Panoramic views from the Black Tusk hike in Whistler, British Columbia
Panoramic views from the Black Tusk hike in Whistler, British Columbia

Black Tusk Hike

Whistler
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Forest at Black Tusk Hike in WhistlerBlack Tusk Hike in Whistler has amazing mountain panoramasMountains at Black Tusk Hike in WhistlerMan hiking at Black Tusk Hike in WhistlerHiking trail at Black Tusk Hike in Whistler rewards with amazing sceneryHiking trail at Black Tusk Hike in WhistlerBlack Tusk Hike in Whistler

Black Tusk Hike

Distance: 16.2mi
Elevation: 4,570ft
Time: 8.5-12h

Difficulty Rating:

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9.9 Overall Rating
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The trail up to the base of Black Tusk takes you to an iconic mountain in the Whistler region. The hike is a long one, but rewarding, with incredible views into Garibaldi Provincial Park and down to Garibaldi Lake.

Black Tusk Map

Getting there

To get to the Black Tusk trailhead, drive south along the Sea to Sky Highway for 15.5mi. Turn left onto Daisy Lake Road, with a sign for the Black Tusk turnoff for Garibaldi Provincial Park. This narrow road leads up nearly 1.9mi to the trailhead. There is limited parking, especially on weekends. Cars can be backed up nearly all the way down this road, so make sure you get here early!

I’ve done this 65 people have done this
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About

When to do

June through September

Backcountry Campsites

Taylor Lake

Toilets

Trailhead & Backcountry campgrounds

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

Moderate

Route Type

Out and back


Black Tusk Hike
Elevation Graph


Black Tusk Hike Route Description

The first 4.3mi of the Black Tusk hike is a climb through the forest. This wide, extremely well-marked path gains nearly 3281ft, passing along a series of switchbacks all the way up. You will approach a junction, showing the Taylor Meadows campground to the left and the trail to the Garibaldi Lake campground to the right. We advise going through the Taylor Meadows campground, as the grassy meadows yield fantastic views up to Black Tusk. From here on out the trail remains quite level for several kilometers.

Hang a left at all the next junctions and follow the signs towards Black Tusk. You will meander through a stunning alpine meadow, with views over to Panorama Ridge, a gurgling stream, and lush wildflowers. Trees are scattered, so remember the sunscreen!

You will reach a junction that takes you left towards Black Tusk. Now the second climb begins. This trail quickly leaves all trees behind as it climbs up towards the famous and beautiful Black Tusk Mountain. You will be granted fantastic views across the grassy plain to Panorama Ridge and Garibaldi Lake (other hikes in the region). In the distance behind them are the famously beautiful Coast Mountains, with the huge Sphinx Glacier sitting placidly on top.

Soon you will reach a sign that marks the end of the official trail. From here there will be awesome views. Some people climb to the Black Tusk Summit, however that is extremely dangerous. Loose rock and difficult climbing make it inadvisable. You can continue a short way up to get closer to the tusk, however the views of Garibaldi Park remain primarily the same.

Take extreme care returning as the trail is very steep and you will be very tired.

Hiking Trail Highlights

Black Tusk Mountain

Black Tusk Mountain, so named for the tower of volcanic rock that marks its summit, is one of the most iconic peaks in Garibaldi Provincial Park. With its dramatic, distinctive outline, the Black Tusk dominates the skyline from the Sea to Sky Highway and the region around Whistler. For the indigenous Squamish people, the mountain is known as the ‘Landing Place of the Thunderbird’, and was originally formed by the lighting strike of this legendary beast. This dark peak has long exercised a powerful hold over the imaginations of all who walk in its shadow.

The mountain is part of the remnants of an extinct stratovolcano which formed more than 1.1 million years ago. It supports two large glaciers, but these are largely covered in fallen rock from the crumbling summit. This spectacular mountain is an extremely popular destination for hikers and adventure seekers, offering breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape, taking in the magnificent still waters of Garibaldi Lake and the dominant outline of Panorama Ridge.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Black Tusk

How long does it take to hike Black Tusk?

The full hike from the Black Tusk trailhead is a long one, and is likely to take most hikers between 9 and 12 hours. This is a full day hike and you’ll need to be fit to complete the full loop. However, it can be broken into a shorter backpacking trip with an overnight stay at Taylor Meadows campground.

Can you hike Black Tusk in a day?

It is definitely possible to hike to Black Tusk in a day, but at 26km, it’s a long, strenuous day hike. Make sure to start early and leave the summit with plenty of time to return to the trailhead. If you’re looking for a more relaxed hike, split the route over two days and stay the night at the beautiful Taylor Meadows.

Want to find more amazing hikes around Whistler? Check out the Wedgemount Lake hike.

Insider Hints

  • Do not be convinced by others to climb the tusk – it's dangerous and should only be attempted by experienced climbers with suitable equipment.

  • A great option is to backpack and camp at Taylor Meadows. This lets you hike on a 2-day trip or extend a few days and also see Panorama Ridge and Garibaldi Lake.

Comments

Meighan 1 year ago

Absolutely amazing hike. Wouldn’t recommend for beginners as the end is very unstable due to a lot of rubble.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Heidon 1 year ago

Worth the challenge. Black tusk mountain is really adorable, get in shape and try this great trail.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Rowan Sanders 1 year ago

Wow - stunning hike. From the forested ascent to the alpine meadow to the exposed trek along the final ridge to the tusk. Excellent walk with some breathtaking views.

10.0 Overall Rating
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matsuomako 1 year ago

It was way more beautiful than i ever imagined! The scenery was dream-like!

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Tara Green 1 year ago

Such a scenic hike, you are constantly surrounded by beautiful views

10.0 Overall Rating
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11h 30m Time Taken
Irene Hervs 2 years ago

I did this hike 2 days ago, I did panorama ridge a few weeks back and thought that would be a pretty hard view to beat, until I went to black tusk, did it in less than 9h including the 40min break we had at the top for lunch. Be aware of the mosquitoes, there is a lot and very aggressive

10.0 Overall Rating
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8h 40m Time Taken
LEila 2 years ago

the black tusk hike was really strenuous for my level. The views are spectacular. But I had to rest for a day after that.

10.0 Overall Rating
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Kalebhg 2 years ago

You know what!? Seeing views like this one is the reason why I keep on hiking! I'm so addicted to it.

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MountainPhoenix 2 years ago

Black Tusk hike was really hard and challenging, but the landscape here, the views, nature... breathtaking.

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Robert Carlson 3 years ago

The Black Tusk hike was yet another great strenuous trail I've done in Whistler. It's a perfect location for advanced level hikers who love a challenge.

10.0 Overall Rating
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15 Comments Show all

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