Whether you're a local or just a visitor to Pemberton, the many hiking trails in the valley are a fantastic way to pass the time in the fall or winter. There's still plenty of hikes and activities to do during the winter! One of Pemberton's most well known summer hikes, Joffre Lake, is a very popular winter destination due to it's beautiful alpine setting.
This spot is quickly becoming the quintessential "must do" activity in Pemberton, and for a good reason. Joffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful spots in our province and dare I say; top 100 in all of Canada. The lakes offer some of the most spectacular scenery you will ever see. The hike is famous for its three glacier-fed lakes fittingly called Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes. In order to get to Joffre Lake Provincial Park, you drive out east of the Village of Pemberton for about 35 minutes. The area has a large parking lot where you will find the hikes trailhead. If you're looking for directions learn more about hiking Joffre Lakes.
No trip to Pemberton is complete without visiting Pemberton's Nairn Falls. This beautiful Provincial Park is flush with wonderful walking trails and hikes.
The main draw of the park is the breath taking double waterfall. This amazing force of nature is a huge draw and is listed as the number #1 thing to do in Pemberton by TripAdvisor.com.
Nairn Falls Provincial Park is conveniently located within a 2 minute drive from the Pemberton Valley Lodge. Once you arrive at the parking lot the total hike time is 15 to 20 minutes each way. We recommend visitors plan for an hour there and back.
When you arrive at the waterfalls you will be greeted by a fantastic viewing deck. From here you can take in the beautiful sights of the upper falls area. A short walk down the lower falls and you will be greeted to close up views of the awesome power of the lower falls. This short but rewarding hike is a great way to get outside for a quick escape into the Pemberton wilderness. If you're looking for directions learn more about the Nairn Falls hike.
We have included a video from a hike we took to Nairn Falls in December 2106. Check it out!
Hike Round-Trip Directly from the Lodge
See this map for details of our favourite trail to access Nairn Falls directly from the Lodge.
Level of Difficulty: Easy to moderate with uphill grades between One Mile Lake and Nairn Falls Provincial Park parking lot
Drive + Hike Directly from the Lodge
Prefer the "shorter" way to get to Nairn Falls from the Lodge? No problem. You can drive from the Lodge to the Nairn Falls Provincial Park parking lot, then follow the trail to the falls. See this map for details. (NOTE: Section "A" shows driving directions. Section "B" shows the hiking trail.
Hike Details (One Way): 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) / Typical walking time = 20 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy from parking lot to Nairn Falls
Short Hike Up Pemberton Valley
This short hike to the 'Dark Forest' trail overlooks the Pemberton Music Festival grounds. Access to the trailhead is a very short drive from the Lodge.
A Very Short Drive from Pemberton Valley Lodge
This map shows the short drive from the Lodge to the parking lot where you can begin your hike. Of course, you could walk the entire way as well! From the parking lot head towards the mountain and take the first left. Follow the forestry road for about 25 minutes (one way) to a clearing. This is where you catch some outstanding views of the Pemberton Valley!
Hike Details (One Way): approx. 1.5 kilometre (0.9 miles) / Typical walking time = 30 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy but a continuous uphill grade on a forestry road from parking lot to Nairn Falls
Be Prepared BEFORE Visiting the Backcountry!
IMPORTANT! While we have added some Winter Hiking Tips below we also highly recommend that you review an excellent post from the team at Adventure Smart before visiting the backcountry entitled "Survive Outside". Planning your trips, letting other know about your trip plans, being fit enough for your chosen hike, and have the proper gear is critical for a safe and fun experience!
If you are entering terrain that is in potential avalanche areas you should also strongly consider Avalanche Skills Training (AST) courses like those offered by Whistler Blackcomb, as well and even consider hiking with a certified guide.
Winter Hiking Tips
Bring snow shoes or spikes for your boots. Winter trails tend to be very icy coming up and going down. You'll need something to track along the icy conditions. Bring some ski pole for walking sticks.
Always pack water and snacks, you'll need them.
You might want emergency equipment. Depends on where you're going but it's always better safe than sorry.
Bring gloves, a warm jacket, and a good ol' fashioned Canadian toque!
Wear under layers that won't absorb sweat and moisture. Cotton may feel warm at first but once it gets wet it takes a long time to dry.
Like mom always said "bring an extra sweater, you can always take it off".
Pack a hot drink in a thermos for a victory warm-up once you complete the hike.
When visiting Whistler, consider staying at Pemberton Valley Lodge. We offer several advantages over Whistler
1 Only 20 minutes
You can get to the Village faster from our Lodge than you can from some parts of Whistler Resort.
2 Save money
Whistler hotels typically charge for parking. We don't. And you get bigger rooms for your dollar.
3 Ski shuttle
Our complimentary shuttle bus runs daily from the Lodge to and from Whistler Blackcomb.