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8 easy hikes near whistler BC to add to your bucket list

Whistler, British Columbia, is home to some of the most stunning landscapes and hikes in Canada. When I first moved to Canada three years ago, I’d only done a handful of super easy hikes, more like walks really. So when the summer rolled around, I discovered my love of hiking. Since I had pretty much no outdoor experience, I wasn’t ready for the longer more difficult hikes. So I found some easy hikes near Whistler to get me started!

These are the easiest hikes you can find in Whistler. If you are brand new to Hiking, low on time or perhaps have young children or elderly people in your party but still want to experience the great outdoors, these hikes are perfect!

Of course, that’s not to say that young children and elderly people can’t hike the more difficult trails in Whistler (after all I did see a 72 year old lady on my hike in Bryce Canyon) but these are more accessible. 

Hiking is one of the best ways to see Whistler as a local and experience the town past the resort. All of these hikes are free to visit. Most of these hikes will take 1 – 2 hours, you can even fit in several into one day! Before heading out on any hike, make sure you pack the hiking essentials!

There are many hiking trails in Whistler. These are a good place to start if you are a newbie or just want to get out of the house for a few hours.

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Rainbow Falls Trail Whistler

Rainbow Falls is a nice easy hike away from the tourist hot spots of Whistler. I first did this hike in the late spring and it was perfect. The trail itself is relatively flat and wide for most of the hike and follows the 21 mile creek all the way until you reach the falls. 

Depending on what time of year you do the Rainbow Falls hike will depend on how high the water is. In August and September it’s lower which allows you to get further into the creek for better photos. 

The trail starts at a small parking lot off the Alta Lake Road. After a little while in, you’ll come to a partition in the trail, the right hand side path will give you the more scenic route to the falls since it follows 21 mile creek. You’ll come to yet another partition, you’ll want to take the right hand side again which will take you directly to the falls.

Getting nice photos of the falls can be a little difficult since the trail ends at the side of the falls and you can’t get a head on view of it, but if the rocks aren’t too slippery you can always brave crossing them! The rocks I am standing on in the below photo were relatively grippy but still wet so just be cautious. 

Rainbow falls is one of many easy hikes in Whistler, suitable for all abilities.
Feeling like a mermaid at Rainbow Falls

If you’d like to explore more of this little area, turn back around and when you arrive back at the partition (leading directly to the falls) take the right trail and this will lead out towards the water treatment building with a trail map. Walk past this and you’ll find a scenic walk with a bridge. 

How To Get There

The easiest way to get to the trailhead is by car. Rainbow falls is located along Alta Lake Road, which can be accessed just before creekside or just before Rainbow/Green Lake. 

From Whistler Village: Head towards Highway99 from Village Gate Blvd and turn right. Head north and turn onto Alpine Way (Just before the Alpine Cafe) Take the first left and continue along Alta Lake Road until you reach the small parking lot on your right hand side. Total journey time is around 15 minutes. 

The parking lot for Rainbow falls is tiny so only a limited amount of cars can park there. This is also the parking for the trailhead to Rainbow Lake.

Elevation Gain: 68 metres

Time: 1 Hour

Round Trip: 1.4KM

Check out Hike in Whistler for more info

Nairn Falls Trail Whistler

Nairn Falls was one of the first hikes I ever did here in Whistler and it continues to be one of my favourite easy hikes near Whistler. I hike this trail at least once every summer and fall. This hike is really nice in the summer because a lot of it is sheltered by trees. Although you should bring bug spray with you in the summer – the mosquitos are nowhere as bad the Ancient Cedars trail! 

The trail head starts at the Nairn Falls parking lot. On the left of the parking lot is the Nairn Falls Provincial Park camping site – so if visiting in the summer and you’d like to find somewhere to camp, this site is a great option! There is only one trail into Nairn falls so it’s pretty straight forward. Turn right to find the trailhead, and it’s one way from here on. 

One of the viewing decks at Nairn Falls Provincial Park

Once on the trail you’ll notice the beautiful Green River that follows the trail, I find the the sound of the waves soothing while on this hike. Along the trail there are some paths that lead down to the river which are nice for exploring and when the water is low you can walk quite far out on the rocks. The trail into Nairn Falls is pretty flat and wide most of the way so suitable for everyone. 

The trail ends at Nairn Falls. There are several parts of the falls that you can check out, and several viewing decks. You’ll often feel the mist of the falls too which is really nice on a hot day.

Although not as picturesque as Brandywine Falls just south of Whistler, I find Nairn Falls pretty impressive. It’a around the same height as Brandywine but due to it’s unique rock formations causes a more aggressive flow of water.

How To Get There

This hike is technically not in Whistler or Pemberton, it’s in the little area in between. There is no public transport to get to Nairn Falls so you will need a car. Nairn Falls is accessible by driving north on the Highway99 and you’ll find the sign for Nairn Falls on the right hand side. 

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Time: 1.5 Hours

Round Trip: 3KM

More info at Hike in Whistler

Ancient Cedars Trail Whistler

The Ancient Cedars is one of the best easy hikes in Whistler. Not only does it lead you to a grove of Ancient Cedar trees that are somewhat of a celeb here in Whistler, but you’ll also see some viewpoints along the way. 

