5 Places to See Wildflowers at Whistler Blackcomb


Whistler’s wildflower season brings the alpine meadows to life and is a sight to see. Check out 5 places to experience Whistler wildflowers.

Posted on July 27, 2023

Backpacker Looks at Scenic Horizon at Whistler Blackcomb During Summer

Summers at Whistler Blackcomb are accompanied by beautiful nature changes that showcase the dynamic environment of this serene destination. Whether you're drawn to outdoor activities or photography, something magical makes Whistler worth visiting during this period.  

The once white winter land transforms into a colourful carpet as the wildflowers bloom, filling the alpine meadows with color. From the purple wild roses to the yellow Shasta daisies, hikers are assured of an aesthetically pleasing experience.  

Here's a guide to whistler wildflowers and specific places to immerse yourself in their beauty. 

1. High Note Trail 

Starting from the top of the Mountain Gondola and looping itself back to the Round House Lodge, the High Note Trail is one of the most beautiful alpine sceneries of Whistler. The trail is suitable for all, beginners or experts, as it is well-marked and relatively moderate in terms of difficulty. Hiking the trail takes an average of 4 hours, but this will depend on your physical fitness. 

Incredible points of interest can be found along the trail, such as the beautiful mountain range view and wildflowers. You are assured of encountering a stunning array of flowers in various colours, such as mountain heather, lupins, and paintbrushes.  

Accessing the trailhead involves driving to Whistler and taking the Whistler Gondola up the mountain. Once there, you'll need to take the Peak Chairlift all the way to the top of Whistler Mountain, where the 9.4km trail begins. You'll not be required to purchase a reservation to hike the High Note Trail. However, it's a must for you to buy a Summer Alpine Experience lift ticket for the Peak Chairlift and the Whistler Village Gondola. 

The Gondola operates between 10 AM to 5 PM (PT) so start hiking before midday to ensure you don’t end up inconveniencing yourself on the way back. 

2. Rainbow Lake Trail 

Rainbow Lake is a popular lake in Whistler, located in the Rainbow Park area. Hikers looking to connect with nature find it the ideal destination due to its natural beauty and stunning and colourful landscape.  

A reservation is not required to hike the 10-mile trail. However, hikers are prohibited from swimming and camping at the lake. Completing the trail takes approximately 6 hours, and is suitable for beginners to experts. Camping is not allowed, but if you wish to, you can do so at Hanging Lake, which is 1.5km away. 

The Alpine meadows color the landscape with various wildflowers, such as the Indian paintbrushes and the Alpine aster. The flowers around the lake bloom entirely in August and are reflected beautifully in the lake's calm waters. It's this natural phenomenon that led to the lake being named "Rainbow", as it offers a view full of a wide spectrum of colours. 

3. Black Tusk 

The Black Tusk is a prominent peak in the Garibaldi Ranges of the Coast. Its peak is the remains of a volcano which has been eroding immensely over time. The black peak, however, contrasts with its surrounding green environment creating a visually striking and unique appearance. It's this visual appeal that attracts hikers to this mountainous region. 

The blooming of the alpine meadows during summer color the surroundings of the mountain and contribute to the beauty and appeal of the area — with the surrounding basins offering them the perfect growing conditions. 

To hike the Black Tusk, you'll need to reach Rubble Creek, where the trailhead starts. The trail is approximately 29km and will take you through the surrounding landscapes, which include breathtaking views of other peaks and meadows full of vibrant wildflowers. 

Remember the Black Tusk is a mountain therefore hiking and climbing it will require expertise with the total hiking time amounting to 11 hours. Camping is allowed so if you are up to the challenge, visit the Black Tusk and test your might! 

4. Cheakamus Lake Trail 

Located north of Squamish and Whistler, the Cheakamus Lake is a lake renowned for its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking scenery. The lake is popular among hikers since it is maintained and marked well, simplifying navigation. Hikers can enjoy views of the surrounding mountains along the trail and occasionally catch a glimpse of the lake. Paths along are also forested, sheltering hikers from the sun and convenient for resting.  

The trail is flat with barely any elevation making it less physically demanding than steep and uneven trails. This makes the hiking experience more enjoyable and relaxed since you'll not be required to navigate steep uphills and downtown sections.  

The 16km trail takes 5 hours to complete the roundtrip and is suitable for hikers of all skill levels. You can set up your camps along the shoreline to get a beautiful view of the lake and head back when satisfied.  

The lake is also known for its vibrant wildflower displays, which fill the meadows and forest clearings with colours. The wildflowers ranging from fireweeds and lupines, create a breathtaking contrast against the backdrop of the lake and surrounding greenery — making it a must-visit for nature enthusiasts, hikers and photographers.  

5. Harmony Lake Loop 

The Harmony Lake trail is on Whistler Mountain and starts from Roundhouse Lodge to Harmony Lake. The trail is relatively short, spanning only 2.7km, and composed of easy terrain enabling hikers of all skill levels to enjoy it. 

Hikers enjoy picturesque views of the mountains, Blackcomb Peak and the village of Whistler after reaching the loop at the end of the trail. The mountains are also reflected by the crystal-clear waters of the lake, creating a serene scene for hikers and photographers alike.  

To find the trailhead leading to the lake, you'll be required to take the gondola up to the Roundhouse. Hiking the trail takes an average of 55 minutes, depending on how fit you are and how often you stop to immerse yourself in nature's beauty. Purchasing a ticket is a must to ride the Gondola hence ensure you strap yourself properly. 

Whistler Wildflowers Hiking Etiquette 

When hiking in Whistler, it's necessary to follow proper etiquette that will ensure the environment is well-preserved and protected. These are some of the practices you should observe; 

Do not Pick the Flowers: While it might be tempting to pick wildflowers, please refrain from doing it, as it will mess with the ecosystem. Ensure you stay on designated trails to minimize your impact on the surrounding vegetation. If you're taking photos, do so without disturbing the environment. 

Leave No Trace: Follow the principles of Leave No Trace, which emphasize leaving the natural environment as you found it. This includes picking up trash, whether dropped by you or not. Please take it as your initiative to keep the environment clean. 

Beware of animals: Many hikers have reported seeing bears lurking around these trails. If you spot one, remain calm and avoid sudden movements or loud noises. Give the bears plenty of space, and do not approach them trying to take photographs. If the bear hasn't noticed you, back away slowly without turning your back on it. 

Enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of the alpine wildflowers in Whistler by going on a local hike to Whistler Blackcomb. We at Vail Resorts provide the perfect hotels and recreational properties, ensuring you are well taken care of after a long day hiking and savoring the beauty of nature. With the help of our guiding tours, you are assured of a fruitful hiking experience. Start planning your next trip with Whistler Blackcomb today!