Half Note Trail, Whistler B.C.

• 3.2km loop
• start and finish Whistler Mountain Gondolas

An old hiker’s argument – “Is it cheating to take the Gondola?”

I rode the Whistler’s Peak Express Gondola. It was great to arrive at the very top of a mountain. (day pass C$53.95)

Hot down in the village, it was much cooler on Whistler Summit well above the tree line. Many tourists were under dressed. Some wore flip-flops.

The BIG view is over to Black Tusk.

The High Note trail formerly started at the Inukshuk

When I was there it had been changed to start at the (very popular) short road hike called Mathews’ Traverse.

Turn left for Mathews’. Turn right for the High Note Trail, a long traverse leading to the Musical Bumps (Piccolo, Flute and Oboe ridge summits).

After a steep descent (hard on the toes) Half Note is mostly a pretty traverse high up on the mountain.

In perfect weather like this the High Note was easy. I’m sure it can be horror show in bad weather, however.

Many on the trail were her for wildflowers.

Black Tusk watches from on high.

Last time I hiked to Black Tusk I came up via impressive Cheakamus Lake.

Decision time …

I opted to take the shorter version called Half Note. High Note from this point is 3.7km longer.

Though July had been very dry, there’s still plenty of snow on this mountain.

These have to be the cutest trail signs anywhere.

After so much good trail I was surprised to end up on some rocky scrambles.

The last section rejoins Mathews’ Traverse road.

Here’s an example of just how much snow they get in Whistler.

All in all a beautiful and very easy hike if you have good weather.

Half Note ends up at Roundhouse Lodge. I caught the Peak 2 Peak. Then descended to Blackcomb Base and found a $55 parking ticket on my rent-a-car. I’d love to be indignant … but I totally deserved it. There was simply no legal parking of any kind available in Whistler on a sunny Friday. I waited a half hour in the big lots before giving up the legal option.

See all my high resolution photos on flickr.


I’d originally planned to do Musical Bumps trail from the top of Whistler’s Peak Express Gondola.

On the way up I noticed a sign saying Musical Bumps was closed. No reason given, not unusual in Canada.

It turned out to be too ambitious for me in any case that day. I’ll do it in future 2 days / 1 night camping at Russet Lake.

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