My Photography Adventure in Whistler

Whistler is know for its skiing and snowboarding and was the location of the 2010 Olympics. It was also supposed to have good hiking trails for the warmer months.
Anita Elder Anita Elder
Seattle Photography Committee Chair
January 13, 2019

Whistler is know for its skiing and snowboarding and was the location of the 2010 Olympics. It's been on my bucket list for a while now, but I've been so involved with hikes at Mt. Rainier during the summer, that I forget about it until the season turns cold and wet. It's also supposed to have good hiking trails for the warmer months, so that's why I wanted to go.

A Very Rainy, Grey Drive North

View from Tantalus LookoutView from Tantalus Lookout

 

I left on a Saturday morning in early November, hoping to stop along the way and take photos. The weather, however, was really nasty with heavy rain. It also prevented me from really seeing and enjoying the scenery along the roughly 200 miles to my destination.

I was hoping to take the gondola from Whistler Village up to the top of one of the mountains for some views, but it was closed for maintenance before ski season started. So, I ended up checking out a few shops. The weather was too icky to walk around anymore, so I went back to the hotel to rest.

A Better Day

The weather on Sunday was much better with blue skies and temps in the 50s. I had read about a trail online called the Train Wreck Trail, leading to seven box cars from a train wreck in 1956. Over the years, people have painted art and graffiti on them. It’s one of Whistler’s most unique spots—a handful of mangled railway boxcars scattered like Yahtzee dice among towering cedar and fir trees lining the mighty Cheakamus River.  A hike and a photo-op...cool!

Up Close & Personal With Golden Larches

On my way to the Train Wreck Trail, I noticed some golden colored trees near the main entrance of Whistler Village. Were those Golden Larches I saw? Yes! I couldn't believe it, but there they were, right next to the road. Not having to hike to see them up close! I had only seen glimpses of them high up in the mountains near Washington Pass, so this was a real treat!

Golden Larches
Golden Larches

Whistler Train Wreck Trail

The trail was pretty steep in places and slippery from the rain, plus, I forgot to bring my trekking poles. I did take a good tumble on the way back out. I remembered to not try and catch myself with my hands and curled into a ball, so I "rolled" onto my right side. I was pretty muddy, but my feet were still dry, thanks to the Oboz hiking boots I had just purchased (these are the most comfortable boots ever!).

The trail itself was very beautiful with old growth forest, mosses and ferns. When I reached the box cars, I spent about an hour just taking photographs of them.

After I left, I did further research on the trail and learned I had taken the old trail that crossed the railroad tracks, which meant that I broke the law. Oops! The new trail is supposed to be shorter and crosses a suspension bridge near the wreck. Oh well...next time.

Planning for July 12-14, 2019

I really want to go back and explore more of the Train Wreck Trail and the Peak to Peak Gondola, so I'm leading a hike this coming July. Maybe you'll want to join me? If so, be sure to secure either a camping reservation at Nairn Falls Provincial Park or a hotel room in Whistler by the end of February 2019 (or risk not having a place to spend the night).

Whistler Train Wreck Trail Field Trip


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