Day Hike & Glacial Swim in Garibaldi Lake

Whistler, British Columbia


Added by Bryce Evans

Distance: 12 km (7.5 miles) roundtripDuration: 8 hours (including photos and water breaks)Elevation gain: 820 m (2,690 ft)Refreshing swim in freezing glacial waterStunning blue water and scenic viewsGreat workout for the legs

Begin at the Rubble Creek parking lot at the wooden steps, and make your way up the trail through the Douglas Fir trees. This is a tough hike on the body and mind, with an incline of around 1.5 km (4,900 ft) and what seems to be never-ending switchbacks along the trail. Keep going, it's worth it!

There is a lookout point and smaller lakes along the way, providing photo opportunities and short breaks to catch your breath and take in the views. At the 6 km (3.7 miles) mark, take a right to head straight to Garibaldi Lake. After crossing the wooden bridge, continue towards the lake and find a suitable spot to sit, relax and enjoy lunch.

If you plan on getting in the glacial waters, be careful of the rocks at the bottom, and be sure to scope out a patch of sunshine where you can warm up and dry off, afterwards. Also make sure to give your legs a good break before heading out again, as the steep decline can be tough on the knees. Hold the beautiful glacial blue sights in your mind on the way down to make it easier!

Plan this trip to Garibaldi as an all-day hike, to allow times for taking lots of photos and relaxing at the lake. You can also extend this adventure by heading up the Black Tusk Trail to camp and get the full experience of this area, day and night.

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Easy Parking
Picnic Area

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