Backcountry Hiking Day Tour | Whistler & Squamish BC
MSAA
Whistler / Squamish

Full Day Hike

backcountry day tour

Summary

 Summer
  • 2 or more people: $229
  • Single Person Supplement: $329
  • Children (12 and under): $129
  • Private (1 to 6 ppl): $699

Location: Whistler, Joffre, Garibaldi   Duration: 1 Day   Fitness: Good   Ability: Intermediate   Prerequisites: None  

Best backcountry hikes featuring majestic forests, surreal turquoise lakes, scenic waterfalls, wildflower meadows or endless panoramic mountain views. Full day.

Make a Booking

Daily tours departing at 8:30 am.

Book Now

Adventure Information

The Sea to Sky Coast Mountains are some of the most spectacular, with world class alpine viewscapes, endless panoramic peaks, glaciers and hidden trails to explore.

Gain the backcountry through a network of hiking trails featuring iconic viewpoints, such as surreal turquoise lakes, majestic waterfalls, tapestries of wildflowers, meandering meadows, lush forests, and fascinating ecosystems.

Our exquisite day hikes are designed to please. Ranging from those seeking a more leisurely journey with extraordinary sights to those wanting to tackle an exhilarating adventure in stunningly impressive terrain.

Duration 5-8hrs round trip, leaving from Whistler (unless otherwise specified). Trips departing daily at 8:30am.

We offer several different tours, each destination featuring unique sights, either subtly more scenic, alternately more or less remote, or offering gradual degrees of challenge. Below are some of our favourite areas. To ensure the best experience, final tour destinations are subject to change based on weather and trail conditions. A hike with a professional guide allows you to explore the backcountry with the reassurance of a safe and memorable outing.

Easy/Moderate Trips:

  • High Note Trail – 10km, 258m gain (3-5hrs). Walking distance, WB Gondola lift pass required.
    Rugged terrain on Whistler Mountain that weaves through moderately challenging rolling trails with some steep pitches. Views of iconic Black Tusk, Garibaldi Park and the emerald green of the Cheakamus waters. Hike along meadows in an impressive diversity of plants and wildflowers. Feast your eyes with 110 million year geology; colourfully sparkling granites, various volcanic rock, ash and shale. Spot various creatures amongst marmots, pikas, grouse, whiskey jacks, blue jays, giant ravens, deer, and the occasional falcon or eagle gliding in the distance.
  • Zhiggy’s Meadow Decker Loop – 10km, 214m gain, (3-5hrs). Walking distance, WB Gondola lift pass required.
    Rugged terrain on Blackcomb Mountain that weaves through moderately challenging rolling trails with some steep pitches. This hike offers similar scenery, fauna, flora, geology and ecosystems to the High Note Trail, however this trail loops through a more remote corner of massive wilderness, including a spectacular glacial alpine lake with views of Overlord Glacier and the Decker Tarn. Recommended: crown your adventure with a Peak-to-Peak gondola ride to Whistler Mountain.
  • Brandywine Meadows – 6-8km, 156m gain (3-5hrs). 20km drive, high clearance AWD preferred.
    A hearty elevation gain at the onset of the first 3km later rewards hikers with a dreamy alpine valley of grassy, flower-filled fields, meandering creeks and shallow waterfalls. Linger nearby refreshing streams surrounded by willow-herb beneath an amphitheater view in all directions; towering boulder fields, rugged cliffs, glaciated bowls, and wispy waterfalls trickling over formidable ridges. Option: See Brandywine Ridge for a further, more challenging day-trip.
  • Joffre Lakes – 6-8km, 156m gain (3-5hrs). 20km drive, high clearance AWD preferred.
    Moderately difficult hike on progressively steeper terrain with postcard-beauty viewpoints as reward along the way. Hike up through a storybook-like forest to reach three consecutive turquoise lakes framed by hanging glaciers. The intense gorgeousness of this area makes it a world class destination and therefore tends to attract many visitors (with various degrees of preparedness for BC wilderness). For a more memorable experience, this hike is recommended as a weekday trip.

