Is there anything more spectacular than the enormous power of a waterfall? There is something so majestic yet chilling about waterfalls, and Whistler is full of them! These are the best Whistler waterfalls, near and far!
Living in Whistler I am lucky enough to have some of the most striking waterfalls on my doorstep. The great thing about the waterfalls on this list is that they are all easily accessible. Some require a bit of hike, but nothing too strenuous or lengthy. So don’t listen to TLC – go chase those waterfalls!
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Best Time To Visit Waterfalls
The best time of year to visit a waterfall in Whistler is the spring, this is because as the snow melts the excess water fills rivers creating powerful torrents of water, which then cascade down the mountain to create waterfalls. It’s also the shoulder season here so you’re less likely to encounter crowds of people on the trails.
The spring time also brings with it rain here in the Pacific Northwest, but visiting in the rain has its perks! Rain means less people, but I also think the photographs are far more beautiful. Whether rain or shine a good raincoat is a good way to stay dry, either from rain or the waterfalls mist.
7 Best Whistler Waterfalls Map
1) Rainbow Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 10-minutes.
Difficulty: Easy – the total loop is 2.1km with an elevation of 124 metres. Or you can hike to falls and just go back to the parking lot, which is a shorter distance.
If you are searching for an easy a short hike in Whistler that ends with a beautiful waterfall, Rainbow Falls is your guy! Rainbow Falls is one of the smaller waterfalls in Whistler, but it still packs a punch. You can get super close to this waterfall but take extra care as rocks can be slippery.
This trail was one of the first I ever did in BC. The trail itself isn’t technical but there are lots of tree roots so just watch your footing. Visiting on a warm day is amazing, feeling the spray of the waterfall is such a good feeling! If you want to explore the area around the falls there is a small wooden bridge that crosses the creek which is great for taking photos on.
Rainbow Falls is tucked away along Alta Lake Road in Whistler, and since it’s off the beaten path it receives a lot less visitors. The parking lot is small and only holds around 6-8 cars so getting here early is the best way to snag a parking spot.
2) Alexander Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 25-minutes
Difficulty: SUPER easy. No hiking involved for this one. The viewpoint is right at the parking lot.
Tucked away in the Callaghan Valley is the magnificent Alexander Falls. I love this waterfall and have been visiting on a yearly basis since I moved to Whistler back in 2016.
At 43 metres high Alexander Falls cascades down the mountain before flowing into Madeley Creek. This Whistler Waterfall is great for families and visitors with no hiking experience as the lookout platform is right at the parking lot.
In the winter months Alexander Falls freezes over and the parking lot fills with snow and is rarely plowed. However it’s still possible to reach the falls by snowshoe! You’ll need to purchase a pass at Callaghan Country to access the backcountry snowshoe trails. It’s a super fun trail and see ing the waterfall frozen over at the base is so mesmerizing.
Alexander Falls can be found close to Whistler Olympic Park. The total drive time from Whistler Village is around 25-minutes.
3) Nairn Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 25-minutes North.
Difficulty: Easy – this hike is an easy trail but can get narrow in places and has lots of exposed roots, so be careful of your footing. Round trip length is 2.6km with 108 metres of elevation.
One of the few waterfalls on this list that does require a bit of a hike is Nairn Falls. Although a short 1.5km hike is required to find this fantastic waterfall, it is still relatively easy. The trail is full of uneven roots so utmost care should be taken.
Nairn Falls is one of my favourite early season hikes as it’s easy and often free of snow before other trails in the area. The trail follows the beautiful Green River and takes you through a verdant forest of Douglas Fir and Ancient Red Cedar.
Nairn Falls also a great waterfall to visit in the Spring because it’s quite different to the rest. While most of these waterfalls cascade straight down the mountain, Nairn Falls is a series or carved out canyons and the water rages through them. It’s mesmerizing to watch the power of this waterfall and the swirling pools below you.
While the hike to this waterfall is relatively easy, when you reach the falls you’ll need to hike up a rocky area which is often very wet and slippery, so ensure you have appropriate footwear.
4) Train Wreck Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 10-minutes.
Difficulty: Easy! There is no official trail for the falls but if you take the trailhead for the Train Wreck and get onto the trash trail you’ll find it. It’s around 1km or less from the trailhead.
One of the lesser visited waterfalls around Whistler is the Train Wreck Falls. Most people stumble upon this cute waterfall while visiting Whistler’s famous Train Wreck, however if you didn’t know it was here you could walk right past it and never know.
These beautiful falls are wide and short but still so powerful and drop down into the stunning Cheakamus River. The falls can be reached along the “Trash Trail” which takes you north of the Train Wreck suspension bridge.
The trailhead is the same as the trailhead for the Train Wreck, which can be found in the Cheakamus area of Whistler and a short 10-minute drive from Whistler Village.
5) Shannon Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 50-minutes.
Difficulty: Easy! Shannon Falls is another popular waterfall due to is accessibility. The falls are around a 5-minute walk from the parking lot on a paved walkway.
Like many of the waterfalls on this list, Shannon Falls is easily accessible and a popular stop along the stunning Sea to Sky Highway. Located in Squamish, this gorgeous waterfall is the third highest in British Columbia at a height of 335 meters.
Shannon Falls Provincial Park is a small picturesque park situated next door to the Sea to Sky Gondola. It’s a perfect spot to bring a picnic.
The walk to the falls from the parking lot is around 5-minutes and there are multiple viewpoints of the falls as you make your way to the main viewing area.
On summer weekends the parking tends to fill up quite quickly, so get here early. Although many people come to see the falls and then leave, there are lots of day hikes and rock climbing areas here.
6) Mamquam Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 1 Hour.
Difficulty: The actual walk to Mamquam Falls is easy and short but the drive takes you through a Forest Service Road and therefore you’ll need to ensure that your vehicle is able to handle this road.
A hidden gem in Squamish, Mamquam Falls is tucked away at the end of a Forest Service Road. This waterfall near Whistler is best visited later in the season. The snow melt turns this waterfall a beautiful blue.
To get here you’ll need to drive the Mamquam FSR. You’ll come to a gate that is sometimes open or closed, either way you cannot go further than the gate. You’ll need to park in the area just to the left of this gate. The hike begins here. You’ll continue walking past the gate and come to a bridge. Just before the bridge on the left is an opening into the forest – this is the start of the trail.
Continue along the trail and you’ll come to a lookout point. The total time from the parking area will be around 10-15 minutes. Mamquam Falls is beautiful but the lookout point is somewhat underwhelming. This area is very wet and slippery, so I would recommend staying off the rocks.
7) Brandywine Falls
Drive time from Whistler Village: 20-minutes.
Difficulty: Easy. There are two main viewpoints at Brandywine Falls. Both are a short walk from the parking lot and the first viewpoint is around 0.5 kilometre from the parking lot.
One of the most popular and well-known waterfalls near Whistler and a favourite among locals is the breathtaking Brandywine Falls. These famous falls are a popular attraction on the Sea to Sky Highway and just a 10-minute drive south of Whistler.
At 70 metres high Brandywine Falls is a powerfully majestic waterfall that is fed by two Glaciers, one on Brandywine Mountain and one on Mount Fee.
This is one of the most accessible waterfalls on this list. The walk from the parking lot to the lookout points is less than 5-minutes. It’s also possible to hike down to the base of the falls but this is technically off limits so go at your own risk.
The parking lot at Brandywine gets very busy in the summer months and is closed completely during winter. If the parking lot is closed, you cannot park at the gate, cars are known to get towed here!
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