- Difficulty Intermediate
- Time 7 hours
- Round-Trip 15km
- Elevation Gain 870 meters
- Season July - September
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 2 hours
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly No
The hike to Iceberg Lake near Whistler takes you high into the alpine, following the scenic forested trail near 19 Mile Creek before arriving at a beautiful meadow in the foreground of Rainbow Glacier. The trail then ascends a boulder field to Iceberg Lake next to Rainbow Mountain offering unprecedented views of the region.
There are a few different routes to reach Iceberg Lake but the route described here follows the 19 Mile Creek Trails directly to the lake and returns the same route. The trails are a bit confusing along the lower section but staying on the Lower 19 Mile Creek Trail (sometime called the 19 Mile Creek East Trail) will take you to the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail, and once at the Upper trail, this trail goes straight to Iceberg Lake. Routes via the Skywalk North or South Trails can also be hiked to Iceberg Lake but are much longer and more difficult.
From the cul-de-sac at the top of Mountain View Drive, walk past the wooden sign board and immediately turn left at a trail sign for Lower 19 Mile Creek. It's important to immediately turn left and see this trail sign and not continue past it. Follow the trail as it climbs uphill and reaches a gravel road. Go left and walk up the gravel road for about 40m and watch for a sign on the right of the road. Follow the trail to the right of the road as it goes up to another gravel logging road. Cross this second road and walk up the steep bank on the other side into the forest.
After leaving the gravel road, the trail crosses a bridge and then begins to climb steeply. You will gain plenty of elevation along the Lower 19 Mile Creek section of the trail so make sure to pace yourself. The trail reaches a sign pointing to a viewpoint to the left, go left to see a view looking down towards Green Lake.
Return to the trail and continue following it uphill. At a 4-way junction with a mountain biking trail, cross the mountain biking trail and continue straight. A short distance further, where the trail merges with a wide trail, go right and up the steep hill. The trail then goes left and arrives at a sign for the Screaming Cat Lake Connector, which is used to access the Skywalk North Loop. Instead, go left and continue to follow the Lower 19 Mile Creek Route.
The trail continues its steep ascent until it reaches another junction. Go left and continue until, yet again, the route comes to another junction. Go left and follow the wider trail through a flat section, giving you a bit of a reprieve from the steep climb. After about 70m, watch for a white trail marker sign on your right for the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail. Go right onto the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail as this trail will take you all the way to Iceberg Lake.
Follow the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail as it continues ascending but at a much gentler pace, passing through lush west coast forest and over small creeks and marshy areas. After hiking for just over 1km, you reach a junction with a trail called Kevin's Home Run Trail. This trail is a different route that goes north to an area just Northwest of Screaming Cat Lake, where the east end of the Skywalk North Trail begins. Go left at this junction, cross a bridge over 19 Mile Creek a short distance further, and continue following the Upper 19 Mile Creek route.
The trail crosses several wooden bridges and follows close to 19 Mile Creek, offering a few views of small waterfalls as you hike towards the top. After more than an hour of hiking, the trail passes a junction with the Skywalk South Trail. Continue to the right as the trail begins to reach the alpine and opens up, offering an incredible view of the meadows in front of Rainbow Glacier. Timed right, the wild flowers will be in bloom and several waterfalls can be seen from the melting snow and ice falling from the mountains above.
Hike along the trail, over a wooden bridge crossing 19 Mile Creek, and following an incredibly scenic route through the meadows. The trail reaches a large boulder field where it ascends to Iceberg Lake. Watch for trail markers and the worn path up the boulder field, carefully following the route and crossing a couple of small creeks during the early summer months. The trail makes its final ascent just above Iceberg Lake, where you can walk the short distance down to the edge of the lake or find a spot on the rocks above to soak in the views of the lake, glacier, and surrounding mountains.
After enjoying the scenery, return to the trail just above the lake, and follow it down the rocks, carefully watch your step while you enjoy the views looking down towards Whistler Village, across the meadow, and up toward the glacier behind you. Take your time through the meadows as you admire the views from different angles before leaving the alpine and following the trail back into the forest. Go left at the junction with the Skyline South Trail and follow the Upper 19 Mile Creek Trail back downhill. The route is well defined as you move quickly downhill, eventually crossing the bridge over 19 Mile Creek, passing the junction with Kevin's Home Run Trail and continue down to the end of the Upper 19 Mile Creek section of the route.
Go left and then make a right onto the Lower 19 Mile Creek Trail as you continue to follow the signs. Pass the junction with the Screaming Cat Lake Connector Trail and then follow the wide trail down the steep hill, making sure to go left at a marker and cross the 4-way intersection with the mountain biking trail. Descend quickly through the lower section as you eventually reach the first gravel road, crossing to the other side, before a bit further, reaching the second gravel road. Go left on the second gravel road and walk a short distance down hill to where the trail begins again to the right and follow the trail back down towards Mountain View Drive where you began.