Alpha Lake Park - Whistler Parks & Beaches
Alpha Lake Park is a beautiful park on the shores of Alpha Lake in Creekside, just 5 kilometres south of Whistler Village. Located partway along Lake Placid Road just past the Husky and Nita Lake Lodge. This quiet residential street leads to this park that is home to tennis courts, a basketball court, beach volleyball, dog park, a kids play park, a floating dock, a pier and biking/walking/running trails everywhere you look.
Alpha Lake Park has a much more local feel to it than other Whistler parks such as the popular Rainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Lost Lake Park. The abundance of trees and the irregular shoreline make the relatively small size of Alpha Lake seem quite a bit bigger than it is.
Trails run around both sides of Alpha Lake. The wide and paved Valley Trail runs along the shore on the near side and a gravel trail runs along the far side. This gravel trail, squeezed between the train tracks and the lake takes you to Pine Point Park, a nice rocky outcrop in the top-middle of the lake. Trails zig-zag through the forest here leading to several great vantage points over the lake.
If you continue walking through the forest trails in Pine Point Park you will eventually be squeezed between the lake and the train tracks for a few dozen metres before reaching the end of the lake. Here you will find another hidden oasis at Alpha Lake that goes almost entirely unnoticed. A remnant of the logging industry that used to thrive in the area, an old road abruptly stops at a jetty on the lake-shore. This weirdly remote feeling spot is a great place to relax in the sun.
At the main beach area of Alpha Lake Park there are washrooms, water fountains, a very elaborate kids play area, picnic tables, a small sandy beach and a nice pier. Fishing is popular on the lake as it is stocked with hundreds of rainbow trout every year. Despite the small size of Alpha Lake, its shoreline is never in a straight line and on a sunny summer day you will see several boats and paddleboards out on the water. The best places to fish seem to be around the small island near Pine Point Park. The island is private property, but the rocky outcrops near the island are accessible and ideal for fishing.
Adjacent to the main beach at Alpha Lake Park, separated by a small forest is the wonderful dog park known as "Arfa Park". Rarely will you pass through Arfa Park and not see a dog sprinting after a ball in this wide open, grassy field between the tennis courts and the lake. Several park benches face the lake and make for a fantastic place in Whistler to watch the sun set.
Whistler's wonderful Valley Trail runs through Alpha Lake Park. The Valley Trail is the wide, two lane, walking/biking/running trail that extends throughout Whistler. The section of Valley Trail that runs though the park here is also part of the much larger Sea to Sky Trail. This 180 kilometre walking/biking/running trail from Squamish to D'Arcy is still being constructed. The 32 kilometre section of the Sea to Sky Trail in Whistler was, for the most part, completed in 2013.
With the Valley Trail connecting Whistler Village to Alpha Lake Park, walking or biking to it is a great option. From the Village it is just 5 kilometres with a lot to see on the way. From the Village the Valley Trail goes under the Sea to Sky Highway via an underpass and runs along the edge of the Whistler Golf Course. The golf course is very scenic and bear sightings are frequent, especially early and late in the day. Beyond the golf course the Valley Trail runs alongside roads for a short time before passing through Lakeside Park on the shore of Alta Lake.
Alpha Lake Park - Parking & Amenities
Parking for Alpha Lake Park is found at the end of Lake Placid Drive. At Creekside, 4 kilometres south of Whistler Village, Lake Placid Drive is the road that goes past the Husky(gas station). If driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway you will see the Husky on your left at the lights in Creekside. Turn left onto Lake Placid Drive and follow it past the Husky. Lake Placid Drive bends 90 degrees left at Nita Lake Lodge and you will see the parking and entrance to Alpha Lake Park on your right. Parking is free, though overnight parking is not allowed. As Alpha Lake Park is on the Valley Trail and Sea to Sky Trail, walking, biking or jogging to it is a much better option than driving if you are staying in the Village. See the map below for directions on foot or on a bike.
Alpha Lake Park is very dog friendly and you will find the huge and beautiful "Arfa Park" adjacent to the main beach. Dogs are for the most part welcome at Whistler's parks, and many of them have special dog park areas. Rainbow Park has a similar dog park section to it, similar to Alpha's, Arfa Park. Blueberry Park on Alta Lake is very dog friendly and you don't even have to bother bringing a leash with you as the whole park is wilderness and remote feeling. For a list of dog friendly hiking in Whistler that includes the Sea to Sky Trail, Train Wreck, Nairn Falls, Ancient Cedars and many more try here..
There are excellent toilet facilities at Alpha Lake Park. Proper toilets and sinks located at the main beach area next to the kids play park. These are open during daylight hours. If they are closed, you will find washrooms just a short 5 minute walk away from Alpha Lake, along the Valley Trail at the beautiful Nita Lake Lodge. It has an amazing restaurant with views of Nita Lake as well as a fantastic lounge area with excellent food that is surprisingly reasonably priced considering the upscale atmosphere and views. There is also a great little take-away sandwich shop near the entrance to the hotel with a great selection of sandwiches. The Nita Lake Lodge is adjacent to Whistler's train station which has convenient restrooms as well. If you are on the Valley Trail you will see the train station between Alpha Lake and Nita Lake. It is hard to miss as there is an enclosed pedestrian overpass, over the Valley Trail.
