There are lots of great hikes in Whistler. We have alpine trails and valley routes, glacier-fed lakes and old-growth forest, backcountry adventures and lift-accessed trailheads. From family-friendly strolls to mountain-top thigh burners – there’s something for every adventurer.
Hikes In Whistler – What To Take With You
As with any mountain pursuit, you should aim to be prepared. Aside from the obvious food and water, some essential items that we pack for our hikes in Whistler include:
- Bear spray
- Band Aids
- Bug repellant/deet
- A light rain jacket/shell
- Cleats/snowshoes (depending on time of year and elevation)
Some optional items, which we think are worth considering include:
- An external battery pack (so that your phone/camera doesn’t die)
- Hand sanitizer
- Anti-histamines (because, allergies)
Our Favourite Hikes In Whistler– Something For Everyone
It’s honestly so difficult to narrow it down. Each time we begin to write one of these posts, we’re faced with the same dilemma! Ok, here goes. If you’re planning a trip, be sure to include one of the following hikes in Whistler to your itinerary – you won’t regret it:
Little Burn, Big Burn, Heart Burn
Opened officially in 2016, the Blackcomb Ascent Trail connects the Upper Village base area to The Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. It’s split into 3 sections, which span 6.1 km with 1, 200 m (3, 937 ft) of elevation gain. The trail itself is lush and winds its way through old-growth forest with views back over Whistler Village.
At 0.8 km and 100 m of elevation gain, Little Burn is great for families with smaller children. It delivers you straight to Base 2, or make it a loop at just under 2km.
Big Burn delivers you to the Blackcomb Gondola midstation, with pre-purchased, download-only tickets priced at $15 from this point.
Heart Burn takes you right into the alpine where you can enjoy a well-deserved beverage or ice cream at the Rendez-Vous Lodge! Downloading from this point is $43 for adults (booked online in advance) and includes a ride on the record-breaking PEAK2PEAK Gondola.
A great, all-day hike in Whistler, Rainbow Lake checks all the boxes. The round trip is 16km and elevation gain is around 850 meters – allow 6 or 7 hours for this one. Access is via the trail head/parking lot on Alta Lake Road, and the trail follows 21 Mile Creek as you pass Rainbow Falls near the beginning and climb gradually through a scenic forested trail.
You’ll enjoy old-growth forest, many bridges (including a pretty neat suspension bridge), alpine meadows and, of course, Rainbow Lake itself.
Unfortunately, as this is within Whistler’s watershed, dogs are not permitted, nor can you swim in the lake. We would save this one for later in the season to enjoy wildflowers and avoid the snow/crud. Wait for a clear day to enjoy views as far as Black Tusk!
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Not pictured. The chihuahua getting a free lift in my pack. . . . #hiking #hikingadventures #hikingwithdogs #whistler #whistlerblackcomb #hikingtrail #hikingisfun #ilikehiking #getoutside #explorealways #explorewhistler #zerotouristshere #conflictlake #chihuahuasofinstagram #rescuedog #adoptdontshop #ilovedogs #dogsarethebestpeople #travel #worktrip #tourismwhistler #whistlerbackcountry
Callaghan Provincial Park was home to the 2010 Winter Olympic Nordic events, however it’s trails may be enjoyed year-round! Conflict Lake is one such trail that we recommend.
At 10km round trip, it’s a fairly intermediate hike, which takes you to Whistler’s well-known Journeyman Lodge (popular with XC skiers).
The trailhead for Conflict Lake is located at Callaghan Lake, which is a 8.5km drive along a fire service road. All-wheel drive vehicles are best here, and ensure you have plenty of clearance. Although unmarked, the trailhead is pretty easy to spot 100 metres down from the Callaghan Lake boat launch.
Views during this hike are pretty incredible as you meander along the valley between towering mountains. There are a number of marsh-like areas so bug spray is definitely an advantage here.
A popular locals’ hike in Whistler, the Crater Rim trail is located in the Whistler Interpretive Forest and encircles Loggers Lake. You’ll find the trailhead/parking lot in Cheakamus and the trail is clearly marked.
At 10km and 360 meters of elevation gain, the Crater Rim trail is accessible to most hiking abilities. There are a series of steep switchbacks rewarded with peek-a-boo views, before the trail mellows out and reveals the eastern shore of Loggers Lake.
An info board next to the lake explains: Logger’s Lake sits inside a volcanic crater, the cone of which rose up through glacial ice 10,000 years ago. As the lava cooled, it created the columns of basalt rock outcroppings that you can still see on the hillsides above the lake.
Allow a full day for this one. Singing Pass is 22km and follows Fitzsimmons and Melody Creeks before it opens up at Singing Pass. The pass is also accessible from Whistler Mountain (via gondola) by a high, sustained alpine route crossing Piccolo, Flute and Oboe summits. This route is known as the Musical Bumps.
Park in the Whistler day lots, or in the area authorized for overnight parking in lot 4 if staying overnight in Singing Pass. The new trailhead is located adjacent to the bus loop and passenger drop-off area. The first part of the hike takes you deep into the valley before breaking into the alpine with incredible views.
To make the most of Singing Pass, we’d recommend trying to plan an overnight camp. Russet Lake Campground is maintained by BC Parks, and it is in the Garabaldi Park. You will need to purchase a reservation for a site and a backcountry pass from the website.
We’re sure you’ve heard of Panorama Ridge. This mammoth hike can be enjoyed in the day (30km, 1,800 meters elevation gain), or as part of a thru-hike linking Taylor Meadows and Panorama Ridge with Helm Creek campground and Cheakamus Lake.
There’s some pretty intense elevation gain to start with, however views of the lake open up and Taylor Meadows is just magnificent. You’ll enjoy stunning views of the Black Tusk, too, as you make your way up to the ridge and the vivid turquoise hue of Garibaldi Lake comes into full, glorious view.
We like to stop on the ridge to have lunch. Make sure you have a map to hand to identify the mountains! Mount Price, The Table, and Deception Peak are a feast for the eyes along with the Sphinx Glacier to your left.
Panorama Ridge is one hike in Whistler that you don’t want to miss!
A Local’s Guide To The Best Hikes In Whistler
From Joffre Lakes to The Snow Walls, Whistler is synonymous with the outdoors. We thought we’d provide some insight into our favourite hikes in the Whistler area. Pack your camera and your SPF and join us in exploring these incredible trails.
5 Hikes In Whistler For The Whole Family
Including trails such as Brandwine Falls, The Trainwreck, and Lost Lake Park, here are five of our favourite family-friendly trails.