Moderate trips:

  • Rainbow Lake – 16km, 850m gain (4-6hrs). 9km drive.
    A moderately challenging hike to a mountain lake paradise with impressive views of Whistler village, interesting sights and other surrounding peaks to glimpse on the way. A consistent but manageable climb through a dense forest of huge trees across wooden bridge creek crossings and waterfalls leading to a gorgeous alpine valley full of life. Rainbow lake is most pristine. It is in the watershed and is the source of Whistler’s drinking supply.
  • Brew Lake – 8-10km, 745m gain (3-5hrs). 22km drive.
    A moderately steep rolling trail through an idyllic forest and talus fields to a peaceful crystal clear lake in a shallow alpine basin. Hike through heather meadows interspersed with berry bushes and various gnarled vegetation into a mysterious waste-land type of terrain parsed with “erratics” (giant boulders carried by glacier ice and deposited in random, improbable spots). This lesser known amazing place feels secluded and a true adventure in a wild and strangely chaotic landscape.

Intermediate trips:

  • Garibaldi Lake Trail – 20km, 904m gain (6-9hrs). 28km drive. This trip best on weekdays.
    A slight yet consistent incline up sharp switchbacks to an impressively large glacier-fed alpine lake sitting in a deep basin. Hike past the Barrier lookout, a momentus rockwall of crumbling lava that supports Garibaldi Lake. The trail circles the Barrier Basin through changing vegetation, with rhododendron and lupine growing next to the path until reaching the powder-blue waters of Lesser Lake, to eventually marvel at the surreal green waters popping out against glaciated peaks beyond.
  • Brandywine Ridge – 15km, 1268m gain + scramble option (5-8hrs). 20km drive, high clearance AWD preferred.
    The start is as described in the Brandywine Meadows hike. Once through the flowery alpine valley, following rough paths creek to creek towards boulder-covered heather slopes, then climbing a talus slope to gain a beautiful tarn skirting a rocky ridge. At the ridge top are gratifying views of the Mount Fee Spires, Tricouni, Cypress, Mount Garibaldi, the Tantalus range, Rainbow Mountain, Whistler, Black Tusk, and many other glaciated summits in the distance.

Advanced trips:

  • Wedgemount Lake – 14km, 1145m gain (8-10hrs). Drive 12km, high clearance preferred. This trip best on weekdays.
    One of the most magnificent alpine destinations in the area. Climb a steep, grueling trail that leads to a breath-taking alpine plateau above an aquamarine lake, nestled in a stunning cirque of jagged peaks. With imposing views of Wedgemount glacier, Mt Weart and the Armchair glacier. Keep in mind the descent can be equally as arduous as the climb while negotiating the gnarly terrain, so be prepared for the return journey to take as long as the hike up.
  • Iceberg Lake – 15-20km, 860-1100m gain (6-9hrs). Drive 8km.
    An undulating trail with steep sections on a scenic forested trail crossing several wooden bridges, offering views of pretty creeks, waterfalls and beautiful meadows with Rainbow Glacier in the foreground. The trail makes its final ascent through a careful route on a worn path through a boulder field just above Iceberg Lake, where you can walk the short distance down to the edge of the lake or find a spot on the rocks above to soak in the views of the lake, glacier, and surrounding mountains, then more meadows and steep forest trails on the return.

Sources: whistlerhiatus.com, Marc Bourdon, Matt Gunn, John Baldwin and whistlerblackcomb.com

Important: Mountain weather and conditions can change fast and drastically – it is best to be prepared for cool, wet conditions even on a sunny day.