Alpha Lake Park is not tent friendly, so you have to If you want a place to put up your tent you have to look a little further out from Whistler Village. Train Wreck is a great place to put up a tent and just 4 kilometres south of Alpha Lake Park on the Valley Trail/Sea to Sky Trail. Green River has some amazing spots for a tent, north of Whistler Village near the turnoff to Wedgemount Lake. Parkhurst Ghost Town is amazing for camping, located on the far side of Green Lake not far from the Sea to Sky Trail. These are free places to camp so don't expect visible camping facilities or signs. Alpha Lake is located in Creekside very close to Nita Lake Lodge and Legends(hotel). Finding a hotel in Creekside may be the most convenient, however Creekside is only 4 kilometres from Whistler Village so there are plenty of options there too. Whistler has an excellent array of hotels, condo rentals and B&B's. A good way to search for a place to stay is here. They compare all the available options in your search area, show reviews and photos of good places to stay, and you can book in just a few clicks. They somehow manage to get the price prices available and even offer free cancellation.
Map from Whistler Village
Printer, smartphone and tablet friendly. Designed to fit standard printers and copiers. To print: Right click on the map below, save image as, save to desktop, then open the image and print on standard size printer paper. Cell coverage is reliable everywhere in Whistler so you will be able to access the internet if you have a data plan, however saving this map to your smartphone or tablet may be a good idea as there are lots of beautiful places to see on the way to Alpha Lake Park.
"Start" indicated on the map is located in Whistler Village at the pedestrian and car underpass off of Whistler Way. If you walk between Buffalo Bills and the Conference Centre you will come to Whistler Way and see this underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway. This is where the Valley Trail in Whistler exits the Village heading south. Walking/biking/running under the underpass you will come to the Whistler Golf Course parking lot and clubhouse with the Valley Trail branching both left and right. Here you will find a nice mapboard showing the Valley Trail and the Sea to Sky Trail(both trails follow the same route in this section of Whistler). Continue along the Valley Trail all the way to Alpha Lake Park.
Other Whistler Parks Near Alpha Lake Park
Alpha Lake Park is one of several beautiful beach parks in Whistler on the Valley Trail. You can reach all these parks by car or better yet you set out on foot or by bike from Whistler Village. Lost Lake is a tranquil and secluded lake in the forest that extends from Whistler Village. Just a 20 minute, leisurely walk or 5 minute bike ride along the well signed Valley Trail will lead you to this beautiful little lake. The wide and paved Valley Trail turns into a wide and gravel trail as you enter Lost Lake Park. The main trail around the lake is a popular running route from Whistler Village as roundtrip from the Village, around Lost Lake and back to the Village in just 6 kilometres. There are plenty of nice viewpoints along the main trail as well as quite a few short trails that lead to several access points to the lake, some with great places to sit and relax in the sun and take in the view. Lost Lake has a very popular beach at one end and in the height of summer can get busy as it is the most convenient beach from Whistler Village. Blueberry Park is a very scenic and somewhat hidden park on Alta Lake just two kilometres from Whistler Village. If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed three piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest. These public piers sit at the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other. The park covers most of the hill beyond these piers and stretches between and connects the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay and Alta Vista(see map below). The beautiful, deep forest trail runs from the shores of Alta Lake in Alta Vista, up and across Blueberry Hill and descends again to reach Whistler Cay. Along the trail there are several beautiful viewpoints of Alta Lake in the foreground and the enormous Mount Sproatt beyond. Lakeside Park at Alta Lake in Whistler is a beautiful beach park just a short distance from Whistler Village. Located on the Valley Trail, it is just 2 kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away. Similar to Rainbow Park across the lake, Lakeside has a concession stand for food and drinks, picnic tables, BBQ stands, canoe and kayak rentals a huge grass field, pier, a sandy beach and an elaborate little kids play are. Swimming and relaxing are the main draws to Lakeside Park, but fishing off the piers is a common sight as well. Wayside Park sits near the bottom end of Alta Lake and at just 3 kilometres from Whistler Village is just an hours walk or 10 minute bike ride away. In the summer months, swimming and relaxing in the sun are the main attractions to Wayside Park. The piers are a fantastic way to view Alta Lake as it stretches north, edged by forest, hills and mountains in the distance. Canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding are all popular from Wayside Park and Whistler Eco Tours has a popular rental area here in the summertime. They also do canoe rentals where you can start canoeing at Wayside Park and finish at Green Lake. This 7 kilometre route takes you the length of Alta Lake then down the River of Golden Dreams to Green Lake. The current moves with you the entire journey making it a very relaxing route to paddle.