Hands down this is one of the most beautiful lakes in Southwestern BCbig 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 Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Running, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Camp Site

The hike up isn't too bad and once you get to the campsite the lake is beautiful. I believe there are about 50 camp sites so it can get a little crowded. Try to find a spot away from the cabin and picnic tables for a little more solitude. Great spot to set up if you are hiking towards the Black Tusk viewpoint, or Panorama Ridge; both of which I highly recommend.

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?

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.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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