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Nairn Falls is a wonderful, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the deluxe viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above. The beautiful, green water rushes through the deep and angular channels of rock. Nairn Falls Provincial Park is centred around a very large campground and the short, 1.2 kilometre trail to the falls. Though the BC Parks website describes Nairn Falls as 60 metres high, the description is misleading. The falls crash through various narrow and wide areas, and though the cumulative drop is 60 metres, what you see is a series of 10 to 20 metre falls. There are a nicely constructed railing, fence and viewing area and walkway that guides you to the best views. With such abruptly steep rock all around, the area would be potentially dangerous. Evidently there have been deaths here before. A cross, reverently placed across the chasm from the viewing platform, indicates of some tragic event.
Nairn Falls Provincial Park is located just a short 20 to 30 minute drive north of Whistler. From the large parking lot the well marked trail runs along the Green River for 1.2k to Nairn Falls. The trail is very easy and is hike-able year-round. Though considerable snow falls in the winter months here, the popular trail remains easy to follow, and snowshoes are usually not needed. There is quite a large and beautiful campground at Nairn Falls as well. Located right next to the parking lot there are 94 vehicle accessed campsites that disappear into the forest adjacent to the Green River. The campground is open May 11 - September 30. The other months the entry gate is locked to the park and a small, highway-side parking area is used to access the park. The charge for camping is $18 per party, per night, during the months the campground is open. Outside of that window there is obviously no charge and you won't be prohibited from camping during the off season.
From the parking lot, a hiking trail also goes along the Green River in the opposite direction to Nairn Falls. This 2k trail takes you to One Mile Lake excellent for swimming. Most visitors to Nairn Falls Provincial Park just see Nairn Falls, however, to the left, beyond the campsites the Green River is beautiful. A short trail takes you down to a wide bend in the river and you find yourself in what looks like a large beach. It is a hidden bit of paradise with the crystal clear, green water flowing over polished rocks. The whole are is in almost constant sunlight despite being in the middle of the forest. On warm, summer days you will find people swimming, sipping beers on the rock cliffs across the river and generally having an amazing time in this usually forgotten corner of the park. The 180 kilometre, Sea to Sky Trail that runs from Squamish, up through Whistler to well beyond Pemberton passes through Nairn Falls Provincial Park. You will spot the Sea to Sky Trail signs at a couple spots in the park with excellent maps showing you where you are about to go. The trails around the park have for years been gaining popularity as bike trails and you will spot Lumpy's Epic ascend quickly in the direction of Pemberton's One Mile Lake.
You would have trouble finding and better or more convenient place to pull in and have a picnic than at Nairn Falls. Picnic tables are everywhere and often overlooking the beautiful River. There is no charge for entry to the park, day use or for parking. The only fees in the park are for overnight camping. Dogs are welcome at Nairn Falls Provincial Park, however bikes are not permitted on the trail leading to Nairn Falls. It wouldn't be a very exciting trail on a bike and there are plenty better trails to ride on the opposite side of the campground. Campsite amenities include a hand operated water pump, picnic tables and pit toilets everywhere you turn. For the best dog friendly trails around Whistler, click here.