The Rainbow Trail is a convenient and popular trail near Whistler Village that takes you to Rainbow Lake as well as the Flank Trail, Rainbow Falls, Hanging Lake, Madeley Lake, Beverly Lake, Rainbow Mountain... and even Whistler Olympic Park if you are determined.  It is a consistently uphill and very beautiful trail with several water (bridge) crossings and waterfalls on the way to the picture-perfect lake. 

  • Quiet trail compared to other Whistler trails
  • Trails continue past the lake to other lakes
  • Stunning views of Blackcomb & Whistler mountains
  • Continuing trail/route to Rainbow Mountain
  • The alpine hiking options(eg: Sproatt) are incredible
  • The huge erratics at the lake are perfect for suntanning
  • No camping, fishing or swimming allowed
  • Trail is sometimes scenic, but often in deep forest
  • Tour companies often fly over spoiling the serenity
  • Dogs not allowed due to being Whistler's water source

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMount Sproatt  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish Hiking TrailAlice Lake  Hiking Trail ModerateBlack Tusk  Squamish Hiking TrailBrandywine Falls  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Hiking Trail ModerateElfin Lakes  Hiking Trail ModerateGaribaldi Lake  Hiking Trail HardHigh Falls  Squamish Hiking TrailLevette Lake  Hiking Trail ModeratePanorama Ridge  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Pay Use Hiking TrailSea to Sky Gondola  Squamish Hiking TrailShannon Falls  Hiking Trail HardStawamus Chief  Hiking Trail ModerateTaylor Meadows  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyThe Lions  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyUpper Shannon Falls

There are a few views of the valley across to Whistler Mountain, Blackcomb Mountain, and Wedge Mountain.  Few views, though fantastic.  Rainbow Lake itself is in a gorgeous alpine valley with branching trails that extend further beyond the lake in at least three directions.  Along with the waterfalls, bridge crossings and valley views, the Rainbow Trail passes through deep forest with some impressively huge trees.

Plenty of birds can be heard and seen along the trail and though black bears frequent the area, they are infrequently spotted due to their migration down into the valley.  Cougars are also known to roam around this area, though also rarely spotted.  As recently as 2014 signs of cougar activity were identified on the Flank Trail near where it branches off from the Rainbow Trail.

The Rainbow Trail has a small side trail that takes you to Rainbow Falls. Not far from the trailhead, the small Rainbow Falls sign is easily missed.  It is located about five minutes into the Rainbow Trail and your best bet to find it is to keep bearing right along the first couple trail branches. Don't worry about getting lost here though as all the trails reconnect further along the trail when you briefly exit the forest at the water treatment building. Unfortunately, Rainbow Lake is the water supply for Whistler, so you cannot swim, fish or camp near the lake. There is decent camping available nearby at Hanging Lake as well as Beverly Lake in the direction of Rainbow Mountain.

Hanging lake is a bit dark and swampy as compared to the spectacular camping at Beverly Lake which is a tough but rewarding hike beyond Rainbow Lake.  See the trail maps below for the routes to each of these lakes. Beverly Lake is reached by following the trail toward Rainbow Mountain. About 40 minutes into this trail the trail markers will stop as it ascends up into an extensive boulder field towards Rainbow Mountain. To reach Beverly, bear left of the route to Rainbow Mountain and follow the valley.  Beverly Lake is about an hours hike from Rainbow Lake(see maps below). To get even further from the world, hike the partly marked trail to Beverly Lake. The first kilometre is well worn and easy to follow as this is also a somewhat popular trail to reach the summit of Rainbow Mountain. The Rainbow Mountain trail veers right and quickly ascends through massive boulders.  If you instead bear left and stay in the valley you will reach this fantastically remote lake.  You will be a bit disheartened, however, when you arrive at the lake and see a picnic table.  It's very out of place, evidently put there by some helicopter tour company.  Other than the weird picnic table there are no signs of humanity, and no restrictions on camping as you have at Rainbow Lake.

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMount Sproatt  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish Hiking TrailAlice Lake  Hiking Trail ModerateBlack Tusk  Squamish Hiking TrailBrandywine Falls  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Hiking Trail ModerateElfin Lakes  Hiking Trail ModerateGaribaldi Lake  Hiking Trail HardHigh Falls  Squamish Hiking TrailLevette Lake  Hiking Trail ModeratePanorama Ridge  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Pay Use Hiking TrailSea to Sky Gondola  Squamish Hiking TrailShannon Falls  Hiking Trail HardStawamus Chief  Hiking Trail ModerateTaylor Meadows  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyThe Lions  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyUpper Shannon Falls

Squamish Hiking Trails

Levette Lake is a nice mountain lake located in the enormous Squamish Valley that drains the Squamish River into Howe Sound.  There are some nice views and minimal elevation gain along the trail.  The amazing ...
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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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Stawamus Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is a fairly easy two hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre ...
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Brew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just a short drive south of Whistler and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked. Laying at the base of Mount Brew, Brew Lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics.  ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Mount Hanover is another amazing and accessible peak in the North Shore mountains. Located in the beautiful Cypress Provincial Park, Mount Hanover is among several other prominent summits on the amazing Howe ...
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Mount Strachan is part of the trio of mountains, also Black Mountain and Hollyburn Mountain that form a bowl, or Cypress Bowl that give the resort its name.  The Cypress part of the name comes from the ...
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Deeks Peak is at the far north end of the beautiful Howe Sound Crest Trail which runs from Cypress Resort 29k away.  The trailhead near Porteau Cove is the access point Deeks Peak and Deeks Lake. It is a ...
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Mt Fromme is the thickly forested Mountain next to Grouse Mountain. If looking from the direction of downtown Vancouver, Fromme is just to the right.  It is infrequently hiked, at least partly due to the high number ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

The three Joffre Lakes are some of the most stunning lakes you are likely to ever see. Each lake gets progressively more beautiful and impossibly turquoise from one to the next.  By the third lake the intense ...
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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(6.7 miles) north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge ...
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Keyhole Hot Springs(sometimes called Pebble Creek Hot Springs) is located 100 kilometres from Whistler(Village Gate Blvd). Though most of the 100 kilometres is on logging roads, it is driveable by most cars without any ...
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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 ...
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