Cheakamus Lake is a cold glacial fed lake surrounded by beautiful mountains. The trail itself is relatively flat following the Cheakamus river to Cheakamus Lake (some elevation gain). The trail rolls up and down, but it's not difficult at all -- unless of course you are on an Access Challenge as we were. In Access Challenge (sponsored by B.C. Mobility Opportunity Society) teams of able bodied particpants and those in specially modified wheelchairs called trailriders work together to reach a destination. BCMOS sponsors two or three multi-day access challenges per summer (See www.reachdisability.org/bcmos). They are true challenges, and, are very rewarding, and one heck of a workout.
In this case, we drove up from Vancouver, almost to Whistler, and took the turnoff for Cheakamus lake on the right. You'll see the turnoff, which is also near the Whistler dump (you can smell it not see it if you get out of your car here). Proceed about 500m down the dirt road, and you will see another sign for Cheakamus Lake on the left, turn left up this road. We proceeded 7km along a logging road (well marked) to the trailhead. From there we hiked the trail along the river to our designated camp spot. There are many camp sites along the trail, along the lake or river, and, you'll find you are on the South side of the Whistler ski resort (although you can't see it -Snowboarders have been known to get lost down here).
Great views, sunsets, and an overall enjoyable trail. Mountain bikes are allowed and this part of the trail is part of the famous Chekamus Challenge each September. It's not far from Whistler, so, cheak-it-out!
Also note, on your return you can cross foot bridge at Helm Creek crossing, hike up as far as you want, return.
Note: Distance above is for the round (return) trip.
In any car, drive from Vancouver to Whistler. At the first light in Whistler, Function Junction, turn right on Cheekamus Road, go down the road maybe 1/2 km, then make a left on to the narrower road. (if you cross a bridge, you have gone too far). Drive another 5.5 km (approx) to the trail head.
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Posted By: cdm26
- Mon Mar 23 03:44:47 UTC 2015
QuestionDo you need a 4wd car to drive up the road ? I have a city golf and am worried if I can make it up or not
ANSWERS are in this forum: driving conditions
Posted By: MichaelV
- Wed May 27 07:48:05 UTC 2009
Upsideeasy, enjoyable hike Downsidenone CommentMy friend and I did this on the 25th, it was a cloudy day nonetheless it was still a nice day for hiking. It only took us about a hour from the parking lot. We had our lunch on the side of the lake. After this we decided to head up to Singing Creek which is really the end of the trail. There are a few campsites here. There used to be a trail that passed this creek and connects to Whistler trails but BC parks doesn't maintain the trails beyond this point. Nice view of the lake from this end. On our way back we checked the footbridge that crosses the river. My friend said that there used to be a cable car here before the bridge was built.
Posted By: bigjoesmith
- Tue May 29 18:27:40 UTC 2007
UpsideEasy, wide, smooth trail for biking DownsideLimited out-and-back potential. CommentGreg Maurer, in his book "Moutain Bike Adventures in Southwest British Columbia" describes a "Helm Creek Trail" option for the Cheakamus Lake Ride. This option involves crossing the Cheakamus River on the new Helm Creek Trail footbridge and then a "20 minute" hike-a-bike downstream on the west side of the river to connect up with the old Helm Creek Trail, which is then followed down to the mail west-side forest service road. There has been a lot of wash-out in this area, and the old Helm Creek Trail/road has following into dis-use, so this is really a 2.5 hour bush-wack through devil's club, slide alder, and dense new growth. Tough going carrying a bike. Almost the entire way to the west side forest service road is bush-wacking. Enjoy.
Posted By: Urban trekker
- Sat Jul 08 03:20:24 UTC 2006
UpsideGreat views and easy terrain and on Canada Day 2006 hardly any one on the trail and only one set of campers camped at the lake. DownsideUsually busy in the summertime and the road can be bumpy and dusty. CommentBrand new parking lot at trailhead and according to the Park Ranger there are plans to fix up the road leading in.
Posted By: opus
- Mon Oct 03 05:22:32 UTC 2005
UpsideNice views, good climbing (if you start from Function Junction) and lots of options to get off of your bike and hike once you get to Cheakamus Lake. DownsideNot much downside.... CommentThis is a good bike ride from Function Junction. Although the ride from the parking lot to the lake and back is 14 km, from FJ the ride adds about 18 km return making it a total of 32 km. The climb to the parking lot is a bit of a grunt and not too nice when cars whip by you but it is a good workout nonetheless. Make sure you take a tube and patches (I pinch flatted twice), water and food.
Posted By: CGKings317
- Tue Apr 13 20:13:45 UTC 2004
UpsideThe scenery was great! DownsideThere was 20-40 cm of snow on the ground (depending on the location) during the spring when I was at Whistler (from Oregon) skiing and checking things out for a venturing crew that will travel to this vicinity with me. CommentSince the road to the trailhead was blocked by a big pile of snow, I, along with my mom and dad, snowshoed ourselves about 2.75 km from the start of the Cheakamus Lake trail access-road.
Posted By: Ben Heaps
- Sun Sep 28 19:03:32 UTC 2003
Upsidefrom Garibaldi Lake there are 2 excellent climbs/hikes that you can do, Black Tusk peak and Panorama ridge.
When you get up there, look at a map and draw it out or take a picture of it with your digital camera. An excellent weekend trip is to go up saturday morning, arrive at garibaldi lake by 1 PM, pitch your tent and set up camp, then pack dinner and head up to the Black tusk peak, do a short chimney climb and you're on top of hte tusk, what a marvelous place for a nice dinner. come down and meet the interesting people at the campsite.
The next morning head up to panorama ridge for lunch, come down pack up camp and hike out. I have 90 high quality images of the campsite, and the Black Tusk, I can send them to you via email or MSN firstname.lastname@example.org Downsideif the ascents to Black Tusk and Panorama ridge are done in late June, there is lots of snow to cross over, can get 2 feet deep of wet snow and in running shoes it gets quite annoying but still worth it
Posted By: Urban trekker
- Tue Jul 01 23:53:37 UTC 2003
UpsideLush forest, sparkling green lake, majestic mountain scenery, easy walk in and a good cardio workout on the bike if you bike the 7KM gravel road in. DownsideRoad is getting rough in spots but a wide range of cars were in the parking lot. CommentI did the trip early in the day so it wasn't very crowded but about 20 cars passed me on the way out so it was about to get busy. If biking the trail starts to get more technical as you start down the lake - you might want to ditch it in the forest and walked the remainder of the way.
Posted By: jeannette
- Mon Jun 02 17:40:28 UTC 2003
UpsideEasy, well-maintained trail. Beautiful lake, with great views on the mountains. A number of campsites with ready-to-use food caches along the route. CommentMissed out on the "crowds" - at least on our way in - that often come with these easy hikes. Although it was a Sunday, we only met a couple of guys fishing and two more parties that had camped at the lake. 2wd access to the trailhead possible (if you take it slow), however the logging road you take has quite some potholes. Not recommended for a low clearance vehicle.
Posted By: mountaingirl
- Sat Aug 24 05:37:34 UTC 2002
UpsideEasy, short trail, beautiful lake. Close to Whistler. Easy 2wd access. DownsideCrowded and not the most interesting hike in the area CommentThis is a great hike to do with kids or with people from out of town who can't handle a little (ok, a lot) of elevation gain. If you decide to spend the night, continue down the trail to the other end of the lake. There's a nice spot there on the sand and you might even have the place to yourself.