By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 24 November 2015)
Where: Whistler, BC (10 minutes south of Whistler Village) – at Function Junction, you can access the Train Wreck Hike via the Flank Trail behind Olive’s Market.
Description: This hike winds along pretty forest trails near the Cheakamus river and leads to a series of abandoned train cars that were mangled in a derailment six decades ago. The seven train cars, which are scattered throughout the forest and decorated with brightly coloured graffiti, look like a surreal art exhibit. Some have ladders, so you can climb to the top for a surround view of the forest, the wrecks, and the bike park that has been built around the train cars.
Length: The round trip is 5-6 kilometers (sources differ on the exact length, and I didn’t track the hike when we did it).
Time: 1-3 hours, depending on how long you want to spend taking in the scenery. I recommend allowing plenty of time, because there are lots of gorgeous river views along the way and the train cars are spectacular.
Difficulty: Easy terrain, very mild elevation gain
Required Equipment: Hiking or running shoes , comfortable clothing, camera
- Great scenery, with the unusual pay-off of a random assortment of decorated train cars in the middle of the woods at the turnaround point.
- Dogs are allowed.
- The trail is easy enough that most people should be able to do this hike.
- You won’t get much of a workout with this one.
- There are places where you could lose the trail if you haven’t paid close attention to the directions.
* The WhistlerHiatus Train Wreck page says that access to this hike is officially closed at the time of this writing, but recent reviews indicate that people are still accessing it, so I’m not sure if it’s officially open or not. Part of the route requires walking along the railroad tracks, which is apparently illegal (I didn’t know this when we went, but we saw plenty of other people along the way, so it doesn’t seem as though anyone is too concerned).
Directions to get from the Flank Trail to the Train Wreck trail can be found on WhistlerHiatus.com’s Train Wreck page.
For a history of the Whistler train wreck, see WhistlerQuestion.com.
For more reviews of this hike, see TripAdvisor’s Train Wreck Hike page.
For more great hikes in BC and Washington, see the main Activities page.