If you’ve never followed the Brandywine Falls Provincial Park sign off the Sea-to-Sky Highway just south of Whistler, here’s what you’ve been missing.
Brandywine Falls plunges over an impressive cliff whose face reveals a history of successive lava flows. At 70 metres tall, it’s around one-fifth as high as better-known Shannon Falls in Squamish, but somehow more spectacular.
From the provincial park’s parking lot, the lookout is a mere 10-minute stroll away.
But you can turn Brandywine Falls into the destination of a there-and-back hike lasting a few hours, if you start from the suspension bridge at the Cal-Cheak Confluence Recreation Site. The turn-off for Cal-Cheak lies just north of Brandywine on the Sea-to-Sky.
From Cal-Cheak’s south campground, the hike takes you through pretty forest along the Cheakamus River to the McGuire train stop. There you are presented with the choice of two trails to the falls, making possible a loop trip.
Hiking on, you travel over rocky terrain studded with ponds. Views of Black Tusk, a volcanic neck that’s itself one of B.C.’s best hikes, are a highlight.