One of the best hikes in British Columbia is to Garibaldi Lake. Garibaldi Provincial Park lies in between Whistler and Squamish and Garibaldi Lake is it’s top attraction. Canada is known for the bright blue, turquoise water under snow capped mountains and this highlights that as good as it can get.
Hiking to Garibaldi Lake
It would come as no surprise that when we finally made it to this area, it was our very first hike. There are different numbers out there for total distance and elevation but they all average out to being a difficult hike. Hiking poles and good hiking shoes are definitely recommended. Trails are known for being rocky and a little technical.
Miles: 12 ♦ Elevation Gain: 3,445′ ♦ Trail Type: Out and Back ♦ Trail: Moderately Hard ♦ Time: 4:45 – The recommended time to allot to this hike is 5-7 hours. Be realistic about your capability in the elevation gain.
This hike will take you to the campground on the lake. This is where you can get the best views and an epic place to relax. Whenever you start a hike like this you should always take a picture of a map, have a gps of the map or take a map with you.
This hike starts at a large parking lot. There are big enough spots for RVs and depending on the month of the year it would be best to park there overnight to make sure you get a spot.
This is a beautiful hike through the woods, but as you can tell by the elevation gain number it is a climb, from the moment you step onto the trail.
At around 3.5 miles you will come to a junction. To the left you can reach Taylor Meadows and a view of Black Tusk, or if you go to the right, this is the quickest way to Garibaldi Lake.
Finally at 4 miles the most of the climb is over and closely after you will reach your first lake. Barrier Lake. It is absolutely stunning.
Half a mile down the path you will cross a bridge and then at 5.27 miles you will reach another junction. Take a left and this is where you will either go to Taylor Meadows or reconnect with the trail if you decided to take the turn for Taylor Meadows at 3.5 miles.
Half a mile after that the junction to Garibaldi Lake shows up. Take a right and the trail heads down to the water. It is a bit steep and then along the lake to another bridge. This bridge provides your first big view of the lake and surrounding mountains.
After this the trail is a bit steep and sometimes hard to see. You rock scramble and climb for just over a quarter mile.
Once the climb ends and it does, it flattens and you reach the campground. One of the most beautiful back country campgrounds we have seen.
There are picnic tables, boulders and lake front areas to take some time to relax. There are also bear food stands if you are staying the night. This year there was flooding, which you do have to check for before you venture to the campground.
Before as you were heading up, it is hard to take in the view. On the way back down, make sure to take it in.
On your way back, if you have the time and your legs are still wanting to go, then take the Taylor Meadow trail at the junction. The trail turns into a double wide trail.
The meadow is beautiful and you reach a boardwalk to a hut. If you need, take some time here with views of Black Tusk.
When you are ready to leave take the boardwalk and the rest of your hike is downhill.
I hope you enjoy the best hike this area has to offer. It is an experience!
As always, remember to practice Leave No Trace. This includes fruit peels, nut shells, even biodegradable items. What ever you carried in you carry out. Whether in your pack or your belly.
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