One-time Winter Olympics host, and world-class ski destination, Whistler Blackcomb shines in the summer months. Located a scenic 1.5-hour drive from Vancouver, B.C., visit Whistler for the day or book a private villa, luxury hotel, or bed and breakfast and settle in. Abundant sunshine and long days mean there is plenty of time to golf, hike, bike, or stroll through Whistler’s charming pedestrian-friendly village during the summer season. If you enjoy hiking, Whistler offers extensive and varied terrain ranging from stroller and wheelchair accessible routes to more advanced alpine experiences. Here are five of the best hiking trails in Whistler, B.C. ranging from beginner to more advanced.
1. Lost Lake Trail System – Beginner
The trails around Lost Lake, located walking distance from Whistler Village, are appropriate for the youngest hikers or anyone short on time. You can follow the trail around Lost Lake (approximately 5 km), hike a bit and turn back, or connect to another trail and continue to explore the trail system. The accessibility and gentle terrain make this one of the best hiking trails in Whistler for families with young children. There are picnic tables and washrooms near the main beach.
2. Harmony Lake Loop – Intermediate
The picturesque Harmony Lake Loop begins at the Roundhouse Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain. You will need to purchase a lift ticket and ride up to Roundhouse Lodge.
From the Roundhouse Lodge, the well-marked trail descends through an alpine forest toward mirror-like Harmony Lake. Watch for bashful and well-camouflaged marmots – silvery brown coloured animals who live amongst the rocks.
After completing the 2.5 km hike, you can stop for a meal or snack at the Roundhouse Lodge before riding the lift down the mountain. Harmony Lake Loop is an out and back trail so you can return to the Roundhouse Lodge at any point.
3. Overlord Glacier & Lakeside Loop – Intermediate
A gentle trail, known as Alpine Walk, leads away from Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain toward the start of the Overlord Trail. Pack a camera along with your drinks and snacks because alpine wildflowers blanket the slopes and snow covered glaciers dazzle in the distance. Follow the trail all the way to crystal clear Blackcomb Lake or return to Rendezvous Lodge along the same trail.
Rendezvous Lodge is accessible via the Peak to Peak Tram from Whistler Mountain. From the base of Blackcomb, ride the Wizard Express chairlift followed by the Solar Coaster Express to Rendezvous Lodge.
4. Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk – Beginner
More of a walk than a hike – hence the name – the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk is a 1.6 km loop around the summit of Whistler Mountain. If you can take your eyes off the jaw-dropping view, there are storyboards along the walk explaining the area’s alpine ecosystem.
Access the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk via the gondola from Whistler Village or the Peak to Peak Tram from Blackcomb. Either way, you will end up close to the Peak Express chairlift for a ride to the summit. After the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk, beginner hikers can ride down the mountain. And advanced hikers may be interested in following the High Note Trail – see #5 below.
5. Whistler High Note Trail – Advanced
The almost 10 km High Note Trail is suitable for older children and adults comfortable in an alpine environment. The trail begins behind the Inukshuk at the top of the Peak Express chairlift on Whistler Mountain. Stunning views of Black Tusk (a needle-like peak of volcanic rock in Garibaldi Provincial Park), crevasse-filled glaciers, and emerald-coloured alpine lakes are visible from High Note Trail.
The High Note Trail will lead you back to the Roundhouse Lodge. From the Roundhouse Lodge, ride the gondola to Whistler Village or the Peak to Peak Tram to Blackcomb Mountain.
Best Hiking Trails in Whistler Travel Tips
- View the Whistler Alpine Hiking Trail Map here.
- Bears love spending the summer in Whistler too. When you are hiking the trails in Whistler, carry a bear bell (available at most Whistler outdoor shops). You can also make noise occasionally to avoid startling the bears.
- If you are afraid of heights or hiking with young children, you may not enjoy the Peak Express chairlift. I am ok with heights and my palms still get sweaty when I ride it.
- If you plan to visit Vancouver before you travel to Whistler, you might appreciate learning more about the fabulous and family-friendly Fairmont Pacific Rim luxury hotel.
Have you been to Whistler in the summer? Did you visit any of the places on this list of the best hiking trails in Whistler?