Trip 129 - August 30, 2017 (Wednesday)

Panorama Ridge Trail Hike

Garibaldi Provincial Park (North of Squamish BC)

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Distance From Vancouver:
98 km via Highway 1 West and Highway 99 North. Turn to the right 33 km past the Squamish Welcome Centre. Then drive 3 km to the parking lots and the Black Tusk / Panorama Ridge / Garibaldi Lake trailhead near Rubble Creek.

Liked: Views of Black Tusk, Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk Lake. Creek views with wildflowers. Virtually no bugs.

Of note: The trail is very popular, and is likely packed on Summer weekends. Parking could be an issue when it's busy, forcing one to park far away along the access road and extend the hike accordingly. Some dust on the trail from the parking lot to the main split (about 6 km in total). A few muddy sections. Some snow still on the ground (including the trail) late in the season. Hiking boots and poles are highly recommended (the last stretch of the trail is steep, with loose stones).

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 22 (Squamish) C1-D1-E1. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #21. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Related Website: Garibaldi Provincial Park - BC Parks Official Site.

Related Trip: 031 - Black Tusk Trail Hike.

Other Trips in Squamish Area: Squamish River Forest Service Road Washout, Mamquam Lake Trail Hike, Squamish River FSR Ashlu Main Hike (second trip), Second Trip to Crooked Falls, Crooked Falls / Sigurd Creek Trail Hike, Squamish River FSR A-Main Branch (first trip), Brandywine Falls Provincial Park, The Squamish Spit, Squamish River Forest Service Road E-Main Branch, Shannon Falls, Squamish River Forest Service Road, Squamish Valley Road, Railway Heritage Park, Downtown Squamish BC, Stawamus Chief Trail Hike.

Panorama Ridge Trail is popular for a good reason - relatively close to Metro Vancouver, easy access off Highway 99, (for the most part) moderately challenging trail, and simply grand views of lakes and mountains. This trail is about 15 km one way, and follows the same route as Black Tusk trail until a split, where one turns to the left to visit Black Tusk, and goes straight to Panorama Ridge. We visited Black Tusk in 2010, and were very impressed. This time, while there was no "is this for real?" factor from the first visit almost seven years ago, the views were still absolutely amazing. For more photos of this Park and more complete directions, please visit our Black Tusk Trail trip report.

1. To get to Panorama Ridge trailhead (the same trailhead is shared by Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake trails) from Vancouver, take Highway 1 West, which would turn into Highway 99 Sea-to-Sky North by Horseshoe Bay, and drive towards Whistler. 33 km past Squamish Adventure Centre (a large building on the right side just past Cleveland Avenue intersection), there would be a turnoff to Garibaldi Provincial Park - Black Tusk. Here we are Northbound on Highway 99, with a sign on the right side indicating 2 km before the turnoff.

2. Once you turn, there would be a 2.7 km-long paved access road to the parking lots. You would have to park along that road, if the lots would be full. Make sure to observe no parking signs on one side of the road. Here is one of the parking lots. Both lots combined would hold about 100 vehicles. Elevation is 555 meters.

3. The first six kilometers from the parking lot to the main split were not much fun. Faster people behind you, slower people ahead of you, a steady stream of people returning from camping trips and going in the opposite direction - all of that reminded of the overcrowded Joffre Lakes trail. Some of the hikers were chatting, a few had music playing, and many raised at least a bit of dust. And this was a Wednesday. Weekends are going to be even busier. There is absolutely nothing to see until the main split, which we reached in 1 hour and 45 minutes of very brisk uphill hiking. This map is located at the split, and the numbers and arrows we put on it are as follows: 1 - Parking lot, 2 - Main split (to the left are Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk trails, as well as Taylor Meadows campground. To the right is Garibaldi Lake trail and campground). 3 - Black Tusk / Panorama Ridge trail split. 4 - The end of Panorama Ridge trail.

4. After the main split things got much more quiet, as the majority of people were going to and from Garibaldi Lake. Here we are en route to Taylor Meadows.

5. Now around the Taylor Meadows area.

6. Good mountain views started to appear. For more views, check out our Black Tusk Trail trip report.

7. Here is the Black Tusk / Panorama Ridge trail split. Took us 3 hours to get here from the parking lot.

8. After the split (Panorama Ridge trail is on the right), good views started coming in abundance. First of all, there were several creeks with lush wildflowers along the edges.

9. Beware of muddy sections. There was very little mud on the trail today, but it hasn't rained in a while.

10. The trail continues.

11. One more split arrives shortly. To the left is Helm Creek trail. Panorama Ridge is to the right.

12. After this split, things get really interesting. To the left is a neat valley.

13. More to the left.

14. In front and then, as the path continues and makes a turn, to the right is Black Tusk Lake (closest of the two).

15. And behind you...


Black Tusk Mountain Garibaldi Provincial Park British Columbia Canada

16. Panorama Ridge, in the meanwhile, is starting to take shape straight ahead.

Our Panorama Ridge Trail trip report Continues on Page 2.


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