Ancient Cedars is a nice, easy/moderate 2.5 kilometre(1.6 mile) hiking trail on the far side of Cougar Mountain, just 10.8 kilometres north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge western red-cedars hidden high up in the mountains. Often overlooked by hikers, certainly there are other groves of massive cedars found in other Whistler area hikes.

  • Easy & pretty trail to impressively huge & ancient trees
  • A quick, far feeling escape from civilisation
  • A relatively quiet hiking trail that is dog friendly!
  • Serene backcountry, drive-in camping for free
  • Lots of hidden tent clearings with paradise views
  • Lots of mosquitoes in July & August
  • ATV activity throughout the region disturbs the serenity
  • The access logging road is brutally potholed
  • Access road usually blocked by snow well into May
  • Showh Lakes has no beach or shore to walk

Hike in Whistler

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If you hike the short 3 kilometre trail to Cheakamus Lake and you will marvel at the size, frequency and wonderful aroma of these massive and numerous giant cedars.    The Wedgemount Lake trail also has some majestic cedars along the hike. You can even walk through an impressive grove of huge cedars on the Valley Trail at the north end of the Whistler Golf Club. None of them compare, however, to the giants at Ancient Cedars.

They are extraordinarily huge and some are estimated to be a thousand years old.  Most of these giants stretch toward the sky, but some lay along the forest floor giving you an even closer grasp of their size. If you bring kids along, they will disappear into the endless, natural playground.

Ancient Cedars is great to visit in the spring and fall months as you rarely see people and never feel mosquitoes. The problem is the trailhead is up a long way into the mountains and snow at this elevation persists until April and sometimes May. Snow, along with the steep access road make driving to the trailhead impossible for most cars until it disappears. Summer is great for seeing Ancient Cedars and Showh Lakes in particular.

If you have a 4x4, you can drive right to the shores of Showh Lakes and crack a beer with little chance of humanity disturbing you. If you don't have a 4x4, you can make it to a short walk to the lakes and if you have some sort of inflatable boat or canoe, you will find yourself in paradise. Floating in a mirror under a blue sky, surrounded by deep and wild forest. The trailhead to Ancient Cedars is just a short drive north of Whistler. Just past Green Lake on Highway 99, you turn left on Cougar Mountain Rd and drive 4.5 kilometres up a bumpy logging road. As logging roads go it is not bad.  If you are driving a car you should be OK as long as you take it slow. The Ancient Cedars trail is well marked and well worn and only gradually uphill for the 2.5 kilometre hike, trailhead to ancient forest. At the Ancient Cedars forest there is a short circle trail that takes you throughout the giants then leads you back to the main trail for the return journey.

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