Hikes in Pemberton
Hiking in Pemberton and the surrounding district is a fantastic way to get out into the wilderness and experience some of the rugged and picturesque terrain that British Columbia has to offer. This charming town can be found along the floor of the Pemberton Valley and is surrounded by majestic mountains and serene woodlands in every direction, meaning that an amazing adventure is never too far away from your doorstep.
While most tourists in the area will likely flock to Whistler a mere 25.0 km to the south, those that choose to explore Pemberton will find a more quiet and secluded atmosphere that features much of the same amazing scenery. The area features a great variety of trails that will allow you to experience various terrain types, from rugged mountain peaks to peaceful meadows and charming lakeside settings. If you are looking to immerse yourself into the BC hiking scene without experiencing the crowds, then Pemberton is the perfect choice for your next adventure.
The 10 Greatest Hikes In Pemberton
With a wealth of hiking routes that vary from easy park walks to challenging ridgeline traverses, Pemberton has something for everyone when it comes to exploring the outdoors. If you are a beginner hiker or are travelling with children, you will have easy access to a bunch of routes that are closer to town for convenience sake. If off the beaten path adventures are more your thing, head further out to explore some of the more rugged and inaccessible terrain that can be found to the north of Pemberton.
Due to its central location along the Sea to Sky Highway, getting in and out of Pemberton is a breeze and the town’s proximity to nearby provincial parks means that the opportunities for a good hike are almost endless. Garibaldi Provincial Park to the south offers some classic single and multi-day routes that are sure to take your breath away, and the Stein Valley to the east is a rugged expanse of terrain that begs to be explored. To help you get started, here is a list of some of our favourite hiking routes in the Pemberton area:
- Nairn Falls Trail: This quick hike will take you along a woodland trail in close proximity to the rushing waters of the Green River to visit several viewpoints overlooking a cascading waterfall. This scenic route can be found just off the highway, making it a great option that the entire family will love.
- Keyhole Hot Springs: This hike will see you make your way through forests of mature cedar trees to cross over the flowing water of nearby streams, after which you will be rewarded with a soak in a picturesque hot spring. Be sure to arrive early for this busy trail or else you won’t be able to find a spot when you arrive!
- Marriott Basin Trail to Wendy Thompson Hut: This amazing adventure follows a technical trail near Pemberton that takes you past several scenic lakes to climb a rugged ridgeline, exposing you to some spectacular mountain views. Combine this hike with an overnight stay at the Wendy Thompson Hut to make the perfect weekend in the backcountry near Pemberton.
- Mount Currie Trail: This trail is a challenging uphill grind that takes you through a series of grueling switchbacks before attempting a technical scramble to the summit viewpoint. Along the way, you will experience beautiful forests and spectacular alpine terrain, capping off the adventure with unbeatable views from atop the mountain.
- Semaphore Lakes Trail: This 5.8 km out-and-back hiking route will see you climb gently through a beautiful stretch of woodland terrain, before experiencing views of serene alpine lakes and rugged mountain peaks. This half-day hike is a great option for those looking to get off-the-beaten-path.
- Tenquille Lake Trail: This hike will take you on old logging roads through the forest and across charming alpine meadows to reach the picturesque shores of Tenquille Lake. Once there, you will be able to take in the amazing views of the tranquil lake and gaze in awe at its majestic mountain backdrop.
- Lumpy's Epic: While hiking along Lumpy’s Epic, you will experience the serenity of a peaceful woodland landscape and take in some amazing views over the valley. Be sure to bring your swimwear, as you’ll have the chance to spend the day hanging out in the sun bye One Mile Lake.
- Hike to Rohr Lake: This trail will take you through a variety of terrain including a beautiful stretch of forest and a technical boulder field, before eventually arriving at Ruhr Lake and its turquoise waters that are surrounded by rugged mountain peaks. This is a great route for casual and experienced hikers alike.
- One Mile Lake: The hike around One Mile Lake is an amazing adventure that will provide you with scenic views overlooking the quaint lake before heading through a beautiful stretch of woodland terrain to reach several vantage points with views of the valley and nearby peaks. This easy trail is perfect for a fun, family-friendly adventure—just remember to bring bug spray!
- Lizzie Lake Trail: This lengthy trail southeast of Pemberton will take you uphill through the forest to reach the charming shores of the lake. While out hiking the trail, you will pass rugged peaks and view picturesque alpine meadows that will be filled with wildflowers in the summer. This route can be done as a long day hike or a multi-day journey.
When is the Best Time to Hike in Pemberton
Pemberton is a four-season outdoor adventure town, providing you access to a host of nearby trails no matter the weather. Although winter hiking is a popular activity, by far the best time to explore the area is during the summer season. With comfortable conditions from May through September, you will have more than enough time to explore the woodlands, lakes, valleys, and peaks that characterize this charming region. With an average temperature that can be anywhere from 3-10 degrees warmer than nearby Whistler, it is just another reason to consider Pemberton as your next outdoor destination.
