Rainbow Lake Trail is a 9.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whistler, BC that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and mountain biking and is accessible from July until October.
Parking lot off Alta Lake Road
The meadows past Rainbow Lake are exquisite in early summer... Just carry on to the ridge and you will have an astonishing view of the Tantalus Range and Hanging Lake. I've hiked this trail 5 times - after the first fall rains Chanterelle mushrooms about...
Super difficult climb. Really hard on the knees on the return. However, the sights at the top were spectacular. It's a must do, but you might want to warm your legs up on a smaller trail first.
June 15/15 Great day hike if your looking for a peaceful quieter hike. Super easy to find and very accessible. Conditions were great and the trail was well marked. Took us about 2.5 hours up to rainbow lake going at a pretty steady pace. There is incline for sure, but I think 'difficult' is a big extreme of a rating. There are quite a few level areas to catch your breath. Once you arrive at the lake - keep in mind it's Whistlers drinking water so don't go swimming! Make the trek around the lake to the far side, the view is 10 times better! If your looking to swim, hike another 20-30 minutes past the far side of the lake into another valley and enjoy a chilly swim in Madely Lake. Not as beautiful but even more peaceful! Total hike with the extra lake took us 4.5-5 hours at a steady pace. Enjoy!
I hiked it in late July and attempted to hike it another time in June. Had to bail halfway on June attempt due to snow-covered trail and muddy conditions. Decent hike, but I found the pinnacle to be a bit of a letdown.
Well maintained trail. If you are facing the parking lot, take the trailhead on the left. The one on the right is used by the mountain bikers. Hiking trailhead is clearly marked. You can't miss it. We hiked up 2.75 miles then turned around. As we got up higher, the terrain became wet and muddy due to recent rainy days. You hear the creek along the way and it's mostly shaded. Very soothing. Perfect for summer hike! We hiked 5.5 miles RT and gained 1,380 feet in elevation. Good hill workout. FYI, dogs are not allowed on this trail.
The 3-star rating comes from the trail conditions and time of year. Lots of snow, tough climb and some poorly marked stretches on this trail.There was part under construction as well so a bit confusing without the tracks of a couple others who had snowshoes (which we did not). Not too bad until the very last just before the lake. Deep snow, punching through and wet.
The scenery is awesome and likely this is a killer hike in the summer. We will give it a try again for sure!