Ancient Cedars Trail
If you are looking for a more secluded outdoor adventure, take a trip out to the Ancient Cedars Trail. This hike, unfortunately, is often overlooked by other visitors because cedars are prevalent throughout the area. What they they don’t realize, though, is that the Ancient Cedars Trail winds among dwarf the cedars found in other areas surrounding Whistler. Having stood for thousands of years, these mighty arbors are an awe-inspiring sight to behold. The trail is a well marked and easy-going 5-kilometre loop. The trail has benches along its course for short legs to rest on or letting grandma catch her breath and is dog friendly, so the whole family can enjoy.
The Ancient Cedars Trail is located just north of Whistler: Take Highway 99 toward Pemberton. Drive for about 8.4 kilometres and turn left onto the logging road. Travel another 4.5 kilometres until you see the sign for the trailhead; for more, read Ancient Cedars, a Tree-Huggers’ Paradise article.
Cheakamus Lake Trail
One of the easiest trails in the Whistler areas, Cheakamus Lake is an easy 3 kilometres from the parking lot to the shore. Although this hike is short in length, it certainly doesn’t lack in scenic beauty. Hike through old growth cedars and pack a picnic and prepare to spend a pleasant and leisurely afternoon with the whole family to get away from the bustle of Whistler or to just enjoy the simplicity of life on a sunny day. If your family decides they want to get a bit more hiking in after your picnic, though, there is another 4 kilometres of trail along the northern shoreline of Cheakamus Lake. The trail is dotted with quaint beaches, so if you don’t mind cold water, pack your swimsuits and enjoy a dip in the crisp mountain water. While dogs are not allowed here, the scenic beauty is something that the rest of the family can truly appreciate.
Take Highway 99 south from Whistler and turn off onto the Function Junction. Follow the logging road for 8.5 kilometres until you reach the trailhead parking lot on the left side of the road; learn more from here.
Parkhurst Ghost Town
When most people think of ghost towns, they think of the United States’ Wild West - complete with cowboys and saloons. However, Whistler has its very own ghost town - Parkhurst - nestled away in the nearby mountains. As far as the kids are concerned, what’s not to love about exploring an abandoned logging town? This eerie settlement has been abandoned since the 1930s and will let your kids’ imaginations run wild as you explore abandoned log cabins and logging tractor. Travelling along a moderate trail through a coniferous forest while keeping an eye out for the pink trail markers will give a real sense of adventure on this 9-kilometre hike.
The Parkhurst Ghost Town can be reached by starting out on the easy to travel Sea to Sky Trail that can either be started near Wedgemount or Lost Lake, depending on how many extra kilometres you want to add to the trail; to see more photos visit Parkhurst Ghost Town on Flickr.