Gorgeous Garibaldi Lake Backpacking Adventure (3 days/2 nights)
We’ll pick your private group up at a Metro Vancouver location and will enable you to discover and treasure some of BC’s most scenic and true backcountry mountains, lakes and rivers, only 1 hour 45 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. The scenic drive up the Sea-to-Sky highway is an incredible journey itself with vistas of the most southern fjord of North America. You will have two professional Hiking and Backpacking Guides, for safety reasons and to appeal to varied interests and skill levels of guests. On arrival at our backpacking starting point, you will learn how to prepare and set up the packs for your amazing journey.
Then our experienced guides will escort you on an amazing 3-to-5-hour hike (depending on how leisurely you wish to progress), as you learn about and see the Coastal Mountains’ natural wonders. You will marvel at lush old growth forests, meadows full of wildflowers and scenic mountain landscapes abundant in wildlife. You’ll set up camp with magnificent views and in the astounding company of one of North Americas remaining southern glaciers. There are options available including exploring Garibaldi Lake, discovering Taylor Meadows with views of the towering peak of Black Tusk, hiking trails to Helm Lake or two other incredibly scenic smaller lakes that Garibaldi Lake drains into. Or we can take you up Panorama Ridge for 360 degrees of incomparable vistas, or even all the way to the top to the world-famous Black Tusk if you are up for it.
These are dramatic hiking trails consisting of uneven, rocky terrain, with some flat maintained sections, steady elevation gains and an optional scramble to achieve the most incredible panoramic views. No matter what incredible hikes you choose, you’ll learn about camp set up logistics, how to efficiently pack a backpack and be trained on backcountry safety & nutrition. In terms of food program, you can choose between experiencing a true backpacking style home-made dehydrated food experience, or if you’d prefer, a more ‘backcountry gourmet’ experience. At the end of this one-of-a kind experience, you’ll enjoy a shorter hike back to the vehicle pick up point, and then a relaxing ride back to Vancouver, full of unforgettable memories, stories and pictures.
- Fitness Level: Participants should be active, agile and must be capable of walking on dirt paths with some rough terrain for up to 30 minutes at a time. This specific tour is for intermediate fit people due to terrain conditions. Not advisable for those with respiratory or heart problems, nor is it recommended for those with significant physical disabilities. This is an active excursion, suitable for more agile guests who live an active lifestyle.
- Hiking boots or shoes: Before the trip walk-in your hiking boots for an hour at a time to avoid nasty blisters on the trail!
- Roundtrip scenic guided drive-in luxury class vehicle from Metro Vancouver to Garibaldi Provincial Park.
- Camping equipment including: Backpacks, waterproof tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, camp stools, all cooking, eating and drinking utensils, 2 lanterns, clothesline, freshwater containers and treatment.
- 3 days, with 2 Backpacking and Camping Guides for up to 10 hours per day to help you learn and appreciate backcountry camping and who will show you the best places to see and trails to hike. We will be sleeping in tents along the trail in a comfortable group-camping setting. We will teach you how to use our camping equipment like a pro and provide a myriad of stories, facts and information about the geology and ecosystems flora and fauna and mii-workshops on:
- How to pack a backpack – Guests will assist in the carrying of food, water and equipment plus personal items (a Backpacking Packing List will be forwarded with confirmation emails).
- Backcountry safety & nutrition
- How to set up backcountry camp
- Leave No Trace Principles
- Daily Breakfast, 3 Course Lunches and 3 Course Dinners Does not include breakfast on first day, nor dinner on the last day. Does not include personal alcoholic beverages. See sample Menus below. You can choose if you want to experience true backpacking style dehydrated food or if you’d prefer a more ‘backcountry gourmet’ experience.
- An amazing unforgettable trip of your lifetime!
- DAY 1 Vancouver to Garibaldi Lake
- 7:30 am – Depart from Vancouver to Garibaldi Provincial Park.
- Scenic guided 1 hr 45 min. drive up the Sea to Sky highway, ratedas one of the top scenic drives in North America. You’ll pass a tangle of islands as you drive up the fjord, and the towering mountains of the Coastal Range.
- 9:30 am – Backcountry How to Pack a Backpacking Workshop – learn the art and science of packing a Backpack.
- 10:30 am – Commence 3.5-to-5-hour hike into Garibaldi Lake to set up base camp. Numerous rest stops and break for early Picnic Lunch
- Parking Lot to Garibaldi Lake – Length: 9.5 kilometres; elevation change: 810 metres 2650 feet. This well-graded trail climbs through the forest, past the Barrier and Lesser Garibaldi Lake to Garibaldi Lake. A campground with Pit Toilets is located at Garibaldi Lake. Day shelters are available for cooking.
- 2:00-3:30 pm Arrive at location and participate in “How to set up Camp Workshop”
- 4:30 – Free time & Appies
- 6:00pm – Dinner
- 7:30 pm – Free Time
- DAY 2 – Choice of Day Hikes
- 03:00 am (Optional Sunrise Hike to Panorama Ridge)
- TBA am: Breakfast: Mutually decided or staggered start time
- Garibaldi Lake to Panorama Ridge – Length: 6 kilometres; suggested time: 2 to 3 hours, one way; elevation change: 630 metres. This moderately strenuous hike provides 360 degree views of Garibaldi Lake, Sphinx and Sentinel Glaciers, and Table Mountain.
- Garibaldi Lake to the Black Tusk – Length: 6 kilometres; suggested time: 2 to 3 hours, one way; elevation change: approximately 850 metres. This moderately strenuous trail ends on the shoulder below the Black Tusk. Travel beyond this point is not possible due to hazardous conditions of falling rocks.
- Taylor Meadows to Helm Lake – Length: 4.5 kilometres; suggested time: 2 hours, one way; elevation change: 200 metres. A pleasant hike through alpine meadows past Mimulus Lake and the Black Tusk to Helm Lake.
- Garibaldi Lake Area- A leisurely hike though the valley and around the lake, Taylor Meadows and Black Tusk Meadow, Barrier and Lesser Garibaldi Lake
- 12:00 pm – Picnic Lunch along the way.
- 4:30 pm – Return to base camp: Free time & Appies
- 6:00 pm – Dinner
- 7:30 pm – Free Time
Day 3 – Take it all in and descent:
- TBA am: Breakfast: Mutually decided
- 10:00 am – Break Camp
- 11:00 am – Free time R&R – go take it all in
- 12:00 pm – Lunch last meal
- 12:30 pm – Descent to Parking Lot
- 2:30-4:30 pm – Arrival at Parking lot
- 6:30 pm – Arrive back in Vancouver.
Recommendations to prepare for this adventure:
- Focus on cardio fitness – get your heart pumping for 20mins each day.
- Leg strength – practice uphill hiking at the gym using “Stairmaster” equipment.
- Squats and Lunges work well for hiking uphill (train those knees and glutes)
- Back strength – hike trails with a loaded backpack that include elevation gains and downhill descents.
- Shoulder and core training exercises – prepare for carrying a weighted backpack.
- Walk-in your hiking boots to avoid nasty blisters on the trail!