Green Lake Pullout

Green Lake Pullout

Beginning on the viewer’s left, this expansive 270-degree view of the Whistler Valley and surrounding Coast Mountains includes a dozen peaks and five remnant glaciers. During the last glacial advance of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet 28,000 – 14,000 years ago, the valley was filled with ice up to 2-kilometres thick, with only a few of these peaks visible. The valley was ice-free by ~11,000 years ago.

As a low pass linking the Coast to the B.C. Interior, a series of ice-gouged depressions are now occupied by the Whistler Valley Lakes. The northernmost of these, Green Lake, receives water from Alta Lake and glacier-fed Fitzsimmons Creek—which is responsible for the lake’s colour.

From here, water flows north into the Lillooet River system where it then loops back to the Fraser River before meeting the Pacific. On the other side of the Whistler Watershed Divide, Nita and Alpha Lakes flow south via the Cheakamus River directly to the ocean.

  • Green Lake overlook
  • 270-degree view of Whistler-area peaks and glaciers
  • a photography favourite

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

A viewpoint overlooking Green Lake and the broad sweep of the Whistler Valley, a north-south basin created by repeated glaciation and finally ice-free ~11,000 years ago.

HOW TO SEE IT:

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Located ~6.4 km north of Whistler Village between the northbound lane of Highway 99 and Green Lake. It is easily accessed by road via Whistler Transit bus or by car, and by foot or cycle along the paved Valley Trail.

Services:

Parking.

Hazards:

Unstable shoreline bluffs; stay behind barriers and on marked trail; high traffic highway, do not cross.

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.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.151483, -122.943917

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 9.0890' N  122° 56.6350' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 9' 5.34" N  122° 56' 38.1" 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.