We Found Great Options For Hiking In Whistler BC
We had a good 3 day visit and found some great options for hiking in Whistler British Columbia (BC). Whistler is a massive ski resort area that was used for the 2010 Winter Olympics. But it was also a great spot to visit in BC in the Fall.
Our great luxury suite at the Westin Whistler Resort and Spa tempted us to snuggle in and enjoy some relaxation. And with the Whistler Village so close by, there was lots to see on a short walk. But we knew there were some great outdoor spots to explore.
The waterfalls we found in the Provincial Parks were very different but all were interesting to explore – Shannon Falls, Nairn Falls, Brandywine Falls and Alexander Falls. Some required gentle walks but some definitely were hiking paths. And when the sun peeked through, we were glad we headed out and saw the emerald Green Lake.
A Stop At Shannon Falls
We enjoyed our great luxury stay on False Creek in Vancouver. The drive to our next stop in Whistler was only a few hours. So we had a relaxing morning and then headed north along the Sea to Sky Highway (Hwy 99). Even though it was drizzling, we planned a stop at Shannon Falls Provincial Park. Unlike some of the other options for hiking in Whistler we did to find waterfalls, this was a short and easy walk in. Our walk started on the lower path and we got a view of the Shannon Creek.
We kept walking up and found the viewpoint to Shannon Falls. The water cascaded in a sheet down the 335 metre (1,100 feet) high rocky cliff. This was the third highest waterfall in the province of British Columbia.
From Shannon Falls we saw a walkway to the Sea To Sky Gondola. But we got back in the car and took the next exit at the base of the gondola run. We saw the cars head up and disappear into the mist at the top. It would have been interesting to hike at the top and see Shannon Falls from above. But with the lack of visibility we passed for this trip.
We loved when we found interesting stops on our travel days. And were glad we stopped at Shannon Falls.
A Great Resort In The Mountains
This was not our first visit to Whistler. When we visited Whistler in the spring, we enjoyed the off season views and took the ski lifts and cable cars to the top. At that time we got a view of Whistler Village but it was only a day trip.
On this visit for hiking in Whistler, we planned a 3 night stay at the Westin Whistler Resort and Spa. Our Marriott elite status got us an amazing upgrade to a one bedroom suite with soaker tub and a fireplace. Even with a rainy forecast for our visit, we knew we would be warm and cozy.
The hotel had several restaurant options which we tried. And our elite status got us free breakfast. But with a full kitchen, we had the flexibility to make some of our meals in the suite. On this trip to Western Canada in the fall, we were away from home for a few months. So it was nice to get a break from restaurant meals. And save some money too.
We had a great spot to relax for 3 days. But we found much to draw us outside to go hiking in Whistler BC.
Fall Colours In Whistler Village
The nice thing about our hotel was its proximity to Whistler Village. There were dozens of shops and restaurants within a short walk.
The village was located right at the bottom of the ski run. The hard core bikers mountain biked in the drizzle. They loaded their bikes onto a customized chairlift platform and then took the chairlifts to the top of the run. The mountain bikers even had a dedicated bike wash at the end of the run.
As we wandered through the village, we were delighted when we found the fall colours were well advanced in the mountains. We got great colourful views along the village streets and up to the mountains that surrounded the village.
Even with great skies we enjoyed several walks around Whistler Village.
Hike To Nairn Falls
The weather forecast showed rain for much of our visit to Whistler. While we were tempted to cocoon by the fireplace, we headed out hiking in Whistler several times. Our first trip out was to Nairn Falls about 30 minutes north of Whistler. We got our first view of the waterfalls from the road before we parked in Nairn Falls Provincial Park.
The paths were well marked through the forest. It was about 3km round trip to the falls. We got a glimpse of the Green River as we walked the path. Much of the path was relatively easy. But as we neared the viewing platform it became steeper. And for the final hike to the viewing platforms we climbed up the rocks.
