Whistler, BC

We booked an Airbnb at Whistler for 2 nights, August 3rd and 4th. The drive from Vancouver was sunny and beautiful but when we arrived at Whistler the smoke-filled air was everywhere. We decided to drive right to Joffre Lake Provincial Park and hike up to the lakes as far as was possible to still be able to see the views. This magnificent park, established in 1988, with jagged peaks, icefields, cold rushing streams and especially the three turquoise blue lakes is one of the best day hikes we have ever done. The trail passes the Lower, Middle and Upper Joffre Lakes, and each more stunning than the last. Their striking, saturated blue colour is caused by “rockflour” or glacial silt in the water that is suspended in the water and reflects green and blue wavelengths of sunlight. As we arrived at the Upper Lake the smoke was getting denser and it was difficult to see the glacier and the tops of the peaks. We turned around and headed back down the trail but had to stop for a swim at the Middle Lake from a balancing floating log. What a great hike and would love to return and camp at the Upper Lake. Click on thumbnail to view images

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Train Wreck Trail

The Train Wreck Trail is one of Whistler’s most unique spots, a handful of mangled, graffiti covered boxcars scattered among towering cedar and fir trees lining the Cheakamus River. The opening of a new bridge spanning the Cheakamus River and connecting the wreck to the Sea to Sky Trail, made it easily accessible from the parking lot near Function Junction. History states that the train derailed in 1956 when a freighter heading south from Liillooet came into an area under track repair just a little to fast, and the fourth engine turned a rail, causing the train wreck. The new bridge is a short 1 km from the trailhead, and once across the bridge you in the middle of the Train Wreck site. The Train Wreck site was not only used by hikers but also mountain bikers made a path through the site over and around many of the wrecked boxcars. The site was also favoured by local graffiti artists, photographers and trail runners.Thus the Whistler Train Wreck is a magical kind of spot you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. After the hike we went into Function Junction and happened upon the Whistler Brewing Company, a great find for a refreshing brew on a hot day. Click on thumbnail to view images

Nairn Falls and Brandywine Falls Provincial Parks

The next day we decided to stay low because of the smoke. We drove to Nairn Falls Provincial Park just 20 minutes north of Whistler located on the Green River, and took the 1.5 km hiking trail to the falls. Nairn Falls, total height of 130 feet, is a double waterfall connected by a small canyon which throttles the flow of the Green River just before falling into the Pemberton Valley. The amount of water was very impressive as it thundered through the canyon. Our next stop was to the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, to see Brandywine Falls a 70 m waterfall and an iconic landmark along the Sea to Sky Highway. It has been years since we visited these massive falls and they still amaze me with their grandeur. Click on thumbnail to view images