hikes in Whistler
Best known as BC’s iconic skiing destination, Whistler is a paradise for lovers of nature. Nestled in the shadow of two great peaks, Whistler and Blackcomb, and well equipped with some excellent tourist infrastructure, this beautiful spot is just a stone’s throw from Vancouver and has everything you’ll need for a perfect hiking holiday. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get out on the trail and start exploring all that Whistler has to offer.
Whistler is one of BC’s most popular destinations, attracting millions of visitors every year, but thankfully, there are so many wonderful hiking trails here it’s easy to find a corner of little peace and quiet even in busy seasons! When the winter snows have melted the ski lifts will transport you to some of the best high line trails in the region, providing epic views over some classic Rocky Mountain scenery.
Whistler’s landscapes provide everything you might expect from a hiking trip in the Rockies. You’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views from impossibly craggy ridges, get up close to some groaning, creaking glaciers, dip your toes in iridescent alpine lakes, and catch rainbows in the mists that rise from tumbling waterfalls. There’s a good reason why this magnificent region is one of the most popular destinations in the Rockies.
To help you plan your next hiking adventure in Whistler, we’ve put together a list of our favorite hikes, together with some key information about travelling in the region. Happy hiking!
Types Of Hiking In Whistler
Whistler is an ideal destination for the whole family, with plenty of activities for kids of all ages, and lots of family friendly trails. The abundance of ski lifts means that you can skip some grueling ascents and enjoy a gondola ride over classic mountain scenery, before commencing your hike high up in the mountains. You’ll find lakes, waterfalls and glaciers in abundance, and kids are bound to love exploring this rugged, breathtaking terrain.
For travellers with a more adventurous spirit, there are also plenty of strenuous hikes around Whistler, which can offer more advanced hikers a real challenge. This is classic Rocky Mountain terrain, with epic ridges and imposing peaks, tough ascents and satisfying scrambles. The reward for your efforts speaks for itself – you’ll find yourself looking down on some glorious mountain scenery, and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.
Easy Hikes In Whistler
1. Lost Lake Hike: The enigmatically named Lost Lake is the destination on this pleasant, easy walk in Whistler. Beginning at the village, you’ll pass along a secluded nature trail until you reach the lake itself, the perfect spot for a swim or a picnic. This hike offers magnificent views to Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains, and it’s a wonderful way to appreciate the scenery without tiring yourself out!
Family Hikes In Whistler
2. Brandywine Falls Hike: If you’re looking for a laid-back, easy stroll, perfect for families, this short route to the beautiful Brandywine Falls is perfect! Cascading 70m into a deep pool, this dramatic waterfall is flanked by impressive rock features that will delight kids and budding geologists! Add to this the pleasant approach through the forest, and you have the perfect family hike in Whistler.
Day Hikes In Whistler
3. Garibaldi Lake Hike: The shimmering blue waters of Garibaldi Lake, reflecting nearby peaks and glaciers, is a truly remarkable sight, and your destination on this fabulous day hike in Whistler. The trail passes through forests and across meadows, ensuring plenty of variety throughout the day, and the views are incomparable. You’ll take in the Sphinx Glacier and Mountain, Castle Towers, Guard Mountain, Mount Price and Panorama Ridge, all from your peaceful spot next to Garibaldi Lake.
Challenging Hikes In Whistler
4. Wedgemount Lake Hike: Looking for a beautiful hike that will really get your legs working? Look no further than the route up to Wedgemount Lake, one of our favorite challenging hikes in Whistler! You’ll gain elevation very quickly, so make sure to take plenty of water and build in time for breaks. Your reward? An incredible view over the stunning turquoise waters of the lake, Rethel Mountain, Parkhurst Mountain, Mount Cook and the Wedgemount Glacier.
Best Hikes In Whistler
5. Panorama Ridge Hike: One of the best hikes in Whistler, this iconic trail combines lush forests, expansive alpine meadows and an epic ridge walk in some of the region’s finest scenery. The climb up on to the ridge is fairly strenuous, but the effort is well worth it, as you’ll be faced with magnificent views of Garibaldi Lake, the Sphinx Glacier and many other famous peaks. This stunning hike is not to be missed.
