Hiking In Whistler: Valley Lakes to Alpine Glory

Hiking In Whistler: Valley Lakes to Alpine Glory

Alpine Flowers, Marmots and Glacial Lakes

On your first day, be transported from your lodging to the rugged alpine in 20 minutes flat: save your legs, grab a ticket and a trail map from the base of Whistler Mountain, and let the Whistler Gondola do the climbing - all 6,000 feet. High alpine hiking awaits!

Once you've reached the top, check out the trail map and plan your strategy. Head over to the Peak Chair and hop on for a lift to 7,087 feet. The Peak Interpretive Walk takes about 60 minutes and consists of two loops of single track trail. See fantastic views along with alpine ecosystem and local history information boards.You must experience the Cloudraker Skybridge that spans 130m from Whistler Peak to the West Ridge, crossing high above Whistler Bowl.

After you're come down from the peak, stop to refuel at Whistler Mountain's Roundhouse Lodge have lunch on the sunny patio. After lunch, catch the new PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola and ride the sky over to Blackcomb Mountain. It takes just 11 minutes and the views are majestic. Try to get one of the silver gondolas with the glass floors for a 360 experience. Blackcomb has six newly designed trails just waiting for you to explore.

Make sure you don't miss the last gondola ride down - 5:00 pm from Monday to Thursday and 8:00 pm for Friday to Sunday. If it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday night, stay up for the mountain-top BBQ at Whistler's Roundhouse Lodge featuring chicken or pork, fresh corn on the cob, oven baked biscuits and, of course, dessert.

Gentle Grades and Giant Trees

It's day two and after a hearty breakfast, hop in your car and make your way to one of Whistler's hidden treasures. The sparkling green of a glacial lake surrounded by mountains...that's the hiker's reward upon reaching Cheakamus Lake, 3 km from the trailhead. Drive south from the Village and turn left off Highway 99 at the stoplights for Function Junction; follow the road to the parking lot.

Next, head back towards Highway 99 and turn right into the parking lot for Whistler's Interpretive Forest - it's just before the intersection. Feed the mind and the soul with a stroll; this self-guided tour through an evergreen forest is very pleasant and calming.

Jump back in the car and do the quick drive north to Cougar Mountain (past the Village, about 15 minutes). Do the Ancient Cedars Loop Trail, a 4 km hike to a grove of gigantic old-growth cedars and a towering 900-year-old Douglas-fir tree.

Those comfortable sandals are calling so it's time to make your way back to the Village. Choose one of Whistler's outdoor patios for a leisurely dinner. Look up at the summit of Whistler Mountain. Yes, you've been there.

Over The Rainbow

Your last day in Whistler is reserved for Rainbow Lake. Get yourself to Alpine Meadows either by car or hop on the local bus. The trail head is located on Alta Lake Road, just after it changes names from Rainbow Drive. The trail is well-marked and maintained and ascends mostly through forest all the way to Rainbow Lake. You'll see gorgeous waterfalls and traverse over wooden platforms through marshy areas. The views are stunning with majestic mountains peeking through the canopy forest full of blooms and foliage.

Before hitting the road for home, stop by the Village for some well-earned spa treatments. You climbed a mountain today. You deserve a reward.