Garibaldi Lake & Taylor Meadows
Hiking Key: M~2~SB~V~OH~KF~C~PT~RO
Length: 23 Km’s
Elevation: 860 meters
Pit Toilet: Beginning/meadows/junction/lake
This is my all time favorite hike, ever!!! It is a little tricky to find as you go along the highway. The signs are poor and confusing. You will see a sign that says Garibaldi 2 km and then another sign that says the same and immediately a street, go right as it's now 2 km's up the road. If you pass a big dam on your right you have gone too far. Also the parking lot is not a drive around parking lot so if there are cars parked along the road then park where you can or you will be backing out of the parking lot. The parking lot is called Rubble Creek and/or Black Tusk.
Please leave your valuables at home, leave your car un-locked and dash open showing no valuables. When I visited for the first time this year this past July 2014, 25 cars were vandalized with smashed windows for over night weekend campers.
The first 6.5 km is a steady climb of long and short switchbacks. Some may find boring but I enjoy the cardio butt kicking workout and the beautiful forest that surrounds you. It calms my soul! When you reach the 6.5 km mark go left at the junction into Taylor Meadows. It is worth the extra 5 km's that adds to the hike. It's just a little more elevation into the meadows but once in, the meadows are amazing!!! Mountain tops, flowers, creeks, mini lakes, fields and beauty all around you. There is camping area in the meadows and at Garibaldi Lake. You must pre-pay at the parking lot. In the meadows you will also see The Black Tusk in the distance and unless you are camping overnight save that hike for another time. As you walk on the boardwalk when you come to the pit toilets going left takes you to the campground and going straight takes you through the meadows.
Keep going and soon you will come to another junction to go to Garibaldi Lake. Walk through the meadows for a bit longer (junction sign says 2.5 km to the lake but it's a fast 2.5 km). Soon you will start going down some switchbacks and you will see your first glimpse of the green, blue water peaking through the trees. This is Garibaldi Lake and it is amazing! You will come to the bottom and go left down a steep but safe section and cross over a bridge and walk along the side of the lake and around into a panoramic view of the lake with picnic tables, camping area and pit toilets. A beautiful glacier sits in the distance. If you are lucky the Whiskey Jacks will be out looking for a treat & will fly onto your hand. If you have some cashews you'll have a new best friend as they will out of your hand. Make sure you walk along the path to the other campsites along the lake. If you keep going to the end there is a wharf near the ranger station where you can sit quietly to eat your lunch. After you are finished taking pictures head back up to the left (not right as it will take you back through the meadows and you will miss way too much beauty) and carry along the lake. You will eventually come to Lesser & Barrier Lakes which Garibaldi drains into. It is very green. If you keep going just before the junction to the Meadows you were at earlier, there is a Barrier Lookout on your left...if you go left down a path keep walking as it takes you to a big rocky outcrop that looks down the valley...more pictures opportunities. Bring some nuts as there are little chipmunks that eat out of your hand. One time when we hiked this we saw a rock slide to the left of this open valley. After you are done head down the switchbacks to the parking lot and where you were at the beginning of the day. Happy & safe trails!