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Hike the Musical Bumps Trail

Whistler, British Columbia



15.5 miles

Route Type



Added by Emily Haggar

Incredible scenery with easy access. Hike all the way to Russet Lake (25km round trip from the Roundhouse/gondola or 29km round trip via Singing Pass). Do a shorter day, and hit the Flute Summit (10km round trip from the Roundhouse/gondola). Duration: Full day or half day.

The Musical Bumps are a series of rolling summits starting from Whistler Mountain that stretch over to Fissile and the Spearhead Range. It should come as no surprise that each one has a musical name: Flute, Oboe and Piccolo.

There are two ways to access this area: you can ride the Whistler Village Gondola ($53 for a day pass or just $59 for BC residents for the entire summer season) or hike from the valley via the Singing Pass trail. Riding the gondola may seem like cheating your way to the alpine, but it sure makes for a super fun day entirely above treeline. Let’s just assume for this adventure that you took the easy way up.

From the Roundhouse on Whistler Mountain, hike up the road (cat track in winter) to The Saddle. If you’ve never seen the peak of Whistler, spend the extra fifteen minutes to go take a look, then come back to The Saddle to start your hike. Burnt Stew trail is clearly marked, and this is where the Musical Bumps adventure begins. After leaving the mountain roads, there is a beautiful trail that will take you all the way to Russet Lake.

Flute Summit is the first bump you’ll ascend. This is a well traveled area in winter when the ski hill is open, but the treat you get in summer is to see Cheakamus Lake in its’ thawed state: a gorgeous bright turquoise green. If you stay on the trail, you’ll miss this little piece of heaven completely. At the Flute Summit sign, walk for a minute or two south towards the Black Tusk and look down. Wow! This is what you’ll say.

Continuing on, the trail takes you up and down the other two Musical Bumps, through beautiful alpine meadows, under big skies. The wildflowers are at their best in late July/August, then the fields turn to something I can only describe as flourescent autumn - an orange-yellow that is so bright it’s hard to name it. Russet Lake is the deep blue alpine lake under Fissile and Whirlwind Peaks. There is a cabin here, and camping if you want to spend some more time exploring the area.

The real draw of this hike is that it’s 100% in the alpine. The huge snowy mountains of Castle Towers and Tantalus will be on your right the entire way out, with Cheakamus Lake hiding in the valley. The Flute Summit is an excellent destination, and you can choose how far you want to go after that. Descending via the Singing Pass trail is a nice way down, although I prefer to stay high and hike back to the gondola myself.

No matter how far you go, Musical Bumps will make you smile (or sing?). There’s nothing else like it around Whistler.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!


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