Snowshoeing has long been a popular winter method of travel in Canada. Why not try it for yourself? Check out our guide to snowshoeing in Whistler this winter.
The snowshoe’s design was inspired by animals with over-sized paws, such as the snowshoe hare, to allow a more efficient way of traveling across snow. Whether you are a snowshoe newbie or have years of experience, there is a multitude of places to go snowshoeing near Whistler. Most of the snowshoeing in Whistler is located within four main areas; Lost Lake, Rainbow Mountain, Cheakamus, and the Callaghan Valley.
Lost Lake isn’t only for summer mountain biking, this awesome trail network becomes snowshoe and cross-country ski friendly in the winter, opening its trails up year-round. Lost Lake is also conveniently accessible, a short walk or bus ride from Whistler Village and the Upper Village: making it the perfect place to try snowshoeing in Whistler. There are also rentals on-site at Cross Country Connection (inside the Lost Lake PassivHaus), so you don’t have to carry your gear there and back. The Lost Lake trails are groomed nightly and offer wonderful tracks for classic Nordic style cross-country skiing as well as wide paths for snowshoeing. The trails are marked according to difficulty – with a broad range for all abilities. If it’s your first time, we recommend the Nature Trail Loop, which takes you through a gorgeous winter path that weaves in and out of old-growth trees and leads you to the pristine Lost Lake itself.
Home of many events during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Olympic Park has a day lodge, snowshoe rental centre, and lots of parking. There are many trails dedicated to snowshoeing to choose from, with a broad spectrum of lengths and difficulty. Many of the trails are short enough that you can choose a couple to do in a one-day outing. The highlight of the area is a 43m high Alexander falls, which looks spectacular when frozen, and you can snowshoe right to the base!
If you have all your own equipment and want to snowshoe for free in Whistler (and see a spectacular waterfall) take the flat and easy trail to the Brandywine Falls viewing platform. In the same area, you can snowshoe a portion of the Sea to Sky trail over to the Whistler Bungee Bridge. Peer down into the depths of the Cheakamus River canyon and if you’re lucky, catch a glimpse of people bungee jumping.
Fancy something longer? Cheakamus Lake is a popular, but more strenuous snowshoe journey, since the summer access road isn’t plowed. First, you have to snowshoe 7.5 km along the closed road to the summer access parking lot. From there, it’s another 3km to the glorious Cheakamus Lake. Once you get to the lake, you can continue along the shore for a further 4km taking in the incredible views. There are also a few shorter loop trails branching off the road, if you don’t want to go all the way to Cheakamus Lake, such as the Crater Rim Trail.
Not sure what to wear snowshoeing? Dress like you would for skiing or snowboarding, remember you can always take off a layer and throw it in your day pack if you get too toasty on the ascent! Snow or waterproof pants are recommended, preferably ones you can roll up the hem on or tuck into your snow boots, so they don’t drag or get caught. If you decide to go with non-waterproofs, you’ll end up with a wet backside from snow flicking up off your snowshoes. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Have we convinced you to try snowshoeing in Whistler? Don’t forget to book your stay with us. Our early booking offers at the Listel Hotel Whistler are available until December 1st, with flexible cancelation policies in place.
These deals won’t last long. Book your winter stay now!