The Wedgemount Lake hike outside Whistler, BC, is a unique yet challenging trek to alpine heaven. Twenty minutes from Whistler, the trail doesn’t mess around from the start and gives your body no time to warm up.
The first mile of the Wedgemount Lake hike gains over 1,300 feet of elevation, so breaks will be plentiful.
The incline doesn’t relent until just before the three-mile mark, where you’ve already conquered your 4,000 feet of elevation gain. This is where Wedgemount Lake comes into view.
At this point, if the difficult ascent doesn’t make you sit down, the jaw-dropping scenery just might.
An Ultimate Guide to the Wedgemount Lake Hike
1-Minute Hiking Details for Wedgemount Lake
- Length: 6 miles to round trip to the middle of the lake. 8 miles to Tupper Lake above
- Elevation Gain: Between 4,000 and 4,600, depending on your final destination
- Difficulty: Strenuous, with the trail being funky and rooty in some areas
- Trailhead Distance from Whistler: Less than 20 minutes
Planning your Wedgemount Lake Hike
You’re going to want to make Whistler your home base, as it’s the closest and offers the most amenities.
Hiking to Wedgemount Lake
Wedgemount Lake Hike is steep all the way
This was possibly the most arduous hike of my life up to this point. Or it sure felt like it. We were huffing and puffing the entire way with ~4,000 feet of elevation gain in under four miles.
The first part is in a heavily forested area that was full of roots and muddy in some parts, as our trip was in early July. However, we made good time (all of us were in our mid-20s).
As we continued going up, we came across a couple of rock fall areas and the various streams and mini waterfalls that come with a water hike. Luckily, we weren’t rushed, and the team enjoyed the more minor features of the Wedgemount Lake hike.
Final Push to Wedgemount Lake
As we neared the final uphill, it was more of a low-key scramble as we were hand over feet for portions of it. Furthermore, there was even a rope in one section to help us get up. So even with the unusual terrain, it wasn’t as bad as we expected.
And then, Wedgemount Lake appeared. We were all floored.
It was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
Photos from the Incredible Hike
While the area around the lake is rocky, it’s not hard to maneuver. We enjoyed the sights higher up and then moved down towards the lakeside later. The towering peaks above humbled us as if we were just tiny ants in this glacier basin.
Heading down to Whistler
Sooner than we would have liked, Mother Nature decided we had had enough of Wedgemount Lake.
Storm clouds began forming, and a light rain ensued. This forced us down the mountain. Even though it was only 3.5 miles back, it seemed to take forever. We were hungry, exhausted, and ready for a hearty meal.
What else should you know about the Wedgemount Lake hike?
Can you camp at Wedgemount Lake?
Yes, but only by backpacking and securing a permit beforehand. It’s a small area and fragile ecosystem up there, and it’s regulated pretty heavily.
Even with a permit, it is still first come, first serve, meaning you don’t have a predetermined spot. In all, there are 10 tent pads near the inlet and 10 near Armchair Glacier.
Additionally, there are no garbage facilities, so please pack out all of your trash, including toilet paper.
What to bring backpacking Wedgemount lake?
Most Canadian locations have a platform you can sleep on, which keep your tent clean and you off the ground. I think this is designed to protect the environment more and discourage people from setting tens up wherever they want.
For your trip, which is likely just one night, you’ll need the essentials.
- Light backpacking tent
- 15-30 degree sleeping bag
- Light, yet comfy sleeping pad
- 55L-65L backpacking bag
- Jet Boil Stove
- Water filter
- Hiking Poles
- Backpacking Chair
- Backpacking Meals
- 1x Hiking Pants, 1x Sunshirt, 1x Down Jacket, 1x Rain Jacket, 1x sleeping shirt, 1x leggings, 1x beanie and hat
What is the Wedgemount Lake Elevation?
The elevation of Wedgemount Lake is 6,106 feet or 1861 meters. Expect temperatures to be around 5 degrees cooler than when you started.
What is the Wedgemount Lake Hut
There is a small hut, the Wedgemount Lake Hut, that is used as an emergency shelter and bear cache.
Final Thoughts on the Wedgemount Lake Hike
Since doing this in 2018, the Wedgemount Lake hike has seen its popularity flourish thanks to social media. Thankfully, it’s still a difficult hike, and that creates a natural barrier. However, with only 20 backcountry spots available, it does make finding open dates a bit tricky.
Then again, Canada is much less crowded than the US, and if you can get up there on a weekday, you can probably find a good spot!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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