Rainbow Lake Trail

HARD 47 reviews

Rainbow Lake Trail is a 14.6 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Whistler, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and mountain biking and is best used from July until October.

14.6 km
826 m
Out & Back



mountain biking




wild flowers


no dogs

Parking lot off Alta Lake Road

1 hour ago

Amazing hike minus the amount of mosquitos and flies. Be sure to pack plenty of bug spray.

2 days ago

Nice Hike, but not breathtaking, may be because of the smoke blocking the view these days...
Lots of bugs.
The beginning is in the shade which is nice, with a beautiful waterfall at the start, it is worth the little detour.
The campsite is located at the following lake as the rainbow lake is Whistler's reservoir.
The hike is steep indeed but not super hard. I had lots of weight on my back and it was manageable.
An advice, wait for the smoke to go away, otherwise it's not worth the effort.

6 days ago

Excellent hike! One of my favourites to date.

12 days ago

Excellent hike! The trail is well- maintained with numerous little foot bridges and a suspension bridge with good payoff at Rainbow Lake. The hike there was almost as scenic as the lake especially after you hit the 2.3 km gate. Before the gate the scenery is so-so but afterwards it’s impressive. Lightly traveled trail but heed others advice to bring plenty of insect repellent - mosquitoes are plentiful. Also be on lookout for bears; we saw plenty of evidence of bear activity but no problems. Highly recommend this hike.

25 days ago

Beautiful hike with breathtaking views!! Definitely worth it to go the extra kilometres to the Hanging Lake viewpoint. Don’t forget to bring tons of insect repellent!

30 days ago

Beautiful lake! Hike up is a bit boring but when it opens up it’s quite pretty! This is not a difficult hike, I’d say moderate. 2 hours up, 1 down. Whoever brought their dog and then had the audacity to not clean up after it, wth is wrong with you. No dogs allowed means no dogs allowed! I left mine home for this one too. I wish people were more respectful.

1 month ago

A) A fantastic day hike! Beautiful! Plan to hang out at the lake and enjoy the scenery, relax, contemplate... I was mesmerized by God's creation.
B) After hanging out for a while, it's worth going the extra 2 miles or so to see the next lake. I didn't walk down to the lake, but the view from the top of the trail was breathtaking.
C) Bring TONS of mosquito repellent!!! They are ferocious on the way up. I encountered very few at the lake, thank God.

1 month ago

Views are worth it! 70-80% upwards incline through dense amazing forest with the sound of waterfall throughout, occasional view points of mountains and forest from start to finish. finishing with the Lake at the top with more mountain views defiantly recommend! Took me 3hours up and 1:30hrs on the way down.

1 month ago

extremely beautiful hike, perfect trail , total mileage was 10.3 miles tiny bit of snow at top to lake
very easy to manage

1 month ago

Hiked 23JUNE2018. Still walking on 2+’ of snow from the cable bridge to the lake, but a great hike.

1 month ago

great trail and new outhouse mid way up. snow for the last 1.5-2 k that gets relatively deep but manageable. follow the tracks people have made in the snow. lake is still mostly frozen but edges are thawing out. really funny whiskey jack at the top so bring him some seeds!

1 month ago

Still lots of snow on the trail, from the cable bridge to the lake, but still a great hike.

1 month ago

Vert Nice ! But very snowy for the last km

10 months ago

Hard hike through the fairly dense woods most of the time leads you to a spectacular and rewarding lake view. The lake is super clear and it feels like you are in a different world. Simply gorgeous.

It was quite chilly at the lake: windy and so cold I had to put on all my layers. There are a couple of bridges, one is a suspension bridge. Added bonus of having outhouses along the trail and at the end!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Still a bit of snow at the top but not too much. Beautiful falls along the way and nice views at the top

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Still very snowy and the last 2 bridges are not functional. Had to wade the river and then trek in the snow up the west side of the last bridge which was damaged by the winter. However rewarded by an incredible view where I ended up above rainbow lake.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

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...

Monday, June 29, 2015

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

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!

Monday, May 19, 2014

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.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

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.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

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!

8 days ago

recorded rainbow

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