

    Being unfamiliar with Basalt, we retraced our steps back to the last known marker. We were fortunate to have retraced our steps as the trail continued upwards on the Crater Rim trail. We would have missed views of the lake from a higher elevation.

    On the way down there were some really rocky sections that required our full attention. Both of us navigated the sections slowly and successfully. However, my spouse did slip and fall just past the rocky downhill sections but recovered enough otherwise she would have had a rough tumble down the embankment.

    Near the end of our descent, we came across a scree / boulder field and didn’t know where to go - down or across. We decided to go straight across the rock field after we saw a path of barren rocks flanked on both sides by moss covered rocks. The rocks in the rock field that don’t have moss is the best path to take exiting at the fallen log on the other side. This is basically a “straight” path about 100 meters wide.

    This path eventually connected to the Ridge Trail which was not marked and based on common sense (or not), we took the trail that went down and to the left.
    We met 2 hikers on the way down by the scree and we followed them out and we ended up by parking lot 2 where we started. Once pass the scree it shouldn’t take more than 30-45 minutes to get to parking lot 2.

    The Crater Rim Trail is an undulating trail with all sorts of terrain - compact dirt, gravel, exposed tree roots, small and large rocks. In addition, there are some narrower sections, maybe 3 feet wide, closer to the start of the hike. The hike, except for the first quarter mile or so, is completely in the forest, so on a hot sunny day you will not be as hot. There are view of the Lake from various viewpoints as well as views of the surrounding area.

    Signage could be vastly improved with better directions. For example, when the signpost says Ridge Trail both ways; is it going back up or down or end destination, even though it’s a loop?

    The trail has a bit of everything but at a minimum the Crater Rim Trail is an intermediate / moderate trail for the most part with some trail sections needing your special attention coming down resulting in a difficult rating for those sections.

    In the end the total hike was 7.8 km and took 3 hours and 30 minutes. The 3.5 hours included the Riverside Trail - 1.6 km plus about 2 kilometres getting lost; so about 4 -5 km for the actual Crater Rim/ Ridge Trail hike.

    Views at the top of the trail were okay but don’t expect vistas like the Grand Canyon or the Crater Lake in Oregon. You get peeks of Logger’s Lake here and there; nothing spectacular but I enjoyed the hiking part more. Others rave about the views throughout the hike but I just found it a bit of a letdown.

    The two major "cons” are signage and detailed information (including driving directions and parking) on the web.

    I give the overall trail experience, a 3.5+ out 5 rating, above average trending towards good. I would’ve rated it higher if there was better signage and nicer views.

    Notes and tips
    • Another option is to do the hike counter clockwise. Park your vehicle in lot 2, cross the road and walk towards the right side to access the Riverside Trail head. Going this way, you will be ending your hike at parking lot 3 and then hike down via the Riverside Trail to your vehicle at parking lot 2.
    • Going the counter clockwise direction, will result in the difficult short uphill sections once you cross the rock debris field.
    • For additional info, have a look at various websites on this hike. Trail information on the internet, for the most part “sucks”. You can get some info from the various trail apps such as “Vancouver Trails”.

    Due to TripAdvisor’s policies I cannot provide the URL for the BC forestry department website and a link to a map. Go to the BC dot gov website and search for Whistler Interpretative Forest and map.
    • Over the course of the hike we may have run into 10-15 hikers; mostly going the other direction.
    • We are older hikers and used hiking poles. We found them useful going up and down the hard sections of the trail. We only encountered 1 other hiker using poles.
    • You need to be in decent shape to do this hike
    • A good pair of runners, more specifically trail runners or hiking boots are recommended
    • Info board at parking lot 2 was not helpful as there was a faded map
    • We were there in late August and had no problem with insects
    • Both parking lots only had a few cars on this Saturday around noon time.
    • Bring water and snacks
    • No outhouse facilities at parking lots 2 and 3. Use outhouse at parking lot 1 right at Highway 99.
    • Bring water and snacks
    • We did not encounter any insects, mosquitoes and the like
    • In the Whistler Interpretative Forest, there are other trails. In close proximity to the Crater Rim Trail are the Riverside and Farside trails. You can cross over at the suspension bridge to get to the Farside Trail. This is a fairly short hike of less than 5 kilometres roundtrip, slightly more if your park your vehicle at parking lot 1.
    • The other well known trail in the area is the Train Wreck Trail
    Written August 27, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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