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FATMAP difficulty grade
This is an easy, well-marked trail that's perfect for a rainy day in Whistler.
This hike will reward you with a stunning old-growth forest filled with 1000+-year-old cedar trees. The difficulty of this trail lies in getting to the trailhead itself.
Although it's a well-trafficked FSR, the road is rarely ever graded, so it requires medium/high clearance and some careful pothole avoidance. The trailhead is approximately 4.5km up the Cougar Mountain FSR.
Once there, there is easy parking, an outhouse, and the obvious trailhead. The trail itself is in good condition and is mostly cleared, with only the occasional steep, rooty, or rocky section.
After approximately 45 minutes of walking through new-growth forest, you will reach an unused FSR.
Go left here and follow the path up following the 'by foot' path.
Once up and around the corner, the path continues, passing a lookout.
It's worth taking the short detour here as you get amazing views over Showh Lake and out towards the Soo Valley.
There are a couple more lookouts further on that look at the cascading stream - but be careful with your footing!! It's not much further, and you'll reach the Ancient Cedars loop.
Follow the trail in an anti/counter-clockwise direction to get the most of the informative signage about the history of the area and why and how the trees in this zone got to be as big as they are. Stay on the trail as there is lots of Devil's Club (a prickly plant covered in thorns)! The loop takes you past the most impressive trees and a small stream before linking you back on the trail you arrived on.
Follow the trail back to the parking.
The old FSR does eventually lead back to the parking too, but it's not advised as it is steep, and has loose rocks and ATV traffic. Be warned: although this is a great rainy-day shoulder season option, the bugs can be bad! Take plenty of spray! Cell service is in and out.