Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Wed July 01 2015

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  • Michelle Bucher | July 1, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    5 Stunning Hikes to Discover in Whistler, BC This Summer

    5 Stunning Hikes to Discover in Whistler, BC This Summer

    Making any road trip plans for the latter half of the summer? If you’re a hiker, may I suggest a journey to Whistler, British Columbia? I have an amazing list of trails for you to discover.

    This mountainous region is an international destination, sought out by outdoor enthusiasts year round, and the Garibaldi Park area has some magnificent byways to travel on and take in the scenery.

    Moderate trail: 

    Blackcomb Lake – This begins with a ride on the Peak-2-Peak Gondola up to the start of the trail. The gondola takes you up Whistler Mountain, then across to Blackcomb Mountain, both giving you panoramic views of the surrounding range and the village below. Finally, there is a three-hour hike on relatively flat terrain.

    Tip: when riding the gondola across to Blackcomb mountain, look down at the water below. You can usually spot black bears hunting for fish along the water’s edge. 

    Intermediate Trail:

    High Note Trail – this is another great trail that takes you up the Peak-2-Peak Gondola to the top of Whistler Mountain. My favorite part is that you essentially hike down the mountain a bit, and then walk along the side of the mountain, through the beautiful meadow, which is usually bustling with wildflowers in the late summer. This trail gives you stunning views of Cheakamum Lake below and the Black Tusk off in the distance. The High Note Trail is a four-hour hike with a decent amount of elevation gain.

    Garibaldi Lake – as with many of the lakes in this region, Garibaldi Lake is a beautiful emerald green glacier-fed lake. The trail is well manicured and heavily traveled by hikers. Many hikers opt to camp at Garibaldi Lake, and continue on to more challenging trails like Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge. This is a great daylong excursion that takes about 5 hours round trip, and a perfect place to dip in the lake on a hot summer day. 

    Difficult hikes:

    Wedgemount – This is hands down my favorite trail in the Whistler region. Be warned, this is fairly challenging, but it’s not as busy as Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, and Panorama Ridge, and the lake view is just as nice, if not better. This is a seven-hour hike, and the elevation gain is around 3,600 feet, so you’re in for a good challenging hike on this trail.

    Black Tusk – This is such an iconic trail. You can actually see Black Tusk along the highway leading into Whistler. It’s amazing to see the peak from the highway and think “I’ve hiked to the top of that.”

    The Black Tusk trail follows along the same trail as Garibaldi Lake, so you do follow a bit of an intermediate path before branching off for your uphill climb up volcanic rock to the top of the tusk. This is a really popular trail during the summer months. It’s a 11-hour hike round trip, so it’s best to start early.

    The interesting thing about the Black Tusk is that this dormant volcano was once covered by a huge glacier, and when the volcano erupted many years ago, the lava flow actually froze and formed the black dome that we see today. 

    Bonus trail:

    Joffre Lakes – we were just at Joffre Lakes last weekend. It’s quite the road trip from Vancouver (about three hours each way), but another stunning trail with amazing lakes. The Joffre Lakes trail actually has three different lakes. If you’re not much of a hiker, but are looking to enjoy the views of an emerald green lake, you can access the first lake from the parking lot on a short 10-minute walk. If you’re up for the challenge, make your way up to the second and third lake for some surreal glacier and lake views.

    Road trip tip: Joffre Lakes is located in Pemberton, a 40-minute drive north of Whistler. In the summer months, the parking lot is generally packed full of RVs and campervans, making it hard to find parking. I recommend trying to arrive at Joffre Lakes early in the morning. The entire hike to Upper Joffre Lakes and back is about four hours, but leave time in your day to sit at the lakes and enjoy the views.

    Have you been to Whistler before? Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite outdoor activity is, or if you’ve hiked one of these trails before.


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Michelle Bucher Road Rules From the Road Trip Blogger

Michelle Bucher Michelle Bucher is an avid road tripper, travel writer and social media marketer from Vancouver, British Columbia. Michelle has spent the past six years on various road trip adventures around North America. She's road tripped through 48 states, 10 provinces and several other countries. Michelle runs a fun travel blog,, showcasing stories from her random road trip adventures.
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