Backcountry Wilderness Hike | Half Day Tours in Whistler BC

Half Day Hike

guided wilderness hike


  • 2 or more people: $129
  • Single Person Supplement: $249
  • Children (12 and under): $99
  • Private (1 to 6 ppl): $549

Location: Whistler & Squamish   Duration: Half Day   Fitness: Average   Ability: Beginner   Prerequisites: None  

Step into the wilderness on amazing trails of old-growth forests with ancient cedars along pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and geologically interesting landscapes. Half day.

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Daily tours departing at 8:30 & 13:30.

Book online or contact our office to ask any questions: 1-604-938-9242 or

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Adventure Information

The Sea to Sky area has some of the most spectacular hiking and walking in the world.

Step into the wilderness on amazing trails of old-growth forests with ancient cedars along pristine lakes, hidden beaches, babbling creeks, cascading waterfalls and geologically interesting landscapes.

Let us take you on a rejuvenating excursion to our favourite areas and experience a unique atmosphere of natural beauty at a relaxing and enjoyable pace.

Duration 3-4hrs round trip, leaving from Whistler (unless otherwise specified). Trips departing daily at 8:30 and 13:30.

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 and trail conditions. A 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 the MSAA office.

Easy Trips:

  • Ancient Cedars Trail – 5km, 150m gain (2.5-3hrs) – 10km drive
    Great family walk in an ancient forest. See massive, 1000 year old, 60 meter red cedars. With a viewpoint excursion to the Green Lake lookout, watch the rosy alpenglow on the surrounding mountains.
  • ParkHust Ghost Town – 6km, 150m gain (2.5-3hrs) – 8km drive
    Interesting historical location, fun family outing in a spooky forest along the scenic Green River. See eerie remnants of old buildings, vehicles, and gardens from the 1950’s. Great views of Green Lake and Rainbow mountain.
  • Train Wreck – 5km, 114m gain (2-3hrs) – 10km drive
    Fun outting on easy switchback trails traversing varied terrain to a hidden local must-see. Twist and turn a windy path with closeup views of the impressive Cheakamus River toward scattered derailed train cars transformed into wonderful graffiti art.
  • Stawamus River and Shannon Falls – 1-4km, 20m gain (2.5-3hrs). In Squamish, 55km drive
    Tucked along the magnificent Chief and famous Smoke Bluffs, spot bald eagles along a scenic packed-gravel walk along the dike. Then drive a few kilometers to the next site. Pass through a majestic forest to view the third highest waterfall in BC, hike down through a moderately technical rooted trail to a less known tucked-away basin.

Moderate trips:

  • Brandywine Falls Lava Lake Loop – 9km, 44m gain (2.5-3hrs) – 20km drive
    View one of the most peculiar geological attractions near Whistler. A massive waterfall jutting cleanly over the lip of an ancient lava flow, just a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot. Then, venture on a pleasant trail past beautiful Douglas Fir on to a dry pine forest with small marshee ponds. Continue on, traversing a thick hemlock and red cedar forest nearby creeks to a great place to soak your feet and check out a cool suspension bridge.
  • Cheakamus Lake – 6-14km, 150m gain (2.5-4hrs) – 16km drive
    Smooth kid-friendly trail. See granite outcrops, towering cedars and douglas fir in a beautiful forest running along a wild river with hidden beaches, leading to a stunning turquoise lake cropped by lovely mountain ridges.
  • Half Note Trail – 3.2km, 136m gain (1-2.5hrs) – Walking distance, WB gondola lift pass required
    Rugged landscapes that mellows into rolling trails. Next-to-none views of iconic Black Tusk and the emerald green of the Cheakamus waters. Hike along meadows in an impressive diversity of plants and colourful wildflowers such as the wonderful Alpine Lupine.
  • Brohm Lookout Loop – 8.4km, 159m gain (2.5-4hrs) – Near Squamish, 44km drive
    Lovely alder-lined network of trails and forested paths along rock covered moss and vibrant green vegetation. With many points of interest along the way, such as creeks, marshes, lakes and a variety of wildflowers, climb past small rock bluffs to a fabulous lookout for a marvellous view of the Tantalus Mountains.

Sources:, Marc Bourdon, Matt Gunn, John Baldwin and

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

  • Small backpack/daypack (15-25 litres)
  • Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes with grippy tread
  • Weatherproof shell jacket (preferably water resistant, with a hood)
  • Water 500ml-1.5ltr
  • Lunch and snacks 800-2,500 total calories min (aim to have extra)
  • Sunglasses, cap/toque/hat
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent

Also Consider

  • Hiking poles
  • 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

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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.

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

  • With less than 48 hours of the tour start time:  Cancellation will result in a 100% forfeit of tour price, no rescheduling.
  • With more than 48 hours notice:  We will reschedule or refund with no penalty.
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 of the course date: 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 of the course date: 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 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.


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