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!