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Porteau Cove Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsRusset Lake Aerial VideoTofino Aerial Video of Grice Bay

Whistler from the air is amazing.  Just a few metres from the ground and your perspective of an already beautiful place changes dramatically.  Well above the treetops and the surrounding hills and distant mountains come into view and people moving about look very strange.  Just another way to look at this incredible part of the world.

Aerial View of Wedgemount LakeWedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park is a relentlessly exhausting, steep hike, yet it is mercifully short at only 7 kilometres (one way).  The elevation gain in that short distance is over 1200 metres which makes it a much steeper hike than most other Whistler hiking trails.  Compared with other Whistler hikes, Wedgemount Lake is half the roundtrip distance of either Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge, for example,  at 13.5k and 15k respectively (one way).  Wedgemount Lake itself is a magnificent destination for a day hike or spectacular overnight beneath the dazzling mountain peaks and stars.  Many sleep under the stars on one of the many beautiful tent platforms that dot the landscape.  Solidly built, wooden tent platforms are everywhere you look at Wedgemount Lake.  Strategically positioned, these platforms manage to maintain an amazingly secluded feel despite their numbers.  In all Wedgemount Lake has 20 of these tent areas.  Most are wooden, but several down by the lake shore are gravel, yet every bit as nice.  At a fast hiking pace Aerial Video of Wedge Glacieryou can reach Wedgemount Lake from the trailhead in just an hour and a half but at a leisurely or backpack laden pace you will likely take over two hours.  The trail is well marked and well used.  The steepness of the trail doesn't require any technical skill, however that last kilometre before the lake you will be scrambling on all fours quite a bit.  The elevation gain makes a tremendous difference when carrying a heavy backpack and unprepared for the exertion.  There is hardly a section of the trail that is not steeply uphill.  The first 15 minutes takes you into the deep forest and then across Wedgemount Creek.  This crashing creek can be heard from quite a distance and gives you a hint of the steepness of the trail to come.  The source of Wedgemount Creek is of course Wedgemount Lake which tumbles down almost 300 metres in the spectacular Wedgemount Falls.  You will be able to see Wedgemount Falls around the 5 kilometre mark along the trail.  It is far off to the right in the distance.  Despite the distance, you will hear it loud and clear and some easy to find and get to areas off the trail give amazing views of it.

More Aerial Views and Hiking Info for Wedgemount Lake in Whistler >>

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video 1Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The 15 kilometre hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama Ridge takes you through beautiful and deep forests, across countless idyllic streams, through meadows filled with flowers, and past dozens of jaw dropping viewpoints.  The amazing views start once you reach Taylor Meadows and get even more spectacular as the trail progresses.  Once you arrive at Panorama Ridge and its phenomenal vantage point, high above Garibaldi Park, you will stare in wonder.  Mesmerized first by Garibaldi Lake, far below you and looking unnaturally blue, the lake looks amazing surrounded by green, untouched wilderness and snow capped mountains.  The Table, the massive and unusual looking mountain with its bizarre flat top lays across the lake with the enormous Mount Garibaldi just beyond.  In the distance, where Garibaldi Lake ends, a massive glacier rises out of the blue and jagged crevasses can be seen even Panorama Ridge Aerial Video Part 2from such a great distance.  Behind you, Black Tusk lays across the valley.  Close to the same elevation as Panorama Ridge, you get this wonderful view of it.  Certainly the best and closest viewpoint to this iconic mountain.  Panorama Ridge sits, along with Black Tusk in the midst of some of the most popular and beautiful hiking trails in Garibaldi Park.  There are two main trailheads for Panorama Ridge, Cheakamus Lake and Rubble Creek.  Rubble Creek is the more popular starting point as it is a bit shorter, far more scenic and allows for the inclusion of the trail to Garibaldi Lake and the beautiful Taylor Meadows as well as Black Tusk.  The trail to Panorama Ridge from Rubble Creek is not so much difficult as it is long.  30 kilometres makes for a long 8-10 hour roundtrip hike.  Staying overnight, therefore is a great idea.  There are several excellent options for camping in the valleys around Panorama Ridge.  The beautiful though often crowded Garibaldi Lake campsite, the less crowded and also beautiful Taylor Meadows campsite, the seldom crowded and serene Helm Creek campsite (located on the Cheakamus Lake side of Black Tusk).  The more adventurous bivouac on the far end of Panorama Ridge itself. As you hike along the spine of Panorama Ridge, it leads to quite a large, flat and level grassy area with breathtaking views. Perfectly south facing, this beautiful, grassy slope is always sunny, seldom hiked as it lays at the far end of Panorama Ridge , and beautifully insect free.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video Part 3

