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6 Unbeatable Hikes to Make or Break your Legs in Whistler

hiking in Whistler

Whistler is a hiking mecca with endless possibilities, from hour-long hikes to overnight adventures. The seasons are changing, but that doesn’t mean the hiking season is over.

Soon the snow will start to fall, and our beautiful mountains will be covered. Fall is arguably the best time of year to adventure out; you still get magical views, breathtaking sunsets/sunrises, and mild temperatures.

The only downside to fall hiking is less daylight; you will need to plan accordingly to ensure you have enough light to complete your mission. Whistler has the right trail for you, whether you’re an avid hiker or a casual walker.

Follow along for the top 6 trails to work the legs!

1) Train Wreck Hike

The Train Wreck is a piece of Whistler history; it’s a popular destination which follows along the Sea to Sky Trail.

In 1956, a freight train from Lillooet to Vancouver railed a corner too hard and was sent into the forest. Luckily no one was injured, and now the cars have been covered with colourful graffiti for everyone to enjoy. Stroll through the still forest, over the suspension bridge, with the Cheakamus River flowing below.

This is the perfect hike to move the legs after a long day or start the morning off on the right foot! 

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Time: 1 hr 
  • Kilometres: 2KM
  • Elevation gain: 30M
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Camping: No

Whistler Hikes Ancient Cedars

2) Ancient Cedars

Travel through the magnificent Ancient Cedars trail to witness beautiful old-growth cedars. Then, travel just north of the Village up to Cougar Mountain; it’s a gravel road in excellent condition, and any vehicle should be able to make it to the parking lot.

Stroll through the forest, and take in the massive trees surrounding you. This is the ultimate loop to tucker out any pups or kids. 

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Time: 2 hrs
  • Kilometres: 5KM
  • Elevation gain: 175M
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Camping: No

Brandywine Meadows Whistler Hikes

3) Brandywine Meadows

Brandywine Meadows is located just South of Whistler and is an excellent hike to push your limits.

There are two parking lots depending on your vehicle's 4x4 access. The lower lot is accessible with a car with all-wheel or 4x4, whereas the upper lot requires a vehicle with 4x4 and high clearance. From the bottom lot, climb through the steep forest area, following the creek and waterfalls, until you reach the sub-alpine zone. The trail starts to flatten as you make your way through the Meadows.

Pick your perfect camp spot along the river if you’re staying overnight. The river is glacier fed and so refreshing. If you want to push your legs to the max, scramble up to the top of Brandywine Mountain for a 360-degree view of pure mountain goodness.

See all the famous peaks, Black Tusk, Mount Fee, Mount Cayley, and many more! 

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time: 3.5 hrs
  • Kilometres: 6KM
  • Elevation gain: 550M
  • Dog Friendly: Yes
  • Camping: Yes

4) Russet Lake Via Whistler Blackcomb

Visit the Kees & Claire Hut at Russet Lake for your most luxurious Backcountry experience.

The Hut is easily accessible from the Whistler Blackcomb; travel up Whistler or Blackcomb (depending on the time of year). Cut out the majority of your elevation gain by starting from the Roundhouse. Then, go through the Musical Bumps, Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, and over Cowboy Ridge for the last climb to the lake.

Enjoy the magnificent views of the Garibaldi Provincial Park. For the descent, you can travel down the Singing pass trail delivering you directly to the Village.

The Hut and epic views will make this an unforgettable adventure. 

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time: 8-10hrs 
  • Kilometres: 25KM
  • Elevation gain: 1300M
  • Dog Friendly: No
  • Camping: Yes

Panorama Ridge - Whistler Hiking

5) Panorama Ridge

Panorama Ridge is the famous ridge you’ve probably already seen a photo of somewhere.

This hike has arguably the best view, with Garibaldi Lakes teal water shimmering in the distance and Black Tusk so close you could touch it. Starting your hike just South of the Whistler Village, you begin to walk through the wooded area. After a few kilometres, there is a junction to head directly to Garibaldi Lake or continue to the Ridge.

This hike can be completed in a day; some prefer to camp at Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows. As you climb, you’ll pass many swimming holes and scramble up the final ridge. At the top, you’ll witness breathtaking views that you wouldn’t have imagined possible.

If you want a bit more to tire the legs, you’ll have to continue up to the magical Black Tusk! 

  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Time: 11 hrs
  • Kilometres: 30KM
  • Elevation gain: 1520M
  • Dog Friendly: No
  • Camping: Yes

6) Wedgemount Lake

If you’re looking for a steep and rewarding hike, you must check out Wedgemount Lake.

You know it must be straight up a climb only 6KM up with over 1000M elevation gain. However, you can easily access the trailhead with any vehicle located just North of the Village. Besides the challenging uphill battle, Wedgemount has a stunning view at the top and a beautiful alpine lake that no one could resist.

You will travel through the forest for what feels like a lifetime as the trail starts to reach a clearing. Once the terrain starts to open up, that's when the real scramble begins. A small Hut is located at the top for those who wish to stay, or there are camping spots around the lake.

This hike is a must-check-off before the season is over! 

  • Difficulty: Difficult 
  • Time: 7 hrs
  • Kilometres: 12KM
  • Elevation gain: 1160M
  • Dog Friendly: No
  • Camping: Yes

We are fortunate to be able to hike through these magical mountains, and we must do our part to keep the trails pristine.

Follow the “leave no trace” rule; pack out what you pack in. It’s that simple, whatever garbage you create, make sure you’re packing it out, and why not grab any other rubbish you see along the way?

It’s also important to remember you’re in bear country in these mountains. All summer long, they’re searching for food for the winter; bring your bear spray, pack away your food at night, and if you see a bear, give it space. 

The goal of hiking is to enjoy the views, get exercise, and leave as little impact as possible. Many people don’t know that the alpine pant life is extremely sensitive. Stay on the trail as much as possible; it only takes a few steps on the Heather for it to die and never grow back.

Each of these hikes provides a certain serenity found nowhere else. So get connected to nature this fall, and hurry before the snow starts to fall!