Callaghan Country is your gateway into the pristine backcountry of the Callaghan Valley, and Mainline is the trail the gets you there. Surrounded on three sides by mountains over 2,000 meters tall, Callaghan Lake Provincial Park has only one entrance. In the winter the main access road to the lake becomes "Mainline," an intermediate trail that is 8.4 kilometers long. It starts at the Alexander Falls Ski Tour Center at roughly 800 meters and climbs up to Callaghan Lake at roughly 1,200 meters. The trail is accessible to cross-country skiers, alpine ski tours, snowshoers, and hikers.
The trailhead is at the entrance to Callaghan Country, where you'll also find the ski tour center, a fully stocked rental shop, and a warming hut. Climbing almost immediately, the groomed cat trail with grooved ski tracks heads back into the wilderness with a gentile and persistent climb that takes you into the valley between Brandywine and Rainbow mountains as it leads to the lake. If you look back once you have gained some elevation, the famous Black Tusk comes into view as well as other beautiful backcountry peaks. The trail levels out for a while and continues through the thick forest of giant fir trees and then out through meadows and clearings with breathtaking views before a series of short climbs that bring you up to the Callaghan Lake turnoff. The lake itself is a stunning destination in beautiful surroundings, and this is also the starting point for other backcountry adventures such as the Morning Glory or Telemagique alpine touring trails.
From the lake you can carry on another 5 kilometers up to the Journeyman Lodge for some tea and lunch or you can head back down the valley and enjoy the new views on the return. There are other well marked trails that lead off from Mainline on your way down that are closer to the ski tour center and that connect to Whistler Olympic Nordic Center.
For the small fee, a trail pass allows the use of all the Callaghan Country and Whistler Olympic Nordic trails as well as Mainline. Mainline will take you where you need to go, whether you're planning a day in the mountains or a weekend up at beautiful Journeyman Lodge. Make it a part of your to-do list.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.
Journeyman Lodge is a full-service backcountry chalet set deep in the heart of Whistler’s Callaghan wilderness, 13.5 kilometres (8.4 miles) from the nearest road. Boasting genuine hospitality, deluxe meals, and 12,000 hectares of non-motorized alpine terrain, Journeyman Lodge provides comfortable accommodation for up to 24 people (15 singles) in eight private rooms with a range of amenities and adventures.
Spend the days exploring untracked Coast Mountain powder on skis or snowboard, then unwind in the handcrafted Scandinavian wood-fired sauna or in the Games Lounge. Journeyman Lodge offers everything from professionally guided adventure packages to self-propelled wilderness quests to quiet weekends of reflection and solitude.