Whistler, British Columbia – Our Top 5 Hikes

Whistler one of the best ski resorts in the world is an awesome summer destination too! Located in the Fitzsimmons range, a mountain range on the northwest edge of the Garibaldi ranges it is the gateway to tons of amazing hikes.

Most, due to the altitudes & distances are challenging hikes with the reward being some of the most spectacular views we have ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. We spent the whole summer in Whistler & with hiking being our thing we did a lot of it. Here are our top 5 hikes in the area & how we did them.

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Cheakamus Lake

We did this one as an overnight hike & actually hiked all the way from Whistler village to the trail head, which added up to 20 km before we even got started on the trail itself. If you have a car you can just park up & hike from there.

We then hiked all the way to the Singing Creek campground from the trail head which was a 7 km hike, along relatively easily ground through some beautiful forest before eventually taking the trail along side the river for even more stunning views. This part of the hike, with our bags took us around 2.5 hours in total.

The campground itself was such an awesome experience, we camped up right at the side of the river & had the whole place to ourselves. There are toilet facilities on site & a food hang to keep all of your food & anything else that is smelly (sunscreen, toiletries etc.) away from any bears that may be in the area.

There is also another campground at just 4 km from the trail head, both can be reserved & paid for through the BC parks website.

Being right on the edge of the lake with nothing but forest surrounding us was a truly magical experience & a way to feel totally at one with nature.

We also have a vlog on this hike, you can watch our adventure in full right here:

Iceberg Lake – The Skywalk Trail

We did this as a day hike as there are no campgrounds up at the top & took a bus as far as we could from Whistler Village to Alpine Way before getting off to join the trail head. The intermediate hike which was a 15 km return journey with 870 m elevation gain & took us right up through the Alpine, past rivers, waterfalls & some gorgeous meadows at the very top before reaching Iceberg Lake itself, where we were literally stood face to face with a glacier on one side & had the most spectacular views of the region on the other.

Because every mountain is worth the climb 🙌 We were rewarded with these almost other worldly views when we hiked the “Skywalk” trail up to “Iceberg” lake earlier this week. A 14km return passing waterfalls, forest & some beautiful mountain meadows makes the trail itself just gorgeous & then there’s this at the top! Another amazing Whistler hike ticked off for us & one for you to add to the list if you are planning on exploring the area 👣 • • • • • #hiking #skywalktrail #iceberglake #OnlyInWhistler #explorebc #hellobc #explorecanada #getoutside #mountainlion #instamountain #exploremore #theglobewanderer #letsgosomewhere #optoutside #landscape_capture #awesome_earthpics #natureaddicts #instanaturelover #awakethesoul #livetocreate #wanderfolks #travelcouplelife #adventuretravel #adventurecouple #travelblog #travelbloggers #leicacamera #leicam #explorationinspiration #destinationaddict

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The hike took us around 6-7 hours, with a good stop for lunch & plenty of stops for photos & to just take in the views. The feeling at the top was just so dramatic, it was almost like being on another planet.  Having the meadows at the top gave the whole hike a feeling like no other we had been on & we have to say we well & truly enjoyed this trail from beginning to end due to the amount that it changed throughout the hike, so much so that we didn’t even tire of it on our way back down!

Russet Lake

This was another overnight hike for us & we actually reached the trail head on this occasion by taking the cable car from Whistler Village up to the stop at the Roundhouse & followed “Pika’s Traverse” all the way to the “Half Note” onto “High Note” then to the “Musical Bumps” trail. The names of the trails themselves that day were enough to keep us entertained!

We followed these trails, 13 km & 1300 m up all the way to Russet Lake past the most incredible scenery we have ever seen. The Half Note Trail comes right across the top of Cheakamus Lake & seeing it from above on such a clear & sunny day was just breathtaking! Once we reached The High Note Trail, there were fewer people around which meant we had the feeling of having the place almost to ourselves, with more epic scenery & the most gorgeous meadows we were well & truly wowed all the way to Russet Lake, which was our final stop & campground for the night.

