Explore the Cheakamus Forest on Snowshoes
Canada › Cheakamus Community Forest
Added by Emily Haggar
A great place to explore on snowshoes with beautiful old growth forest and great viewsExperience complete silence and peacefulness on these routesWhistler's best low elevation snowshoeing area; there's easily a week's worth of adventures here
Snowshoeing is one of the best ways to experience true solitude in the beautiful snowy mountain landscape. The area surrounding the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood of Whistler has some of the very best low elevation snowshoeing in the valley.
Riverside and Suspension Bridge Loop:A great 5km loop follows this summer hiking/biking trail along the Cheakamus River. This is a beautiful route in every month of the year, but there's a little extra magic in crossing a narrow suspension bridge full of snow, with the gorgeous turquoise river flowing below you. From the parking lot off Cloudburst Drive, head over to the Black Tusk service road, marked with a dotted brown line on the map. A blue sign marking the Riverside Trail will be directly parallel to the parking area. Follow this in either direction, and you'll be treated to a snowy adventure with the rushing river at your side.
Loggers Lake Area:There are a number of trails here, all well marked with the Cheakamus Community Forest blue signage. From the parking lot, follow the Black Tusk service road (marked with a dotted brown line on the map) away from the Cheakamus neighbourhood. You'll see lots of tracks from folks and their dogs for the first ten minutes, then as the tracks disappear, you'll be all alone with great views and deep snow. Follow the road until you see a huge sign for Loggers Lake on your right (about 20min from the parking area). Head up the hill, and you'll find a small frozen lake with several signs indicating the trails in this area. Ridge trail is the best one for snowshoeing, and you'll have incredible views of the Black Tusk, Whistler Mtn and Sproat Mtn. This trail starts just before the lake. It is likely that there will be snowshoe tracks (probably mine!) to guide your way. The suspension bridge is near the lake as well, if you head down the hill, following the signs.
Cheakamus Road and Cheakamus Lake:This is a great destination if you're fit and ready for a 22km round trip. The road to Cheakamus Lake is not plowed, and it sees next to no foot traffic, aside from lost skiers that ended up in the wrong place, exploring the back of Whistler Mountain. The road itself is a nice snowshoe, especially if you're new to the backcountry, as it's impossible to get lost. To explore the Cheakamus Road and area, park at HWY99; there's a lot on your left as soon as you turn off into Cheakamus Crossing. Follow the valley trail to Cheakamus Lake Rd, and go as far as you like.
Black Tusk Road:The Black Tusk service road is indicated by the brown dotted line on the map. This is a wonderful route to snowshoe, and like the Cheakamus Lake road, it's impossible to get lost. You may see other tracks, but most likely you'll be breaking trail through the fluffy powder. There is a gate at the 5km marker, and this is a good destination for your return trip. The road continues on and on, taking you up in elevation towards the Black Tusk radio towers. If you're looking for a nice long day, this is a wonderful area to explore.
Sea to Sky Trail:Just before Madeley Place, Legacy Way veers right, and the entrance to the Sea to Sky trail is on this road. You can walk down Cloudburst Rd, or park in front of the HI Hostel as well. The Sea to Sky trail is a long series of paths that connect the entire area from Squamish to Birken. Great for hiking or biking in summer, these trails are rarely used but incredible paths for snowshoeing in winter.
There are a dozen other little connecting trails in this area. As you explore the ones above, you'll see more and more places to enjoy winter on your snowshoes.
Stop in at the Whistler Brewing Co. right across the road in Function Junction for a locally brewed beer when you're done.
See you out there!
- Gators or waterproof snow pants
- Warm layers
- Thermos of something hot to drink
- Backcountry safety gear - first aid kit, headlamp, down jacket
- Lots of food and water
- Ski or trekking poles
- Extra mittens and extra first layer
- Your dog (welcome everywhere in this area)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
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
Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing
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A quiet winter wonderland
Just a few KM down the road from busy Whistler is a beautiful old-growth forest wonderland which in the winter makes for spectacular and often empty hiking trails. There are plenty of options of the length of trail to go on. My favorite includes hiking 5km up one side of the river and crossing the suspension bridge before returning down the other side of the river. See for yourself!
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