Blueberry Park 6k - Whistler Trail Running
The Blueberry Park 6k trail run is a beautiful running route that is packed with great views and a wonderfully varied terrain. From Whistler Village you run along the edge of Whistler Golf Course on the beautiful, wide, paved, two lane trail to the start of the Blueberry Trail. The Blueberry Trail quickly ascends through a deep forest as a few small switchbacks take you high up on the edge of Blueberry Hill.
This five minutes of gruelling ascent then levels off and you get the first of several nice viewpoints, high above Alta Lake. The trail then descends toward Whistler Cay, where one kilometre of street running connects you to the Valley Trail once again and leads you back to the Village, once again along edge of Whistler Golf Course.
Blueberry Park is a very scenic park on Alta Lake that most Whistler locals don't even know about. 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.
Blueberry Park was massively upgraded in 2013, which previously had been just a simple dirt trail through the forest and a faint trail to the piers. A new pier, gravel trail section, trail widening and new trail signs have been added. For most of the trail, however, it is steep, rocky, wild and natural looking. The forest is deep and dark. Massive tree roots criss-cross the trail and fallen trees and boulders are strewn everywhere. It has a wonderful remote and natural feeling to the forest that make you forget that you are so close to civilization.
Blueberry Park can be reached from both ends of Blueberry Trail. The Whistler Cay end of the trail is a bit tricky to find although it is being improved. There is a Blueberry Trail sign at the trailhead but it is not visible from the end of Crabapple Drive. To find it run all the way to the dead end of Crabapple Drive and you will see an unmarked trail. About 10 metres in you will see the Blueberry Trail sign on your right.
If you are parking at one of the Blueberry Park trailheads always be careful where you park in Whistler in residential areas, especially in the winter months. Look for no parking signs. Often you will see one side of a residential street with no parking signs. This is to allow for snow clearing and you may get towed if you block snowplows. The dead end of Crabapple Drive is currently safe to park, however, take a look before you park in case this has changed.
Blueberry Park is best reached by the Alta Vista side at the end of St Anton Way. As noted above keep an eye out for no parking signs, but at the moment parking is OK at the end of St Anton Way at the trailhead. This side of Blueberry Park is home to the three piers on Alta Lake making it the more scenic way to start the trail.
The Blueberry Park trailhead sign is easy to spot from St Anton Way and the nice, new gravel trail leads to to the three piers just a few dozen metres in. These piers are a great way to escape the crowds that you find in other Whistler parks such as Lost Lake Park, Alpha Lake Park, Wayside Park, Lakeside Park, and Rainbow Park. Rainbow Park is directly across Alta Lake from the piers at Blueberry Park. Where these other parks are beautiful with their grassy fields, beaches, kids play-parks and other amenities, none of them match Blueberry Park's wonderful, wilderness feel.
From the piers you have to backtrack a bit and take the right fork on the trail that you pass just after entering the forest from St Anton Way. This narrow, rocky, winding and steep, uphill trail takes you into the deep forest of Blueberry Hill. From one end to the other, the Blueberry Trail is just 1.4 kilometres long and fairly steep at both ends. You wouldn't want to push a baby stroller up the narrow and rocky path, but you could easily do so along the nice, smooth gravel trail to the three piers at the start of the trail. The trail ascends quickly and arrives at a beautiful viewpoint, high above the lake. Mt Sproatt dominates the view with Alta Lake far below. Out to the right you can see the always snowy Rainbow Mountain.
The trail continues through the forest and several more beautiful viewpoints just off the trail to your left. Finally the trail descends and ends at Crabapple Drive. If you are doing a circle route from Whistler Village you just have to follow Crabapple Dr for almost 1 kilometre and you will cross the Valley Trail just before Lorimer Rd.
If you turn right and onto the Valley Trail this will take you along the beautiful trail around Whistler Golf Course and leads to the Village. Instead, if you turn left you will follow the Valley Trail to the end of Lorimer Rd and then the Valley Trail splits again. Left goes to Rainbow Park and right goes to Meadow Park.
