Closures at Lost Lake Park help protect migrating Western Toads 

Publication Date: July 18, 2023


Visitors heading to Lost Lake Park will notice some big changes over the next few weeks as tens of thousands of tiny Western “toadlets” make the great migration from the shores of Lost Lake into the surrounding forest.  Western Toads are a species of conservation concern meaning they are vulnerable to changes in their environment.  In order to help protect this species during its most vulnerable life stage the RMOW will be closing portions of Lost Lake Park during the migration.  

Beginning today, Tuesday, July 18, the Lost Lake access road and parking lot closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Visitors are encouraged to walk or bike into Lost Lake Park via the Valley Trail or Lost Lake Loop Trail to view the migration and learn more about Western Toads from onsite Naturalists. The Whistler Bike Valet will be offering free, secure, bicycle parking at Lost Lake every Friday through Sunday during the summer months. 

During the access road closure, the free Lost Lake Shuttle will be re-routed to Lakeside Park. Those wishing to access Lost Lake Park may take the Route 5- Upper village/Benchlands shuttle and get off at the entrance to Lost Lake Park on Blackcomb Way. From there, visitors can walk 500 meters down the Valley Trail to reach the park lawns and beach. 

At this time, the Lost Lake beach, lawn areas and docks remain open. We just ask that those visiting Lost Lake Park during this period step carefully and walk bicycles as “toadlets” are no bigger than the size of a dime and can be easily crushed under foot.  

For more information and current updates on Lost Lake closures visit: 

The RMOW operates a biomonitoring program focusing on indicator species, meaning species which can be studied to provide insight on the greater health of the ecosystem. Lost Lake’s Western Toad population has been monitored as part of this study for the past thirteen years.  

Ten years ago the RMOW began installing both permanent and temporary measures at Lost Lake Park to help protect this population. Recently, the RMOW has built new infrastructure to help migrating toads pass safely through the park. In 2020, a toad underpass was constructed under the Valley Trail just behind the events lawn. In spring of 2021, a second underpass was installed under the Lost Lake Loop Trail, between the Lost Lake Beach and Barking Bay. Underpasses have been strategically placed to allow toads to follow preferred migration routes without crossing high traffic trail networks. In addition to underpasses, the RMOW installed a new log retaining wall along Lost Lake beach to discourage toads from migrating onto park lawn areas where historic mortality numbers have been very high.   

There will be signs and gates set up to inform visitors where the toads are migrating and to make sure to “watch your step” and get off bicycles. In addition, there will be technicians and naturalists onsite at Lost Lake Park to monitor the migration and provide public education.  

This year 102 breeding pairs of Western Toads were observed in Lost Lake. Each female lays an average of 12,000 eggs resulting in the emergence of hundreds of thousands of tadpoles, which quickly group together forming large black clouds along the shoreline of Lost Lake. By July and August tadpoles have metamorphosed into tiny toadlets and are ready for the great migration from lake to forest. This migration can often appear as a moving carpet, as tens of thousands of dime-sized toadlets make their way across Lost Lake Park.  

About the Resort Municipality of Whistler 

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is a destination resort community, local government organization and leader in providing municipal programs, services, progressive planning and infrastructure for almost 12,000 residents and three million annual visitors. Situated in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler was the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Our vision: to be the premier mountain resort community as we move towards sustainability. 

Media Inquiries 

Resort Municipality of Whistler Communications | 604-967-3030 | 


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