Get away from the crowds and stomped out snow to experience the pristine natural beauty and fresh snow at our favourite hidden gems. You will explore through soft powdery snow while taking in the striking natural views. Enjoy an interpretive tour led by our professional guides.
Gain the backcountry through a network of trails featuring iconic viewpoints in meandering forests.
Our exquisite snowshoe hikes are designed to please. Ranging from those seeking a more leisurely journey with extraordinary sights to those wanting to tackle an exhilarating adventure.
Duration 5-8 hours beginning and ending in Whistler (unless otherwise specified). Transportation to and from the trailhead is not included.
We offer several different tours, each destination wonderful with a focus on aesthetics and special viewpoints of interest. Below are some of our favourite areas. To ensure the best experience, final trip destinations are subject to change based on weather, snow level and overall conditions. A snowshoe hike with a professional guide allows you to explore the wilderness with the reassurance of a safe and memorable outing.
Driving distance estimates are one-way from Whistler.
Easy: Average fitness. Can move at an easy pace for 2-3 hours on trails with minimal inclines and declines.
Moderate: Good fitness. Can move at an easy pace for 3-5 hours with a backpack, on hard packed or loose/heavy snow trails with some steeper inclines and declines.
Intermediate: Good fitness. Can move at a sustained pace for 4-8 hours with a backpack, on hard packed and loose/heavy snow trails on steep inclines and declines.
Joffre Lakes 11km, 400m gain (3.5-6 hours).
Moderately difficult hike on progressively steeper terrain with postcard-beauty viewpoints as a reward along the way. Hike up through a storybook-like forest to reach three consecutive lakes framed by hanging glaciers. The intense gorgeousness of this area makes it a world class destination and therefore tends to attract many visitors.
Cheakamus Lake 18km or 24km options, 150m gain (6-7 hours)
Snowshoe along a pleasant road which on sunny days can sparkle and shine. See towering cedars, western hemlocks and Douglas firs in a beautiful forest running along a riverbed with hidden lookouts showing a peaceful frozen lake cropped by lovely mountain ridges. This trail is an out and back, offering turn-around options after the first lookout or after Singing Creek (adds 2 hours or more depending on trail-breaking conditions).
Garibaldi Lake trail, 20km, 904m gain (6-9 hours)
A slight yet consistent incline up sharp switchbacks to an impressively large glacier-fed alpine lake sitting frozen in a deep basin. Hike past the Barrier lookout, a momentous rockwall of crumbling lava rock that supports Garibaldi Lake. The trail circles the Barrier Basin reaching the frosted waters of Lesser Lake to eventually marvel at the blue glaciated peaks beyond.
Trail Info Sources: Aileen Stalker and Tony Keen
Dates: Tours offered daily throughout the winter season and as conditions permit.
Equipment: Snowshoes are provided & guests are welcome to use their own equipment – see Equipment Details
Food: All food and beverage is the responsibility of the guest
Difficulty: No experience is necessary; average fitness is required.
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.
Learn about training courses at the academy:
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. We also accept bank e-transfers 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 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 Tours
**On all multi day trips pre-arranged add-ons are non-refundable (food, accommodation, etc).
1-2 Day Courses
3+ Day Courses
**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 19) and custodial groups (youths affiliated with an institution where a parent or legal guardian is not present on the trip) may register for certain trips and courses with a letter of consent from parents or legal guardian as well, they must sign a waiver and have a parent or legal guardian sign a waiver. Further, we abide by the Parks Canada Custodial Group winter backcountry policy as outlined here.
Send this to friend