This week we hiked the Half Note to High Note to Musical Bumps trail, 13km, all the way up to 1300m, camping overnight at Russet Lake in Whistler 🇨🇦 ⛺️ Not only did we love the names of these trails, we also loved the spectacular scenery we were rewarded with along the way! It was our favourite hike to date & we loved every single second of it 👣 Do you like to hike? What’s been your best hiking experience? • • • • • #whistlerhikes #OnlyInWhistler #highnotetrail #mountaintherapy #awakethesoul #explorebc #explorecanada #beautifulbc #optoutside #liveauthentically #wanderfolks #mountainlover #makememories #theglobewanderers #earthfocus #earthpics #ig_mood #passionpassport #welivetoexplore #exploreshareinspire #adventurecouple #adventuresforever #natureaddicts #travelbloggers #travelcouple #travelphotography #leicam #leicaq #explorationinspiration #destinationaddict

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It took us around 6 hours to reach the campground with stops for lunch & plenty of photos, the campground itself can be reserved on the BC Parks site & has some of the best pitches we have seen when wild camping. There are toilet facilities up there & a hut which can be reserved too if you don’t wish to bring your own tent, we just used it to store our food overnight with there being no hanging facilities at this campground.

Being surrounded completely by mountains as we cooked over our little camping stove in the evening was such an incredible feeling, after such a clear day the sky looked as though it was on fire as the sun set & when it got dark was filled with literally thousands of stars. We took the top layer off of our tent so that only the mesh was remaining so we could star gaze & after a while were surprised & in complete awe as the northern lights began to dance in the sky around us. This for us was the most epic camping experience either of us had ever had & a memory that will stay with us forever.

The next day we followed the Russet Lake Trail back the way we came the day before then took Singing Pass all the way down, 14 km to Whistler Village.

Wedgemount Lake

Still our most challenging hike to date, Wedgemount was so tough but oh my was it worth it! Climbing up to 1200 m in just 7 km was just hard going the whole way. We again did this as an overnight hike, taking the bus as far as we could from Whistler Village meaning that we had a 4 km to hike before we even got to the trail head, yes in case you can’t tell already we don’t like to take things easy!

You can of course, if you have a car drive to the trail head & walk from there. The hike up was a good 3.5 – 4 hours with all of our overnight stuff, we would say this could be done a lot faster without bags & camping gear but would still be a pretty tough hike none the less. The last part of the hike was definitely the most difficult with a moderate to intermediate scramble over some pretty rocky terrain.

The best thing about this hike for us were definitely the views at the top, Wedgemount lake itself is picture perfect & blew us away with just how blue it was. There are several camp spots at the top that work on a first come first serve basis & even though we had paid for our camp spot beforehand we still had to take a spot on the rocks which we didn’t mind at all with the views that were on offer!

There are also toilet facilities & a hut that can be reserved for sleeping in at the top. Our advice would be to leave your food hung up in the hut, we were very fortunate as it didn’t happen to us but we did hear stories of mice chewing through tents to get to people’s goodies!

We also gave ourselves plenty of time in the morning to walk around the lake & appreciate the other-worldly scenery. Unfortunately a hike up the glacier was off the cards due to us not having any crampons but none the less the morning was amazing. We also have a vlog on our full hike up there & our amazing morning which you can watch right here:

After enjoying an amazing morning the 7 km hike back down for us was just as tricky due to it being so steep & my knees not liking going downhill one bit – our advice if you have problems with your knees, take supports & walking poles with you!

Panorama Ridge & The Tusk

This was actually the last big hike that we did in Whistler & this time we got a lift from a friend to the trail head as we had a lot of distance to cover over the 2 days. We did it again as an overnight hike, as we wanted to take on both The Tusk & Panorama Ridge over both of the days we were up there.

On day 1 we hiked with all of our stuff up to Taylor Meadows campground, the most well set up campground we have been to when wild camping that even had a big hut for cooking & eating in, hanging facilities to keep food & smellys away from any bears & toilet facilities. The campground was pretty much empty when we were there but we did camp in October, in the height of the summer season reserving a place online through BC Parks is a must.

After leaving our gear at the campground we spent the afternoon hiking up to “The Black Tusk” a strange shaped peak that can be seen for miles around & feels a little like walking on the moon when you’re up there. The views of Garibaldi lake below & the whole of the Garibaldi mountain range were just spectacular from up there. It was a 13 km return trip from Taylor Meadows up to the tusk, with a steady incline & moderate scramble at the end. All in all in took us around 4-5 hours with plenty of stops to take in all of the views.

After camping overnight in pretty chilly temps it was an early rise for us to get up to Panorama Ridge, unexpectedly a little harder than the day before, it was a 6.5 km hike with a steady incline to get up to the viewpoint which was one of the most spectacular views we have ever laid eyes on!

