High Note Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
10.7 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
658 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
Overall Rating
This is the average user-submitted overall rating on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
9.4
Physical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Intermediate (Square)
Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
Technical Difficulty
This is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
Easy (Circle)
Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
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Directions to Trailhead
Panorama of the High Note Trail hike in Whistler, British Columbia

Save your legs and get whisked to the peak of Whistler Mountain by the gondola and the Peak Chairlift to embark on the High Note Trail. This wonderful walk has stunning views of Garibaldi Provincial Park and Cheakamus Lake and makes for a very memorable hike.

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Route Description for High Note Trail

From the “Top of the World”, as its sometimes called, turn right and follow the signs for the High Note Trail. This will take you to the famous large Inukshuk that appears in all photos taken from Whistler’s Summit. From this vantage point you will have 360 degree views of hundreds of snow covered peaks. Take a moment here, even if there are crowds, to soak in the monumental beauty of the Coast Mountains. Black Tusk will be quite noticeable on the skyline, as the sharp rectangle that is its peak is easily distinguishable from any other mountain.

The trail starts behind the Inukshuk and leads down off the south aspect of Whistler Mountain. Although it switchbacks down rocky terrain, chain link handrails have been installed to help with the steepest descents. Take care as you descend, it’s especially easy to lose your footing. As you continue down you’ll pass under a wire fence in place for the skiing season; pay it no mind. Keep following the small green plaques with the outline of a hiker on them.

You will come to a junction with a road. A sign will tell you that you are entering the backcountry, and that you can return to the chairlift via the road if you want to turn around. Keep going along the signed High Note Trail and enter the truly magnificent part of the hike.

This section is the core of the High Note Trail. You will be hiking along a grassy ridge with superb views across the valley into Garibaldi Park. Again, Black Tusk will stick out like a sore thumb, as will Helm Peak, Castle Towers and Mount Davidson. Down below, you will see the massive blue Cheakamus Lake, a wonderful hike and one of the 10 Best around Whistler.

The ridge continues for several kilometers, and you will have the option to cut the hike short by taking the “Half Note Trail” back to the chair lift. We advise getting the most out of this ridge and the beautiful views that go alongside it, and continuing along the ridge until the end of the High Note Trail. You will finally reach a junction and turn left, crossing over a wide pass to reenter the official Whistler area.

You will descend through grassy ski runs and past two lakes. Several short but steep ascents bring you back to back to the Roundhouse and the two gondola stations. This section of the hike is permeated with views across the Blackcomb Mountain and back towards the glaciers and peaks of the Spearhead Range.

From here you can take the Peak to Peak chair for free, getting a truly magnificent 360-degree view of the Spearhead Range before descending to Blackcomb Village. You could also stop for a meal in the Roundhouse itself, complete with unbelievable views down to Whistler Village and the full extent of the Coast Mountains that lie behind it.

Want to find more amazing hikes around Whistler? Check out the Garibaldi Lake hike, Panorama Ridge hike or the Black Tusk hike.

Insider Hints for High Note Trail

  • Stop for a meal in the Roundhouse – it's hard to miss with unbelievable views down to Whistler Village and the full extent of the Coast Mountains that lie behind it.

Getting to the High Note Trail Trailhead

From Whistler Village go to the main gondola station and buy the hiking ticket for use of the Whistler Gondola. Exit the gondola station and take the trail leading down to the right, towards the Peak Chairlift and head up. This chairlift goes to the very summit of Whistler Mountain.

Route Information

  • When to do

    June through September

  • Backcountry Campsites

    No

  • Toilets

    Gondola

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    Moderate

  • Route Type

    Circuit

High Note Trail Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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High Note Trail Reviews

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