You’ve seen those images on social media and the web: turquoise lakes, devastatingly jagged peaks, and towering waterfalls. Whistler has some of the most striking and stunning terrain in North America. Planning a trip to British Columbia can feel overwhelming- there is just so much to go and see in this wonderland. Located just 75 miles from Vancouver, there are countless miles of trail to explore spanning from the tops of peaks to the bottoms of waterfalls.
Look, we know you’ll be busy picking up poutine from Splitz and stopping to grab a candian beaver tail (just google it). Your time up north is precious, so we’re going to help streamline your trip, and do the research for you. Don’t take our word for it- go hit the trails for yourself!
Joffre Lakes is arguably one of the most iconic hikes in British Columbia. This trail meanders along three glacier-fed lakes and a series of waterfalls. How fit do I need to be to make it to Upper Joffre lake, you might be asking? The Joffre Lakes trail is accessible to those with a moderate fitness level, climbing 1,600 feet in 2.4 miles to reach the upper lake. This trail takes most people between 4 – 5 hours, although you might take longer if you’re trying to capture the perfect photo. You might be wondering if this trail is appropriate for your family. Your littlest hikers might not make it up to Upper Joffre Lake, but the Lower Joffre Lake is only 5 minutes from the parking lot. Does this trail get crowded? Sure. We’d be lying if we said this was a well kept secret. But hike along the lake and find a quiet spot. This beauty on this trail far outweighs the crowds.
Starting directly from Whistler Village, this 3.1 mile hike around Lost Lake offers views of Blackcomb and Whistler, with very mild elevation gain. While you certainly could take the slightly easier, more popular gravel trail, we recommend taking the nature trail. At the end of the hike you’ll find picnic tables, and plenty of beautiful spots to relax and enjoy the scenery. If you really want to do Lost Lake right, bring a blanket, a bottle of wine, and stay for sunset. Pro tip? Pack a suit and take a dip! Lost Lake is one of the “warmer” lakes in the area.
Arguably, one of the most spectacular trails in all of North America is the hike to Wedgemount Lake. This striking glacier-fed lake is accessed with a steep climb, but we promise that the views are worth the work. Gaining nearly 3,200 feet in the course of the 11.3 mile hike, your legs will certainly feel the climb. The trail gradually climbs through a dense forest of Douglas Fir trees before reaching the lake. While you could certainly end your hike when you reach the bottom of the lake, you’ll be rewarded if you continue to Taylor Meadows. Because of the sensitive nature of the environment in this area, you’ll be required to have a free day pass for access. This is a hike you certainly don’t want to miss- be sure to plan ahead so you can have access.
Getting to this turquoise blue lake might take a bit more work, but we recommend dedicating an afternoon to this beautiful trail. Climbing nearly 3,200 feet across the 11.3 mile hike, you’ll have certainly earned your views on this trail. At the base of the lake, you can take in sweeping views of the classic summits of the area, including Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge. If you really want to properly do this trail, we recommend an overnight backpacking trip. While you can certainly swim in the lake, be fairly warned- the water is quite brisk!
Looking for something short and extra sweet? Whether you are traveling with children, or want a quick walk to stretch your legs and enjoy some truly impressive views, Brandywine Falls is the perfect hike. Less than 1.5 miles round trip, this trail takes you to a 60-ft towering waterfall, surrounded by lush cliffs. Because of the accessible nature of this trail, don’t expect to find a whole lot of solitude when you visit. You’ll want to arrive early to find parking, and allow yourself a little time if you want to capture a photo without other visitors.
Whistler is one of our favorite mountain towns, and we are looking forward to helping you out this winter. Want to read about how we have served others? Here are some reviews! Enjoy your summer, and we’ll see you on the slopes in a few months.