Garibaldi Lake Trail

MODERATE 132 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Garibaldi Lake Trail is a 18.0 kilometer moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Squamish-Lillooet, British Columbia, Canada that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until November.

DISTANCE
18 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1000 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

lake

bugs

no dogs

backpacking
9 hours ago

Did this as an overnight hike the same day I completed an overnight at Elfin Lakes. Was exhausted from the Elfin Lakes hike, but managed to get to Garibaldi in just under 4 hours. First 6km is neverending switchbacks and there isn't much to see. At the junction, you'll have to take the Taylor Meadows route to get to Garibaldi since the bridge is out. Snow starts about 1km after the junction and is patchy throughout and muddy in some areas. Wore boots/wool socks. The last 500m of the trail you'll need to walk along rocks/snow on the lakeshore, so be careful and mind your footing. Campground is full of snow and there were only a couple tent pads uncovered probably from people digging them out themselves. Ended up camping along the rocks/lakeshore since there were some flat spots--way better view than in the tree-surrounded campground anyway! Another group of two did the same as me. No ranger was on site so we got lucky. Beautiful lakeshore view and caught the sunset. Too tired to wake for sunrise but I imagine it was stunning. A quiet and peaceful overnight hike and worth the tiring switchbacks going up.

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
21 days ago

It was oke. First 6 km are upwards and a little steep. After 6 km we had snow. But no problem with hiking boots. We expected more of this trail. The only real sightseeing is in the end: the lake. Furthermore a lot of trees, not really viewpoints. And the lake is frozen. So you wont see the true color. Advise to do it in august-sept.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked up to Garibaldi Lake May 20, 2018. Snow begins approximately 5 km in and requires crampons past 6 km. The bridge is destroyed between the fork and the lake. So you can’t go directly to the Lake and must add about 4km round trip and take the trail via the Meadows. Snow hard packed at the meadows but signs still buried and a number of people weren’t able to find the tail to Garibaldi lake. Garibaldi lake frozen over but still a incredible site.

3 months ago

We did this trail on March 10. We parked just after the road crossing. Some cars went upper, but some of them were stuck in the deep snow. We saw a tow truck helping a guy when we went back. The total hike was 23 km out and back. We did it in 8 hours including 1 hour break at the top. Nice open view at the top. Crampons or snowshoes are needed. We had crampons and it went great, and faster than a lot of snowshoeing groups we passed.

hiking
6 months ago

really nice trail. moderate hard

hiking
7 months ago

We did this hike in early November, one of my favorite hikes I've ever done! The trail is very well maintained and well marked. The first half is a pretty steep incline so fairly intense, but the last part near the lake flattens out a bit. We weren't prepared for how cold the top was, so make sure to bring layers if you're hiking in fall/spring/winter. We left at 1pm and got back around 5:30pm, but didn't stop for a break.

7 months ago

Incredible place!

hiking
7 months ago

Absolutely stunning and breathtakingly beautiful. the water is so blue!!

8 months ago

Amazing Trail and super beautiful lake I never seen before .

hiking
8 months ago

I did this trail at the end of September. First hike in BC. The weather started off around 10deg in the morning around 9am and got to around 18deg around 2pm. I did the Girabaldi Trail to the lake, hung out with campers and took photos (90% of folks on the trail seemed to be backpackers) and then headed back via the trail that goes up to Black Tusk lookout (did a short must-do jaunt to get a view of the lake from up Black Tusk Meadows) before heading back through Taylor Meadows. The trail through Lesser Garibaldi Lake is a little tight and windy with tree roots (~1.5 mi) but the lake is beautiful (needless to say!) I think I preferred the return trail of Black Tusk and Taylor Meadows (beautiful foot bridges, wide open spaces, awe-inspiring views). 15.6mi 4300ft 5.5 hrs total time (30 min break at the lake for lunch, plenty of photo talking time). The descent may start to hurt your knees or hips so bring Advil/hiking poles ;) Enjoy!

hiking
9 months ago

I think this might have been the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I did this hike yesterday and it took about 5 hours round trip. The first 7km are a nice steady uphill climb but it is all worth it. The trail is well maintained and the trail head is easy to find. Go early if you plan on doing it just for the day so you have time to go around the lake.

hiking
9 months ago

Gradually ascending trail, good to go with friends
Nice view at the top and definitely recommend to camp a night to reach higher up!

hiking
9 months ago

Montée interminable dans les bois mais régulière sur un très bon sentier. La vue du lac récompense les efforts.
Il faudrait camper au bord du lac pour continuer le lendemain sur panorama ridge, ce que nous n'avons pas pu faire...

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful view, well worth the effort

10 months ago

Just hiked this today (8/21/2017). Probably the most beautiful hike I've done. The first 4km are challenging as it is completely inclined. after the fork to taylor meadows and garibaldi, it gets easier. if you choose to camp, just know that you have to hike 7km from the parking lot to the camp site. the lake is beautiful and the view points are unbeatable.

camping
10 months ago

One of my favourite lakes in the area! Definitely very busy during weekends and summer. The trail is not technical and gradual sloping for the first 6km, until you reach the barrier lookout (highly recommend this 100m detour). For the next 3km it's relatively flat and passes two lakes before reaching garibaldi lake. Cross the bridge and walk along the side of the water until you reach the camping cooking shelters and picnic tables along the trail beside the water. Gorgeous views and a perfect places for a cold swim and snacks.

10 months ago

Incredible and worth the hike up!

10 months ago

challenging hike up to the beautifully coloured lake. it was a but cloudy and overcast when I went but still spectacular. hiked a bit further up toward black tusk and was beautiful seeing the alpine meadows, the descent down the switchbacks seems never ending. .. but overall a great day hike.

