While Whistler is world-famous for its world class skiing, there comes a time every year where even the snow starts to melt. However, there are plenty ways to get out and enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds the iconic village. Whistler is an amazing destination for the whole family, a magical family playground. On your family vacation this year, make sure to take the kids out for a healthy hike, to get a different perspective of Whistler and its surroundings. Here are some of Whistler’s best Family hikes:
Whistler Train Wreck
Elevation: Flat hike
Time: 1-3 hours
Trailhead: Behind Olive’s Community Market in Function Junction, south of Whistler Village.
The Whistler Train Wreck Hike is a classic amongst the curious minds who want to step back in time to the 1950s. This hike takes you through five kilometers of flat trail, which winds through the trees to a site where you will find something entirely strange to see in a forest: derailed train cars.
From a crash in 1956, where three boxcars of lumber jammed into a rock cut, the seven rail cars are a rare exotic sight: graffiti-ed and plopped in the woods by the Valleau family, – who owned a large logging operation in the area at the time – the cars did no damage to the surrounding trees. You can even climb on top of one of the cars! This is a unique hike that is rich in history and entertainment for you and the family! For more information on the story of the train wreck check out this article in Whistler’s newspaper, the Question.
Whistler’s best family hikes: Parkhurst Ghost Town
Elevation: A few hills
Time: 1-3 hours
Trailhead: Small parking area past Whistler Paintball across from a yellow gate with a “Sea to Sky Trail”, walk along train tracks to find trail sign: “Greenlake Loop/Parkhurst”.
Another exotic and unusual family hike full of local history around Whistler is the Parkhurst Ghost Town trail hike. Winding through the woods to a stunning vista, the trail traces the history of Parkhurst, an old logging town from the 1920s that functioned as such until it was abandoned in the 1960s. At every turn, there is some piece of history to explore: an old wooden store, a disintegrating truck, a car slowly becoming one with the forest. The town, perched on a ridge overlooking Green Lake, is a unique facet of this easy trail, and provides endless topics of conversation and fascination.
Elevation: No steep sections
Time: 1 hour
Trailhead: Take the gondola up from Whistler Village up Whistler Mountain, and then the Peak 2 Peak gondola to Blackcomb Mountain. Trail starts and ends at the Rendezvous Lodge.
Dotted with spectacular views and alpine ecosystem storyboards, the Alpine Walk Loop Trail is an excellent option for a quick, easy hike with high reward. A gentle walking route with no steep climbs or descents, the Alpine Loop vistas overlook the Fitzsimmons Valley, and cross over boulder fields, and traverse through the alpine tree line. A look in the distance will reveal Whistler Mountain and its legendary ski runs. The trail offers beginner hikers and families an excellent opportunity to see a wide range of views without exerting too much effort. Keep your eyes peeled for little gopher-like creatures called marmots while on this trail!
Whistler’s Best Family Hikes: Cheakamus Lake
Elevation: Minimal elevation gain
Time: 1-2 hours one way
Trailhead: South of Whistler Village, left at stoplights at Function Junction, left before the bridge and 8km up a dirt road to the trailhead.
A straightforward and enjoyable hike, the Cheakamus Lake Trail has almost no elevation gain through old growth forest to the lake. The flora along the path will catch your attention with this excellent spring, so pay attention to the lush moss, skunk cabbage, and large Devil’s Club leaves lining the trail. If desired, this trail meanders for 4km north after the lake, which passes several beaches, which invite the weary hiker to soak in the sun for a bit while taking in the stunning scenery of Garibaldi Park. This trail, with minimal elevation and excellent views, is a must when hiking with the fam.
There are many other things to explore with your little ones in Whistler. The beautiful Coastal Resort offers plenty of things to do for the whole family. Here are the most popular family friendly activities. Gather all the tips & tricks for planning a family vacation to Whistler.
Check out Enjoy Whistler great summer deals (save up to 50% OFF on family package rates) and start planning your summer family vacation. Or simply call our friendly mountain specialists and let them organize your family getaway.
P.S. Don’t forget to download the MUST have e-book for every family traveling to Whistler with kids: 9 COMMANDMENTS FOR WHISTLER FAMILY FUN!