Not too many people are aware of a secret ghost town near Whistler. In fact, I had no idea either, but exploring this area is so cool, and actually pretty creepy! Let me introduce you to Parkhurst ghost town, Whistler.
What is Parkhurst ghost town?
Back in the day, Parkhurst was a small logging town located just above Green Lake in British Columbia. In fact, this was long before Whistler’s legendary ski village even existed, but you can see the beautiful snowy Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains along the hike to Parkhurst. Nowadays, it’s an abandoned ghost town and many of the remains lay scattered around a forest near Whistler’s Green Lake.
What happened to Parkhurst?
In 1926, Parkhurst became a small town when the Barr Brothers Logging Company bought the land – including a small house – from a widow named Mrs Parkhurst. Soon, the area became populated with a few small houses and a mill to house the loggers. It’s thought that the area housed around 70 loggers and it soon became known as Parkhurst, after the lady who previously owned the land.
Sadly, the Great Depression hit not too long after. The mill was unable to sell its produce and it went into administration. On a lucky turn, the mill was later bought by another logging company and became known as Northern Mills. Sadly, further destruction hit when a fire burnt down the mill in 1938, however, the town once again bounced back. It was completely rebuilt and a school and shop was even introduced to Parkhurst.
Incredibly, the town went on for many years as a small logging town. When the industry took a turn for the worst in the 1950s, sadly Parkhurst became completely abandoned in 1966.
What is Parkhurst now?
Nowadays, for some reason, many remnants of Parkhurst remain. It’s a pretty spooky ghost town to explore near Whistler, right next to some train tracks that are still in use today. It’s a pretty simple route to follow and you see some cool things along the way, from disused cars to old houses. There’s also a convenient hiking map for the ghost town loop to make sure you don’t get lost.
At the beginning of our walk, we came across several scattered old beds. It’s crazy to think how much humans have grown this day in age as they are all such tiny bed frames. It’s pretty fun working your way through the forest trying to discover which relics you can find.
What can you see on the ghost town hike?
It’s crazy what you can see along the way. We stumbled across houses and huts destroyed by heavy snow over the years, with remnants scattered all over the forest floor.
There’s even an abandoned old car in relatively good tact that you can crawl into. I have no idea how it was ever possible to drive in these vehicles. It was definitely a struggle for me!
We tried to imagine how it must have been to live in Parkhurst long before it became a ghost town, trying to discover the house of Mrs Parkhurst at each we came across.
What else can you see in Parkhurst?
If you follow the hike all the way around the ghost town loop, you’ll discover a large house. Miraculously, it has managed to survive Whistler’s turbulent weather and heavy snow. You can even pop inside to have a nose around.
As you can see, it’s tiny! The entire house is probably the size of an average room in one of today’s houses.
As you can see, it has definitely taken a battering from guests snooping around the house. For the brave amongst you, it’s even possible to camp in Parkhurst – I’m not sure I’d be able to! It’s definitely pretty creepy seeing so many relics from the 1950s and imagining life back then.
We cruised around the outside of the house to see what we could find. There are plenty of rusty old appliances, and even tins of luncheon meat from meals gone by. It’s certainly amazing how so many items have been preserved since all that time ago.
You can also see an old spring which once provided water to the houses! It’s also incredible how intact the ghost town is. Who knows, perhaps it will regenerate as a new town some time in the future?
The ghost town loop conveniently takes you back to the train tracks. From here, you can easily get back to the car park. How beautiful are these views across the snowy mountains in Whistler?
In short, I’d really recommend heading to Parkhurst ghost town for a spooky hike with a difference!
Have you been to Parkhurst ghost town, or on any awesome hikes near Whistler? Where would you recommend visiting?