We have spent a lot of time in nature this summer, hiking into the mountains around southern British Columbia, exploring the incredible wilderness of Canada’s westernmost province. Most of the hikes we have done this year have been on the North Shore, but this week we decided to travel a bit further up the Sea to Sky Highway – which travels from Vancouver to Whistler – to find some new adventures. Today we are looking back at our most recent hike, which took us up towards Logger’s Lake and along the Crater Rim Trail.
This wasn’t our first choice, as our original plan was to visit Brandywine Meadows, located up the Callaghan Valley just south of Whistler. Unfortunately the logging road that winds up towards the trail head wasn’t suitable for the vehicle we were in, so we had to come up with a backup plan, which is how we ended up at Logger’s Lake. It turned into an unexpected adventure, and we were treated to some amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
Logger’s Lake is actually a dormant volcano, which formed 10,000 years ago during the end of the last Ice Age, and this cone managed to push itself through the ice and today holds a small lake which is great for swimming and fishing. The lake isn’t fed by the cold glacial waters that many of the other nearby lakes are, so it is much warmer than other swimming locations. Unfortunately we didn’t bring our bathing suits, so we will have to return here in the future to try this spot again in the future.
To access this incredible wilderness we parked along the side of the logging road, just up the Cheakamus River Valley outside of Function Junction and the Whistler Athletes Village. We began our hike by following the Riverside Trail, which follows the Cheakamus River before looping up towards the lake. Along this portion of the trail is an old suspension bridge with some amazing views and connections to the Farside trail, which travels along the other side of the river.
Once we reached the lake, we took a sharp left turn, and climbed up the steep hill along the Crater Rim Trail, which loops around the edge of the former volcano. The trail wasn’t too difficult, and the views from the top were incredible. There were several great places to stop for pictures, and the views looking towards Garibaldi Provincial Park, the Sea to Sky corridor and down towards the lake were unforgettable. The hike didn’t take us very long, maybe 3 hours in total, but it was the perfect afternoon of exploring, especially after our original plans had to be altered.
These trails are located inside of the Whistler Interpretive Forest, an area of the local wilderness that has been set aside by the Ministry of Forestry, the City of Whistler and Pacific Forest Products Ltd for the enjoyment of everyone.
“The sustainability of the varied forest ecosystems demands consideration of biodiversity throughout the forest, fish and wildlife habitat protection and enhancement, insect and disease attack, fuel management and fire prevention and regeneration of logged areas with appropriate species.”– Ministry of Forestry, Whistler Interpretive Forest
There are many great options for the adventurous traveler who wants to explore the mountains, and this summer we have been trying to visit as many of them as possible. Some time in September, we will be attempting to hike up to Panorama Ridge and Garibaldi Lake, which is one of the most incredible hikes in the Province; every hike we’ve done so far has been a warm up for this bucket-list destination.
If you have a half day to spare during your trip to Whistler, we can definitely recommend this hike. The Crater Rim Trail and the beautiful Logger’s Lake is just another one of these incredible places to add to our growing list of British Columbia destinations. We hope the following pictures will help inspire your next visit.