May 2023 Vancouver Hike of the Month: Whistler Train Wreck Trail

A father and daughter explore the Whistler Train Wreck. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Exploring the abandoned train cars on the Whistler Train Wreck hike. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane

Whistler’s Train Wreck trail is a fun and easy hike with a great payoff. After meandering through the forest you cross an incredible suspension bridge above a turquoise river and then explore a decades-old train wreck decorated with graffiti.


Trail Info: Easy; 2-3 km round-trip; 30 m elevation gain; 1 hour; Dogs allowed on-leash.


Safety First: AdventureSmart recommends bringing a backpack with essential safety and first aid gear on every hike. Check the forecast and pack extra clothing for the weather. Leave a trip plan so someone knows where you are going and when you will be back. Check out our tips for safe spring hiking in Vancouver for more advice.


Getting There: From Vancouver, take Highway 1 west to West Vancouver, then follow signs to go north on Highway 99 through Squamish to Whistler. As you approach Whistler, turn right at the first traffic light onto Cheakamus Lake Road. Just after the road crosses a bridge, it becomes Legacy Way. A minute later, turn right onto Jane Lakes Road. About 500 meters after that, look for a parking area on the left side.

If you are already in Whistler, you can take bus 20 from Village Gate to the stop on Legacy Way just past Jane Lakes Road, then walk down Jane Lakes Road to the trailhead.


The Trail: The trail has been improved in the last few years and is easy to follow. There are signs at every junction. Your route is sometimes shared with mountain bikers, so be prepared to move over to give everyone room. Use the Whistler Train Wreck Trail map to find your way.

From the parking lot, cross Jane Lakes Road and look for the start of the Sea to Sky Trail to the Train Wreck, marked with a sign. Follow the trail as it heads gently downhill on a wide path through the forest.

After about 650 meters, reach a junction with the Trash Trail. Turn right and follow the Trash Trail which heads a little more steeply downhill towards the Cheakamus River. At the bottom of the hill, arrive at a spectacular suspension bridge over the river. This bridge was built in 2016 to provide an easy route to the Train Wreck and replaces an older trail that included an illegal train track crossing.

Hikers cross the suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River on the way to the Whistler Train Wreck. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Hikers cross the suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova

Take your time crossing the bridge to enjoy the scenery and the gorgeous turquoise waters of the river rushing beneath you. Once you arrive on the other side, walk a few meters up the hill to the middle of the train wreck site.

In 1956, a train derailed on the nearby track. Seven of the box cars were severely damaged, so they were dragged into the forest and abandoned. Over the years, graffiti artists have decorated them with layers of paint and mountain bikers have built jumps over and around them.

They still sit in the forest today and are worth exploring. Five of the box cars are clustered near the suspension bridge. But take the time to follow the trail through the trees to the left to find the other two cars – many people miss them!

Two people explore an abandoned train car in Whistler

Exploring the Whistler Train Wreck. Photo: Tourism Whistler/Mark Mackay

Once you have finished exploring the train wreck, you can retrace your steps back across the suspension bridge and up the hill along the Trash Trail and Sea to Sky Trail to the parking lot.

However, a better option is to head back across the bridge, then immediately turn left on the Trash Trail. Follow it along the banks of the Cheakamus River. It leads to a small waterfall about 500 meters away. If you are lucky, you will see whitewater kayakers braving the drop.

View of the Cheakamus River from the Trash Trail near the Whistler Train Wreck. Photo: Ali Kazal/Unsplash

View of the Cheakamus River from the Trash Trail. Photo: Ali Kazal/Unsplash

When you are finished at the waterfall, turn around and follow the Trash Trail back to the suspension bridge, then retrace your steps back to the parking lot.

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