Garibaldi Provincial Park is a mountainous wonderland set between the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Its panorama — carved by glaciers shaped by volcanic action — is dotted with snow-capped mountains and blue lakes, providing some of the most beautiful camping and hiking in the province. If you want to explore some of British Columbia’s landscape, Garibaldi has a lot to offer.
How to reach Garibaldi Provincial Park?
The park has five entrance points off Hwy 99 (Black Tusk/Garibaldi Laki, Cheakamus Lake, Diamond Head, Wedgemount Lake, and Singing Pass). These paths lie east and north of Squamish. From Vancouver, it will be a one- or two-hour drive to enter the park, depending on which entry point you go to.
There are no fees for day use of the place. However, a small fee is required to stay in one of the huts overnight or camp.
Things to do at Garibaldi Provincial Park:
- Hiking trails crossing snowcapped mountains are unmissable.
- Snowshoeing/Cross-country skiing in winter is a must.
- Kayak or Canoe in Cheakamus Lake.
- Climbing – there are numerous granite climbing locations.
- Biking is restricted to two areas: Cheakamus Lake (as far as Singing Creek), Diamond Head (as far as Elfin Lakes)
- Swimming in the lakes, although it is freezing but rewarding.
My Camping experience at Garibaldi Park in Canada
We attempted this adventurous hike last year in August. Packed with tour groups, families, people, it felt like a one-big party.
At the intersection where the path continues to the lake or heads left to Taylor Flats, a sad sign was posted asserting that the lake campsites were completely full. We didn’t want to take any chance and headed to the flat.
What a fantastic decision that was! The flats are beautiful, streams running through, subalpine flowers blooming, and platform campsites that keep your tent off the ground in wet weather.
There is a retreat here and cables for fixing your food supply. We chose a beautiful spot with the creek rushing just down from our site.
It was about a 2 km trek from here to the lake, and if you’ve never been to the gorgerous Lake Garibaldi, it’s well worth the trip. The lake is the most greenish-blue color surrounded by large lava rock formations and snow-covered peaks. The water is icecap cold, but we succeeded in getting in and talk about refreshing!
Fishing can be great depending on what you are using; we weren’t using the right bait as the water was so clear you could see tonnes of fish swimming around your bait instead of snacking on it.
Kids on the trail? Can they do it? We saw so many kids doing this, some for the day, some like ours with small packs on their backs. The youngest child we saw there was nine years old, and she enjoyed it! I was shocked by how petite she was and how she and her 11-year-old brother hiked like it was an ordinary day.
Water source: I was pretty shocked by the number of day-hikers who thought there would be a freshwater tap up at the lake. I was pumping water through our water-filter into bottles and ended up volunteering to pump water for few who wanted it to get back down. You need to bring a water filtration system with you. We use a great pump, there are drops you can use, we only bring them with us as a backup,.
Garbage: Take what you throw. That’s the rule; it’s a general hiking/camping etiquette tip too. Make sure you’ve brought a Ziploc bag or something you can put your garbage into, mainly if you’re staying overnight.
You can do several hikes once you get here, and most families use this stop as their first base and go on day hikes from here.
We chose to take it easy and carefully hike between the lake and the flats and enjoy for this two nighter with one of our neighbor’s kid with us. Fishing and reading while enjoying the lava rocks were heavenly.
I will admit to some sleet, heavy rainfall, and a big lightening and thunder storm on our first night. You never know how the climate will change when you are in the hills, so be prepared.
I highly endorse this camp for either a day hike or camping for a night or two. Leave early if you’re going up on Fridays. Ensure you are prepared.