Rainbow Lake – Whistler, BC

Summer has been magnificent so far with suns sparkling the forecast everyday and warm, pleasant temperatures reaching 30˚C each afternoon. Rain was needed and so it did for a couple of days, just enough to soak the dryness of the forest and revive the grass and trees of their pure lush greens.

It is wildflower season and it is the perfect time to undertake a hike. There are so many wonderful options here in the Sea-to-Sky corridor, from Squamish to D’arcy, from short easy hikes, to strenuous day hikes, to multi-day hikes. Unfortunately, most of them are part of provincial parks, like Garibaldi Park, or  are drinking water supply areas so dogs are not allowed on the trails. There are also regulations for camping and swimming at certain spots. Make sure you read all signs and recommendations before you start your alpine excursion.

I called Claudel on Friday morning and see if she could come up from Squamish and meet me in Whistler. I haven’t seen her in a while and I missed her down-to-earth, calm and wise personality. She is also a huge nature lover and studies Fish, Wildlife and Recreation at BCIT.  She is the perfect partner for this hiking mission. She agreed to meet me on Monday morning.

We decided to go to the Rainbow Lake Trail, a 16km round-trip hike reaching 850m in 8km. We also decided to bring the dogs, as you are allowed to do so until the intake and then you have to maintain them on leash (I would’ve felt guilty otherwise to sweat for 16km without my dogs).

rainbow lake trail topo map

We travelled up the trail through a forest of Western Red Cedars, Black Spruces, Lodgepole Pines, Douglas firs and Western Hemlocks, traversing wooden platforms over marshlands. The essence of nature was fresh and earthy. Claudel stopped here and there, picking up wild ginger from the soil and identifying some leaves and pieces of bark from the trees.

The well-marked trail was easy to follow and was also well-maintained. However, the mosquitos and flies kept sticking to our sudor as soon as we paused to catch our breath. So we continued moving at a steady pace (gosh I’m not in shape!).

We passed a beautiful waterfall where we stopped in the breeze and let our drinking water slide through our dehydrated throats. Half way there!

After perspiration, bug bites, heart pumping and thighs burning, we arrived to our destination. We have reached the summit and found the tranquil alpine lake peacefully resting in the middle of a garden of wildflowers, surrounded by mountains peeking through a baldachin forest.

We ended up spending 3 hours atop, laying in a bed of wildflowers sipping on rewarding mimosas between buzzes of bugs and bees. We conversed about life: the things we have accomplished, the things we want to achieve. Life surely goes by fast and there is so much left to undertake. And that Monday of late July we attained that summit.

Just like life, a little of determination, courage and commitment can bring you to the top. Keep pushing yourself, even if it itches. It’s never supposed to be easy. Don’t give up, because once you arrive on top, you know you have succeeded. And that feeling is unique to yourself, because only you know how hard you worked for it. Enjoy it. Embrace it.  And don’t forget to smell the roses along way 😉

What to pack:

  • Water bottle
  • Lunch (sandwich, fruits, granola bar, nuts, etc.)
  • Towel
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunscreen
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Flashlight
  • Lighter
  • Whistle
  • Bear bells

* Don’t forget you only want to pack the necessary. It might be a long haul. However, always leave room for the sparkling 😉

What to wear:

  • Good hiking shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Comfortable clothes

Information websites and lists of trails in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor:




Happy trails everyone!

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