Madeley Lake, wrongly named "Powell Lake" on some maps, is a well hidden, though easily drivable lake in beautiful Callaghan Valley. Unlike the terrible gravel road(4x4 recommended) to Callaghan Lake, the relatively smooth gravel road to Madeley Lake is drivable by most cars. Just a 10 minute drive from the main, paved road to Whistler Olympic Park, Madeley makes a great side-trip on the way to or from this 2010 Olympic attraction.

  • Amazing, remote feeling corner of Whistler
  • Driving there is very scenic and beautiful
  • Perfect little rocky beach and great for swimming
  • Tidy & cute campsite with picnic tables & fire rings
  • Beach is south facing & always sunny
  • Free campsite
  • Freshwater creek flows through the campsite
  • Stunning mountain views all around
  • Swimming is amazing, although freezing!
  • Whistler Hiking Trail ConAccess road blocked by snow until mid May

Hike in Whistler

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Just metres past the turnoff to Alexander Falls, turn left at the sign for Callaghan Lake Provincial Park. Cross the bridge and follow the terribly potholed logging road for about 300 metres, turn right at the first logging road that branches off to the right(Madeley Road).  Follow this logging road for about 8 minutes until Madeley Lake appears on your right.

There is a large map board at the trailhead to Hanging Lake, Rainbow Lake and Mount Sproatt.  You can park here or continue past this and drive to the end of the lake and small campsite area(park and look for the small trailhead sign across the bridge). This is an unmaintained area camping area and for the most park you will feel very far from civilization despite being just a couple kilometres from Whistler Olympic Park.

This is an amazing place to camp.  If looking for solitude at a paradise, mountain lake, Madeley Lake is hard to beat. Though somewhat popular with fishing, you are still likely to rarely see anyone at the lake in the summer and never in the fall.  Once in a while you will see a car or two at the trailhead to Hanging Lake.  If you have a canoe, Madeley is a great place to paddle around or just float in the sun. Hanging Lake is located just before Rainbow Lake.

Though ugly in comparison to Rainbow Lake, Hanging Lake has a nice camping area and is dog friendly and swimming friendly. Rainbow Lake is the source of Whistler's drinking water and camping, dogs, swimming and fishing are prohibited.  Though all of these prohibitions are unfortunately, routinely flouted at Rainbow Lake, Hanging Lake is a good alternative.  The dividing line for dogs allowed and not allowed runs between Rainbow Lake and Hanging Lake and is marked with a huge sign.

The trail from Madeley Lake to Hanging Lake is nice, however at times muddy. Free of snow, usually early June to November most years, this trail is a great way to avoid the much busier Rainbow Lake trail that starts from the Whistler side of this area. If you can arrange to have someone drop you off at the trailhead you can hike all the way to Whistler Village via the Rainbow Lake Trail and the Valley Trail.  The entire distance is about 23 kilometres and should only take about 6 hours, much of it steadily descending the beautiful Rainbow Lake Trail. The route is well marked and there are several map-boards along the route ensuring you find your way safely.

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