The ridge is often windy and flying insects cannot cope and remain in the valleys below.  The nearest trailhead for Panorama Ridge is at Rubble Creek, 25 kilometres south of Whistler Village on the Sea to Sky Highway you will see a Garibaldi Park sign indicating the turnoff.  From the highway a paved road runs for 2 kilometres to the Rubble Creek trailhead and parking area.  This is the most popular and close trailhead for Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows and Black Tusk as well as Panorama Ridge

More Aerial Views and Hiking Info for Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park >>

Whistler Aerial Views - Callaghan LakeCallaghan Lake Provincial Park up in the Callaghan Valley south of Whistler, is an often overlooked but beautiful and easily accessible mountain lake.  First impressions are important, and when you arrive at Callaghan Lake, the first thing you see is the main campground.  It looks more like a large gravel parking lot, which it pretty much is.  So, most visitors to Callaghan Lake don't rate it too highly.  When you take a look a bit further and see the lake, the views get a bit better.  But still the place is mediocre at best.  What you need to do is get out on the lake or hike along the easy-to-miss hiking trail that runs along the right side shore(if standing at the main parking/campsite area).  Once you get some distance between you and the main campsite area, Callaghan Lake becomes spectacular.  Surrounded by pristine wilderness and snowy mountains beyond, the lake is crystal clear and the shores are wonderfully devoid of humanity.  With a little effort you can find some amazing places to put up a tent, like this one on a little paradise island near the far shore. Callaghan Lake Provincial Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain.  The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation.  Evidence of this Whistler Aerial Views - Callaghan Lake Islandcan be seen in the considerable glacial till and slide materials visible across the lake.  Around the lake you will see talus slopes, flat rock benches, cirques, hanging valleys, tarns, waterfalls and upland plateaus with bogs.  The wildlife that reside in the area include bobcats, cougars, coyotes, minks, wolverines, wolves, bears, deer, mountain goats and occasionally moose and grizzly bears.  Callaghan Lake is not really a hiking destination but more of a drive to campsite on a beautiful lake, and gateway to some beautiful intermediate hikes.  The campsite is small and looks a bit like a parking lot with about a dozen spots to put up a tent near your vehicle.  There is a proper boat launch at the campsite and the lake is large and beautiful to paddle.  Surrounded by snowy mountains and nice rock outcrops the lake is good for fishing.  If you have a canoe or boat of some kind you can find numerous, breathtaking places to camp.  There is even a small island a short  five minute paddle away that has a beautiful clearing for a tent, a fire ring and crystal clear water all around, deep enough to dive into.

More Whistler Aerial Videos and Hiking Info for Callaghan Lake Provincial Park >>

The alpine hiking trails on Whistler Mountain are the ultimate in luxurious hiking.  Little hiking effort gets you amazing views of turquoise lakes, snowy mountain, valleys of flowers, waterfalls and spectacular glaciers.  In the summer months, Whistler Mountain is somewhat divided in two.  The lower half of the mountain is for biking and the upper half is for hiking, sightseeing, trail running, eating and drinking.  There are a few directions you can start hiking from the Roundhouse Lodge, however, taking the Peak Express(quad chairlift) up to the summit of Whistler Mountain is an amazingWhistler Mountain Video Over the High Note Trail place to start.  The Peak Express is an exhilarating ride that takes you to the start of Whistler Mountain's best hiking trails.  The Half Note Trail, High Note Trail and Mathew's Traverse start here.  The High Note Trail in turn leads to the Musical Bumps Trail to Russet Lake and Singing Pass in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The summit of Whistler Mountain is also a destination of its own.  Spectacular views all around from this rocky, alpine summit visible from almost everywhere in Whistler.  Black Tusk comes into view as you exit the Peak Express.  This amazingly distinct pinnacle of jet-black rock is a local icon and remnant of a not too distant history of volcanism in the area.  As you admire its absurdly vertical form, remind yourself that there is almost certainly a few hikers looking back at you from its summit.  Looking right as you get off the Peak Express you will see an enormous inuksuk.  A remnant of the 2010 Olympic Games and now a fixture in thousands of photos.  This beautiful stacking of huge rocks is a take-away from the Inuit tradition of marking routes in an otherwise stark landscape with a human form.  The inuksuk is part of the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk.

