Lost Lake

Lost Lake

Lost Lake isn’t really lost, but it is interesting in that it differs in origin from Whistler’s other valley lakes. The lake was formed when a partly buried block of ice was left behind in a shady hollow as glaciers retreated from the Whistler Valley; in time the ice melted to create a roughly circular depression filled with water—known geologically as a kettle lake.

Lost Lake is also a high biodiversity area because of its aspect, aquatic flora and fauna, appeal to migrating aquatic birds, and shoreline breeding area for the endangered Western Toad—whose thousands of newly metamorphosed toadlets stage a spectacular emigration from the lake to surrounding forest every July.

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.

  • kettle lake
  • Western Toad emigration
  • beaches and trails

GEOLOGIC CONTEXT:

A kettle lake with high biodiversity values originally formed by a remnant chunk of glacial ice.
Pillars: Glaciation

HOW TO SEE IT:

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The centrepiece of Lost Lake Park, the lake, as well as its encircling path and surrounding network of bike trails, are all extremely busy during the summertime and parking is not permitted between the third weekend in May and the Labour Day weekend in September. Shuttle and transit are available to the park, which can also be accessed via the Valley Trail.

Services:

Parking in off-season, washrooms year-round, seasonal food concessions, dog beach.

Hazards:

Be aware of high bike traffic in summer; in addition, certain trail sections close for 2-4 weeks in summer to facilitate toad migration.

Decimal Degrees (DD)

50.126429, -122.935340

Degrees Decimal Minutes (DDM)

50° 7.7344' N  122° 56.2354' W

Degrees Minutes Seconds (DMS)

50° 7' 44.0616" N  122° 56' 14.1216" 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.