Best Day Hike in Whistler, BC | Cheakamus Lake - God & Wanderlust
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Best Day Hike in Whistler, BC | Cheakamus Lake

Boat in Cheakamus Lake Trail

Best Day Hike in Whistler, BC | Cheakamus Lake

Are you looking for the best day hike in Whistler, BC? Compared to other popular hiking trails, the Cheakamus Lake Trail is perfect – especially for a solo female traveller. Here’s why: even if you’re a solo Muslim female traveller, like me, a hike to the famous Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge is tempting. It can work if you’re a seasoned solo hiker. However, the hike to Garibaldi Lake is four hours one-way, with an incredible elevation gain so I decide against it—perhaps when I return to British Columbia with a hiking partner for safety reasons.

I then come across the Cheakamus Lake trail. Pictures look gorgeous, the lake is a short distance away and there’s a relatively low elevation gain. I can 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

Turn right on Highway 99, then drive to the Cheakamus Lake trail parking lot on the thin, winding dirt road. It will take close to 30 minutes to drive to the trailhead.



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 breathtaking and surreal. The walk through the gorgeous fall colours is a bonus. I carry my umbrella, however the trees form a canopy so I barely use it. Although this trail can be done in running shoes, I recommend proper hiking footwear in the rain.

Cheakamus Lake
  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).

No Comments
  • Cassie
    Posted at 19:51h, 07 December Reply

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

    • Samah Khan
      Posted at 12:49h, 08 December Reply

      no probs!

  • carol
    Posted at 02:38h, 08 December Reply

    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)!

    • Samah Khan
      Posted at 12:48h, 08 December Reply

      Aw, Carol 🙁

  • Lisa
    Posted at 09:06h, 08 December Reply

    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 😀

    • Samah Khan
      Posted at 12:48h, 08 December Reply

      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
    Posted at 10:41h, 08 December Reply

    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
    Posted at 12:29h, 08 December Reply

    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
    Posted at 20:45h, 08 December Reply

    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
    Posted at 05:45h, 09 December Reply

    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
    Posted at 19:07h, 12 December Reply

    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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