From the upper viewing platform we got a great view of the waters thundering between the narrow rock cliff opening.
Scrambling back down the falls we saw the rocky path to a lower viewpoint. This was a much tougher path with wet rocks in the rain. But David was determined not to miss that view. He was rewarded with views of the water as it rushed down the lower falls.
We headed back to the parking lot, happy we picked Nairn Falls as one of our options for hiking in Whistler BC.
Visiting Brandywine Falls
On another grey day we headed out to enjoy the Brandywine Falls. We passed Brandywine Provincial Park on our drive north to Whistler. So we back-tracked about 20 minutes and got to the park. The paths in the park were on the Sea To Sky Trail. The round trip path to the waterfall was about one kilometre. With lots of energy, we could even hike right back to Whistler Village.
We followed the path and crossed a railway crossing. More fall colours greeted us. As we walked along the path we got views of the Cheakamus River beside the path.
When we got to the first viewpoint, we got a great view of Brandywine Falls in the distance. Mist swirled around as the drizzle came and went. We continued along the path to a slightly lower viewpoint for a mistier view.
At the end of the canyon rim path we found another viewpoint with a view out over the Cheakamus River. Another path and a longer hike would take us to the Bungee Bridge. Although we later saw another exit on the highway for this attraction.
Even with the rain we were not the only ones hiking in Whistler BC that day. But we were glad we made the trip and saw Brandywine Falls.
Discovering Alexander Falls When Hiking In Whistler
There was one more waterfall on my list to see in the area. We navigated to Callaghan Valley Road and followed it even though there was no sign on the highway for Alexander Falls. Alexander Falls was marked when we reached it. But happily the crowds we saw at Brandywine Falls did not know about Alexander Falls.
The upper viewpoint gave us a great view of this beautiful waterfall. When we scrambled down to the lower viewpoint, we got a bit broader view that included the Madeley Creek.
We were so glad we did the research in advance and found Alexander Falls. It might be the favourite waterfall of our options for hiking in Whistler.
Green Lake As The Rain Ends
When we drove north of Whistler to Nairn Falls we passed by Green Lake right off the side of Hwy 99. Its emerald green colour was a draw. But not in the rain. So on our last day when the rain stopped and a little blue sky peeked through, we headed out for a view of Green Lake.
There was a pullout at the side of the lake. We looked north and got a view of the green lake with misty mountains in the distance. And then looked back south. The emerald green was so much more brilliant without the grey skies and rain.
We were certainly glad we headed out in the short period of sunshine we found on our visit to Whistler.
Olympic Sites Too
As we wandered in the Whistler area, we found the markings for several Olympic sites. The 2010 Olympic Winter Games were held in Whistler. When we walked in the village, we saw the Olympic Rings. They were a popular spot for photos.
When we went to Alexander Falls, we drove a bit further up the road and found the signs for the Whistler Olympic Park. The park was closed when we visited. But in winter the park is open and offered 90 kilometres of cross-country ski trails and 30 kilometres of snowshoeing trails.
We were sure there were many other Olympic sites around Whistler. Some were there for historic purposes. Yet others have been re-purposed.
Some Great Options For Hiking In Whistler BC
We found so many great waterfalls on our road trip from Toronto to Vancouver. But we were always excited when we found more on our travels. While it rained for most of our 3 day visit, we found many options for hiking in Whistler and enjoyed the waterfalls we found – Shannon Falls, Nairn Falls, Brandywine Falls and Alexander Falls.
But not all of our time was spent hiking. Our resort stay at Westin Whistler Resort and Spa provided a great spot to relax. The proximity to the Whistler Village gave us a great spot to wander. The Fall colours were a great draw on a visit to BC in the Fall. And there were several Olympic sites for sports enthusiasts.
From Whistler we headed for a long stay in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast in BC. And hoped the rain had moved on!
Have you gone hiking in Whistler BC? Did you have a favourite spot to visit?
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