There are some uphill sections of this trail, so if you need to take things at a slower pace you should. Most of the trail is fairly wide but it does get rougher in some spots so hiking shoes are very much recommended. I hiked this trail the first time in a summer dress and Vans and I came out okay. But knowing what I now know, hiking shoes make a whole lot of difference!

Once you reach the grove of ancient cedars, take time to wander the area. Some of the widest trees I’ve seen were here. There’s also some that have fallen over showing their roots which will give you an idea of just how big they are.

The biggest tip I can give you on this hike, is bring bug spray! The mosquitoes are relentless. My entire body was full of bites. I had so many bumps on my face I grew a second forehead (I looked amazing…)

The Ancient Cedars in Whistler is a great place to start if you are a beginner. One of the easiest hikes in Whistler, this trail has a few lookout points.
Showh Lakes lookout point on the Ancient Cedars Trail

How To Get There

The Ancient Cedars trail is located on the Cougar Mountain forest service road. Depending on the time of year the road conditions may be worse than usual, so a 4×4 is recommended.

From Whistler Village: Head north on Highway 99, just past Green Lake you’ll see a sign for Cougar Mountain. Keep driving past Superfly ziplines and you’ll arrive at the parking lot which holds quite a few vehicles. 

Elevation Gain: 175KM

Time:  2 Hours

Round Trip: 5KM

More info at Hike in Whistler

Cheakamus Lake Trail Whistler

Cheakamus Lake is a must-see when visiting Whistler. Located inside the stunning Garibaldi Provincial Park, the hike to cheakamus lake is pretty flat and easy. Cheakamus Lake is one of the stunning blue turquoise lakes you’ll find in Whistler. 

A 4×4 is needed for this hike since the Cheakamus Lake Road is a gravelly dirt road that can get bumpy. The drive up isn’t the most interesting since there are no significant views or lookout points but it is nice to just enjoy the quiet of the forest. 

The actual hike into Cheakamus Lake is pretty flat and level and trails are wide for the most part but some areas do become narrow. As you approach the lake you’ll start to hear the sound of rushing water and slowly on the right hand side you’ll see the bright blue colour of the Cheakamus River. 

One of the most beautiful spots in Whistler. Cheakamus Lake is one Whistler's easiest hikes and the end result is this stunning lake.
The beautiful reflections at Cheakamus Lake

Eventually you’ll come to an opening showcasing the serene lake and mountains in all their glory. There are a few camping spots along the river and further up you’ll find the Singing Creek campground. Camping spots must be reserved in advance through the official provincial parks website. 

How To Get There

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Time: 3.5 – 5 Hours

Round Trip: 16KM

For more info see Hike in Whistler

Train Wreck Hike Whistler

The Whistler Train Wreck is one of the most easy Whistler hikes. Located in the Whistler interpretive forest this hike is popular among locals. The Whistler Train Wreck is a local celebrity in it’s own right. 

This trail leads to several derailed box cars from a train that derailed on the train tracks above way back in 1953. The train itself was traveling from Lillooet and going way too far and as a result derailed. These box cars were eventually placed here to get them out of the way. They have since become a popular sight to see for locals and tourists alike. 

Over the years they have been grafted on several times. This is the only place in Whistler graffiti is legally allowed. It’s always nice to come and see what new designs adorn the cars. 

This is a perfect beginner hike as the trail is wide, relatively flat and there’s no steep uphill. 

The Whistler Train Wreck Hike is a very popular hike in Whistler. It's one of many short hikes in Whistler that are perfect for people of all ages.
The Train Wreck hike is one of the best easy hikes in Whistler

How To Get There

The trailhead starts in the Cheakamus neighbourhood of Whistler and is instantly recognisable by all the cars parked nearby. The sign to get to the trail head is actually not too big or easy to see. 

From Whistler Village: Head south on the Highway 99, turn left into Cheakamus and take a right turn onto Jane Lakes Road. The parking lot is just a couple of minutes after the turn. You’ll see the small sign for the trailhead. 

Once you find the trailhead the hike in is really easy to follow. You’ll pass over the suspension bridge and down a windy hill and eventually the cars come into view. 

Elevation Gain: Minimal

Time: 1 – 2 Hours

Round Trip: 5K

More info at Hike in Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town Trail Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town is one of the best short hikes in Whistler. Tucked away behind Green Lake lies Parkhurst Ghost House, an abandoned logging town. At it’s peak there were around 70 people living and working on the mill here.

There was even a store and a local school. This little town was abandoned during the 1960s and now all that’s left is remnants of it’s past. All but one of the houses have now collapsed. In the immediate area you’ll find burnt out cars and household wares scattered in ditches. 

Parkhurst Ghost Town is a little off the radar in Whistler but it's an easy hike in Whistler that's great for a little exploration.
The mysterious ghost town of Parkhurst is hard to get to but so worth it!

How To Get There:

Parkhurst is a little off the radar so there is no official trail leading into it. 

