Hike and Camp at Garibaldi Lake

Canada Garibaldi Lake, Garibaldi Provincial Park

Added by Emily Haggar

  • Hands down this is one of the most beautiful lakes in Southwestern BC
  • big mountains, pristine water, and gorgeous scenery
  • 19km round trip (3020ft elevation gain)
  • Awesome day trip, but also has great camping
  • Duration: Full day

Garibaldi Lake is a huge basin of beautiful turquoise water measuring almost 10 square kilometers (2460 acres), and located at nearly 5000ft above sea level. The lake is over 800 feet deep, filled with pristine glacial water. You’ll be surrounded by big snowy mountains, which remain bright white all summer long, including some of the west coast’s most memorable landmarks. After a visit here, your eyes will thank you, and so will your heart. It’s just that kind of place.

Located in Garibaldi Park, the lake sits just below the Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge, Mt Garibaldi and Castle Towers. The lake is an excellent destination for a day hike, or you can camp ($10/person/night) and explore the area further.

Take HWY99 north from Squamish to park signs for Black Tusk on your right, about 20 minutes up the highway, and drive to the parking area (2WD, paved). On busy summer weekends, the entire parking area will be full, with cars lined to the highway, so come on a weekday if possible. Like Joffre Lakes, this area is extremely well loved by its’ visitors, so you’ll need to wake up early or go in the off season to spend some time alone with the lake.

The trail to Garibaldi Lake is a wide, smooth, perfect grade of switchbacks. You’ll find snow on the trail right into the early summer months, which will come as a surprise to folks driving up from Vancouver where the weather is balmy. The lake usually starts to thaw in late June.

This is a great destination any month of the year if you come with the right gear. In the winter it’s an amazing trip on snowshoes, and in summer/fall the hiking is unrivaled. If you have the time, this part of Garibaldi Park contains some of the best hiking trails you could ever hope to find (Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge, Helm Lake).

Spending the day at Garibaldi Lake is a unique and beautiful mountain experience. Life is measured by moments like this.

Pack List

  • For a day hike bring minimum 3L of water
  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Warm layers (even in summer, mountain weather is -unpredictable and it can get very cold in the alpine)
  • Headlamp
  • First aid kit
  • Lots of food
  • Extra layers
  • Camera
  • Be prepared for snow in the spring, early summer and late fall!
  • Your swimsuit if you’re brave enough
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Fishing, Hiking, Photography, Running, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

8 days ago

Rewarding Hike, Beautiful Views, Disappointing Garbage...

This is one of the best hikes in the region if you are looking for something physically demanding and incredibly rewarding! The hike starts off with an intense 6km up the mountain with lots of switchbacks, the next three km to the Garibaldi Camp is more subtle and a nice refreshing way to finish off your incline. Be warned, people have ruined the shelter and surrounding area with garbage, so much so that a bear was killed in the area this year. We ran into a bear on our hike down the next day after camping, it wasn't the biggest bear but a bear nonetheless. My guess would be that it smelt the garbage, we ran into it not far from the camp. As far as the camping goes, it's a great spot and it is easy to find a spot with seclusion and privacy. My experience was in early spring when there was still lots of snow and it was below freezing, maybe that's why we were able to find some seclusion?

8 days ago

4 months ago

Absolutely Stunning

Heavy traffic on the weekends but we camped on a Thursday night so it wasn't too crowded. Trail was well kept and views of the lake were absolutely stunning.

4 months ago

5 months ago

Mixed Review

I love the views at Garibaldi Lake, but I don't like the crowds of people who visit. It's not quite the right spot if you're looking for peace and quiet between Fri and Mon.

5 months ago

8 months ago

The best.

Love Garibaldi, such a cool spot!

8 months ago

8 months ago

A Vancouver weekend warrior staple

One of the most scenic and amazing views in the whole Sea-to-sky region. It gets busy on weekends and the parking lot fills up fast. It can be a bit of an assembly line to the top but well worth the views. Best light first thing in the morning. Additional trips to add on include Panorama ridge or Black Tusk summit. Camping by the lake is nice and quiet at night when the crowds go home.

8 months ago

about 1 year ago

Simply stunning lake. We made the extra mileage to Panorama Ridge and it was definitely worth it. This should be on everyone's BC bucket list.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This place is beyond amazing and through pictures they cannot even depict how incredible it is. 😍 People have stated that there is a scarce amount of camping spots. At Lake Garabaldi about 50 sites. If you don't find a spot, there is the other campsite but again, you're closer to the bears. This hike is not for beginners. Make sure you have adequate shoes and a water filtration system in case you do run out of water. Deet spray is a must when enduring those nasty flies. Bring sun protection, hiking poles and food, (duh!) When you do summit, make sure you go up the snow covered path because it easier and have fun! Round trip is 19 miles, if you don't end up backpacking, good luck! Instagram @jnblvnco

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

This place is beyond amazing and through pictures they cannot even depict how incredible it is. 😍 People have stated that there is a scarce amount of hiking spots. At Lake Garabaldi about 50 sites. If you don't find a spot, there is the other campsite but again, you're closer to the bears. This hike is not for beginners. Make sure you have adequate shoes and a water filtration system in case you do run out of water. Deet spray is a must when enduring those nasty flies. Bring sun protection, hiking poles and food, (duh!) When you do summit, make sure you go up the snow covered path because it easier and have fun! Round trip is 19 miles, if you don't end up backpacking, good luck!

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

One of the most stunning alpine lakes I've ever hiked too. On the weekends get there before 7am - the lot was already full when we showed up and thought we were early!

over 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

This is a great hike - one I have done every year since I have lived in BC!

about 2 years ago

Added by Emily Haggar

One half mountain adventurer and one half creative entrepreneur. Live the life you want to live, not the one you're supposed to live. IG: @lifeinthemtns + farandwild.ca + mountainlove.ca

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