9 Photos that will make you hike up to Garibaldi Lake

9 Photos that will make you hike up to Garibaldi Lake

Have you ever wondered what hiking in British Columbia is really like?  Seen countless photos of mountains and lakes on Instagram and questioned whether these places actually exist?  Well, I can tell you that they do. 

A few weeks ago, Leo and I ventured up to Garibaldi Provincial Park so that we could embark on the hike up to Garibaldi Lake.  From Vancouver, this is just under a 1.5 hour drive.  The trailhead for Garibaldi Lake lies between Squamish and Whistler – so your adventure can easily be made into a weekend break, if you so desire.

The easiest parking lot to get to is Rubble Creek.  There is limited parking here and it will get busy quick.  As we drove up the road (a turning off of the Sea to Sky Highway) we started to notice cars parked on the right hand side.  We took this to mean that the car parking lot was full.  We parked the car on the road behind the closest one, and had to walk around 5 minutes up to the trailhead.  So bear this in mind when making your hiking plans!

Once at the trailhead, everything becomes quite straightforward.

Two important things to note for this hike.

  1. It is uphill.

  2. It is an 18km roundtrip.

I conveniently forgot to tell Leo both of these.  He was, can I say, surprised when he when we got to the trail map and realized it was 18km. The hike is a steady but steep climb for 9km.

The hike itself is relatively uneventful for the first 6km that zig zag up towards the lake.  The last 3km are where it gets more interesting, throwing in views of smaller turquoise lakes and deep green foliage.  And then the trail opens up to some mesmerizing views of Lake Garibaldi.  To quote Leo, “It’s like another world”.  And how right he was.

If my enthusiasm hasn’t got you hyped up already, then here are 9 photos to convince you that this hike is unbelievably worth it.

The first view point gives you views across the ridge. This is the perfect time to stop for a breather and make friends with some chipmunks.  Here is a photo of a cheeky chipmunk because I don’t have a good one of the view.

p.s. I don’t think anyone was more excited than me when a chipmunk crawled on to the top of my rucksack.

Garibaldi Chipmunk

Continue on your journey up and this lake just appears out of nowhere.  What perfect colours.

Here we go.  The last 3 kms.  Let’s have another look at a lake, shall we?


Finally, we get to the main attraction and just look at those mountains and that snow and that ice blue water. Oh and look – it matches my hat and my jumper. YES.

Garibaldi Lake

Continue the walk around the lake and lose the tourists.  Then you can find serene picnic spots such as this.

Note: It is impossible to walk around the whole lake, but walk as far as you can.

Garibaldi Lake

Anyone for a boat ride?  YES TAKE ME TO THE GLACIER.  But seriously, how cool is this?  Typical Canadian photo right here.

Garibaldi Lake

Oh, look we’ve found a desert island.

Garibaldi Lake

And again.  Who else is getting snow envy?  This season clash is just beautiful.  Summer meets autumn meets winter.  I just can’t get enough of this.

Garibaldi Lake

Do we have to leave?  Here’s the start of the trail back down.  Hello 9km.

P.S You can camp here in the Summer.  Then you really don’t have to leave. What you would have to do however, is walk with all your gear.  That seems like a small sacrifice to make for views as stunning as this, doesn’t it?  

Garibaldi Lake

For more information on visiting Garibaldi Provincial Park, please take the time to visit the BC parks website.  Reservations for camping are required and there is no way to pay on site.  Some parts of the park can be visited in Winter but remember your snowshoes and your snow chains.



Please note: All photos taken by Leo Cox.  All images copyright © Leo Cox 2017.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

About The Author


Hannah is a keen traveller and lover of the outdoors. She completed a degree in English Lit & Creative Writing in 2013 and has been constantly moving countries ever since!

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