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Hiking The Panorama Ridge Trail In Garibaldi Provincial Park

Hiking the Panorama Ridge Trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park

A few years ago my friend, Sarah and I backpacked into Garibaldi Lake, 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.

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Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

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

This Post Has 21 Comments
  1. Wow, what an incredible beautiful place. I’d want to hike here everyday — like the way you and your friend did it. Your photos are stunning, Leigh!

  2. Must have missed a clue, cause I still don’t know where in the world to find Garibaldi Lake. In spite of the name I don’t think it’s in Italy, but it sure looks lovely:)

  3. Beautiful photos and I love the one of the marmot! I haven’t even heard of Garibaldi Provincial Park, but it looks like a great place to hike.

    1. @Laurel If you ever get to Vancouver and you want a day hike that’s truly beautiful with alpine scenery then it’s a good bet you’ll head for Garibaldi. It boasts breathtaking scenery and the only reason I would choose other hikes is that I couldn’t take my dog.

  4. Wow this looks stunning and that’s the best marmot photo I’ve ever seen – I’ve always found it difficult to ‘catch’ them, in the Pyrenees and in Kyrgyzstan.

  5. I especially like the capture of you in the wild prairie of flowers and the cute marmot on the rock. Really tempting to try trekking like this again and discover such remarkable shots.

  6. Wow it does live up to its name. Such stunning views. I’ve never been or heard of it but would love to go. That marmot is too adorable.

  7. Another fabulous spot you make very inviting. I’ll be passing through BC next June or July. And your site is making it difficult to chose precisely >>where<< to pass through. 🙂

  8. Never heard of Garibaldi provincial park before. Looks gorgeous, and doesn’t surprise me that it’s in BC 🙂

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