The circle route mentioned above is a great way to see Blueberry Park from Whistler Village. See the map below, it is just 5.8 kilometres roundtrip and has plenty of sights to see along the way. The Valley Trail(paved) from the Village along Whistler Golf Course is beautiful. The beginning of the Blueberry Trail (gravel) at St Anton Way starts with the three beautiful piers on Alta Lake.
The Blueberry Trail(dirt path with some stairs) along the edge of Blueberry Hill above Alta Lake has several nice viewpoints. The Valley Trail then pick up again at kilometre 4(shown on the map below), and continues on the Valley Trail at the beautiful, ancient cedar grove at the north end of Whistler Golf Course.
The final 1.8 kilometres is along the edge of Whistler Golf Course bringing you back to the Village via the underpass under the Sea to Sky Highway. With the exception of the 1 kilometre section of road on Crabapple Drive, this route is on trails. The trails all have frequent signs and occasional mapboards, however the Crabapple Drive section does not, but you just have to keep your eyes out for the Valley Trail crossing just before Crabapple Drive joins Lorimer Rd.
Blueberry Park 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 Blueberry Park can be tricky to find as you have to find it at the end of St Anton Way. "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. On the map below this is where the 5.8k run, shown in red starts and finishes. 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). The Valley Trail is wide, with two lanes divided by a yellow line and with frequent directional signs, so once you are on it it is easy to follow.
Blueberry Park is possibly the most dog friendly park in Whistler. It is wild, remote feeling and has a deep forest to run through and three piers on Alta Lake your dog will love to jump off. With other Whistler parks such as Rainbow and Alpha, that have specific areas within them that are dog friendly, at Blueberry the whole place is dog friendly. Dogs are not welcome in the nearby Rainbow Lake trail as well as all of Garibaldi Park, so finding a hiking trail in Whistler to go with your dog can be annoyingly restrictive. 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 is one portable outhouse in Blueberry Park located at the south end trailhead. The closest washrooms can be found at Lakeside Park on Alta Lake, just a 15 minute walk south from the piers. From the north end of Blueberry Park there are public restrooms at the top end of Whistler Golf Course. Look for the sign on the Valley Trail at the 4k mark shown on the map below. These washrooms are only open when the golf course is open. There is also a nice concession stand here open to the public as well as golfers.
Other Running Trails Near Blueberry Park
Whistler has an enormous array of trail running routes and not surprisingly most of them are amazing. From Whistler Village there are several convenient trails and routes with varying distances. Taking a look at the above map, if you don't continue to Blueberry Park, but instead around the golf course, you will be doing an the popular Whistler Golf Course 4.8k. This route follows the Valley Trail as it circles the golf course. This section of the Valley Trail is plowed year-round and even in -10c mornings you will see people braving this beautiful trail. In the spring, summer and fall months the Whistler Golf Course is frequented by bears and it is not uncommon(especially in June) to see two or three bears at various places along the run. Usually you will spot them out on the golf course, however, sometimes on the Valley Trail. If this happens, your best bet is to back away, make some noise and he will likely run into the forest. If not, making a detour through the golf course is always possible. If 5 kilometres is not enough for you, there is an amazing route around Alta Lake that you can run. Once again, you can start in Whistler Village and run along the Whistler Golf Course on the Valley Trail, continue past Blueberry Park, Lakeside Park and Wayside Park. You then round the south end of Alta Lake and head north on the Valley Trail, then along Alta Lake Road for 1.3 kilometres. Alta Lake Road is a fairly quiet road and has some great views of the lake. You then rejoin the Valley Trail at Rainbow Park and continue along the River of Golden Dreams to Lorimer Road. Turning right(there are plenty of signs) you come to the Whistler Golf Course again as you enter a small forest of huge and ancient cedars. Following along the edge of the golf course on the Valley Trail takes you back to the Village, completing the Alta Lake . Lost Lake, in the opposite side of Whistler Village is also home to some great trail running and the most straight forward route is the Lost Lake 6k.