A series of world-class hiking and mountain biking trails are being developed on Mount Sproatt and Rainbow Mountain to offer a backcountry alpine experience like no other. Once complete, the network will include almost 40 kilometres of alpine trails.
Phase 1 is Complete
The first phase of the Alpine Trail Network officially opened in August 2017 with:
- Into the Mystic (8.6 km)
- With a Twist (3 km)
- On the Rocks (3.6 km)
- Happy Hour (2.5 km)
- Lord of the Squirrels (6.9 km)
Into the Mystic, the primary ascending trail, starts at the 1,000 metre elevation off Flank Trail. At the top of the trail it meets With a Twist, On the Rocks and Happy Hour, which climb and descend to provide 9 kilometres of rolling terrain with endless views. After a grueling 1,200 metre climb to the peak of Mount Sproatt, riders enter the epic intermediate single-track descent Lord of the Squirrels that eventually leads back to the start of Into the Mystic. Due to snow melt and weather conditions we anticipate the trails opening around the beginning of August each summer. In 2018, the trails opened on July 20.
The trail network includes the 13.8 kilometre Skywalk hiking trail system that starts at Mountain View Drive in the Alpine Meadows neighbourhood and winds through spectacular forest along 19 Mile Creek with access to the east side of Rainbow Mountain. Skywalk offers several route options intended for full-day hikes. Please note: these trails are not built for and cannot withstand mountain biking.
Upgrades to the Rainbow Lake Trail were also completed in 2014 and 2015.
Hikers should allow six hours for the round trip.
Respect the Environment
The Alpine Trail Network passes through the sensitive alpine vegetation. Please stick to the marked trails to avoid damaging the environment. Learn more about being Adventure Smart when hiking and biking.
Pack out all garbage, use outhouses, take only photos and leave no trace.
Environmental and safety considerations are paramount in trail planning. These trails have been built with consultation from biologists and provincial Recreation Site Officers. Trail rangers are stationed at the 21 Mile Watershed and Mount Sproatt to help with alpine awareness, safety and maintenance.
The extensive Alpine Trail network provides a backcountry experience that requires hikers and bikers to have a high level of fitness and be prepared for a day-long journey in remote, strenuous alpine.
Please ensure bikes are well-tuned and pack spare parts, food, water and appropriate clothing for changing weather conditions. Be prepared for self-rescue. There is signage and cell phone coverage along most of the trail.
Construction of the Alpine Trail Network is entering the fourth year of a five-year project.
Plans for 2018 include a variety of refinements:
- Building a descending trail called Less to create a loop trail for Happy Hour
- Rebuilding a trail to Hanging Lake and campsite.
- Completing an emergency rescue route from the valley to the start of Into the Mystic
- Building trailhead locations at the Interpretive Forest parking lot and Mountain View cul-de-sac on Alpine Way.
Learn more about the Alpine Trails planning process.
Partners and Sponsors
Plans for the Alpine Trail network were developed collaboratively by the Trails Planning Working Group, which included the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW), Alpine Club of Canada – Whistler section, Whistler Off Road Cycling Association (WORCA), Recreation Sites and Trails BC, Cheakamus Community Forest and Squamish Lillooet Regional District.
Thank you to the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative for making this project possible.
Please be BIKE SMART and RESPECT the trail: