Rainbow Lodge

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Rainbow Lodge sat centre left at far end of lake by grove of orange poplars on Alta Lake; Whistler sits out of view at right.

Rainbow Lodge was a small railway resort and was the first commercial fishing and weekend retreat cabin on Alta Lake, which is now part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia, and stood from 1914 to 1977.[1][2] The lodge was a log cabin with peaked roof on the northwest verge of the lake by the railway line. Railways in North America were keen to capitalize on tourist traffic, hence the Canadian Pacific Railway created Banff National Park in the mountains, and Mont-Tremblant in Quebec; Canadian National built Jasper Park Lodge; UPRR built Sun Valley, Idaho; D & R G built Winter Park in Colorado; Milwaukee Road started Snoqualmie Pass near Seattle. Rainbow Lodge was among the first built along the Pacific Great Eastern line, which as of 1915 opened from Squamish to Clinton, British Columbia and was one of several along the line as far as Lillooet where Craig Lodge was. .

The Pacific Great Eastern Railway saw the benefits of having a resort in the mountains close to urban centres. In this way, Alex and Myrtle Philip, who built Rainbow Lodge in 1914, catered to the railway, visitors and loggers. They provided lodging and meals for patrons, and for travelling through traffic.[1] Rainbow Lodge also served as the area's post office. Horse loggers were busy in the valley prior to the Second World War.

By the 1940s, Rainbow Lodge had been enlarged to serve over 100 guests, and was the most popular camping lodge west of the Rocky Mountains.[2] In 1948, the Philips sold the property to Alec and Audrey Greenwood.[1]

Myrtle Philip lived in Whistler until her death in 1986. Rainbow Lodge burned down in 1977.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Christie, Jack. The Whistler Book: All-Season Outdoor Guide (Greystone Books 2005) (ISBN 978-1553650904)
  2. ^ a b Marriott, Edward (August 24, 2008). "Why Whistler's too good to leave for skiers". The Guardian. London. Retrieved Oct 28, 2009.