Elevation gain : 1200 m
Driving time from Vancouver : 2h15
The new trailhead for Wedgemount Lake trail has been derouted for 1.5km – Just follow the signs as you get to the trailhead from the Highway, just about 10min North of Whistler. The dirt road is all 2WD accessible and there is plenty of parking spots (lots of people ended up parking along the road too). It took us about 5hrs to get to the lake from the parking lot with our overnight packs (including breaks), and about 3hrs to come back down on the second day.
The trail starts with a slow but gradual elevation gain as you hike in the meadows and slightly in the forest for the first part of the re-route. The trail is new from this season and has been really well designed. You will soon pass the old trail, marked by a pretty obvious sign.
From there, get ready for some uphill. About ¾ of the trail is covered in the forest and gets steeper and steeper. You will cross a few rocky sections and eventually get to a nice boulder field on your left. From there, you will hike into a ‘flatter’ section for a bit – don’t get use to it but enjoy it to take your breath and get ready for the last stretch. The last forest section is quite steep with lots of roots, but the trail is in good condition and you can start having a few nice view points of the valley on your right – even some waterfalls. Once you get out of the forest you will reach the alpine area where the boulder fields and rocky sections will be your only way up for the last 30-45min. There are a lot of loose rocks and some slippery sections, so take your time – the view is well worth it.
Once you get to the lake you will see the hut on the left side of the lake. There are about 10 camping spots with wood platforms there. If you want to camp closer to the beach/water, keep following the trail past the hut and follow the left side of the lake until you reach the second campground. There are about 10 additional camping spots on little gravel, as well as some overflow camping on the beach near the water.
The view is absolutely gorgeous. From there, you can decide to hike or scramble around – the book ‘ Scramble ‘ offers a few nice routes to go up Mount Cook and Mount Weart. We followed the trail left of the lake to go see the Wedgemount Glacier and we kept going up following the creek on the left side, facing the base of the glacier. From there the view was amazing and we could see the other part of the glacier. This is also the trail to go up Weart, but we didn’t head all the way considering the time of the day.
There is quite a lot of exploring and scrambling to do in the area from the lake – totally worth doing as an overnight(s) trip although the way up is quite difficult. The view and the clear sky were just outstanding.