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Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Lower Mainland : Sea to Sky : Garibaldi Provincial Park
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Wedgemount Lake - one of many beautiful spots in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Provincial Park [1] is a large wilderness park in the Sea to Sky region of British Columbia. With its snow-capped mountains, alpine meadows and glacier fed lakes, it is considered to have some of the most scenic hikes in the province, as well as offering many other opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.


History[edit]

The park's name is in reference to it's highest peak (2,678 meter peak), Mount Garibaldi. In 1860 Captain George Henry named the mountain after the widely revered general Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian general and politician. Soon after in the early 1900's, Lake Garibaldi was named and by the 1920's the area was officially turned into a nature preserve.

Landscape[edit]

This vast preserve spans over 753 square miles and offers a varied landscape of forests, meadows, and rocky glacial peaks. Many of the mountains were created by volcanic activity. The lava flow from Clinker peak put in place a natural dam creating Lake Garibaldi.

Flora and fauna[edit]

Many types of plants can be observed all year round, but for the best views pick the warmer months. When the ice begins to melt, flowers such as the glacier lilly, western pasque flower and western anemone start to bloom. Each meadow has a unique dominant flower, some filled with flowers such as heather either, Lupins, sitka valerian and asters.

Animal encounters are frequent at the park. The most common animal encountered would be the sometimes overly aggressive Gray Jays aka. "Whiskey Jacks" During an average hike, many types of birds, reptiles and small mammals can be seen. Rare animal sightings include mountain goats, black bears, grizzly bears, deer,

Climate[edit]

The parks climate ranges from a chilling -2 average in the months of January and December to a pleasant 20c during July and August.

Get in[edit]

The park is accessed from five trailheads off Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Highway) between Squamish and Pemberton.

Fees/Permits[edit]

To enjoy many of the activities at the preserve, you'll need to make sure you pay the proper fee's ahead of time. Activities such as fishing may require additional permits from the parks and recreation department. Fees and permits can be found on the Website

Get around[edit]

The most popular and sometimes the only allowed way is by foot. Motorized vehicles including ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and trail bikes are allowed in the parking lot and on park roads.

Do[edit][add listing]

Garibaldi Lake
Perfect place for skiing

Canoeing:

Canoeing and Kayaking is allows on Cheakamus Lake only.

Hiking:

Garibaldi Park offers hiking (56 miles worth) for all experience levels. The most popular trails are well marked but can be challenging, long and at high altitudes. Some Hikes, such as Elfin Lakes, can last as short as 8-10 hours round trip to multiday camping expeditions to places like Black Tusk, or Panorama Ridge.

The five main recreation areas are located at the western end of the park.:

  • Black Tusk
  • Cheakamus Lake
  • Diamond Head
  • Singing Pass
  • Wedgemount Lake

Fishing:

Garibaldi Lake is ice free approximately 4 months out of the years. During this time the lake is a prime spot to catch rainbow trout. Because of the depth of the lake, it's best to fish the shoreline around the western end. A fishing license is required.

Skiing:

The winder months transform the area into pure, snow covered landscape. The frozen Lake Garibaldi offers cross country skiing terrain, while the adventurous can see if they can handle Atwell Peak.

Rock Climbing:

Guidebooks are provided for all climbable peaks in the area. The Black Tusk peak is not recommended as the loose rock poses a great danger.

Swimming:

While it is allowed the swim in the lakes, there are no life guards and since they are glacier fed, are extremely cold.

For Kids:

Playgrounds have been made available in the recreation areas.

Eat[edit][add listing]

You eat what you bring so pack prepared and be sure to dispose of garbage in the proper provided locations. Campfires are not allowed so a gas camp stove will need to be used.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Water is provided by the lakes. You must filter and boil all water before consuming. All cleaning of supplies and personal sanitation must be 30 feet away from a water source.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

The only accomodation within the park is backcountry huts and camping. Hotels and similar accomodation are available in the nearby towns of Squamish and Whistler.


Backcountry Huts[edit]

The main shelter area is located at the Elfin Lakes area. The area provides 33 bunks, propane access, picnic tables, water and toilets.

Wedgemount Lake has a 6 person hut and 10 tent pad areas.

Russet Lake has only a 6 person hut.


Stay safe[edit]

It's important to plan your visit carefully and to be sure you have all the supplies necessary for the situations you expect to face. Once at the site, read all rules and regulations as they are set to ensure your visit is a safe and enjoyable. Even if you are going for just a half a day, don't think you can get away with just shorts and flip flops.

Get out[edit]

If you are looking for more alpine terrain, head to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park north of Pemberton.



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