Train Wreck Hike

Quick Facts:

  • AllTrails link: Whistler Train Wreck via Sea to Sky and Train Wreck Trails. 2.3km, 46m elevation gain
  • Difficulty: easy, stroller friendly up until the train wreck site, where a stroller needs to be carried over tree roots
  • Traffic: moderate
  • Facilities: no washrooms
  • View: nice suspension bridge over a rushing Cheakamus River, and of course interesting train wreckage covered in graffiti
  • Overall score: 8/10

The Whistler Train Wreck trail is known as one of the most kid friendly hikes around the area, with an exciting wreckage site at the end.

There’s a sizable parking lot at the trailhead near Bayly Park, but surprisingly no washroom facilities nearby. Given the increasing popularity of the trail, this seems like an important oversight.

Signage warn of bear activity in the area. Big Bro immediately asked me if I brought my bear spray. I told him I forgot. So he asked me what I would do if we run into a bear.

“You can keep talking really loudly so the bears know we are coming, and would leave before we even get close,” I said.

The wide gravel trail was well maintained, with minimal obstacles. It’s quite stroller friendly but there are some steeper sections where a double decker stroller might have some trouble.

A mountain biker was doing loops back and forth on this trail for some reason, passing us multiple times. I told Big Bro that the biker could make sure there are no bears around. Big Bro seemed satisfied.

We took our time and walked at Middle Bro’s toddler speed.

The brother did very well and made it to the suspension bridge without getting onto the carrier.

Tina was initially carrying Baby Bro on her front carrier, but we switched him to my backpack carrier which was much better ergonomically. Baby Bro was getting a little heavy for front carrier hiking.

Signage explained why there are train wrecks in the middle of the forest. On August 11, 1956, a train was behind schedule so the crew tried to speed up to make up lost time. They rounded a corner at twice the speed limit and twelve boxcars derailed. They blocked the railway for days. Seven boxcars were beyond salvage, so they decided to just pull them off the tracks and dump them downhill, where they have sat for more than 60 years.

The wrecked boxcars were heavily covered in graffiti and some of the wrangled metal could be hazardous to bumbling children. We kept a close eye on the boys and let them explore.

We took a snack break on the only bench on this hike, which was the one by the suspension bridge.

On the return hike, Middle Bro called it quits and hopped onto my carrier, and proceeded to fall asleep almost instantly. We walked briskly back with Grandma and got back to the parking lot after 20 mins, thinking we were at least 10-20 mins ahead of Big Bro.

But Big Bro led the second pack back to the parking lot within minutes of our arrival. He finished the 2.3km hike easily with energy to spare.

By the time we finished the hike, the forest fire smoke from the Fraser Valley has arrived in Whistler. We abandoned our plan to bike around the village and headed home.

The Train Wreck Trail is short, easy, and offers an interesting destination for children. The juxtaposition of urban graffiti and industrial wreckage in the middle of a beautiful forest also makes for great photos.

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