Beat the Heat at these Lakes in Whistler
Nothing says summer like a relaxing day floating on the lake with a cold beverage in hand. Or maybe your crew is more into plunging off a rope swing into a bracing Whistler lake. Both May and June brought early periods of heat to Whistler this year and whetted appetites for a refreshing dip in our beautiful lakes. Thanks to Mother Nature, the Whistler area is blessed with some great places to beat the heat with a swim.
Lost Lake - Lost Lake Park
First on the list would have to be Lost Lake, nestled in the forest and boasting six docks. This local favourite is easily accessible on foot, by bike or bus from Whistler Village. Vehicles are discouraged, due to a lack of parking. The local number five bus drops passengers off on Blackcomb Way, where it’s a short walk to the Lake. The designated Lost Lake bus stops at the lake concession area and beach.
Each summer a new assortment of food trucks offers savory and sweet treats at the lake. This summer’s program, Park Eats, includes crepes, wood fired pizza and gelato. Whistler kids (and grown-ups who admit it!) love the long multi-coloured freezies available on a scorching summer day. Many folks bring their portable grills, using the interspersed picnic tables for a meal. Smoking and consumption of alcohol are not allowed and are regularly enforced..
Dogs are not permitted off leash at Lost Lake Park and are not allowed on the beach. They do have their own beach called Canine Cove just 400 meters North around the lake trail.
There are convenient wash rooms at Lost Lake as well as a handy shower. The wide, circular 1.7 mile trail loop around the lake is perfect for exercise, dog walking or simply taking in the beautiful views. Recently, visitors were treated to the sight of an otter swimming at dusk.
Alta Lake - Lakeside Park
Alta Lake, the largest lake in Whistler, is another great spot for a swim. It can be accessed at Lakeside Park, between Whistler and Creekside, just off Highway 99 in the Alta Vista neighbourhood. Parking can be very difficult, due to this park’s popularity and easy accessibility. Use caution when parking in the neighbourhood, making sure to obey all signs to avoid being towed. Again, arriving by bicycle via the Valley Trail or bus is optimal.
Paddleboards, kayaks and canoes can be rented at Lakeside Park. There are convenient wash and change rooms available. The Park Eats food trucks will be alternating between Lost Lake and Alta Lake, so you won’t go hungry after a day of swimming. If you opt to bring your own food, picnic tables and bbq pits are available. Smoking, vaping and consumption of alcohol are not allowed in the park.
While you can take your leashed pup to this park, it is not very dog friendly. There is no dog beach and the park is small. Your furry friend would be more comfortable at other Whistler parks.
Usually Alta Lake is also accessible at the larger Rainbow Park. However, Rainbow Park is closed for renovations for summer season 2023.
Loggers Lake - Whistler Interpretive Forest
A bit off the beaten path is Loggers Lake, sitting in a bowl formed by an extinct volcano in Whistler’s Interpretive Forest. The nearby Cheakamus trail system offers many hiking and biking options prior to a dip in the lake. The drive to reach the trailhead for the lake is five minutes from Creekside. A short, but rocky and steep hike up a forest service road rewards with a picturesque, glassy lake, ringed by giant boulders on one end. On our last visit, three legendary and very high rope swings hung from the trees.
This is one of the warmest lakes in Whistler. There is no beach, but random fallen logs extend into the water and a rustic, homemade dock is on the far side.
You can feel free to take your dog to Loggers Lake off leash, although care should be taken with the awareness bears can be in the vicinity. There are no prohibitions against smoking or alcohol, but as always, respect the fire safety bans and exhibit responsible behaviour. Because this is an interpretive forest with no garbage bins or pick-up, please pack out what you pack in, to leave this area pristine for the next visitor and to protect our bear population.
Whether floating lazily on an inner tube or plunging off a high rope swing, an afternoon at one of Whistler’s refreshing lakes is a wonderful antidote to hot weather. Lost Lake, Alta Lake and Loggers Lake all provide sweet relief on a hot summer day.