This is the most difficult of the Garibaldi hikes but well worth the effort. The trail is well marked and maintained but very steep, gaining 3600 ft in less than 6 km.
From the trailhead, the trail begins its ascent immediately, although the steepest part is yet to come! After crossing the stream, you enter the forest and begin your climb. The forest is quite thick and gives up only occasional views. The trail switches back, following Wedgemount Creek which tumbles down the mountain via a series of waterfalls.
When you finally emerge from the forest you find yourself scrambling on a steep, rocky slope through alpine meadows. A final push over the ridge and Wedgemont Lake, Wedge Mountain, and the glacier greet you with every bit of majesty that you might have come to expect from the BC Coast Mountains.
There is a BC Mountaineering Club cabin here as well as places to pitch a tent if you are staying the night. The surrounding peaks and ridges beckon, and climbing opportunities abound.
If you don't mind some hard work, this trail offers easy access and some of the most spectacular views you could hope for!
Take Hwy 99 11.5 km north of Whistler. The turnoff is well marked on your right. You'll cross the BC Rail tracks and Green River. The road goes left after the river. At the next fork go right, and then left again on a logging road. The parking lot and trailhead are at the end of this road, about 2 km from the highway.
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Posted By: geigespielendewandererin
- Tue Jul 29 20:22:13 EDT 2014
UpsideLittle piece of heaven up at the top. Super clear air, gorgeous glaciers, wildflowers and views across to other mountains.
DownsideWish we had started at dawn instead of at 8:00 so we could have spent more time at the top. Hubby recommends to wear single-focus glasses as opposed to bi or trifocals, which he used and found it harder because of that. It's steep enough that I would recommend you have a good sense of balance and not fear heights too much as there is a bit of climbing involved, but nothing too bad.
CommentNo snow on the trail, which was good, because as others have commented, it is steep. Some muddy spots but not too bad. It's a good physical workout but don't do it if you have bad knees, as you really need them in particular on the way down. We do usually hike once a week, sometimes more, sometimes less, in Germany, so the hikes are not so steep. We enjoyed it immensely and I would say it is the best hike I've ever done but it did take some time. We spent 3 1/2 hours on the way up with a few rest and photo and snack/drink breaks. Cached a liter and a half of water about half way up. Going down also took about 3 1/4 hours. I'm in my 40s and my husband is in his 50s so there were certainly a number of younger folks pushing right on past us, but we didn't mind going at our own leisurely pace. Also have good fitting hiking boots. We were fine in this regard but saw a few folks who suffered with ill-fitting boots they'd given up wearing and slung over their packs. Hint: you will appreciate having good and sturdy boots. All in all, it was fantastic!
Posted By: Allycat
- Wed Jun 19 13:25:41 EDT 2013
QuestionHas anyone hiked this recently? How is the snow cover. We may do it over the long weekend in July!ANSWERS are in this forum: Snow cover
Posted By: Larryv
- Tue Nov 27 23:30:30 EST 2012
DownsideNo Starbucks at top!
Comment1200 meter elevation gain in 6 kilometers. You do the math.
Posted By: jens_01
- Thu Sep 27 22:10:38 EDT 2012
CommentLOST Canon point-and-shoot camera on the hike this weekend, likely near the bottom of the trail or in the parking lot. Please call Jen 778-238-7470 if found! Camera itself doesn't have much value, but I'd really like to get the photos from our beautiful weekend.<BR><BR>We hiked to Wedgemount Lake Sept 22-23 and camped overnight. I found the hike quite steep and gruelling, but it would definitely be easier without an overnight pack. Weather was fantastic and there were no bugs. Lots of great tent platforms - we chose one down by the water. Beautiful views!
Posted By: iam.with.a.backpack
- Mon Sep 10 14:57:31 EDT 2012
CommentI am very surprised to see it is rated difficult. If you are fit and hike at least 2 a week, this is a very easy trail to do. Clear and clean trail. You can totally do it in one day - little sweat. I would barely rate it "moderate". Good trail for backpacking. Gorgeous lake. 3.25 min up and 2.10hr down with a backpack.
Posted By: notsonaturegirl
- Tue Sep 04 19:32:03 EDT 2012
DownsideSomewhat treacherous coming down.
CommentContrary to some observations, I found this FANTASTIC DAY HIKE!!! (hiked it Sep 3/12) I hike Grouse Grind twice a week in ~1 hr and I found going up Wedgemount at a fairly casual pace pretty easy (we took our time because one of our guys was injured - we took ~4 hours). This is not nearly as steep as the Grind (except last bit) but by that time, I was in love with the trail. However, not having much practice descending (usually take Gondola), I found the downhill VERY tricky, toes and knees very sore by the end and quads super sore the next day (in a good way!) I would recommend this hike to anyone who is very fit (ie regular hiker/trail runner, etc). I hope to do this again with a faster group (and maybe with taped knees...).