6. High Note Trail Hike: This beautiful trail starts high up on Whistler Mountain, but don’t worry – take the gondola all the way to the top to save your legs! The route descends a rocky peak before emerging onto a grassy ridge, offering exceptional views all the way across the valley into Garibaldi Park. Don’t miss the wonderful sight of Cheakamus Lake, showing off its intense blue color.
7. Blackcomb Meadows Hike: This moderate hike really packs a punch when it comes to beautiful scenery, and most of the trail winds gently through lush greenery and wildflower meadows. The serene pale green waters of Blackcomb Lake are a sight for sore eyes, and the views from Overlord Lookout (taking in bright glaciers and rocky peaks) are simply stunning.
8. Black Tusk Hike: The name of this hike might sound menacing, but it’s actually one of the best challenging hikes in Whistler, and takes you to one of the most iconic peaks in the region. The climb is long and steep, but the views from the top are simply remarkable, taking in Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Lake and the Coast Mountains.
9. Joffre Lakes Hike: The glorious beauty of Joffre Lake makes all the efforts of this hike worthwhile. From the lakeside, you’ll have a marvelous view of the Matier Glacier and its striking colors and crevasses. The hike to the lake is immensely enjoyable, passing by waterfalls and climbing over boulder-strewn paths, making this one of our favorite hikes in Whistler!
10. Cheakamus Lake Hike: The hike up to Cheakamus Lake is one of the best hikes in Whistler, with a relatively easy stroll through dense, atmospheric forest. This is a great option for a family hike, or if you’re looking for a good walk that doesn’t involve any crazy ascents. The calm waters of the lake, flanked by green hills with a view of the Cheakamus Glacier at the far end, make a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.
When Is The Best Time To Hike In Whistler?
The main hiking season in Whistler is from June to September, although you’re likely to find snow lingering on many higher-elevations trails until late June or even July. The summer months promise beautiful weather, ideal for getting out on the trail, but you’re unlikely to have the mountains all to yourself! July and August can be very busy, so we’d recommend planning your trip for early September, when the leaves begin to turn and the crowds begin to thin.
In October you may find some low elevation trails that are still accessible, but for the most part, the winter months bring plenty of snow and lots of opportunities for winter sports! Winter is a wonderful time for snowshoeing, and there are many accessible and fun trails in and around the ski resorts.
Other Outdoor Activities In Whistler
Hiking in this region is a sheer delight, but keep your eyes open and you’re sure to find plenty of other outdoor activities in Whistler! There’s a whole range of sports and activities on offer for adrenaline junkies and lovers of the great outdoors, including bungee jumping and zip-lining! You’ll find some epic mountain biking trails alongside the traditional hiking routes, and plenty of opportunities for rock climbing, backpacking, canoeing, whitewater rafting and paddle-boarding. What’s more, come in the winter and you’ll find some of the best skiing in the Rockies, with a chance to try your hand at cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice climbing and dog sledding.
How To Plan A Trip To Whistler
If your inner adventurer is calling, why not start planning a trip to Whistler today? There is so much to discover in this wonderful region in summer, so if you’re looking for an epic hiking destination, look no further! We’ve put together all the information you need to start planning a trip to Whistler, complete with our top tips for the perfect stay, and all of our favorite hikes, whether you’re planning a winter weekend escape, or simply looking for ideas for the perfect day in Whistler. All you need to do is start dreaming of your next adventure!
Frequently Asked Questions About Whistler
Are Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb the same place?
Whistler and Blackcomb are the two mountains that tower over Whistler Village, and together they make up the Whistler Blackcomb ski resort.
Do I need a car in Whistler?
Whistler is very well-equipped for tourists, and if you stay in one of the central villages (Whistler, Blackcomb or Creekside) you’ll be within walking distance of several ski lifts that can take you up to a range of hiking trails. If you’d prefer to travel without a car, it’s therefore still very easy to get around. However, if you want to go further afield or access some of the out-of-the-way trails, it might be worth renting a car.
How do I get to Lost Lake?
Lost Lake is very close to Whistler Village and can be accessed on foot or by bike via the Valley Trail. The circular route around the lake and back to the village takes approximately 1.5 hours.Read More
The best hikes in Whistler
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.