A few years ago my friend, Sarah and I backpacked into Lake Garibaldi, spent the night and the next day hiked the Panorama Ridge Trail. That’s the civilized way to hike it.

The Panorama Ridge Trail is 6.5 kilometres one way from Garibaldi Lake – and the lake itself is 9 kilometres one way from the parking lot. It’s possible to do it as a long day hike though in total you’d have to hike 31 kilometres and climb over 1,500 metres. Both Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge are worth taking the time to explore and enjoy.

"Garibaldi Lake from our campsite with a view of the glacier"

Garibaldi Lake from our campsite with a view of the glacier

The route up to Garibaldi Lake is less than inspiring.

It’s a slog for most of the way as you switchback up the mountain but the reward is the awe inspiring scenery around the lake. I can only imagine how magical the place would be without another soul in sight.

The route from Garibaldi Lake to Panorama Ridge is very straightforward. Turn north at the fork at Garibaldi Lake, cross a bridge and head up into the forest. Fortunately that section is short and in no time you’re in the meadows – flower filled if the season is right and you get wonderful views of the Black Tusk.

Lots of wildflowers along the trail

                      Beautiful lupins

When the trail reaches the intersection in the sign noted below turn right and head down through heather filled meadows. Then begin the climb up to the ridge. In no time you’re on rocky slopes with the odd patch of snow around. Continue on the windswept ridge and follow the cairns to the top of the first ridge. The rock is loose as you head for the second ridge but it’s a short distance away.

The views from the Panorama Ridge are exactly that – panoramic in scope.  Enjoy your time on top.

"The trails are well signed along the way"

The trails are well signed along the way

You can’t miss the high pitched chirp of the marmot

The trail to the top of the ridge – with snow in late July

A mixture of snow and rock on the way up

The view over to the Black Tusk

                     Looking down on Garibaldi Lake

Useful Information about Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge

  • Getting to the Garibaldi Lake Trailhead Turn right off of Highway 99 if you’re heading north. The trail is signed for the Black Tusk Recreation area. It’s a only a few kilometers to the parking lot on a good road. Bring $5 bills as you must pay for parking. If you’re going to camp it’s $10 per person per night. Fees can be paid ahead of time.
  • Dogs are not allowed.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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