Hike the Cheakamus Lake Trail

Canada Cheakamus

Added by Emily Haggar

Easy access to one of the most gorgeous lakes around Whistler, with almost no elevation gain, but you'll still get a real taste of mountain hiking. Great for an hour or two, a full day, or camping overnight.

Cheakamus Lake is tucked in behind Whistler Mountain. If you've hike the Musical Bumps trail, or any of the paths off the peak of Whistler, chances are you saw a huge turquoise lake below you. This is Cheakamus Lake.

From Whistler Village, drive south on HWY99 to the stop lights at Function Junction. Turn left into Cheakamus Crossing. The first road on your left is the Cheakamus Lake Road. Stay left and follow this 7km to the end, where you'll see a large parking area. It's a bit rough for 2WD vehicles, but lots of them drive to the parking lot anyway. High clearance would be preferred.

The well maintained trail starts at the parking lot. Mountain bikes are welcome, but not dogs, as you're entering Garibaldi Park. Access to Helm Lake is via this trail as well.

As of 2016, online camping reservations are required for Garibaldi Lake, Cheakamus Lake, Elfin Lakes + Taylor Meadows, instead of the pay at the parking lot way it used to work.  Online reservations can be found here.

This is the perfect place to come if you're looking for an easy hike, or it's a rainy, foggy day. The old growth forest is at its' best on misty mornings, and you'll get some incredible photos no matter what the weather.

The trail follows the Cheakamus River to the lake, then along the shore to a pretty creek, 7km from the parking area. This is the end of the trail, and you return the way you came. Just 3km from the parking lot is the start of the lake, which makes for a great destination. This is an ideal place to have a picnic lunch or a romantic dinner with the camp stove.

Camping is available along the lake as well. There are bears and other wildlife in the area, in addition to beautiful wildflowers. The lake itself is that gorgeous turquoise you see everywhere around Whistler, and makes for a nice place to swim if you are brave enough for the glacial water!

Pack List

For a day hike bring:
  • Minimum 2L of water
  • Sturdy hiking shoes
  • Warm layers (even in summer, mountain weather is unpredictable and it can get very cold in the alpine)
And everything you'd normally have in a day pack...
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Lots of food
  • Extra layers
  • Camera
  • Hiking poles
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Running, Swimming

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8.7 Miles



Picnic Area
Swimming Hole

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How to Get There

4 months ago

Great if you're pressed for time

This is one of my favourite spots to visit when I'm short on time and can't afford a full day out. Also a great after work camping spot.

4 months ago

Added by Emily Haggar

Guided by the belief that we make our own rules when it comes to creating a happy life, I work with entrepreneurs on brand storytelling, design + illustration, while keeping my feet in the mountains day after day.

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