Recommended Gear

  • Backpack/daypack (18-35 litres)
  • Hiking boots
  • Hiking poles
  • Weatherproof shell jacket (preferably waterproof, with a hood)
  • Water 1-1.5ltr
  • Lunch and snacks 1000-3000 total calories min (aim to have extra)
  • Sunglasses, cap/toque/hat
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent
  • Light gloves
  • Long pants and an extra top layer (long sleeve or short sleeve in case of sudden weather change such as hot/cold)
  • Extra socks
  • Camera/SmartPhone
  • Personal items or medication you require

Also Consider

  • Headlap/torch or small flashlight
  • Whistle

Share this course


We're flexible!

Request ALternative Dates

Request Alternative Dates

Have particular dates in mind? Let us know! If we have enough requests we'll add them to this course.

Request ALternative Dates

Request a Private Adventure

We organise private courses and Adventures. Click here to start filling out the request form.

Request ALternative Dates

Buddy Up!

Share the cost of the guide! Let us know which activity you would like to do and we'll do our best to find you a buddy.


Important Information

We strongly recommend you purchase insurance for Trip Cancellation, Emergency Evacuation and Adventure Sports Coverage (some backcountry adventures are excluded from coverage).

Emergency Evacuation and Medical Insurance

This coverage provides you with emergency air rescue if required and full medical. Parks Canada provides free evacuation within the Parks and if you are a Canadian resident your medical will be covered by your provincial health plan (except ambulance/air ambulance transport). We strongly recommend international visitors purchase this insurance.

Emergency evacuation insurance is compulsory for all our hut trips, as these typically take place outside of Parks Canada’s jurisdiction.

Trip Cancellation Insurance

To prepare for unforeseen circumstances we strongly recommend purchasing Trip Cancellation Insurance at the time of booking your trip. Trip Cancellation insurance covers many scenarios to reimburse you for cancelled trips outside of your control.

Our recommended insurance provider is Tugo.Com who can be reached via the following:

All prices are quoted in Canadian dollars and are exclusive of a 5% tax (GST). Prices are subject to change. Guide gratuities are not included in fees.

Full payment is required at time of registration. Our preferred method of payment is by Mastercard or VISA through our online payment portal. We also accept credit card payment over the phone, bank transfer and cash.

Mountain Skills Academy takes mountain safety very seriously, however there is no way to completely mitigate risk in alpine environments. Prior to undertaking any of our courses or trips we require you to sign a waiver.

Mountain conditions are extremely unpredictable and can change at short notice. Our guides endeavor to undertake the routes and/or peaks that our clients desire, however our decisions will be impacted by conditions. Unfortunately we are not able to offer refunds if conditions are not suitable to undertake a particular route on the day you have booked. We will however make every effort to take you out for the best day possible given the conditions.

Applicable to all tours and courses*: If conditions force us to cancel a course or trip we will do all we can to accommodate you at another date. If this isn’t possible we will offer a full refund. We reserve the right to decline rescheduling dates based on availability.  *Does not apply to First Aid and Wilderness First Aid courses.

Late Arrival Policy

Guests arriving more than 15 minutes late for an activity forfeit 100% of the tour price. Tours leave promptly; it is recommended to arrive 15 minutes early to sort out gear and sign waivers.

Adventures Cancellation Policy

Half Day and Full Day Programs

  • Within 48 hours of start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • More than 48 hours:  $25 rescheduling & refunding fee (per booking).
Multi Day Programs
  • 2 Day Programs: Within 10 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 10 days: $25 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.
  • 3+ Day Programs: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule or full refund.
  • Customized Trips: 30 days cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition, Outside of 30 days: $75penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**On all multi day trips pre arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).

Courses Cancellation Policy

1-2 Day Courses

  • Within 10 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 10 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

3+ Day Courses

  • Within 30 days: Cancellation notice will result in a 100% forfeit of tuition
  • Outside of 30 days: $75 penalty to reschedule per booking or full refund.

**If you are able to find someone else to take your place on a course, please let us know as we are more than happy to transfer bookings.

Minors (under the age of 18 for our courses based in Alberta and 19 for those based in BC) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where the parents/legal guardian are not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well as must sign a waiver and have their parents or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.


MSAA

Send this to friend