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“Great hike on any day !!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Whistler Train Wreck

The Whistler Train Wreck
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
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Ranked #24 of 86 things to do in Whistler
Attraction details
Ellijay, Georgia
Level Contributor
42 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Great hike on any day !!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

Loved this hike. Here are some directions for those not from that area.

To get to the trailhead for the Whistler Train Wreck, drive 8k south of Whistler Village. At the traffic lights at Function Junction turn right onto Alpha Lake Road, drive across the train tracks and drive for about 200 metres. At the sudden 90 degree right bend in the road you will see Olive's Market on your left. This is an amazing new Organic grocery store. There is a huge parking lot to the left and behind this big building. From this parking lot you may spot the short cut to the Flank Trail in the woods. Immediately you will spot the old sign indicating Flank Trail to the right and Train Wreck straight. If you don't spot this short cut right away, just walk back to Alpha Lake Road, turn right (onto Alpha Lake Road) and you will immediately see the little Flank Trail, trailhead sign and the well used dirt trail descend into the trees along the river.

Decades ago a train derailed south of Whistler. The cost to clean up the mess was evidently deemed too high, so seven train cars were left scattered next to the Cheakamus River. As it turns out, time and local effort has transformed this mess into a wonderful work of art, an extraordinary bike park, and a great place to hike. The Whistler Train Wreck.

The Cheakamus River winds its way, crashing and emerald green along the length of the Whistler Train Wreck, and there are several spectacular river vantage points that shouldn't be missed. The whole length of the train wreck and Cheakamus River hike is 3 kilometres (each way) and the trails go along the beautiful river as well as several, widely spaced train wrecks.
The Flank Trail trailhead is easy to spot. A small "Flank Trail" sign sits at the edge of Alpha Lake Road just before Alpha Lake Road bends sharply right. The Flank Trail immediately runs into the deep forest as it follows the river away from Function Junction. There trail is easy to follow and well used. There is only one part of the trail that may get you lost. About five minutes into the trail you will exit the forest and walk along a wide, clear gravel area. Keep your eyes out for the trail across the clearing. Walk through the trees for about 100 metres and you will see and hear the Sea to Sky Highway ahead. You have to turn left here and follow the trail to the river where the highway overpass it. Continue along the trail under the overpass and continue on the trail. At this point you will be walking in a strip of forest about 40 metres wide with the highway to your right and the train tracks about 30 metres to your left.

Follow this trail for a couple minutes as it winds past enormous and ancient, giant cedar tree stumps. You will abruptly come to a small creek in your way. This "creek" comes from a giant drainage pipe under the highway. At the creek look to your left and you will see the trail lead to the train tracks, don't cross the tracks, but rather, just before the tracks turn right, follow the trail at the edge of the tracks past and over the creek and then pick up the trail again as it veers away from the train tracks into the trees again. Just ahead the trail will end at the train tracks and you will have to carefully cross the tracks here. Keep in mind that walking along the train tracks is illegal and potentially dangerous.

The first part of the Train Wreck is not train wreckage, but instead some amazing views of the Cheakamus River. This extraordinarily beautiful river crashes violently through here and various viewpoints can be found along the trail. After a few amazing viewpoints, the Cheakamus River forces you back towards the train tracks. Walk past this bend in the river by keeping well left of, off and away from the train tracks. The trail picks up again on the left and descends into the forest again. From here, you may walk along the tracks for about 75m and look for the path that goes back into the forest. Follow for a few more minutes and you will start to see the stretch of forest that contains six train wrecked cars strewn over one kilometre. One perched at the edge of the Cheakamus River, others mangled against trees. It is amazing to see the impossibility of where they rest.. with huge trees all around. In the decades since they crashed and wrecked here, trees have grown all around.

Visited May 2013
Helpful? 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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91 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
18 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Ecological Disaster Becomes Art”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2013

We hiked this amazing trail today. Three and a half km in we went and three and a half km out. No significant climbing.

At least two waterfalls on the river, rapids, gorge, tall trees, soft pathways, and amazing vistas of the snow capped mountains.

The trail requires diligence in finding your way along a creek, over bare rock, through a forest, under a highway, along a railway track and then into a mysterious rainforest. Through the tall trees, then back onto the railway tracks, back into the trees again and again. Watch out for high speed freight trains.

One such freight train in the 1950's decided to jump the tracks and ended up in the middle of trees hundreds of years old. How did they get there? It's as if God dropped his favourite toy trains from space among ancient cedars to create art. Technology in impossible positions amidst natural beauty.

Humans have added to the beauty by creating art on the train cars. Graffiti turned into beauty amidst an art gallery with 300 foot columns supporting the canopy.

A river runs by creating a soundscape.

And then there are the amazing mountain bike ramps built among, over, and around the train cars. How can a bicycle jump a train?

There is no trail in Canada like it. This one needs to be explored again.

Visited April 2013
Helpful? 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, Canada
Level Contributor
115 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
“Doooo it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

Whistlers hidden gem

Once in function junctions find the train tracks and walk south away from Whistler. Walk about 10 mins until you find trails on your left. Walk in and out of the forest to see the waterfalls - look out for bears theres lots in this area.
The wreck is about a 15 min walk from function. One of the trails leads in from the left. Walk off the tracks then turn right on the trails walking along side the tracks. THe wreck is actually a mini bike park area with jumps and rails set up. Theres a few extra carraiges not with the main wreck so explore :)

Visited July 2011
Helpful? 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whistler, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Such a Crazy and Beautiful Place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2012

It's a bit tricky to find as you have to walk down train tracks for about 500 metres then turn left into the trees but you can't really get lost. There are 7 massive train cars wrecked over a huge area. All are painted with such bright and beautiful paintings. it's well worth the ten minute walk to get there!

Visited January 2012
Helpful? 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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