As the snow begins to melt, the hiking trails emerge from underneath. While many trail conditions can be variable at this time, there is still the possibility of getting out into the mountains for a hike. Being prepared and understanding what you might encounter can ensure the best and safest experience possible. Packing and dressing for the occasion are just part of the bigger picture. Here’s what you should know about early season hiking in Whistler so you can hit the trails and have fun!
What To Expect
The term early season can mean a wide variety of different things. It can mean that there is still snow on the ground, that maintenance hasn’t been done, and that there might not be the usual traffic on the trails. When this term is used, it means users should be prepared for anything. Expect that the conditions might be variable. Expect that weather could change, and expect to not see as many other trail users. What’s more, spring is when animal activity increases so be aware of your surroundings as well as respectful.
What To Wear
Layers, layers, layers! We couldn’t speak more highly about the benefits of wearing layers. This will help you if you get too warm, cold, or wet. Just add or remove accordingly. Always remember that your outermost layer should be waterproof, especially as spring showers are notorious for making an appearance.
What To Pack
Early season hiking is no different in terms of hiking at any other point in the year. Here is a list of things you should be carrying with you should you decided to venture into the woods:
- Hiking backpack
- Weather-appropriate clothing (think moisture-wicking and layers)
- Hiking boots or shoes
- Plenty of food
- Plenty of water
- Navigation tools such as a map and compass
- First-aid kit
- Knife or multi-tool
Suggested Early Season Hikes
This 2.1 km hike can be done year-round. It ends at a 66 metre waterfall and is a must-see while in Whistler
The Train Wreck
Decades ago, a train derailed just past Function Junction. Now, a 5.1 km hike will take you to the ruins.
The hike to Rainbow Falls is short, scenic and only 1.4 km long (round-trip from the trailhead). Furthermore, it can be reached by walking from Whistler Village. If you would like to make it longer, there are more vantage points to enjoy the waterfall higher up the trail.
Just north of Whistler lies Nairn Falls Provincial Park. A 2.4 km round-trip hike will allow you to see the beautiful Green River and a series of 10 m to 20 m waterfalls.
In Whistler, hiking early season is possible if you are prepared. Pack smart, let someone know where you are going, route plan, and be prepared for variable conditions. For more insight into what to do in Whistler and the very best accommodation deals, speak directly to a local at Whistler Reservations.