While it might be a little early for alpine hiking, many of the trails down in the valley are clear of snow and ready for exploring. We’ve put together a list of some of the best trails in the Whistler area, ordered from easiest to most difficult.
Each of the following hikes offers a unique Whistler experience with plenty of breathtaking views along the way and multiple chances to interact with nature. Make room for them on your must-hike list.
This gently undulating trail is perfect for a mellow family hike – or even a bike ride! The toughest part is the somewhat pothole-y logging road that takes you to the trail head. From there, this well-marked trail is a breeze. Follow the path through thick forests as it leads you towards the impossibly blue glacial Cheakamus Lake. If you want to extend your hike, look into some of the other trails that connect to this hike. It’s about 3 kilometres to the lake, and you can keep walking for up to another 5 kilometres along the lake, opting to turn around at any point. You can see plenty in two or two and a half hours.
Just north of Whistler by Cougar Mountain lies the Ancient Cedars Trail, which has recently undergone a major revitalization. There are hilly sections, but the elevation gain is minimal and the end-prize is totally worth it: a grove of cedars that have been around for a long, long time. This 5 kilometre loop can be done in under two hours.
Starting on Alta Lake Road near the Alpine Meadows neighbourhood, this trail leads you south all the way to Function Junction. At 16 kilometres (one way), it’s a good idea to have a car waiting for you at the other end. There are a few decent hills to trek up, but it’s not a hike up a mountain. Bring your camera for the views you’ll encounter along the way.
When Whistler Mountain opens for summer sightseeing, make a beeline for the Peak Chair and check out the infamous High Note Trail. This mostly-downhill hike features stunning view after stunning view as your wrap your way around the mountain, conveniently ended at the Roundhouse. It can get a bit technical in some parts, but it’s safe and not overly difficult. It shouldn’t take you more than 4 hours to complete this 9 kilometre hike.
Ready for a challenge? Skip the gondola and climb up Whistler Mountain on the Singing Pass Trail. It’s a steady hike up with some tricky hills towards the end, but spread over 22 kilometres, it doesn’t feel terribly steep. The entire hike is awesome, but it gets particularly fun when you make it past the treeline into the Whistler backcountry. Make a side trip to Russet Lake, which is 2 kilometres off the trail. This hike ends at the Roundhouse on Whistler, so you can catch the gondola on the way down.
Black Tusk is one of the Whistler area’s best-known trails. Whether you power through the 29 kilometre hike (there and back) in one day or choose to camp out in the mountain is up to you – both are great ways to experience the varied terrain and jaw-dropping views you’ll encounter along the way.