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“Nature, artwork, bike park? You decide!”

The Whistler Train Wreck Trail
Ranked #9 of 102 things to do in Whistler
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A long-time favourite among hikers and mountain bikers, Train Wreck features graffiti train cars and spectacular views of Cheakamus River. The trail was built many decades ago. The Resort Municipality of Whistler's new pedestrian bridge creates a safe, legal access point. The bridge connects Train Wreck to the Sea to Sky trail, which is part of the Trans Canada Trail. Associated trail connections have also been built on either side of the bridge. The Train Wreck suspension bridge can be accessed off Jane Lakes Road in the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood at the south end of Whistler from two locations: the multi-use singletrack "Trash" trail or the double track Sea to Sky trail
Reviewed July 22, 2013

While chatting with some friendly folks at the Whistler Peak2Peak ticket customer service booth, who were explaining that despite it being the first week in July most of the trails at the top of the mountain were still closed due to snow, they were offering suggestions for local hikes to do. The Whistler Train Wreck was one of them and it piqued our interest. Checking it out a little bit online showed it should be an interesting and easy hike, and it was.

Departing from the parking lot of a store at Function Junction, you walk into the woods where you'll see a sign pointing for "Train Wreck". Follow that for a little bit and you come to an clearing where you walk straight and then there's a pile of rocks marking the path on the left that takes you back into the woods on the opposite side of the clearing where you emerged. A little bit longer in the woods and soon you'll pass under the Sea to Sky highway and pretty soon you emerge to train tracks. From this point you can either follow the tracks down to another set of rock markers indicating a path back into the woods. This time the path meanders a bit back and forth but pretty soon you'll come to a river. For us in July the river was pretty full and it was really pretty. The water is that odd shade of turquoise green that seems unnatural, and there are tons of fallen timber that clogs the water making it divert this way and that. Very pretty! Keep following the path (it's pretty impossible to get lost) and you'll pop out to the train tracks a couple more times before reaching the train cars.

And what a bizarre and interesting destination! It's weird to see these massive steel cars strewn amongst the trees. You have to wonder what it was like that day when these things came crashing through the woods to lie in the positions they are now. And now the trees and forest have grown up around them, incorporating them into the natural surrounding. Layer on top of that the myriad graffiti and the wooden bike tracks that have built on and around them and it's just so fascinating. It's this frozen moment in time some 50 or 60 years ago, but you can see things continuing their lives around them. Most of the cars (I think there were 7 total?) are pretty intact and you can see inside them, climb on top of them and get in them. A couple of them made it pretty far through the woods and came to rest perched up above the river. If one of the trees that the frontmost car were to fall in I would imagine the car would slide down into the river; what a sight that would be!

This was one of the most interesting hikes I've done, not because it's challenging or it's a particularly scenic destination, but it's just so unique and has an historical twist to it. We probably spent about an hour just wandering around the cars, looking at the graffiti and being amazed. While we were there a train passed by on the very tracks this one had been on, although from the cars themselves you can no longer see the tracks immediately so we really only heard it. We were there on a midweek afternoon and there was nobody else to be found. On our way back to the car we passed a few people headed out that way and we guessed that it could be busy on a weekend. We were glad to be there by ourselves, it added to the atmosphere of the hike.

6  Thank Paul M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 - 206 of 216 reviews

Reviewed July 13, 2013

If you have a little over 2 hours to spend and want to do something really unique this hike is a must.
I'm so glad we found the reviews and especially thankful for the helpful directions on a previous review.
We had a group of 7 of us of various abilities and we all enjoyed it.
The views of the river along the way are incredible. So make sure you take time to enjoy the journey. It's mostly through the forest so it was a perfect hike for a warm summer day.
This was one of our favorite things we did while in Whistler.

2  Thank Grammyolsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2013

My wife read about the hike to the derailed train. We thought we would check it out. Was a little hard to find due to the fact that it is not marked very clearly but we finally found the start of the trail. It winds around through the woods, next to a creek. Really cool waterfalls. Clear blue water. Very nice for pictures! Very nice hike. A lot or roots and rocks so take your time. Finally we arrived at the site. Really cool. The site looked like someone had partied there. Bunch of beer bottles and trash. One of the cars had a bed setup. Like a homeless person was living inside. Besides that the paintings on the side of the cars were cool.
I would say it was an enjoyable hike. I would recommend to my friends and family.

1  Thank ssheilmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

So awesome. Train wreck .. wowowo so much fun costed nothing

I would go again and again and then Id go again again

1  Thank Joseph V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

2  Thank March_Break_Canadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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