Author: Amy Ganske
If you are in the Whistler, B.C. area sometime you might consider taking a short, easy hike to one of the area’s iconic sites – Train Wreck. Briefly, in 1956, a train crashed into a rock cut and three boxcars loaded with lumber were wedged in obstructing the railroad line. Owners of a nearby logging company were called on to use their machinery (a few D8 Cats) to move the boxcars. The boxcars were dragged into the woods and left to an unknown future.
Beautiful falls on the Cheakamus River. Energetic and inspiring. A nice stop for R&R and a few pics along the way to your destination.
The abandoned boxcars have been given new life at the hands of graffiti artists and daredevil mountain bikers.
Here is how we got there:
Function Junction is a small community just a few miles south of Whistler on Highway 99. At the stoplight in Function Junction go east (a left if coming from Whistler, right from Vancouver) and take an immediate left into a parking lot. (Free parking! A rarity here.) Park. Walk westward, across the stoplight intersection into the town, across the railroad track. Look for a sign directing you to Flank Trail – in a creekside wooded area. Walk a little ways and you will see the Flank Trail trailhead marker (a large sign with a map) and that’s where you will take a LEFT onto the unmarked trail. Soon you will pass two old picnic tables.
Continue on, under the highway, and soon you will come to two painted boulders on your left. The trail continues between the boulders.
(A shorter route would be along the train track until you were directed to Train Wreck with an arrow pointing the way in blue. However, it is illegal to walk the track. AND, you would miss the beautiful Cheakamus River along the trail.)
There were times we wondered if we were still on the correct trail. However, be assured that if you stay between the river and the railroad tracks you are on the right path. The trail is frequented by walkers, runners and friendly dogs.
Amy Ganske is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.