Backpacking trails in Whistler

Region in British Columbia, Canada

With an impeccable reputation for world-class skiing, Whistler is also the perfect gateway to explore some of the most breathtaking landscapes that British Columbia has to offer. Located a short distance from Vancouver and nestled snugly against the ultra-scenic Garibaldi Provincial park, Whistler has the right combination of tourist infrastructure and spectacular terrain to make your next backpacking trip a bonafide adventure.

As one of BC’s most visited regions, the Whistler area hosts millions of outdoor enthusiasts per year, but thanks to a seemingly limitless supply of breathtaking terrain, you will surely be able to carve out your own little piece of paradise while hiking somewhere in the mountainous landscapes surrounding the village. Whether you decide to hike the 90.0 km of established trails within Garibaldi Provincial Park to camp under the shadow of the iconic Black Tusk Mountain, or set out on a multi-day trek through the rugged subalpine terrain of Callaghan Lake Provincial Park to swim in its pristine lakes; you can rest assured that you will be experiencing some of the most spectacular landscapes and jaw-dropping views that can be found in the province.

Greatest Backpacking Trails in Whistler

In terms of backpacking routes, Whistler really does have it all on offer. From family-friendly adventures through forested terrain, to multi-day treks along rugged ridges and glaciers; there really is something for everyone in this amazing adventure travel hub. To the southeast of the village, hikers can explore the beautiful and vast expanse of Garibaldi Provincial Park and further to the east the rugged landscape of the Stein Valley just waiting to be explored. Whether you are a seasoned adventurer or just dipping your toes into backcountry camping, you will be sure to find your perfect backpacking adventure in Whistler.

When is the best time for backpacking in Whistler?

As with many ski resort towns, the hiking season is Whistler generally ranges from June-September depending on seasonal conditions and fluctuating weather patterns. As snow can sometimes be found on higher elevation trails into early July, your best bet for peak weather conditions is July-August. If you are looking to experience the trails with a bit less foot traffic, try planning your next backpacking trip for September when the weather begins to cool and the leaves begin to change. October can also see some of the lower trails in fairly stable conditions; however, increasing amounts of snowfall leading up to the winter months will usually draw more attention to the upcoming ski season, where you can explore the mountains in a completely different way.

Other outdoor activities in Whistler

While the Whistler area is jam-packed full of spectacular hiking routes, you will also be able to find countless other outdoor activities that will seamlessly complement your backpacking plans. If you want to squeeze in a bit of an adrenaline rush in between days of hiking, you can dive in head first for a bungee jumping or zipline experience like no other. And for those looking for more of a downhill rush, try exploring some of the amazing mountain bike trails that can be found throughout the area. Combine these with other activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, whitewater rafting and canoeing, and you are in for an action-packed adventure that will never seem to end. If summertime exploring isn’t your thing, come back in the winter for a whole host of world-class winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing in the breathtaking mountain landscape that makes whistler so special.

How to plan a trip to Whistler

No matter the time of year, a trip to Whistler will provide you with the perfect getaway to unplug from the outside world and reconnect with the outdoors. With so many pristine backcountry areas easily accessible from the village, you won’t want to hold off on getting your next backpacking trip underway! For your benefit we’ve gathered together everything you will need for planning a trip to Whistler. Whether you are looking for the perfect accommodation, adventure travel tips, where to get the best food in the village, or other activities to complement your trek; we’ve done all the research so that you can easily plan and enjoy your trip.

Frequently asked questions about Whistler

What can you do in Whistler if you don’t ski?

Whistler is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a number of activities that range from winter sports like snowshoeing and snowboarding to summer activities such as hiking and rock climbing. For those who aren’t as inclined to append the day outdoors, try eating your way through the many restaurants in Whistler Village or relaxing at one of the many spas in the area

Do I need a vehicle to get around in Whistler?

Due to its popularity for winter sports, many of the trails and summits in the Whistler area are easily accessible from the village; however, if you would like to explore some of the amazing routes that can be found a bit further out of town, then renting a vehicle might be your best option.

Which is better Whistler or Blackcomb?

While both are amazing mountains that offer a number of activities in the summer and winter, the question as to which is better is subjective and largely related to skill level. Whistler Mountain features more beginner-friendly terrain, while Blackcomb is better suited for intermediates.

How long does it take to get to Whistler from Vancouver?

For all of its rugged backcountry terrain and breathtaking scenery, Whistler is only located 127.0 km away from Vancouver, which can be driven by car in roughly 1.5-2 hours.

Not keen on planning your own trip? Explore these tours in British Columbia to join a group or plan a custom trip just for you and your loved ones. With a wide range of BC Hiking Tours and backpacking tours all over the world, there is no shortage of incredible adventures around the corner.

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Best Backpacking trails in Whistler

Open details for Castle Towers Backpacking Trail

Castle Towers Backpacking Trail

Hard
34.6 km
2,565 m
2 days

The Castle Towers Backpacking Trail is a difficult 34.6 km out-and-back hiking route that climbs through the rugged landscape of Garibaldi Provincial Park on the way to summit Castle Towers. This trail is best completed in a multi-day format, with an overnight stay at the Helm Creek Campground. Along the trail you will hike through scenic alpine meadows and experience the amazing sights within the park, such as the iconic Black Tusk and numerous glaciers. This is a challenging route that should only be attempted by experienced and confident hikers, but it does offer fantastic views that will allow you to witness the natural beauty of the Whistler area.

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