With photos from our Photo Contest 2nd place winner! Start hiking up the Garibaldi Lake Trail (same trail as used to reach Black Tusk, Taylor Meadows, Garibaldi Lake). It goes through a series of switchbacks, gaining altitude all the time. Eventually you will come to a well-marked fork. If you turn right, it'll bring you to the Garibaldi Lake campground. The left turn leads to Taylor Meadows campground and continues to Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk, Helm Lake and a host of other destinations that you may find on Trailpeak. See the map photo; the map itself is located at the parking lot.
While it is quite possible to make the whole trip in one day, that will be a long day. In my opinion, camping at Garibaldi Lake is better than at Taylor Meadows. If you set your camp at the lake, retrace your steps and go around the lake's outlet. There will be a marker at the trail where you should take the right. You will be passing through beautiful alpine meadows (2) ? it smells like a perfume shop there, only it's all natural. If you are short of water, there are a few streams crossing the meadows. I don't know if that water is safe to drink untreated. I drank it and survived, but it's best to filter or boil it.
Eventually you'll come to another fork where the trails to Black Tusk and Helm Lake branch off to the left, and the Panorama Ridge trail heads right (3). Helm Lake area was closed at the time of my travel due to a problem bear.
From that point the going gets a little tougher, and you may have to cross a couple of snowfields depending on the season (4). The views keep getting better and better though (5). You can see Black Tusk Lake and Mimulus Lake just below you, and the Black Tusk itself dominating the scene. You can also notice how the floral species change as you keep gaining altitude.
Finally, you come to the main viewpoint (5), (6 - the 1st picture on Trailpeak). Most likely you will have company there. Be sure to have enough film left when you get there; shooting a 360-degree panorama is quite possible. If you are a purist, you may scramble some 100m more to the real peak, but the view from there shouldn't be a lot different.
To come back, just retrace your route.
Elevation Gain: 1500 m Topo Map: 92G/14
To reach the trailhead, drive North on Hwy 99 until you reach the Garibaldi Lake turnoff (Rubble Creek). There are at least two parking areas at the end of the spur, but they do get full fast, so it is a good idea to arrive early.
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Posted By: gal
- Tue Aug 26 16:53:19 EDT 2008
UpsideAmazing views, varied beautiful terrain, overall fun and not too exhausting.
Downsidecrouded for sure - we went on a rain free saturday. but not as packed as Garibaldi lake.
CommentWe did the full 30 km in one day - it was a little much but well worth it. took about 8.5 hours with photographs and lunch/snack breaks. The view is amazing at the top and there are a million things to see the whole way up, including the beautiful Taylor meadows. Unfortunately we went on a slightly cloudy day, so we didn't get to see all of black tusk, but still worth the amazing views at top.
Posted By: dwatts
- Sun Oct 31 22:27:45 EST 2004
UpsideAwesome view at the top, lots of varied terrain on the trail with side trips to the Cinder Cone possible on the same trip if staying at Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake.
DownsideThe final scramble to the ridge requires you to follow rock cairns which blend into the rest of the rocks and are hard to see. It is quite easy to end up in dead ended allies which is frustrating! Did this trip with 12 year old Scouts though, and it was worth it!
CommentWould definately do this hike again in a heartbeat, especially now that I know the way to the top!!
Posted By: wanderlust
- Thu Oct 23 21:18:37 EDT 2003
UpsideGaribaldi lake is amazing from all angles, especially the ridge. The wildflowers in Black tusk meadows in July/Aug are incredible.
DownsideNot a well-kept secret, if you can, go mid-week, but still expect crowds.
CommentI've hiked all over the Coastals - for ease and sheer beauty Panorama wins - I come back every year.