Because there’s nobody else I’d rather be on top on the world with 👫🌎 Today we’re sharing our gratitude for each other, for all of the epic adventures that we have been on together & for the amazing things that we have to look forward to 💖 How about you? What are you grateful for? #SoppySunday • • • • • #appreciationpost #appreciatelife #adventurelovers #mountainlove #mountaincouple #ontopoftheworld #panoramaridge #garibaldilake #OnlyInWhistler #hellobc #canada150 #lakevibes #nature_brilliance #awesomeearthpics #naturelovers #liveauthentic #thecreative #artofvisuals #livefolk #nature_perfection #ig_mountains #welivetoexplore #mountaingram #travelcouple #cutecouples #leicacamera #leicam #explorationinspiration #destinationaddict

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After soaking up the views as much as we could it was a 6.5 km hike back down to the campground to pack up all of our stuff & 7.5 km back to the trail head. This for us was the perfect end to our hiking season in Whistler, a season full of challenging climbs with the rewards being the most magnificent scenery, epic views & a connection with nature that we have both felt so deeply it has quite honestly changed us forever.

Our Top Hiking Tips

A question we are always asked is what we bring with us, here are our top items for wild camping:

A decent & fully wind & waterproof tent

A warm & lightweight sleeping bag

Good waterproof jacket

Good waterproof hiking boots

Hiking socks – these are so important for keeping your feet blister free!

Plenty of lightweight layers & thermals for sleeping in to keep out the cold

Waterproof cover for rucksacks

Suncream

Mosquito repellent

Go Pro & camera to capture all that scenery

Water filtration bottles to make any water safe to drink

A small camping stove

Flint

Pen knife

Lightweight Torch

Portable battery chargers

Enough food to last you through, dried food that you can just add water is great as it doesn’t weigh too much

Basic first aid kit – main items we use are ibropufen for any swollen legs, tiger balm for aches & pains & knee supports to protect knees when coming down hill

Other tips from us are to always respect wildlife, do not feed any animals you may come across no matter how cute they may look! Bears in Canada can sometimes be on hiking trails, we have come across one on a couple of occasions, you can have things with you like a bell to alert bears when you are coming or spray to avoid an attack. If you encounter a black bear, stand tall & back away slowly talking to the bear to make him/her aware of what you are, black bears will try to avoid confrontation with humans as much as we will with them. For safety whilst at your campsite always cook & prepare food away from where you are actually camping & hang any food up & any smelly items up & away in the hanging facilities available on some sites, up in a tree or in a locked hut.

Always pack out what you pack in, take rubbish bags with you & leave no trace of being there. If you see rubbish along the way, pick it up & take it with you, every little really does help.

We always use the app MAPS.ME for navigating & to date it has never let us down, all trails mentioned above are fully marked on there.

We hope you have enjoyed reading about our top Whistler hikes & this post has given you some inspiration to get out there & take some of them on too! Have any comments or questions for us at all? Please let us know in the comments!

Happy Hiking 🙂

Kelly & Adam x

Published by Kelly
One half of adventure travel couple Destination Addict. I was born & grew up in Bristol, UK & started travelling in my early twenties. I have travelled to over 30 countries & have a real passion for exploring. For me travel is about learning about new places & cultures, meeting new people & really immersing yourself in a place. I prefer to travel slowly as I feel this is the best way to really take everything in. I just love an adventure, my main activities being hiking & cycling with diving & kayaking also a favourite. My other passions in life include my amazing fiancée, my beautiful family & friends, photography, reading, yoga, music & good food. I am a sucker for a sunset & for epic views, The reason I started travel writing is that I want to show others that they can get out there & explore too. I want no more than to pass on some exploration inspiration to our readers & really hope you enjoy following our journey.

6 thoughts on “Whistler, British Columbia – Our Top 5 Hikes

  • Awesome post guys. Hell, you two are intrepid but those views are just amazing! Watching the Northern Lights above your tent must have been magical. Keep ‘em coming!

  • Wedgemount looks unbelievable!! That hike is in my top 5 hikes to do in Canada. Maybe once it’s a bit warmer 😉

    • We would most definitely recommend doing it when the weather is warmer, it was even a little chilly when we were up there in July – thermals are definitely advisable 🙂

  • Think after reading this, when I do get over there, it’ll have to be a lot longer than just a few weeks! Looks and sounds incredible!

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