11 months ago

Great trail...way too many humans to enjoy it. Drudgery on the way there but the lake would have made it worth it if it weren't for the masses of humans.

hiking
11 months ago

What a hike! The path is clean all the way. There are not too many delicate spots. Elevation is pretty serious but constant. Couple rewards with great viewpoints on the way, not only at the very end with this awesome blue water and the famous lake! This trail is a bit intense, it could have been rated between moderate and hard. This hike took me 2h45 on the way up and 1h55 on the way back after a 25min break at the lake. Elevation is lower than mentioned in the description, it is around 820m. Sticks can be useful for the way back. Have fun, this is beautiful!

hiking
11 months ago

Made a professional video of the hike here:

https://youtu.be/jw4iErL2siA
Please watch it and subscribe for more awesome videos of hikes and places in BC

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXI-tK0dnxQsxHG2T5F1D2w

Thanks!

trail running
11 months ago

Awesome trail! Really well marked.. get there early otherwise lots of people on the trail. I was there at 7am only a few people hiking up, only campers on the top.. incredible lake!!
Took me 2hrs 29min round trip.. 18km total

backpacking
11 months ago

Wow! I stayed at Garibaldi Lake Campground last night (July 6, 2017) and it was simply magnificent. Backpacking up Garibaldi Lake trail with a loaded pack was a challenge but due to a late start I tried my best to hustle (while still enjoying the scenery) and made it to camp in 3 hours. I was literally taken aback by the beauty of the lakes... oh and the fact the campground is still completely covered in snow. Luckily I managed to find a relatively snow free spot and set up my three season tent. It was a cold cold night but I was equipped with a pretty decent sleeping bag and a life saving insulated sleep pad. I loved having dinner and breakfast by the lake. I will hopefully make another trip in the future, spending more time in the area, and doing a day hike to Panorama Ridge and/or Black Tusk. Highly recommend!

hiking
11 months ago

Done this on July 4th, met a good amount of people on way up and down but no traffic. Gorgeous views of the lake, few snow patches on the last 2 kms and quite a lot of snow on top, but everything walkable with most types of shows. We expected low temperatures because of the snow but it was quite hot on top too.
Didn't camp up, but most people were setting tents on top of the snow, hard to find spots without snow near lake itself.
Took us 2hrs45mins on the way up taking few pauses and just over 2 hrs on the way down.

11 months ago

Great views, a bit of snow by the lake on July 1st anything higher than the lake has lots of snow!

hiking
11 months ago

An incredible hike, one well worth doing and spending a night or two at the lake. The trail itself is clear of snow pretty much up until the first lake (Barrier Lake) from there until Garibaldi Lake the trail is covered with snow but it's melting fast (so a fair bit of mud too).

Both Barrier Lake and Lesser Garibaldi Lake are ice free, however Garibaldi Lake is still cover in ice but it's melting fast and ice free in some parts (near the small foot bridge before the campsite).

The campsite itself is still very much under snow (a few feet in some areas) though it's melting fast. Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge were completed by a couple of people we met but it didn't sound like the conditions were that good.

hiking
Thursday, June 01, 2017

[ May 29, 2017 ] The trail was snow-free from the Rubble Creek parking lot up to about 80% through the switchbacks. This portion of the trail was littered with post-winter obstacles including fallen trees, scattered foliage, stream runoffs and an actual waterfall crossing. None of the obstacles are impassable, though the waterfall crossing is a tad tricky if you want to keep your feet dry (tip: trekking poles come in handy here to help balance across the scattered rocks!). The trail is snow-covered from the lava dam viewpoint through to Garibaldi Lake. The barrier viewpoint is a quick detour and should not be missed - it's an impressive geological feature (read up about it on Wikipedia!). While snow-covered, the trail is generally navigable thanks to the packed-down path created by fellow hikers of yore. The trail around Barrier Lake is easily missed - the true trail lies just inside the tree line, though a well-trodden path is also present that eventually leads into the lake (careful!). Lesser Garibaldi Lake was not visible from the trail. The rolling topology combined with the snow will keep you vigilant of your footing, least you slip and slide in goofy fashion. Snow cleats or snow shoes will come in handy, though it's doable with good hiking shoes too. Trekking poles are of limited use as they tend to travel deep into the snow pack (thus losing the leverage). Then the moment arrives when you crest the final hill and the lake comes into view... words simply can't describe it. Many people stop at the bridge crossing, but I recommend making the additional short jaunt to the end of the inlet where you'll be rewarded with an expansive view of the lake, the surrounding peaks and the almighty Sphinx glacier. The snow around the lake is soft from the direct sun and you'll suddenly appreciate all that shade the forest provided en route to the lake. The lake itself is completely snow-covered at this time.

Strava stats: 3,503 feet elevation gain / 11.6 miles RT / 4:45 moving

hiking
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Did the whole trail in late May. First 3 km were dry and nice, but then, the trail slowly got covered in icey snow. Last 3 km we had 2 meters of compact snow and we were ill prepared. Be sure to take ice grips if you plan to hike this in May or June. BTW, lake garibaldi itself was covered in snow completely :(

hiking
Sunday, February 26, 2017

I'm not sure how they came up with a moderate rating for this trail, but it kicked my butt!
I did elevation training for 6 months before we went on our pacific NW trip, and thought I was in decent shape, but apparently not!
The first & last 5 miles were grueling switchbacks through dense trees. But upon arriving at Lake Garibaldi, I promptly forgot the pain!
I very much enjoyed making friends with the locals- chipmunks & whiskey jacks & they enjoyed lightening our load of trail mix & granola (shhhh don't tell on me! ;)
The scenery was beautiful beyond words- it needs to be experienced.
Even though it took 4 days to recover & tackle Mt Rainer, it was worth every painful step, and I would go back in a heartbeat!

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