British Columbia’s Callaghan Valley is a noted backcountry recreation area, so much so that it was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics for biathlon, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and Nordic skiing. Though the provincial park is famous mainly for winter sports (the average annual snowpack can yield up to 150 days of skiing), the area is just as gorgeous in the summertime. Callaghan Lake is one of the most beautiful and convenient places to camp near Whistler, and the relatively undisturbed wilderness and rugged mountain terrain provide a stunning backdrop to outdoor adventures at any time of the year. Hanging valleys, talus slopes, and waterfalls are just some of the natural sights the park has to offer.
Canoeing, fishing, boating, and hunting go hand-in-hand with rustic lakeside camping and hiking around the numerous wetlands and small lakes found throughout the park (especially in the southern and eastern areas). The main camping area at Callaghan Lake is quite nice, but for a really spectacular place to pitch your tent, try checking out one of the little islands in the lake that can only be accessed by canoe or boat. Boat launches, campfires, picnic areas, toilets, and vehicle-accessible camping are all available at the park.
The park is easily accessed in summer from Highway 99, 43 miles (70 km) north of Vancouver or 12 miles (20 km) south of Whistler. Turn north off the highway onto the paved Callaghan Valley Road for 5 miles (8 km), then turn left following a rough, gravel Forest Service road (Callaghan FSR 01) for another 5 miles (8 km). High-clearance vehicles are recommended. The Forest Service road is not plowed in winter and instead becomes a groomed cross-country ski trail. The closest community, town or city is Whistler, approximately 12 miles (20 km) away. There are no garbage facilities, so always pack out what you pack in.