Hundreds of cars pass along the highway between Whistler and the town of Pemberton daily but very few stop to see Shadow Lake which is hidden from view less than a 100 meters from the road.
Park at the Shadow Lake parking lot next to the highway and take a look at the map of the area. If you are just looking for a very short walk, take the trail behind the sign through the Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest.
Seeing the marshy shores of Shadow Lake surrounded by mountainous views is the real reward of this area. Walk across the highway to get to the trailhead. Be careful as traffic speeds in this area are quite high. Make your way down the trail keeping to your left. You will come upon a wider access road and a couple of cabins. Stay off of private property but continue down the access road to the bottom and head left along the trail.
After a short walk you will hit a fork in the trail. Go left and continue a short distance where you will see Shadow Lake beyond the marshes off to your right.
Upon coming to another fork in the trail, head left to a viewpoint along the Green River Trail. The trail starts out flat but then heads uphill towards the train tracks before eventually reaching the viewpoint. Take in the view before heading back to the Shadow Lake Loop.
Continue left along the Shadow Lake Trail passing over a couple of wooden bridges before eventually reaching another fork in a road. Head left for a short 15-minute loop that takes you through old growth forest. After passing by an old wooden shed, you will be back where you started at the beginning of the old growth forest loop. Stay to your left and continue along the Shadow Loop.
Another short distance and you have completed the Shadow Lake Loop. Head back towards the wide access road that you walked down at the beginning but before heading back up to the highway and parking lot, walk to your left 30 meters to the clearing for a view of the Soo River.
How to get to Shadow Lake
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 2 hours 20 minutes
Shadow Lake is located 18km north of Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway #99). From Vancouver, take Highway #1 eastbound towards Horseshoe Bay and merge onto Highway #99. Follow Highway #99 through Squamish and Whistler. About 15km past Whistler, watch for BC Government signs to Shadow Lake Interpretive Forest. Pull into the gravel parking lot on the right side of the road.
Shadow Lake is located on the other side of the highway. Take extreme care when crossing the highway as traffic travels very quickly through this area.
View a map of Driving directions to Shadow Lake.
Dogs at Shadow Lake
Dogs must be on a leash at all times around Shadow Lake. Please pick up after your dog and pack out all waste to be disposed of so that it does not attract any wildlife. There are no garbage facilities at Shadow Lake.
Toilets at Shadow Lake
There are no toilets around Shadow Lake.