Posted By: Brent Akhurst
- Tue Jul 24 11:41:47 EDT 2012
UpsideI just got back from a great trip up Wedge on July 14, 2012. Unfortunately we did not summit due to weather, but we will be back. Trail peak did a great job in helping me prepare for this climb.
CommentIf you are interested in seeing my trip report then please visit.
Posted By: paddleboy
- Mon Aug 15 13:07:47 EDT 2011
UpsideSome of the most beautiful/majestic views in the park - turquoise, glacier-fed lake surrounded by peak after peak; makes it well worth the effort! Supposedly one of the toughest hikes, so if you're a usual day hiker, this will be a good (and fun!) test of your stamina (especially your quads - poles recommended!).
DownsideQuite a few mosquitos at the top (in August). If you're staying more than one night, would suggest some bug spray (that way you can stay out longer in the evening). We wish we'd stayed longer than one night. At the top, the tent pads are a bit of a distance from the glacier lake, so have to walk a ways for fresh water.
CommentAgree with other posters, that this is NOT a day hike (unless you're truly a machine). We stayed one night, came down the next day, and my quads were still burning. Poles are highly recommended; good footwear too - your feet will thank you later. The trail is well marked. The thing that makes it strenuous is the constant elevation gain, over then entire hike - it's kind of like doing the Chief 7-8 times, in a row - it's unrelenting. At the top, the tent pads are nice. There's a nice hut as well as a separate, smaller food storage hut/cache. We went on a Friday and only saw one other couple (who stayed in the hut). On the trip back down on Saturday, there were a LOT more day hikers heading up - so if you can (as with most hikes), go on a weekday.
Posted By: bswanson
- Sun Jul 18 17:38:54 EDT 2010
UpsideBeautiful! well worth the effort
Downsidea bit of a scramble near the top on the rocks
CommentJust got back (mid july) there was a bit of snow however nothing to be of concern - was fine in my hiking boots. the weather was warm right up until the sun went down, the night was a bit cold, but with a good sleeping bag I was warm all night. The trail was well marked, lots of friendly people along the way, and great areas for setting up a tent. Highly recommend it
Posted By: The Girlfriend
- Tue Jul 13 13:53:22 EDT 2010
UpsideThe views, area, wildlife spottings and campings spots are fab! Great way to stretch your hiking limits and experience.
DownsideTrail is not cleary marked closer to the top. Because of the snow and storms in the past while, we blaze our own trail. Trees have fallen, so be prepared to duck under and climb over a few logs.
CommentGirlfriends, this is not a day hike unless you and the boyfriend are in supreme shape. Supreme shape. The trail is many grouse grinds with a trail that is spitted with rocks and roots.
When I read it's a day hike I laugh. It's a climb up, it's a climb down. Be sure to bring poles. Your quads will thank you the next day. We camped for two nights and enjoyed the time up there. Fellow campers spotted a cougar, I saw a bear on the trail home, loons, humming birds, marmots. We heard/saw some rock slides. We watched a group work their way to the top of Wedge. Lake still had ice on it in July 2010, trail had snow. Best trek to do in August/September. Good luck, Girlfriends! Pack light.
Posted By: trailrunner
- Sun Aug 09 17:22:12 EDT 2009
Upside Only 10min drive from Whistler good hiking/run trail if you are based there. Clear good quality trail with some roots and rocks, except the tough section at last steep climb of 500m or so that you need a careful scrambling. Drastic change of scenery as you come to openings and at the lake. It was Sunday but only 10 cars parked. Also there was no parking charge unlike other parks nearby.
Downside The last steep crawl has difficult to get grasp on foot and hand both. At times it might be dangerous for groups or when trail is crowded as one might accidentally knock off rocks. At this section going down takes fair amount longer time than going up. At other areas slightly slippery at sections with dirt broken up.
Comment (Going up from parking lot to Wedgemont lake hut took 81mins, return trip 58mins. Total 139mins took to go & return excluding 20mins rest at the lake.)
