Madeley Lake is a gorgeous lake hidden high up in the wilderness of Callaghan Valley.  The Callaghan Valley runs somewhat parallel to Whistler Valley, with the two valleys separated by Mount Sproatt.  Sproatt is the mountain across the valley from Whistler Mountain.  The driving distance from Whistler Village to Madeley Lake is 27.4 kilometres and only the last 5 kilometres are on gravel forest service roads. 

  • 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

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In the past you could drive right to the end of the lake and park near the short trail that takes you to the excellent campsite hidden in the forest at the far end of the lake.  Whistler Olympic Park has been trying to block access to Madeley Lake since 2020 when they put a locked gate near the start of Madeley Lake FSR.  Public pressure has forced them to move the gate in 2022 4 kilometres closer to the lake at the Hanging Lake trailhead parking area, which is now also the Madeley Lake trailhead and parking area.  Now you have to hike up the road for 500 metres to the start of Madeley Lake or two kilometres to the Madeley Lake campsite at the far end of the lake.  The Madeley Lake campsite is absolutely wonderful, located in the thick, old forest at the edge of the lake.  Madeley Creek crashes past the campsite to the lake alongside a nice pebble beach.  The campsite is not really maintained and quite rustic with just a couple picnic tables and one really old outhouse.  There are several nice clearings for tents throughout the forest and most have fire rings set up.  The campsite sometimes is busy on summer weekends, though you almost always find the few or no people there on weekdays.  For several decades the campsite was an almost forgotten, BC Regional Park.  When Whistler Olympic Park was built, for some reason Madeley Lake was quietly included within the Whistler Olympic Park boundaries and now it seems to be in limbo.  It’s not really a maintained park, but Whistler Olympic Park can’t really do anything commercial with it or prevent access without inviting the wrath of hiking groups and the public.  So, for the foreseeable future the Madeley Lake campsite will remain free and unchanged, except for the gate 2 kilometres from the campsite.

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.

Madeley Lake Map v5 2023

Madeley Lake Tent View

Madeley Lake Tent View

Madeley Lake Campsite

Tent at Madeley Lake

Madeley Lake Driving Directions Map

From Whistler drive 13.8 kilometres towards Vancouver on the Sea to Sky highway, then turn right at the sign for Whistler Olympic Park. Drive up the beautiful, winding road for 9.6 kilometres. The sign for Callaghan Lake will be just after Alexander Falls and just before Whistler Olympic Park, you will turn left, cross a bridge and after about 300 metres turn right onto another logging road(Madeley Lake FSR). In about 700 metres bear left and drive past the rock quarry on your left.  At the next fork in the road(see map below) continue straight.  Madeley Lake is about 3 kilometres past the rock quarry.  There is a gate about 1 kilometre before Madeley Lake that Whistler Olympic Park installed in 2022.  This is also the trailhead parking for Hanging Lake and Rainbow Lake.  The campsite at Madeley Lake is about 2 kilometres from this new gate.  **the access road to Madeley Lake is often impassible due to snow until mid June.  In 2018, June 12th was the first day a high clearance 4x4 made it through the last deep snow section about 1 kilometre from the lake.  Most SUV's managed to get through by about the 16th of June.  Cars had to wait until late June to get through.

Madeley Lake Directions Map v3

More Madeley Lake Info at HikeInWhistler.com

Hike in Whistler 2023 18

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