Friday, 1 January 2016

Garibaldi Provincial Park Part 2

You can read about our first two days in the park here.

It got very cold on our final night in Garibaldi Park, and I definitely felt like my zero-degree bag was not adequate.  I also regretted not having a hoodie, or any kind of insulating layer to wear.  I didn’t sleep that well because of the cold, and soon it was time to get up and start up Panorama Ridge.

The hike to the junction where the Panorama Ridge trail took off was the same as the hike the day before.  For some reason, it seemed to go by more quickly the second time.  Once we got on the Panorama Ridge trail, we began to gain elevation very slowly.  The trail wasn’t nearly as steep as the trails we had hiked the last two days.  We didn’t stop to take as many breaks as we had been on the trip, and soon we were at the base of Panorama Ridge, starting the real climb.

The trail quickly became quite steep, and once again we were taking breaks very frequently.  As we got higher and higher, we began to get some nice views.  We got a really nice view of Black Tusk.  It was interesting to see what we had hiked the day before from a different angle.

Black Tusk

We continued climbing.  A number of times, I thought we were at the top, when the top actually loomed ahead.  I began getting winded more and more quickly, but eventually we made it to the Panorama Ridge viewpoint.

The view was absolutely stunning.  Garibaldi Lake, seeming larger than should have been possible, dominated our view, surrounded by the snow-capped mountains of the Garibaldi Range.  The colour of the lake was unbelievable, and this view showed it off.  We stopped for quite a while, taking a number of pictures and making sure to sign the trail register.

We didn’t expect to see anyone, given that we had started at 4:30 a.m., but we did end up seeing another hiker at the viewpoint.  He actually hiked from the parking lot that morning and was planning on doing Black Tusk and hiking out that same day.  It kind of put us to shame.


We proceeded down the trail, back to our campsite at Taylor Meadows.  We packed up our tents and had lunch, and got ready for the descent to the parking lot.

Hiking down the trail to the parking lot trail went more quickly than going up, but we did find that it was very hard on the legs.  Much as when we climbed up it, we started taking more and more breaks as we went along, until we were stopping every few minutes.  We eventually got back down to the parking lot, and to our amusement, the sign was still up saying the campgrounds were full (and the Taylor Meadows one was definitely not full when we left).

We drove to Squamish and checked into a decent hotel.  We got cleaned up and rested, and the next day we drove back to Princeton.  My first experience with Garibaldi Park was definitely a memorable one.  I know that it will not be my last experience in the park.  It was easily one of the most spectacular places I have ever been, rivaling some of the best national parks I’ve been to.