Western Living Magazine
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The best trails to walk, bike and hike this season.
We love Vancouver, but sometimes the best part about living in the city is how much there is to do when you feel like getting out. Lucky for us, we’re a stone’s throw away from Whistler, B.C.’s favourite snow-capped playground (which is also chock-full of spring-friendly trails to explore).
Brandywine Falls. (Photo: BC Parks.)
Length: 2.7 kmDifficulty: EasyDistance from Whistler Village: 17 km Brandywine Falls is magical year-round, but there’s something to be said about its amazing sights in the springtime. The 70-metre waterfall is even more spectacular as it tries to keep up with Whistler’s end-of-the-season snow melt. You’ll find the park’s Lava Lake trail right after you cross the covered footbridge over Brandywine Creek. The beginning of the trail is a little steep, but the basalt columns and pine forest make it worth your while. Whether you’re hiking or biking, stop by the Whistler Farmers Market to grab some supplies for a picnic by one of the small lakes at the park’s north end. Valley Trail. (Photo: Tourism Whistler.)
Length: 40 kmDifficulty: EasyDistance from Whistler Village: 2 km We suggest renting bikes to capture this signature Whistler experience. Beginning in Function Junction and ending in Creekside, this dog-friendly trail is fully paved and winds around Whistler’s most stunning lakes, parks, and neighbourhoods. Our favourite stretch is the loop around Lost Lake (and of course the enormous cedars at the Whistler Golf Club). Joffre Lakes. (Photo: BC Parks.)
Length: 5 kmDifficulty: AdvancedDistance from Whistler Village: 60 km Mainly for advanced alpine hikers (or those of you hoping to be challenged!), this hemlock and spruce-sprinkled path can be rocky and steep in certain places. The hike is split into lower, middle, and upper sections, with each lake being as turquoise as the next! After the last stretch you’ll find yourself standing beneath Matier Glacier’s roaring cascades—and if you can’t stand leaving yet, it just so happens that camping is permitted at Upper Joffre Lake.
READ MORE:Getaway Guide: Whistler and Squamish
Train Wreck. (Photo: Vancouver Trails.)
Length: 2 kmDifficulty: EasyDistance from Whistler Village: 9 km With its mysticism and reputation as Whistler’s hidden cultural secret, Train Wreck has it all: history, culture, art and charm. The train cars themselves, now mostly covered in graffiti, are the remains of a wreck that occurred in the 1950s. While we love the stunning views of the rushing canyon water, we also love being able to reward ourselves for a trail well-hiked at Camp Lifestyle and Coffee Co., where browsing nature books and fueling up on coffee is highly recommended. Nairn Falls. (Photo: BC Parks.)
Length: 3 kmDifficulty: ModerateDistance from Whistler Village: 29 kmNairn Falls is a sweet-and-simple hike to a stunning waterfall. It’s nothing short of jaw-dropping, and watching the water crash onto an angular passage of rocks is incredible. When you’re done here, be sure to check out the equally inspiring One Mile Lake just outside the park.
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