There are a few ways to get to Parkhurst, I’ve only ever taken one. The route which I took to get here was by walking along the train tracks just behind Green Lake and there is an opening in the forest which you’ll walk through to get to the Ghost Town. This is the most direct and quickest route however since it does involve walking the tracks I imagine not everyone would feel comfortable doing it.

The most “official” way to get to Parkhurst Ghost Town is the Sea to Sky trail. You can walk or bike this from Lost Lake park and will take around 2 hours one way. 

The other option is to drive past Green Lake and take the turn-off on the right for Wedgemount Lake. 

Elevation Gain: 30 metres

Time: 1 Hour

Round Trip: 2KM

More info at Hike in Whistler

Crater Rim & Loggers Lake Trail Whistler

The crater rim & loggers lake hike is an easy to intermediate hike in the Whistler interpretive forest. This hike is located in the Cheakamus neighbourhood of Whistler and therefore often gets overlooked by the Train Wreck and Cheakamus Lake trails. Although not as impressive as the crystal clear turquoise Cheakamus Lake, Loggers Lake is well worth checking out. This hike does have some incline so ensure you bring plenty of water, especially on a hot day! 

You’ll find quite a few lookout points during this hike which are great places to stop and take a rest if you need. 

This is a little more difficult than the other hikes mentioned in this post so hiking shoes and a hiking pack with plenty of water are recommended.

How To Get There

From Whistler village drive south on the Highway 99. Turn left into Cheakamus and turn left onto the gravel road, you’ll see a sign stating “Whistler Interpretive Forest”. When you come to a fork in the road take the right hand side and follow signs for Loggers Lake. There will be a small parking lot to the left with a trail map. 

Elevation Gain: 230 metres

Time: 2 Hours

Round Trip: 4.5K

For more details check out Hike in Whistler

Brandywine Falls Hike Whistler

Brandywine Falls is one of the most famous and prettiest waterfalls you’ll find in Whistler. At 70 metres tall Brandywine Falls is a magnificent view to witness. To see this waterfall the walk into the viewing area is fairly quick and flat – so perfect for people of all abilities.

You’ll cross some train tracks and will come out onto a view platform perched high above, giving you fantastic views of the waterfall. If you walk to the left of this platform you’ll come to yet another viewing deck with a different viewpoint. 

While there is no “official” hike down into Brandywine Falls, it is possible to get there. This hike for able-bodied people isn’t overly difficult and there are different ways to get there.

Just behind the second viewing platform to the left of the first platform, it an opening in the fence. This is the entrance for the trail. Since this isn’t an official trail, you enter at your own risk. The trail down does involve climbing down some rocks with a rope to help you – so you will need to have grippy hiking shoes for this one as it gets slippery. 

There are trail marks to help you along the way in the form of pink tape on trees and green spray paint on the trees. 

Coming out of Brandywine Falls we took a different route. We followed the pink tape all the way back and found that there is an easier entrance. Instead of walking straight into the viewing platform, turn left just after the train tracks along the sidewalk and search for the pink tape tied to a tree branch. This route avoids the steep rocks and rope. 

How To Get There

From Whistler Village, turn left onto Highway 99. Brandywine Falls is around a 20 minute drive south. You’ll see signs for the provincial park, turn left and you’ll find the parking lot. The gates close after dark in the summer so make sure you take note of closing times if you are heading out later in the day.

The parking lot is closed during the inter months but people will park just outside the gates on the shoulder – this is actually not allowed as stated on the website. Park outside the gates at your own risk, since you run the risk of getting towed. 

Elevation Gain: You’ll actually be losing elevation in this case. Approx 70metres

Time: 15 minutes or 2-3 Hours (depending on whether you brave the hike down!)

Round Trip: 15km if going to the lookout point. For the unmarked trail I’m not sure since we wandered for a while.

For more info check out Hike in Whistler

What To Bring Hiking For Easy Hikes In Whistler

I’ve hiked most of these trails in Vans and Nikes, and while you can definitely do so, I would still recommend proper hiking shoes. Since investing in hiking shoes I’ve noticed a big difference and would never hike, even easy trails, in anything else. Since it rains in this area quite often, it’s always best to have good shoe since trails can get slippery.

Even though these are the easiest short hikes near Whistler, I would always recommend coming prepared with a hiking kit and pack.

Looking For More Hiking Inspiration? Check Out These Other Posts!

Wedgemount Lake Hike – Stunning Glacial Lake In Whistler

Day Hike Packing List – What To Pack For A Day Hike

13 Lakes In British Columbia That Are Better Than Joffre Lakes

Best Hikes In Whistler – A Local’s Guide

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Easy Hikes Near Whistler, Canada
Where to find easy and short hikes in Whistler
Easy Hikes Whistler - 8 Hikes Near  Whistler, British Columbia

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One Comment

  1. Oooh yay! Fab post as always Rachael!

    I did know most of these, but somehow I had totally missed the Ancient Cedars trail, that sounds fantastic! I still didn’t visit the train wreak or the Ghost town. It just shows I need to get out more in Whistler!

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