• 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.

How to get to Rainbow Falls Loop

Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver
2 hours

Rainbow Falls is located in Whistler, BC. The trail begins from a parking area along the side of Alta Lake Road. There is a gravel overflow parking lot across the street.

Driving from Vancouver, make your way towards Highway #1 and head Westbound towards West Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay. Just before Horseshoe Bay, merge onto Highway #99: The Sea To Sky Highway and head northbound through Squamish, continuing towards Whistler.

After passing the traffic lights at Function Junction in Whistler, turn left onto Alta Lake Road (the Alta Lake Road turnoff is just south of Whistler Creekside). Follow Alta Lake Road for about 6km. Watch for parking on the left side and pull into the parking area. The trailhead begins to the left.

View a map of Driving directions to Rainbow Falls Loop.

Traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the St̓át̓imc Tmicw (St'at'imc), Lil'wat and Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish).
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Additional Info

Camping at Rainbow Falls Loop

Camping is not permitted at Rainbow Falls Loop.

Dogs at Rainbow Falls Loop

Dogs are allowed on the Rainbow Loop Trail but must be leashed. Please ensure to pick up after your dog and remove all poop bags.

Toilets at Rainbow Falls Loop

There are outhouses located next to the trailhead and parking area to Rainbow Falls.

Dogs, Toilets and Camping

Although we try to keep information as current as possible, www.vancouvertrails.com makes no warranty or representation as to the availability, quality, fitness for purpose, conditions or accuracy of the information provided with respect to this trail or trails. The information provided herein is further subject to our Terms of Use.