They call it Beautiful British Colombia for good reason. I had never been to Canada’s most western province until summer 2018, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring BC outdoors. My only regret is that I didn’t stay long enough! If you’re spending time near Whistler, I’d recommend checking out the short and beautiful Ancient Cedars Trail.
As I mentioned, this was my first time seeing BC’s enormous cedar trees. It was an almost mystical experience on the Ancient Cedars Trail and made me more concerned about conserving these incredible outdoor spaces. I’m glad to know this place is provincially protected.
About Ancient Cedars Trail
Location: Near Whistler, BC
Distance: 5 km loop
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Elevation: 175 metre gain
Time: Approx. 2 – 3 hours
Dog-friendly: Yes, but on leash
Features: The Ancient Cedars Trail features 900-year-old cedars in a mystical forest setting. This classic trail is well-maintained and not overly technical. It’s a great option for hikers of all skill levels.
Finding the Trailhead
To find the trailhead, drive north from Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky highway for about 9 km. Turn left onto Cougar Mountain Road, a gravel service road accessible by most vehicles, and continue along for about 5 km. It might seem like a long and slow drive, but you’re in the right place. You’ll pass the Superfly Ziplines Basecamp and will eventually come to a well-signed parking area. There’s a toilet here, too. This is where the Ancient Cedars Trail begins!
Read more: Nairn Falls Hike Near Whistler, BC
Hiking Among Ancient Cedars
The Ancient Cedars Trail is a 5-kilometre hike just north of Whistler, British Columbia. The trail winds through the forest into a grove of massive cedar trees—some over 900 years old!
At the start, walk past the Ancient Cedars Trail sign onto the gravel path that gradually climbs. It’s not too strenuous, but may be challenging for some. You’ll eventually head into the forest and find a small field of rock statues. It’s worth the short walk down to the Showh Lake lookout. This is a good spot for a snack or lunch with a view.
Next, you’ll continue along the trail until reaching a bridge that marks the start of the loop section. This is where the ancient cedars trees are found! This grove is one of the few areas around Whistler that was never logged. Some say the trails are hundreds of years old.
After enjoying the walk among the cedars, you’ll finish the loop section and return the way you came. The trail will be mostly downhill back to the parking area.
Know Before You Go
This isn’t an overly long trail, but there are sections that might be considered challenging. Even though it’s short, it’s important to bring essential hiking gear with you. You’ll want to bring water, snacks, good hiking footwear, and other useful gear. Trekking poles or a hiking stick might be helpful. Bring bearspray along since Whistler is bear country.
I often hike with my Berner, Bella. If you bring your pup along, be sure to also bring some water and anything else your dog needs on the trail. This is a good hike for dogs, but they must stay on leash.
Have you hiked the Ancient Cedars Trail? What did you think of the massive cedars? Leave a comment below.
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