- Difficulty Easy
- Time 1.5 hours
- Round-Trip 2.2km
- Elevation Gain 105 meters
- Season April - November
- Camping No
- From Vancouver 2 hours
- Public Transit No
- Dog Friendly On-Leash
The Rainbow Falls waterfall is located in Whistler and a short hike following the trails uphill along Twenty One Mile Creek. While the trail is relatively easy, compared to other hikes, it still gains over 100-metres of elevation and there is a section with tree roots where you will have to be careful as it can be slippery. The falls are scenic and also worth the side trip for those hikers on their way to Rainbow Lake.
From the parking area along Alta Lake Road, walk to the left side looking up the creek where the wooden map board is located near the outhouses. Follow the trail as it enters the forest and climbs immediately. The path passes close to a Forestry Service Road, but stay on the path and continue up the hill.
Watch for a sign marking the way to Rainbow Falls to the right. Follow the trail to the right as it slightly descends and follows a worn path over tree roots and down towards Twenty One Mile Creek. Continue to the end of the trail, walking towards the sound of the roaring water tumbling over the falls.
The water is cold and the canyon gets next to no sunlight, so it's an excellent place to cool off in the summer months. Do not venture too close to the waterfall due to falling rocks and other debris.
After enjoying Rainbow Falls, walk back up towards the main trail. You can either return to the parking via the route that you arrived or continue up the hill and loop back down the other side of Twenty One Mile Creek. To complete the loop, follow the main trail uphill.
The trail reaches an opening on the Forestry Service Road where there is a sign near a small building. The sign points to Rainbow Lake to the left, however go right and follow the gravel road a short distance and watch for another sign on the right of the road. At the second sign, following the trail down the rocky route to the creek where there is a great view of the water as it rushes over the rocks. Continue along the trail as it heads downhill and passes over a bridge with more views of the creek below.
After crossing the bridge, follow the trail into the forest as it ascends uphill briefly. The trails are not always marked but follow the trails in the same direction as the creek to your right, even though you will be much higher up than the creek. The trails will descend in the direction of the creek and return to the parking area. Carefully walk down a steep section and be mindful that this trail is a shared route with mountain bikers.
Eventually, the trail reaches another well defined trail. Go right and a short distance later, you exit the forest and arrive back at the parking lot area.