Let me start with saying that I LOVE THIS TRAIL! I never thought I would be wowed by a trail that didn’t have a specific destination. With all the options that you have when you are in this area it is hard to choose and this hike isn’t the easiest to get to. Either a difficult hike up a mountain or a couple gondola rides (which aren’t bad!). It could be said that this was the most expensive hike we have done because of the gondola rides. Aside from that, it is a MUST do!
Hike High-Note or Half Note Trail in Whistler
This hike does take some planning. There are so many instructions out there but it is for their specific hike. It was confusing and we almost didn’t think we would get to do the hike, but it ended up being quite easy. You just have to be realistic about your hiking time.
The first step is you have to figure out how long it might take you to hike this trail. You have the following options:
Miles: 5.5 ♦ Elevation Gain: 1,100′ ♦ Trail: Point to Point ♦ Difficulty: Moderate ♦ Counter Clockwise or Clockwise
Half Note Trail
Miles: 4 ♦ Elevation Gain: 800′ ♦ Trail: Loop ♦ Difficulty: Moderate ♦ Counter Clockwise or Clockwise
Once you decide which trail, you have to determine the gondolas that you need to take and their timing. This changes throughout the season so do not rely on one blog post. After the first weekend in September, this is what we had to do.
We bought the all access gondola ride.
At 10:00 am we took the Blackcomb Gondola to Rendezvous. Remember to ask when the last gondola ride is back to base. For us it was 5:30 pm.
This is where you pick up the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. This was an amazing experience in itself. Remember to ask when the last gondola ride is back to Rendezvous. For us it was 5:00 pm.
We got to the Roadhouse Lodge area by 10:45 am.
11:00 am you can get on “The Peak” also known as the Whistler Express chair lift.
If you choose the option of going clockwise, you would start at the Roundhouse Lodge. This is typically harder for both hikes. A lot more elevation gain.
But if you want to go counter clockwise you start at the top of Whistler Mountain and cross the suspension bridge. This still has a lot of gain in a short amount of time, but much more downhill and a few flat areas. Plus the suspension bridge is fun too!
Don’t worry, if you do High Note and realize that it is too much, there are spots where you can decide to take one or the other, but just remember your timing to make sure you get back to a gondola, otherwise, you are walking down.
Hike High-Note Trail in Whistler
We chose to do High-Note Trail counter clockwise at the Peak of Whistler. The fun or scary part is the suspension bridge. I almost didn’t do the hike because of having to cross this bridge. In the end, it wasn’t that bad!
Once you cross the bridge, it’s no going back and the start of the trail is to the left.
It starts with a gnarly decent over rocks and short switchbacks. Eventually it goes to a nice flowy single track trail and you enter the trees. Then the most beautiful view of Black Tusk.
This trail wraps the mountain with views of snow capped mountains. Then comes the view of Cheakamus Lake. Find a spot to take in the views.!
The trail then starts climbing and you have some fun technical spots.
This trail has great signage. It is easy to take other trails or to stay on the trail at any junction.
You start a much welcomed decent here with views of symphony lake.
To your right take a glance at the river and the ski mountain.
Unfortunately this is where the climb starts again and it starts hard. No gentle gain to begin, just a thigh burning climb.
Once you see Harmony Lake you are so close to the finish (Roundhouse Lodge). You have a choice of going left or right. Right is the easier and shorter way to the finish and by easier, it’s not that much easier.
Take a leisurely walk along the boardwalk and prepare yourself for the last little climb. You did it and saw some of the most beautiful spots British Columbia has to offer!
If you have time, get a snack and a hard drink at the lodge and sit with a beautiful view of Whistler before your gondola ride down.
Tip: If you make it to the lodge and want a very short hike, just hike to Harmony Lake. It is 1.7 miles round trip and 416′ in elevation gain.
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