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A Mixture Of Snow And Rock On The Way Up Panorama Ridge

The Panorama Ridge Hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park

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

The Panorama Ridge hike is 6.5 kilometres one way from Garibaldi Lake. Note that 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. 

The view from Garibaldi Lake at sunset
The view from Garibaldi Lake at sunset

The route up to Garibaldi Lake is less than inspiring

It’s a slog for most of the way up to Garibaldi Lake. Fortunately you switchback up the mountain so the route never feels too steep. And the reward is worth it for the awe-inspiring scenery around the lake. I can only imagine how magical the place would be without another soul in sight. But even when the campground is full, the glaciers and lake are completely magical in the evening light.

The hike to Panorama Ridge from Garibaldi Lake

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
Lots of wildflowers along the trail
Beautiful lupins on the Panorama Ridge hike
Beautiful lupins

 The route up Panorma Ridge

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
In some years you might want gaiters
In some years you might want gaiters
Lots of snow on nearby ridges
Lots of snow on nearby ridges
A mixture of snow and rock on the way up Panorama Ridge
A mixture of snow and rock on the way up Panorama Ridge
The view over to the Black Tusk
The view over to the Black Tusk

Camping the night before at Garibaldi Lake (so you can hike Panorama Ridge)

Reservations are required year-round for Garibaldi Lake. There are 50 reservable sites and in summer they go fast. Reservations can be made up to 4 months ahead of the date of your arrival.

Reserve through the Discover Camping website.

Fees can be paid ahead of time.

Dogs are not allowed. Nor are open fires.

Camping the night before at Garibaldi Lake is an option
Camping the night before at Garibaldi Lake is an option – as is fishing for rainbow trout (with a license)

Getting to the Garibaldi Lake Trailhead 

Turn right off of Highway 99 if you’re heading north towards Whistler. The trail is signed for the Black Tusk Recreation Area. It’s a only a few kilometres to the parking lot on a good road. 

Looking at Garibaldi Lake from Panorama Ridge
Looking at Garibaldi Lake from Panorama Ridge – Photo credit: Lesly Derksen from Unsplash

Further reading on nearby hikes

Click on the photo to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The Panorama Ridge hike near Whistler in Garibaldi Provincial Park

 

 

 

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 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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