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.
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.
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.
50° 9.0890' N 122° 56.6350' W
50° 9' 5.34" N 122° 56' 38.1" W
Geosites of the Aspiring Geopark lie wholly within the unceded traditional territories of the Líl̓wat Nation and the Sk̲wx̲wú7mesh Nation. The nations have lived in—and shared parts of—these territories since time immemorial, with many landscape features and geological events woven into their cultural and oral histories. We are grateful for, and committed to, the opportunity to learn and share these perspectives of the land alongside its original stewards.
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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 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 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 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 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.