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Recommended This Week

Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park, 45 minutes north of Squamish is an incredible lake to hike to.  The trail is beautiful and relaxing as it meanders through a forest of huge, old growth trees.  The smell of the giant cedars fills the air and the distant sound of Cheakamus River fills the otherwise pure silence of the forest.  In June the 8k gravel road is free of snow enough to drive to the trailhead.  From the trailhead it is just 3k to the beginning of Cheakamus Lake and the first set of campgrounds.  The Cheakamus Lake in June - Squamish Hiking Guidecampgrounds are beautifully laid out in that they sink into the surroundings and in fact are hard to spot (there are 10 tent sites).  Aside from the noticeable apparatus to hang food out of reach of bears and the visible outhouses, you would possibly not even notice that this is a campground.

A further, and considerably more beautiful 3k along the trail gets you to the second campsite (7 tents sites) which is similarly beautiful and understated.  This is the end of the maintained trail, but if you are keen to explore more, the trail continues further into the wilderness.  Aside from several fallen trees across the trail this unmaintained part of the Cheakamus Lake trail is easy to hike and well worth a look.  It leads you to dozens of small pocket beaches that are wonderfully sun drenched all hours of the day due to their perfect south facing directions.  Don't look for trails to these beaches as this area is so rarely hiked that these spots don't even have worn paths, but most are just steps from the main (unmaintained) trail.

There is a charge for overnight camping at Cheakamus, $10 adult, $5 children.  Payable online here. This money goes into paying for the exceptional, though underfunded parks service who maintain Garibaldi Park to an amazingly high standard.

The Cheakamus Lake trail is an excellent hike suitable for all.  Due to it's minimal elevation gain/loss and easy, wide gait, the trail is perfect for kids, though you'd have trouble pushing a baby stroller over the innumerable, huge tree roots.

Cheakamus Lake Trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Cheakamus Lake in Late June - Squamish Hiking Guide

Though you will almost certainly see a bear at some point either on the trail or the 8k gravel road to Cheakamus Lake you shouldn't let that worry you.  The Whistler area bears are very timid and at first sight or sound of you coming they will lazily amble into the trees and continue munching on grass or berries.  Be cautious though and try to keep your distance from them and give them a chance to move away from you.  Take a look at the excellent BC Parks information on bears if you want more info.

Cheakamus Lake is well known for its fishing, so if you like to fish, remember to bring your rod along to go with your picnic.  Also, the swimming, though very cold is wonderful and refreshing.  The water is strikingly clear in Cheakamus Lake and the small beaches have nice, smooth rocks and pebbles to walk on.  If you want to carry a canoe or kayak to the lake be prepared for the 3k hike.  It's a long way to carry a boat, though you do see the occasional canoe/kayak on the trail, though usually with a wheel apparatus to assist in the portage.

The Cheakamus Lake trail is also the starting point for the Helm Creek campground trail.  The Helm Creek trail splits off of the Cheakamus Lake trail at 1.5k from the trailhead/parking lot and takes you steeply up into the mountains toward Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Lake and quite a lot more.  This trail to Helm Creek is buried in snow and hard to follow and hike for most of June, but if you attempt it make sure you have snowshoes and a GPS or good map skills.  And if you do make it to Helm Creek or beyond in June the place will be deserted and spectacular.  You will have this wonderful part of the world to yourself.

Singing Creek - Squamish Hiking Guide June

 

Green Lake Trail in Whistler - Squamish Hiking Guide June

Green Lake Trails in Whistler - Squamish Trails Guide June


As a destination in Whistler for hiking, Green Lake goes almost entirely unnoticed.  A remarkable fact considering the extraordinary array of both established and unestablished trails running, seemingly endlessly throughout the edges of this massive lake.  Any trails you do find are only ever used by bikes or the occasional Squamish Hiking Guide June - Green Lake in Whistlerfisherman.  There are three reasons for the huge number of trails running around the lake.

First, the lake and its surrounds are beautiful, sensationally beautiful.  Second, there once was a small town that existed on the far side of Green Lake for decades called Parkhurst.  Now a ghost town consisting of just a few crumbling structures and ancient curiosities.  The third reason is the nature of the forest around the lake.  It is incredibly dry.  The trees, the ground.  Much of the surrounding forest is comprised of scattered, large trees over beautiful hillsides with a dry feeling carpet of what looks like moss, and possibly is. This allows for hiking in almost any direction and a wonderful surface to put up a tent.

The well used biking and hiking trail, the Green Lake Loop runs in a wide arch from Lost Lake in Whistler to the far end of Green Lake all the way to the Highway 99 turnoff to Wedgemount Lake.  This trail, if you were to do it in its entirety is 15k one way, and not terribly exciting, which, evidently why it is generally considered a bike trail.  A more interesting and beautiful way to get into the trails of Green Lake is to park near the bridge at Green River near the Highway turnoff to Wedgemount Lake and hike to Green Lake along the 6k trail that runs near the train tracks and eventually leads to Parkhurst.

Squamish Hiking Guide June - Green Lake Tent View in Whistler

Exploring the hiking trails around Green Lake is possibly best done by canoe or kayak.  There is a convenient boat launch and dock just off Highway 99 at Summer Lane opposite the entrance to the neighbourhood of Emerald (about 8 minutes north of Whistler - look for the "boat launch" sign on your right on Highway 99).  Once on the lake paddling you can easily park up at numerous exit points on both sides of the lake near this boat launch and disappear into the vast wilderness around Green Lake.  For more info and directions to the Green lake trails by canoe or by foot look here..

Squamish Hiking Guide June - Green Lake in Whistler

Parkhurst Ghost Town Green Lake Video

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