On May 31, 2019 the Conservation Officer Service (COS) received a report of a possible Grizzly Bear sighting on the Rainbow Lake hiking trail. The bear was feeding on natural attractants and did not display defensive behaviour.
COS is urging hikers to use caution when accessing any trails within Whistler’s Alpine Trail network. Grizzly bears have very large natural ranges. Trail users are reminded to be informed and bear aware:
- Travel in groups and make noise as you walk
- Always carry bear spray and know how to use it in the event of an encounter
- Dogs and bikes are not permitted within the Rainbow Lake Watershed
- Be vigilant, watch for signs of bears in the areas such as scat
- Avoid hiking on trails at dawn or dusk
- Never approach a bear. Keep your distance and back away slowly
- Respect all posted trail closures
In addition, visitors wishing to access the Whistler Alpine Trail Network should be aware of current trail conditions and plan accordingly. All alpine trails are largely snow covered and the Gin and Tonic suspension bridge on route to Rainbow Lake has not yet been installed to allow for summer access.
Further hiking and biking safety: https://www.whistler.ca/culture-recreation/trails/adventure-smart-hiking-and-biking-safety
Report bear sightings by phoning the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.