Trail starts from the parking, basically it is more than one person passing width and it stays that way till the end. There is a fair amount variation in atmosphere in the trail and not too boring as I was expecting more monotonous climb till the end; Near the creek, go on to the ridge, and many switch backs with similar incline to BCMC trail at Grouse mtn or Joffre Lakes- in fact I felt Wedgemont lake trail was slightly longer version of Joffre trail, then there are three long flat stretches when you think you cannot keep running at this incline. I did walk several times but all about minutes or less then realized I could have continue running each time because the trail go zig-zag instead of sheer straight climbâ?¦ until the very last scrambling. So donâ??t give up running thinking this is too steep- until the final scramble that is. After the first major opening with old rock slides there is a spring & creek to get some water. After the second opening, this tough final major scrambling starts. When you see the steep climb is starting to end, it actually still continues with gentler climb; a bit of a tease. Soon incline ends and you will see the hut, lake and glaciers. Itâ??s a pretty sight but more barren & rocky place compared to more life rich Joffre lake. There was another trail I ended up going up for few minutes on my way back - I donâ??t know where it goes. And I couldnâ??t see the water fall- didnâ??t see the sign for it.
Posted By: BCfromBC
- Sun Jul 26 15:47:09 EDT 2009
UpsideBeautiful vista at the top. Hiking in the thick forest on a hot day helps to escape the heat.
DownsideHiking in the forest limits your view chances (but helps escape the heat!). Some bugs, but it wasn't too bad.
CommentDid this hike yesterday (7/25/09). It was about 35 degrees yesterday so we started at 8:20 a.m. and summited at 10:50 a.m. (2.5 hours) with a couple of short stops for a banana and a energy bar. This helped to avoid the heat on the ascent. We did not run up but kept a steady pace with no stopping except for the banana and energy bar fuel up. The descent took 1.5 hours and people going up at that time (mid-afternoon) were clearly feeling the extreme heat on the ascent. I was hot descending the mountain, let alone heading up at that time of the day. We loved it!
Posted By: gal
- Wed Aug 20 18:14:13 EDT 2008
UpsideFantastic trail - amazing views at top and not that busy. Very well marked and best glaciers I've seen in the area (excluding the Rockies).
Downsidevery steep, not good on a rainy day, is a bit technical with roots and rocks, but is do-able. Not so good on a very hot day either. Took us just over 3 hours to make it to the top. The last 1/2 hour is very steep and a little slippery coming back down.
CommentLoved this hike, although it was all up hill and on the strenuous side - it was all worth it when you got to the top. I would do this one again anytime.
Posted By: squirrelbait
- Mon Aug 11 12:27:29 EDT 2008
UpsideNot a busy trail, not too technical (compared to Joffre Lakes which I thought had more roots and boulders and I'm not good with that - I like to look around, not down!). Beautiful alpine area, lake & glacier; easy trailhead to get to. Well maintained and marked trail.
DownsideAfter 1-1/2 hours was wishing the uphill would let up, but then we got in stride a bit and just kept going.
CommentI agree with most of the reviews - it's not too too hard and after reading the "stairmaster from hell" comment I was expecting the Grouse Grind for 3 hours, but it wasn't anything close, so was pleasantly surprised. 2h 45m up 2h 15m down. I would do again in a heartbeat. It was beautiful in the cloud & mist as the scenery was ever-changing, but next time I'd make sure we go on a warm, sunny day as we were freezing our butts off at the top (Aug 10) and would have liked to do more exploring or relaxing.
Posted By: ronm
- Tue Sep 25 11:13:40 EDT 2007
UpsideAs mentioned here, a good challenge to get up, and just when you're wondering why you're doing this whole hike through a forest where you can't really see anything anyway, you come to the treeline with meadow wildflowers everywhere, and you can see back into the valley onto the clouds, and then just a bit more scramble and you're at that perfect little blue lake and glacier. Any picture taken up there would look like a postcard.
DownsideAlso as mentioned, it really starts as an up hill, and turns into a Stairmaster From Hell. Not sure if you can call it a technical trail, but there are a lot of roots and rocks to step high over. It was raining when I did it, which (besides turning to snow at the top) meant that the trail was pretty slick on the way down. I was watching spots on the way up saying "this will be bad on the way down" but eventually saved time by just counting what would NOT be hard on the way down.
CommentTook me just over 2.5 hours up (lots of little stops to pretend to tie my shoes, etc. which were really attempts to get my heart rate down :) ) and a bit less on the way down. Was mid-Sept and about 15 degrees C and raining in Whistler, which translated to about 3 degress C and snowing at the top (according to my crummy little thermometer). Despite this I had my shirt off on the way up (even in the rain/snow) 'cause it was that much of a workout. Most of the trail was really just like going up large stairs through a very peaceful forest, with a few muddy bits. If you can do an hour of stairs at some sort of steady pace, you can do this trail if the weather is good. Despite the snow/cold/wet the view was well worth it. I was the only person on the trail at that time of year, too, so I had the impeccably maintained shelter to myself.
