John Harvey Photo

Rainbow LakeGo to Slide Show

The other side of Whistler


 
Bunchberry Growing On LogRushing Stream In Forest

I've done a fair number of hikes in the Garibaldi Provincial Park (East of the highway) but not a lot to the west - just Brandwine meadows.    Rainbow lake is one of the few options available.  Helen has done this hike before and said it wasn't too bad so on fine Saturday morning, we got packed up and went for it.



Walking Across Tipped Boardwalk
It isn't a short hike up - the day is in the order of 16km.   On the plus side, it's pretty steady up (rather than scrambles) and while the trail isn't in a provincial park, the forest service did once spend a lot of money building a good trail.  Sadly, that was a while ago and the boardwalks have started to collapse.  I was kind of hoping the Olympics would bring an influx of money for this kind of work, but given the trail is under snow in the winter, I doubt it.



Helen And Mark With MountainHelen In MeadowMark In Meadow
 
Mesh Bridge
What this trail does have though is some pretty fantastic bridges.  These bridges are maintained (and necessary).  There are a number of substantial streams and without good bridges, you would be in trouble.

Mark On Suspended Bridge
 

The wildflowers weren't bad.  Even though there was some snow in places, we didn't see much evidence of the glacier/avalanche lily blooms we saw earlier in the year at Rainier.  There weren't fields of flowers like Garibaldi, but you would find pockets hidden in places.

White HeatherQueens CupBog-laurel

Waterfall Coming Out Of Lake
Most lakes around here have outfalls and it's not that rare that you approach via the outfall water source.  Of the local lakes I've seen, this one has the most dramatic waterfall fed directly by a lake.  There is effectivly a solid stone dam holding in this lake and the waterfall is over the lowest part of the dam.  As the waterfall wears down, the lake level will drop with it.


Ultimatly, the lake was a bit of a disappointment.  The lake is still mostly covered with ice.  In a few windows you could see the colours below and you could imagine the colours this lake could make.  The meadows around still had substantial snow, but again you could imagine nice flowery meadows in a few weeks.  Sadly, we were just too early - in August.  It was a heavy snow year.

Orange Stains On Lake BottomThree Of Us In Front Of LakeMark And Helen In Front Of Rainbow Lake


Walking down is sometimes like seeing a movie for the second time - you know all of the major plot points.  This hike down (quite close to the start/end) had a bit of a surprise - a nice view of the Whistler Valley.  We stood for a few minutes, knowing our knees would be hurting the next morning, and took in the view.

View To Wedgemount And Whistler

One last push and were were down at the car wondering which 7-11 to go visit for our much deserved slurpies.  Thanks Helen and Mark! 



View To Wedgemount And Whistler
Altitude: 810m (2657 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: panorama, vista
Mark In Meadow
Person: Mark
Tags: alpine, hiking, meadow
White Heather
Species: Cassiope mertensiana (western moss heather, white heather)
Altitude: 1308m (4291 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: flower
Bunchberry Growing On Log
Species: Cornus canadensis (Canadian Dogwood, Canadian bunchberry)
Altitude: 1041m (3415 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: hiking, plant
Rushing Stream In Forest
Tags: forest, stream
Helen And Mark With Mountain
Person: Mark
Altitude: 1190m (3904 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: boardwalk, hiking, meadow, mountain
Queens Cup
Species: Clintonia uniflora (bride's bonnet, Queens Cup)
Altitude: 1059m (3474 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: flower
Orange Stains On Lake Bottom
Tags: lake
Mark And Helen In Front Of Rainbow Lake
Altitude: 1436m (4711 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lake
Mark On Suspended Bridge
Altitude: 1316m (4317 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, hiking
Helen In Meadow
Person: Helen
Bog-laurel
Species: Kalmia microphylla (alpine laurel, alpine bog laurel)
Tags: flower
Mesh Bridge
Altitude: 1313m (4307 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: bridge, hiking
Three Of Us In Front Of Lake
Person: Helen, John, Mark
Altitude: 1448m (4750 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lake
Waterfall Coming Out Of Lake
Tags: waterfall
Walking Across Tipped Boardwalk
Tags: alpine, hiking, trail
Tags: hiking(6), flower(3), lake(3), meadow(2), alpine(2), bridge(2)
People: Mark(3), Helen(2), John(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John Harvey Photo - Hiking > Rainbow Lake

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:25:00 Edit
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