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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Whistler Train Wreck

Lovely hike through a forest to the train wreck, followed by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • All roads were dry and suitable for any vehicle. The trails were mostly dry with some damp spots. No obstacles on the trail.

After visiting Whistler for the first time last November, I vowed to go back during the summer (and nicer weather) to explore more of the area. So, on Friday, I departed Seattle around 1pm with my friend, Marie, and headed north.

I was surprised that traffic wasn't that bad leaving Seattle and made good time to the border. Getting through Vancouver was another story, adding a full hour to our drive time. We happened to get there around the time people get off work, so traffic was horrid.

We finally made it to Whistler at 6:30 or so. We decided to stop and get dinner before heading further north to our campsite at Nairn Falls Provincial Park. We parked in the garage and proceeded to the other end of Whistler Village to The Mexican Corner.

We didn't have a reservation and it was a bit crowded. Since there were only two of us, we were able to get a table in only 10 minutes (score!). This was the second time I've eaten at this restaurant. The first time, I had the chicken enchiladas (which Marie ordered). This time, I opted for the fish tacos. They were out of this world! I highly recommend this restaurant if you visit Whistler Village - just be sure to make a reservation so you don't have to wait.

After we ate, we hopped back in the car and headed north. The drive was only around 25 minutes on a very winding road. Even though I was going the speed limit, others were passing us as if we were not even moving. One car even passed us on the right shoulder! Idiots!

Marie gazes over the river from our campsite.

Our campsite was very spacious, but the pad was all hard packed and gravel, making it very difficult to pound stakes into the ground. They were needed, because the wind had really picked up. We were right above a river and the wind was whipping through the canyon the river had created. I was disappointed that there weren't any nice-spaced trees to hang my hammock instead of putting up a tent, but with the strong wind, I doubt I would have been able to sleep with my hammock rocking hard all night.

We no sooner turned in to sleep when a large group of 20-somethings returned from their day's adventure and decided to make a midnight meal and party. I could have tuned them out, but they kept turning their car headlights off and on every few seconds and the light shined right into my tent. I finally had to get up and ask them to knock it off. So self-absorbed! Plus, they left all their food stuff out overnight when there were bears in the area! Idiots!

The next morning, I made a breakfast of egg burritos and coffee before we headed to the trailhead for the Whistler Trainwreck, where we would be meeting up with Jenny (who had rented a condo for the week).

Last November, I had hiked to the trainwreck on the old, more difficult trail. The new trail was lovely and I could feel myself relaxing as we walked. The air smelled so clean and fresh. This was Marie's second hike ever and she was really loving it!

Close-up of a banana slug on moss.

Frog Pelt Lichen

Before getting to the trainwreck, we had to cross a suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River. The color of the water was amazing!After we crossed, we got our first look at the trainwreck seeing five of the seven box cars. We spent about an hour or so exploring the area and taking photos of the graffiti-painted box cars before hiking back to our cars. There had been plenty of parking when we arrived, but there were so many people now that cars lined the road.

Whistler Village

After our hike, we drove back to Whistler Village for lunch, then took a gondola up to the top. The views were amazing! We walked around for a bit before getting on the Peak 2 Peak gondola that took us to Blackcomb. Over on that side, we saw lots of hoary marmots, but since I only had my cellphone, I didn't get good photos.

One of many hoary marmots that we saw.

We took the Peak 2 Peak gondola back over to the other side. Marie and I had to leave since I had only paid for three hours of parking. Jenny was going to do the new suspension bridge that was higher up. I wanted to do it, but you had to get to it by a lift chair, after hiking down further. I just knew that I'd fall flat on my face trying to get off the lift chair!

Jenny later told us that it was very cold and windy on the bridge. Plus, she said hiking back up to get the gondola down was a challenge. I can't wait to see her photos, though!

On the way back down to Whistler Village, we got to see a lone black bear walking along a trail. Shortly after, we saw a mom and two bear cubs in a meadow. So cool! No photos, though, since I didn't have a long lens/camera with me.

Marie and I headed south once we collected my car and drove to Squamish, where we would be spending the night.

Behind our hotel, we found a wonderful Indian restaurant for dinner. I couldn't eat all my food, so I took my left-over eggplant bharta, chicken kabob and naan back to my hotel room, intending to eat it for breakfast. The rest of the evening was spent lounging and reading in our underwear. We were asleep by 10:30pm and didn't wake until 7am the next morning.

 

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