Cheakamus Lake

Cheakamus Lake

The moderate, well-trodden hike to this large, scenic glacial lake follows the valley of the Cheakamus River and passes through stands of fire-scarred Douglas-fir and other groves of old-growth forest. At the lake, whether you stay near the campground or continue along the shoreline for several more kilometres, you’ll encounter viewscapes that gather in the surrounding ranges and glaciers of Garibaldi Provincial Park. The trail accessing the lake also intersects the Helm Creek Trail that leads to Black Tusk and the Garibaldi cinder cones.

Protection and guardianship are at the heart of the Geopark philosophy. We ask that you treat the land with the same reverence as its original inhabitants, and not remove anything from a site but what you’ve brought to help preserve it for future generations.

  • wide, well-worn access trail
  • old-growth forest
  • view across Cheakamus Lake

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

A large glacial-fed lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park whose outlet is the Cheakamus River.
Pillars: Collapse

HOW TO SEE IT:

Cheakamus Lake is accessed by the Cheakamus East Forest Service Rd., just before the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, 8 km south of Whistler Village. From Hwy 99 turn onto Cheakamus Lake Rd., after 450 m make a left onto Cheakamus East Forest Service Rd. Drive ~7 km on a rough gravel road (no turns required) to the parking area and trailhead. From here it’s ~3 km to the lake.

Services:

Parking, washrooms.

Hazards:

Sensitive ecosystems, please stay on marked trails; carry bear spray and respect occasional seasonal trail closures for bears.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.027469, -122.949352

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 1.6481' N  122° 56.9611' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 1' 38.8884" N  122° 56' 57.6672" W

What Are Pillars?

The Fire & Ice Aspiring Geopark comprises four main geological pillars referenced in all interpretive material: (M)ountain Building, (G)laciation, (V)olcanism and (C)ollapse.

MOUNTAIN BUILDING

Mountain building can involve several processes that contribute to the formation of mountains, such as the collision of tectonic plates that result in folding, faulting, metamorphism and the creation of subduction zones associated with volcanic activity and igneous intrusion.

GLACIATION

Glaciation refers to landform phenomena associated with the formation, movement and recession of glaciers and ice sheets. In temperate latitudes such as British Columbia, montane glaciation at higher altitudes is the norm while continental glaciation occurred during Ice Ages like the recent Pleistocene.

VOLCANISM

Volcanism is the eruption of subterranean molten rock (magma) and gasses onto the surface of the planet and includes the production of volcanic landforms and the effects of eruptions and flowing lava on pre-existing surface formations.

COLLAPSE

Collapse is a term that refers broadly to both slow processes of destabilization and erosion by wind, water and ice, as well as rapid processes like rockfall and landslides.

Whether acting as primary or secondary forces, one or more of these processes figure in the creation of each geosite.