If you’re not a skier or snowboarder, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy on a winter trip to Whistler. This winter has been a bumper snow season which means that the trails in the valley are looking beautiful and will remain snowy later into the Spring. There’s never been a better time to strap on your snowshoes and start exploring, so to help you on your way, we’re writing a three-part series on the best snowshoe trails in Whistler. Let’s go adventuring!
This first article in the series will help you explore the secluded trails of the Cheakamus River and the surrounding area.
Easily accessible all year round, the Cheakamus Lake trails are especially beautiful in winter with snow-laden trees looking over the icy blue waters of the Cheakamus river. Since the trailhead is located about 10 KM south of the Whistler Village, this area typically sees less traffic than elsewhere in the valley. In the winter months, most of the crowds head up the mountain to ski or snowboard, meaning that this area becomes even more of a quiet retreat.
The trail system around the Cheakamus river is perfect for the beginner or intermediate snowshoer. The area is usually frequented by mountain bikers in summer, meaning that the trails are flowy and not too steep. They get just enough foot-traffic that if you plan your adventure 2 or 3 days after a fresh dump of snow, you won’t have to push through a layer of new snow.
To get to the trailhead for the Cheakamus River snowshoe area from Whistler, drive south on the Sea to Sky highway for about 10 KM, then turn left at the traffic lights at Cheakamus Crossing and immediately left again into a parking lot for Whistler Interpretive Forest.
We’ve planned two snowshoe routes for you to try below.
This snowshoe trail takes you along both sides of the Cheakamus River, passing over a stunning suspension bridge where you can look down and see snow covered rocks peppering the icy blue water.
Distance: 5.7 KM
Duration: 1.5 – 2 hours
Don’t Miss: the beautiful views of the river from the suspension bridge
This option is slightly longer and steeper and is more suitable for intermediate snowshoers. As well as taking you across the Cheakamus River suspension bridge, this route takes you up and around Loggers Lake, a small and hidden lake formed in the bowl of a long extinct volcano! The trail then descends fairly steeply back to the valley and back to the parking lot.
Distance: 7.2 KM
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours (depending on snow depth)
Don’t Miss: once you get up to Loggers Lake, walk down to the water for some beautiful lake views surrounded by a volcanic crater!
Katharine Mills is a trail and ultra runner living in North Vancouver. Originally from the UK, she lived in Whistler for two years before making the move to the city. Compared to the UK, she thinks Canada has an incredible lifestyle, but terrible tea. Her favourite things are exploring the wilds of the BC backcountry, racing mountain bikers down the trails of North Vancouver, and Honey’s Doughnuts from Deep Cove.
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