Phil A. on the Skywalk Trail:
“When Vancouver is uber-hot, who can say no to a cool hike to a glacier? Certainly not the four intrepid souls who enjoyed fabulous mountain views, waterfalls, and winding forest trails. The Skywalk Trail to Iceberg Lake clocks in 16 km return with a manageable 1200 m of elevation gain and loss. The first two hours or so was a generally kind grade interrupted from time to time by some steeper sections. After that, we punched through to the alpine and enjoyed the meandering streams, a view of the glacier, and the frozen lake. We didn’t linger long on this day, as there was a wickedly cold wind coming down from the peaks. Total trip time was 5 hours or so, including some faffing time and photo sessions.”
Chris N. on the Skywalk Trail:
“Nikolay, Estafan, Kelley, Michelle, Jodi, and Jordon joined me on a hike around the new Skywalk Trail in Whistler. This trail connects a few existing trails and explores the alpine on the east side of Rainbow Mtn. There are a couple trailheads one can use including the Rainbow Lake trailhead, the end of Alpine Way and the end of Mountain View Drive. We chose the latter as there is plenty of parking right at the trailhead (if you opt for Alpine Way, you have to park on Drifter Way and walk the road to the trailhead). The route is well signed with plenty of official and unofficial notices which is helpful as there are lots of trails that branch off in various directions.
We headed up the Lower 19 Mile Creek trail and then up the Screaming Cat Connector to the Flank trail. Finally up the Screaming Cat Lake trail. The junction with the start of the Skywalk North trail is unsigned but is at a clearing within a minute or 2 of the lake. A fainter trail (the one you want) heads left and around the lake. Iceberg Lake is only 100 m higher in elevation than Screaming Cat but the trail rambles up and down through alpine glades so you will feel like half of the elevation gain is in this section. You actually descend 100 m to Iceberg Lake where Skywalk North ends. Pick up the Upper 19 Mile Creek trail about 10 m north of the outlet of the lake. We elected to stick with this trail instead of branching off on the Skywalk South trail about 700 m east of Iceberg. Skywalk South climbs higher and spends more time in the alpine but the weather wasn’t providing much in the way of views. Upper 19 Mile connects with the Flank trail where one has to go east for about 50 m to find the continuation (Lower 19 Mile). There’s many mystery branches off this portion of the trail but the route we wanted was signed at all junctions. It took us about 7.5 hours with a lunch break but not much other lingering due to the cold weather.
A map of the Skywalk trail and its connecting trails can be found at https://www.cheakamuscommunityforest.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Don-MacLaurin-Skywalk-Trail-Map.pdf.”
Eugene Y. at Iceberg Lake:
“Seven of us went to explore the new Skywalk Trail system near Whistler. We started from Mountain View Drive and proceeded at a relaxed pace along the 19 Mile Creek trail. This well-maintained trail was a joy to follow as it was well-graded and featured numerous bridges and boardwalks. We gradually ascended through a pleasant forest toward the alpine area at the eastern slopes of the Rainbow Mountain. After hiking for about 3 hours, we reached the junction with the Skywalk Trail and then continued for another kilometre along the Skywalk North trail till we finally arrived at Iceberg Lake. This picturesque turquoise lake is located right underneath the Rainbow Mountain glacier. As the name suggests, the lake was partially covered by floating ice. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the lake, taking pictures, and exploring the slopes to the south of the lake.
Bugs were quite bad at the alpine portion of the trail. Also, some of us got stung into the legs by wasps at two separate location: near the big yellow sign about the trail crossing a bike path (about 20 min into the hike), and at another location closer to the alpine. If you take this trail this August, it’s a good idea to wear long pants. Hopefully, wasps won’t return next year, once the trail becomes more popular.
Thank you for all the volunteers for building and maintaining such a great trail!”