Distance: 14.6 km (return)
Time: 2 – 2.5 hrs
Elevation Gain: 484 m
Elevation Loss: 484 m
Technical Rating: Beginner – Int.
Physical Rating: Moderate
Season: May – October
Permit Required: No
Cheakamus Lake trail is an incredibly scenic and family friendly ride. This out-and-back route is located in the south of Whistler and begins at the top of Eastside Main FSR. This is a multi-use trail used by hikers, bikers, families and bears. Yes, bears frequent the area and can be scene foraging alongside the trail. Bring your bear spray and make lots of noise when spotting them on route. The trail follows the shoreline of Cheakamus River out towards Cheakamus Lake from where it continues for another 3.5 km to the final campsite situated at the end of this maintained trail. The route comprises of several moderate climbs found on either end of the trail, while the majority of this track takes the rider along a gently rolling pathway. If it weren’t for a few sections of rocks at the start of this trail, burleys could easily be used for the first half. Cheakamus Lake Trail offers up some incredibly scenic spots along its route as it pops in and out of the old growth forest nearby several picturesque beaches. Please note that once you hit the first campsite, where the river empties into the lake, the trail becomes narrower and tighter in sections; definitely an intermediate ride from this point forward. The first campsite serves as a great rest spot and turn around point when heading out for a short pedal. If you’re looking for a majestic, picturesque and relaxing cruise through old growth and up to a glacier fed lake, this one is not to be missed.
Cheakamus Lake Trail begins with a gentle climb directly from the parking lot up a relatively smooth dirt pathway. Beyond this short climb lies a fun and fast moderate decent, which drops you into an old growth forest and leads the rider on a majestic cruise towards the Cheakamus River shoreline. Once down near the shoreline, the route continues along the relatively flat terrain all the way to the first campsite and Cheakamus Lake. Leaving the first campsite the trail gets a little narrower in spots as it hugs the Lake’s shoreline and meanders along the undulating terrain towards the last campsite. Expect a few sections of exposure when you pop out of the trees onto a narrow singletrack ledge located 40 – 60 feet above the shoreline. These short sections of exposure end before you can count to five, sending the rider back into the thick forest canopy. Once you hit the last campsite at the 7km mark, stop, take in the view, cool off in the lake and relax before you head back the way you came.
TRAILHEAD | N50 02.514 W122 59.369
From Hwy 99 take Cheakamus Lake Road (east of Function Junction) to Eastside Main FSR. The dirt road is located on the east side of Cheakamus Lake Road and just before the bridge crossing the river. Drive up the dirt road, staying on the main artery, all the way to the parking area located at the end of the road. Park and begin your ride up Cheakamus Lake Trail; it’s located next to the kiosk, well-marked and is the only trail leading from the parking lot.
bikepirate rating: 4 Skulls