Between the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the near 200,000 hectares of wilderness in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Whistler is home to some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in Western Canada.
That said, you don’t have to invest in real estate for sale in Whistler to reap the rewards of the region’s fantastic terrain. All you need is a good pair of boots and an unwavering willingness to challenge yourself.
Oh, and a list of some of the coolest, most unique hiking spots in the area, of course.
The Train Wreck
Hidden deep in the forest near the oft-hiked Cheakamus River area is one of Whistler’s most unusual landmarks: seven abandoned railway boxcars, wedged between trees and covered in graffiti. This so-called “Train Wreck,” as it’s known, is a rare sight that proves equal parts baffling, charming, and unforgettable.
Fortunately, the hike there is relatively straightforward. Following the trail near Jane Lakes Road, travelers will eventually start seeing signs marking the path to the Train Wreck. That path includes a brief downhill area as well as a section with overgrown tree roots, but nothing more hazardous than that. Worth noting, however, is a scenic suspension bridge crossing the Cheakamus that hikers will encounter along the way.
The Black Tusk
Surrounding the Black Tusk, a jagged tower of dark volcanic rock formed nearly 200,000 years ago, daring hikers will find steep fields of what was once molten lava. Though this hike can be done in a day, the length and elevation make it difficult, and the allure of the mountain’s panoramic views make camping overnight a tempting option.
Farther up, the park-maintained trail comes to an end and is replaced with the telltale tracks of previous adventurers. Park officials discourage visitors from trying to reach the Black Tusk’s peak, as continuing beyond this point requires a long and dangerous scramble up piles of loose shale. Only veteran climbers will want to proceed either, and even then only with extreme caution.
The Ancient Cedars
The Ancient Cedars near Cougar Lake may not be as old as the Black Tusk, but with more than 900+ years of history buried in their deep, winding roots, they’re no less impressive. The trail there is well-marked and accessible from Cougar Mountain Road. Along the way, hikers can take in the sight of the neighboring mountains, along with a somewhat well-hidden waterfall.
Though the area can get rather chilly in the autumn, that’s when this hike is at its most visually appealing, with countless varieties of colorful mushrooms sprouting up from the mossy soil. Upon reaching the grove of the Ancient Cedars, visitors will find helpful signs detailing the history of the region and explaining just how difficult a task it actually is to pinpoint the age of these majestic, centuries-old trees.