Aerial Video of Hiking on Whistler Mountain

This 1.6 kilometre(1 mile), trail takes you along an excellent route around the summit of Whistler to one amazing viewpoint after another.  Branching off of the Whistler Summit Interpretive Walk you will see the High Note Trail extend toward the rocky cliffs.  The High Note Trail is a beautiful trail that skirts the edge of Whistler Mountain for several kilometres before bending back around Whistler to the Roundhouse Lodge.  A total of 9.4 kilometres(6 miles), the High Note Trail is a must-see trail on Whistler.

More Whistler Aerial Videos and Hiking Info for Whistler Mountain >>

Blackcomb Mountain has come alive with beautiful hiking trails in recent years.  With the 2008 addition of the Peak to Peak Gondola which connects Blackcomb to Blackcomb Aerial Video of Tent to PeakWhistler, the demand for mountain trails is higher than ever.  A dozen years ago, you would just have had some rough hiking trails to follow, and not many hikers to follow them.  Now you have mapboards, trail signs, viewpoint seating areas and six popular, named trails to hike.  The trails are mostly easy and relaxing, however the Decker Loop Trail at the far end of Blackcomb is very challenging and spectacularly scenic.  For the most part, you will find yourself winding through a nice alpine forest scattered with enormous fields of erratics leading to one great viewpoint after another.  You can hike for as little as 15 minutes or more than 3 hours, depending on the trail or trails you choose to follow.  Blackcomb Lake and Blackcomb Peak that looms far above it are the most popular destinations for hikers and getting there and back can be done in a couple hours.  The trails begin at the Rendezvous Lodge at the heart of Blackcomb Mountain.

Aerial View of Blackcomb Mountain

The Alpine Walk trail is your first section of this larger trail.  It consists of a 1.6k(1mile) loop trail that takes you from the Rendezvous Lodge to the alpine to view of the Fitzsimmons Valley that separates Blackcomb and Whistler mountains.  This easy trail winds through huge fields of boulders and mangled alpine trees to a Blackcomb Aerial Video of Tent Sitebeautiful viewpoint area amongst the enormous erratics overlooking the valley below.  In the distance you will see Whistler Mountain and clearly visible ski runs and snowy mountains beyond.  Lots of trail signs direct you to either circle back to the Rendezvous Lodge or continue further along the Overlord Trail.  The Overlord Trail continues along the edge of Blackcomb Mountain and the scenic alpine forest that surrounds it.  Overlord then runs another 1.6k(1 mile) to the far end of Blackcomb before entering Garibaldi Provincial Park.  An unmarked trail continues into Garibaldi Provincial Park, however this route is only recommended for advanced hikers as there are no trail signs and getting lost is very easy here.  A better/easier route into Garibaldi Provincial Park is found on the Whistler side, where signs and mapboards direct you all the way.  Along the Overlord Trail you will come to two loop trails.  The first one is the Lakeside Loop Trail.  This moderately challenging trail takes you to Blackcomb Blackcomb Lake and Blackcomb Peak Aerial VideoLake, a beautiful little alpine lake at the base of Blackcomb Peak.  This crystal clear lake sits at the base of a hostile looking valley of boulders on one side and green meadows on the other.  You often see a couple people braving the cold water for a swim and there is a huge erratic out in the lake perfect for laying in the sun.  The second loop trail off of the Overlord Trail is the Decker Loop Trail.  This is the only steep and challenging trail in the area and takes you high up on the ridge along Decker Mountain.  This trail will get you the best views of Overlord Glacier in the distance.  The layout of the Blackcomb Trails give you essentially three routes to choose from that you start and finish at the Rendezvous Lodge.  The short and easy, Alpine Walk loop trail.  At just 1.6k, this gives you a quick and easy look at some beautiful views from Blackcomb Mountain.  This route can be done in well under an hour.  The second route takes the Alpine Walk trail to the Overlord Trail, then up Lakeside Loop to Blackcomb Lake then back around to the Overlord Trail and back to the Rendezvous Lodge.  Moderately challenging, this route is about 6 kilometres roundtrip and takes about 2-3 hours to hike.

More Whistler Aerial Videos and Hiking Info for Blackcomb Mountain >>

Garibaldi Park Map Guide

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