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.
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.
p.s. I don’t think anyone was more excited than me when a chipmunk crawled on to the top of my rucksack.
Note: It is impossible to walk around the whole lake, but walk as far as you can.
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?
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.