Garibaldi Lake Hike

A few summers ago, Drew and I visited Whistler and had an amazing time. We love hiking and have always had great luck in Canada, so we were eager to squeeze in a few hikes.

Earlier in the trip we hiked the Joffre Lakes trail and visited Nairn Falls. We had seen beautiful pictures of Garibaldi Lake, so we were excited to check it out ourselves.

Unfortunately, we were not fans of this hike. This is a 13.5 mile round trip hike with the majority of the hike to the lake completely uphill on switchbacks without a view to motivate you. At times we considered turning back, but eventually we made it to the top – and the payoff: Garibaldi Lake. And though the lake was stunning, we agreed that it wasn’t worth the hike. We have seen lakes just as beautiful without having to walk 6-7 miles straight uphill.

Recently, we had friends who were visiting the Whistler area and we advised them to skip this hike and visit Joffre Lakes instead. Ultimately, they decided to do Garibaldi Lake…and regretted it. They never made it to the lake – they turned around because they found it to be too challenging.

So I am saying to you: skip Garibaldi Lake. There are tons of pretty glacier-fed lakes in British Columbia and though Garibaldi Lake is beautiful, it’s ultimately not worth the effort. If you decide to disregard this, be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and bear spray – good luck!

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