Boat in Cheakamus Lake Trail

3 Reasons the Cheakamus Lake Trail is Perfect for…

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  1. You’re keen to bask in the beauty of Garibaldi Provincial Park and see a turquoise glacial-fed lake.
  2. You’re inexperienced or unequipped for a wilderness hike.
  3. You’re short on time or want a short hike or won’t be camping overnight (although there is a campground, if you wish to do so).

You may be tempted to hike to Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge. If you’re a professional hiker who has hiked alone many times, more power to you. However, the hike to Garibaldi Lake is four hours one-way, with an incredible elevation gain so I decided against it—perhaps when I return to BC with a hiking partner for safety reasons.

Then I came across the Cheakamus Lake trail. Pictures looked gorgeous, short distance and relatively low elevation gain. I could do this alone.

Cheakamus Lake Trail

Cheakamus Lake Trail

Difficulty: easy

Distance: 14 km however, Cheakamus Lake is a quick 3km from the parking lot

Time: 3.5 hours

Elevation gain: 78 m

After turning right on Highway 99, the drive to the Cheakamus Lake trail parking lot will be on a thin, winding dirt road. It will take close to 30 minutes.



Cheakamus Lake Trail Conditions

It’s a family-friendly trail surrounded by massive, ancient cedars. The path is easy to follow and there are signs along the way.



Leaves along the Cheakamus Trail
Cheakamus Lake Trail

My Cheakamus Lake Hike Experience



This trail is perfect for a solo female traveler. I went at noon, met friendly hikers along the way and never felt unsafe.

Rain and clouds made the hike more breathtakingly surreal and walking through the gorgeous Fall colours was a bonus. I brought my umbrella with me, however the trees form a canopy so I barely used it. Although this trail can be done in running shoes, I recommend proper hiking footwear in the rain.

Cheakamus Lake
Samah is a Toronto-based freelance writer, digital marketer and former public servant. Needing more creative inspiration, she purchased a camera for motivation to travel and explore. You can catch her hiking or roaming urban landscapes, camera slung over the shoulder, with an iced chai latte in one hand and checking Instagram in the other.
  • Cassie

    Looks like somewhere suitable for kids too. Hurrah. Thanks for pointing this my way.

    1. Samah Khan

      no probs!

  • carol

    7 miles, 3.5 hours, elevation gain 78m. It may be easy but it’s too long. Sigh. I don’t think I can do it with plantar fasciitis and my age (69)!

    1. Samah Khan

      Aw, Carol 🙁

  • Lisa

    I’m completely in awe of your photos, it almost doesn’t seem real! I’m a very new hiker, so 3.5 hours here, no matter how beautiful, sounds hard. Then again, you do say that the Cheakamus trail is easy, so I’ll definitely take your word for it 😀

    1. Samah Khan

      Thank you, Lisa! The walk is on quite a flat trail and 3.5 hours roundtrip, but you could always just walk the quick 3km to see the lake 🙂

  • Alouise

    I’ve been to Vancouver several times, but never to Whistler. I’ll have to visit Cheakamus Lake the next time I’m in the area. It looks beautiful, and I love that you can do a hike in just a few hours.

  • Karo

    Oh wow, I have only heard about Whistler related to winter sports, but since I love hiking this is such a great idea! I love your pictures, they really show the impressiveness of nature in that part of Canada! Thanks for sharing, I’ll definitely add this to my bucket list.

  • Diana

    Good to know this hike is recommended for solo female hikers as I travel alone a lot! BC is so gorgeous, and I keep reading about new places like this that are all beautiful. I would love to try the steeper hike you mentioned but agree that it would probably be smart to bring a hiking buddy on that one.

  • Abhinav Singh

    I am an outdoors enthusiast and enjoyed reading this. Cheakamus lake looks gorgeous though I would have loved to do the Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge as well. 4 hours one way is not much!

  • Manjulika Pramod

    The picturesque click of the lake got me right at the outset. I love hiking as long as it isn’t complicated. I wouldn’t want to do it solo but yes the pictures make me want to do it with friends. I had no clue about Cheakamus lake or Garibaldi lake. Thank you for the post.

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