Russet Lake via Musical Bumps Trail

Whistler

Whistler Blackcomb

Hike from Whistler Resort through mountain meadows along an eye-popping ridgeline, to a small lake tucked high in the alpine.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
23 km
Ascent
1.4 km
Descent
1.4 km
Duration
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
12˚
VIEW ON MAP
Russet Lake via Musical Bumps Trail Map

Description

Russet Lake is tucked away in the backcountry beyond Whistler Mountain, and is part of Garibaldi Provincial Park. This small lake sits in a circular valley at the foot of Fissile Peak, a striking pyramidal mountain that can be seen beyond Blackcomb and Whistler from the Peak 2 Peak gondola. Russet Lake makes a great destination on its own or a strategic base camp for further exploration in the Fitzsimmons and Spearhead Ranges.

The hike to the lake and back can be completed as a long day trip but is better as a two-day trek. With a Garibaldi Provincial Park overnight permit, you can tent camp or stay in a hut near the lakeshore. Don’t count on the hut, though, because it is first come, first served. A brand new, much larger hut is under construction and slated for completion summer 2019.

Begin from Whistler Resort on the Harmony Lake Trail, near the top of the Peak 2 Peak and Whistler Village Gondolas. The trail takes many ups and downs on its way past some small lakes and streams and up toward Flute Summit in the backcountry. Most of the route is through green meadows that burst with colorful flowers in July and August.

Just before the last uphill to Flute, the trail gains a high ridge crest where you’ll suddenly get a huge view over Cheakamus Lake in the valley far below. Continue over Flute Summit, which is the high point of the trail. From there, more rolling terrain leads to a somewhat steep, final climb from Singing Pass to cross into the perched basin of Russet Lake.

The trail leads to the moraine at the lake’s outflow, where the hut and good campsites are located. The view from here is incredible, with blue lake water on one side and an expansive mountain panorama on the other. You’ll gaze over the bronze-hued cone of Fissile Peak, a craggy ridgeline of Overlord Mountain, the Overlord Glacier descending from its slopes, the forested Fitzsimmons Creek Valley, and the many peaks above it.

Sources: http://hikeinwhistler.com/index.php/whistler-hiking-trails/russet-lake https://assets.vailresorts.com/-/media/whistler-blackcomb/products/the-mountain/about-the-mountain/trail-map/wbmk1754sum18trailmap.ashx http://www.spearheadhuts.org/category/progress/

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area