Hike Rating 9 out of 10Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village. The trail begins on the far side of Whistler Mountain, 8 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway at Cheakamus Crossing across from Function Junction. This 8 kilometre stretch of logging road is fairly bumpy and potholed, but does have the benefit of allowing you to drive the elevation gain instead of hiking it.

  • Easy trail with minimal elevation change
  • Colour of the water is extraordinarily beautiful
  • Several area along the trail with amazing views
  • Exceptionally nice campsites in a natural setting
  • An unmarked trail extends further along the lake
  • Fishing is reliably very good for trout
  • Huge trees along the trail & lots of bear sightings
  • Unmarked route to Russet Lake from Singing Creek
  • Swimming is incredibly cold but exhilarating!
  • Campsites are crowded much of the summer

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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You can easily manage this road in a car, however carefully and very slowly in parts. Once you reach the trailhead/parking the entire 7 kilometre hiking trail to the end of the maintained Cheakamus Lake trail has barely any elevation gain. Just plenty of gradual inclines and declines along the winding route. In fact, this makes it one of the few trails in Whistler and Garibaldi Park that can boast that.  The nearby Garibaldi Lake trail and the Wedgemount Lake trail make you work for the views, however, the Cheakamus Lake trail hardly makes you work at all.  The trail to Cheakamus Lake takes you through an amazing forest of giant cedars that fill the forest with their amazing aroma.  This forest is so packed with ancient giants that year to year the trail is adjusted by a monster of a tree fallen across the trail during some winter storm.  Sometimes the trail bends around these behemoths, but more often they are laboriously chainsawed by BC Parks staff.  The more enormous of these remain as fixtures of the trail.  Either edging the trail or as a mighty obstacle to climb over. One monster of a cedar remained sprawled across, actually along a section of the Cheakamus Lake trail for much of 2012.  It surely surprised every hiker to come to an abrupt end of the trail with a tree across the trail too big to even see over. The bypass route was a hilarious, yet dangerous looking scramble underneath and along the edge of the trail for about 20 metres to get back on the trail at the other side.  Look for it when you pass by. Though it has been mostly moved the tell-tale wreckage is hard to miss and captivatingly beautiful.  What a sound it must have made, exhibited now by giant cedar spears still menacingly pointing from a break in the massive trunk.

There are a considerable number of highlights to the Cheakamus Lake trail and Cheakamus Lake. The forest is amazing. There are lots of bear encounters. The campsites are very beautiful, much nicer than Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake's overcrowded and packed in campsites. Cheakamus River along the trail is an impressive river with a nice suspension bridge to see at the start of the Helm Creek trail, 1.5 kilometres from the Cheakamus Lake parking lot. Cheakamus Lake itself is magnificent. You could hike there 100 days in a row and always be impressed by the varying colours. The lake is an extraordinary shade of green caused by glacial till suspended in the water. This surreal colour is surrounded by the bright green of the untouched wilderness across the lake. And above and beyond the forest you see majestic mountain peaks.

Cheakamus Lake Map v13a

Cheakamus Lake Tent View

Cheakamus Lake in Garibaldi Park

Cheakamus Lake Trailhead Directions Map

More Cheakamus Lake Hiking Info at HikeInWhistler.com

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