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Offering over 90 kms of established hiking trails, Garibaldi park is a favourite year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Our drop off is directly at Rubble Creek parking lot, the trailhead for Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge.
99 km From Vancouver
If you've ever seen advertisements for outdoor destinations in British Columbia, there is a high chance that Garibaldi Provincial Park was in it, and for good reason! The largest provincial park in Squamish named after Mount Garibaldi, locals and people from all over the world visit this park to conquer its hikes. Garibaldi Lake with its beautiful turquoise glacial waters, sits at 1450m high and is a favourite because of its snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows, and volcanic structures.
Caution: be advised that this is not an easy hike: it takes the average hiker 5-7 hours, is 18km roundtrip, and is a continuous 900m (2953 ft) uphill trail to the lake. Please ensure that you have evaluated your own skill level, have proper hiking shoes, and prepare for the outdoor conditions. Start the hike from the Rubble Creek parking lot. The first 6km takes you through beautiful forests and a creek crossing - but it is a series of steep uphill switchbacks that can be quite strenuous so make sure you keep hydrated and take breaks.
After the climb, you will reach an area called The Barrier which is a lava dam that contains the Garibaldi Lake system and is 300m thick. The cliff that you will see was formed during a landslide in 1885. After taking in these views (and listening to the rumble of giant boulders continously peeling away from the wall!), continue back onto the main path for another kilometer until you reach the junction between Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake. If you choose to go through Taylor Meadows, you will hike through the Taylor Meadows Campground where there are alpine flowers blooming in the late summer and the view of Black Tusk in the background (this route will add some more time, distance, and elevation to your journey but not too much). From either trail, keep following the signs towards Garibaldi Lake.
Once you start descending down some switchbacks, you know you’re almost there! Once you’re at this point, you will soon reach the turquoise blue waters of Garibaldi Lake with the Battleship Islands ahead of you and the Sphinx Glacier above. Please be advised that the glacial waters are extremely cold and that you are swimming at your own risk. After having a break and taking in all the beautiful sights, begin your hike down on the same trail. Please allow yourself enough time to return to the starting point as the trail is quite strenuous on your knees on the way back down!
Important Safety Information
Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of our favourite destinations, but it is also the most challenging. Once you are dropped off at the park, you are responsible for your own safety. There are no guides - this is NOT a group or guided trip, as Parkbus only provides transportation. Make sure you review basic safety information, and bring food and lots of water (it is not possible to buy food or water in the park). There is no cellphone reception in the park, as it is remote wilderness. As is elsewhere in BC backcountry, you may encounter natural hazards, such as snowy conditions, poor visibility, wildlife as well as steep and dangerous cliffs, especially if you wander off trail. Some cellphone reception may be available at the trailhead.
There is only one hiking trail leading from the drop-off point - to Garibaldi Lake - which is challenging and relentless climb, only suitable to those in great physical form. It can take over 10 hours to complete this 18 KM round trip with 820m elevation gain.
Be sure to assess your abilities and only go all the way if you are sure that you can make it back to the bus on time. The way down can take as much time or more than the way up due to bad knees, steepness of the trail, etc.
If you are not 100% comfortable with your abilities, we recommend that you consider going to a destination with options for easy and moderate trails - such as Alice Lake.
If You Miss The Bus Going Back
Howe Sound Taxi Service at (604) 898-8888 is the closest taxi operator.
Stops in Garibaldi Provincial Park
Rubble Creek Trailhead
Rubble Creek parking lot is the trailhead for Garibladi Lake, Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk.
Pickup Locations In Vancouver
Bank of China
Our buses stop outside Bank of China, near Burrard Skytrain Station, at 1025 Dunsmuir Street!