Other Outdoor Activities in Pemberton
The wide variety of terrain surrounding Pemberton means that there will be no shortage of activities for you to try in the area. Beyond hiking trails, you will find a number of great mountain bike, rock climbing, and scrambling routes that beg to be explored. The easy access to several great water sources means that fishing, boating, canoeing, and kayaking are also on the books. If winter sports are more your style, you will find some great opportunities to ski/snowboard along the area’s many mountain slopes, snowmobile through the valley, and snowshoe the region’s many trails. There is so much to experience in Pemberton that you likely won’t be able to fit it all into one trip!
Frequently Asked Questions About Pemberton
How far is Pemberton from Vancouver?
Pemberton is located 121.0 km north of Vancouver, close enough to keep you near the action but far enough away to provide a bit of solitude. Travelling by car, the road distance is roughly 158.0 km, making for a scenic 2.5 hour drive along the Sea to Sky Highway.
What is the elevation of Pemberton?
Nestled along the floor of the Pemberton Valley, the town sits at an elevation of 210 m above sea level. While this might not seem like a lot, the countless mountains in close proximity to the town will provide you with every opportunity to get a bird's eye view of the surrounding landscape.
What can you do in Pemberton in the Winter?
Not only does Pemberton offer a wide variety of outdoor activities for the summertime, it also provides a number of great options for exploring beautiful British Columbia during the dead of winter. Options here include snowmobiling through the forest, an adrenaline pumping heli skiing tour, ice fishing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing just to name a few.
Best Hikes in Pemberton
Keyhole Hot Springs Hike
The hike to the Keyhole Hot Springs is a 3.9 km out-and-back route along the banks of the Lillooet River that takes hikers through a scenic stretch of forest on the way to the relaxing thermal pools. Pass through forests of massive cedar trees and cross over the rushing water of nearby streams to reward yourself with a soak in the picturesque springs. Make sure to set out on the hike early, or else you might not be able to find a spot when you arrive!
Nairn Falls Trail
The Nairn Falls hike is a 2.6 km out-and-back route through Nairn Falls Provincial Park that follows closely along the banks of the Green River and ends up at the picturesque falls. This short trail will take hikers along a forested trail within earshot of the rushing waters of the river and visit several vantage points overlooking the cascading falls. This scenic route just off the highway is a great hiking option that the entire family will enjoy.
Mount Currie Trail
The Mount Currie Trail is a tough uphill grind that will take hikers through a series of gruelling switchbacks before a technical scramble to the summit. This 19.8 km out-and-back trail leads through beautiful forests and spectacular alpine terrain, capping off with unbeatable mountaintop views from the summit of this rugged peak. This route is physically exhausting, so remember to pack lots of water for the journey.
Marriott Basin Trail to Wendy Thompson Hut
The Marriott Basin Trail to Wendy Thompson Hut is a technical trail near Pemberton that will pass by scenic lakes and climb up a ridgeline for some fantastic mountain views. Along this 17.7 km out-and-back trail, you will need to traverse some technical terrain, as the stretch of land between the hut and the ridge is made up of scattered boulder fields. When combined with an overnight stay at Wendy Thompson Hut, this trail is a perfect way to spend a weekend in the backcountry near Pemberton.
Semaphore Lakes Trail
Hike along the Semaphore Lakes Trail to experience the serenity of tranquil alpine lakes and rugged mountain views. This 5.8 km out-and-back hiking route is only moderate in difficulty and has a slight elevation gain as you climb gently through the forest towards the series of beautiful lakes. Once there, you’ll have views of the Face and Locomotive mountains, with the Train Glacier nestled in between. This is a great half-day hike that is a little off-the-beaten-path.
Tenquille Lake Trail
The Tenquille Lake Trail is a 23.2 km out-and-back hiking route near Pemberton that offers scenic alpine views and the opportunity to experience a peaceful lakeside setting. Hiking along the trail will take you on old logging roads, through forests, and across alpine meadows until you reach the picturesque Tenquille Lake. Here, you will be able to soak in the views of the tranquil lake and its spectacular surrounding mountain backdrop.
One Mile Lake Trail
Hiking around One Mile Lake will take you on a 6.9 km trek through the woodlands south of Pemberton. Along the trail, you’ll have scenic views over the charming lake before heading through the forest cover on a loop that will reveal viewpoints overlooking the valley and surrounding mountains. This easy trail is great for families looking to experience the outdoors—just remember to bring bug spray!
Hike to Rohr Lake
The hike to Rohr Lake is a fun 8.5 km out-and-back trail that traverses a variety of terrain, including flat service roads, dirt trails, and boulder fields to access the lake. Along the path, you’ll pass through a beautiful stretch of forest before crossing over a technical boulder field to arrive at the turquoise water of Rohr Lake and the surrounding mountains. This is a moderate hiking route near Pemberton that will provide hours of outdoor fun.
Lumpy’s Epic is a moderate hiking route near Pemberton that travels along a forested loop and offers scenic views of the lake and nearby mountains. Along the trail, you’ll experience the tranquil woodland landscape and take in sweeping views of the valley. Make sure to bring your swimwear and spend the rest of the day around the beautiful waters of One Mile Lake.
The Cloudbase grind is a difficult uphill hiking route northeast of Pemberton that can be likened to Vancouver’s Grouse Grind in its intensity. The point-to-point trail climbs sharply uphill through the forest to provide amazingly scenic views over the valley from a paragliding launch point. Make sure to bring lots of water for this leg burner of a trail.
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