Autumn in Whistler has been magnificent so far: cool mornings (sometimes even snowy!), glorious sunny afternoons, crisp air, and colourful trails. Summer has been filled with lots of fun adventures but I am now looking forward to getting cozy in a sweater, cooking hearty, healthy foods from the fall harvest and getting outdoors to embrace the fresh autumn air with my best pawl.
While there's lots of fun activities to do with our pets in the fall, one of my favourite is chasing waterfalls with my dog. There's no doubt that autumn is a great time to get on the trails: less crowds, less bugs, less heat. Opting for a waterfall hike also means that you don't need to wait for the sunniest day to get outside. Rain or shine, you can happily adventure through the woods and in the mud to reach a majestic waterfall with your adventure dog by your side. Plus, it’s the time of the year where nature wears its best colours and its unique fragrance. Yum!
To celebrate fall, here are 3 dog-friendly waterfall hikes to do with your dog this autumn near Whistler:
Note: While waterfalls are scenic and it’s tempting to get close to snap that cute doggy photo, it's important to exercise extreme caution. Dogs can get excited and easily slip. Stay on marked trails, within proper viewing areas, and keep the leash on. Use common sense, follow trail etiquette and stay safe so you and your pawl can enjoy this outdoor experience. Also, remember that daylight becomes shorter everyday now, so plan your day accordingly. :)
The Crooked Falls Hike in Squamish is a pawesome dog-friendly waterfall hike that takes you through old growth forests with spectacular views of the Squamish River Valley. The trail reaches Crooked Falls at around 490 m elevation. You get some unique views of the waterfall as Sigurd Creek tumbles down the mountain, in a crooked fashion.
- Difficulty: Intermediate
- Distance: 6km
- Time: 3.5hrs
- Elevation gain: 395m
- Season: April-November
- Dogs: Dogs are allowed on the Sigurd Trail to Crooked Falls but the trail has steep sections.
- Read more: Crooked Falls
Brandywine via the Sea to Sky Trail
The Sea-to-Sky Trail runs 180km from the waterfront of Squamish all the way up to D’Arcy. The Whistler section is 33 kilometres long between Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and Wedge Woods Estates just north of Green Lake. There are many scenic spots to see along this non-motorized trail, from to raging rivers, to suspended bridges, to cascading waterfalls.
The section between Cheakamus to Brandywine Falls is a pleasant walk on a dirt trail with some wider sections of crushed rock, sometimes narrow and hilly. Following Cheakamus River, this section crosses four dramatically stunning rivers. The forest opens up and the trail widens all the way to the impressive Brandywine Falls Provincial Park.
There are three convenient places to begin this section of the trail, Brandywine Falls, Calcheak or at Cheakamus Crossing.
- Difficulty: Easy, but long
- Distance: 12km (one-way from Cheakamus to Brandywine Falls)
- Time: 4-6hours
- Elevation gain: 400m
- Season: Year-round
- Dogs: Dogs are permitted on leash on the Sea to Sky Trail
- Read more: Brandywine Falls via the Sea to Sky Trail
Cool Creek Canyon & Falls
Cool Creek Canyon, located north of Pemberton, is a short but steep hike on a forested trail that provide scenic views of waterfalls and the Birkenhead River Valley.
- Difficulty: Moderately challenging
- Distance: 2.1km loop
- Time: 2hrs
- Elevation gain: 287m
- Season: Year-round
- Dogs: Fit and agile dogs are permitted on leash on the Cool Creek Canyon Trail. Use caution as there are steep drop offs and the rocks near the waterfalls are very slippery.
- Read more: Cool Creek Canyon & Falls
Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Lil'wat and St̓át̓imc Tmicw (St'at'imc).