Rainbow Lake – Madely Lake Valley

7hrs
Elevation gain: 850m
Driving time from Vancouver : 1h30-2h

We had a late start and left the trailhead around 11:30AM on a really nice and sunny day (April 13th). We thought the beginning of the trail would be quite muddy, but it ended up being some hard snow for most of the trail. I used my microspikes for the first 1/4 of the way and then switched to my snowshoes.

The trail first follow a wide path where you will see for water treatment buildings. They also have a few washrooms on the trail as the area is used to get the drinking water for Whistler. No camping is allowed in the area. Once you reach the wooden fence on the path (where bikes have to be left during the summer), the trail goes up in the old growth forest on the left side of the road. There is about 1km that is hard to follow with the snow as the markers are covered, but pink flags have been installed along the trail. Just follow those flags and you will eventually get back on trail where the orange markers will be easy to follow. At the exit of the old growth forest, there is a suspension bridge that is closed during the winter. We went a bit higher up on the left side of the bridge and crossed down on the snow across the creek where it seemed to be quite stable. After this bridge you will enter an area where there is less and less trees and by following the creek you will eventually arrive to the lake! This part of the trail is the most beautiful, where you have Gin Peak and Tonic Peak on your left, and Rainbow Mountain on the right. It took us about 4h30 to get up to the lake (plus breaks), and about 2h00 to come back down. We also took a quick stop at Rainbow Falls at the bottom of the trail on our way back!

 

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