A note on that logging road comment -- must have been maintained since the comment was made -- it was in perfect shape for my econobox rental car to get through in the rain (even better than some of that Hwy 99 construction :) ).
Posted By: lucasoverseas
- Fri Aug 24 19:22:50 EDT 2007
UpsideAn amazing hike with a phenomenal view towards the finish, and then the ultimate payoff of the lake and glacier! Did the hike on a perfectly clear, 25 degree day and it was amazing. Very rewarding and not too long for the prize at the end.
DownsideThe fact that it continues uphill and doesn't let up, the whole way to the top. Step-ups and technical rooty sections can be dangerous if you're not watching every step, especially on the way down. Could be diabolical in the wet.
CommentA highly recommended hike, I got up in 2 hours and 10 minutes, including stopping to take photos, and I definitely wasn't running. Coming back down took 1 hour 20, and I was going pretty quick, couldn't have done it faster. I loved the experience and the view up top was simply breathtaking. Highly recommended! Pics at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=18904&l=9482b&id=562587323
Posted By: trishkaka
- Thu Aug 11 02:13:23 EDT 2005
UpsideBeautiful view, varied terrain on the trail, lots of fun things to see on the way up
DownsideA lot of time is spent in the forest, simply going up. You'll need a zen-like attitude to keep moving forward.
CommentWe managed to get up in just over 2 hours, no problem. We weren't moving quickly, just constantly. It shouldn't take 3 hours if you keep moving, even at a slow pace. If you need to stop for breaks, it's a different story. We did the whole thing (rest stop at the top included) in just under 5 hours. Didn't feel rushed at all.
A WORD OF CAUTION: The logging road is in rough shape. It's not maintained and has many holes that become creeks during rainy season. You don't need a 4x4 to get up but if your suspension is shot or the car is a bit low (like a Honda), forget about it. Park at the bottom and walk up.
Posted By: backpackgal
- Tue Aug 17 17:14:38 EDT 2004
UpsideVariable terrain - boulders, big Cedar, rushing creek. No views as you are hiking up (though the forest itself is beautiful) but once you get to the top, the scenery is spectacular. We ate breakfast on a flat rock above the lake as the glacier glistened above.
DownsideI found this hike a strenuous hike with very few breaks to catch my breath.
CommentI am reading all the reviews saying the hike took 2.5-ish hours! I cannot imagine getting to the top in less than 3 hours. It took us 4 hours to get up (not counting our stop for lunch) and about 2.5 hours to get down. We were carrying overnight packs and slept at the top. We did not rush on the way up and moved at a steady pace. Perhaps we could do it in 3.5 hours moving faster. I would hate to do it as a day hike because we did not want to leave once we got to the top. On our second day we hiked one of the surrounding peaks for a view of the other mountains. This is a hike I would greatly recommend as the destination makes the hard work worth it and there were no crowds (only 4 other people up top when we were there). But I would say one has to be in very good shape to do this hike.
Posted By: jacques choquette
- Thu Aug 05 21:05:13 EDT 2004
UpsideGreat hike took 2.5 hours to reach the top with day packs - up hill all the way. The hut is pretty cool sleeps about 4-5 people there were some kids up there camping on a tour program - they made us hot chocolate which was nice because even though it was aug 4 it was very cold once we stopped moving. Took them 5 hours to get up with full packs and stopping for lunch.
DownsideDid this hike in the rain and it was very slick with lots of mud, roots and slippery rocks. I expect the cabin can get quit crowded if you plan to stay it may be wise to bring a tent but be aware there are not many areas to set one up - the ground was uneven in most places. Also don't plan on driving your car all the way to the trail head if you don't have a 4x4 the road is in bad condition and impassable expect and additional 1 km walk.
Posted By: Malcontent
- Thu Apr 29 05:18:24 EDT 2004
UpsideThroughout, the surroundings are interesting and there are many great views. The payoff is stellar - stay overnight and listen for the cracking thunder of the ice falls out of view on the glacier.
DownsideThe hike is tough - but we met a man in his 60s up there... if you plan on staying overnight, it's better to bring a tent - the cabin, though accomadating, was crowded and noisy when we stayed (not to mention a little toxic with gas)
CommentThe hike is golden - worth every single one of the excruciating final 20 minutes.
Posted By: marjanc
- Sun Aug 24 03:29:16 EDT 2003
UpsideGreat hike, we did it in 2h30min.
DownsideWe had no camera with us. The trail was dusty.
CommentNext mission: the peak.