The hike to Panorama Ridge will bring you up through the lush forests to beautiful alpine meadows, then followed by a stunning ridge with views you won't forget. This is a long day trail, however, and is often done as a backpack trip.
Drive south from Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway for 25.0km. Turn left onto Daisy Lake Rd. with a sign for the Black Tusk turn-off for Garibaldi Provincial Park. This narrow road leads up nearly 3.0km to the trailhead. Get here early!
|When to do|
June through September
Trailhead & Backcountry campgrounds
Out and back
The first 7.0km of the trail to Panorama Ridge is a steady climb through the forest. This wide, extremely well marked path gains nearly 1000m, with switchbacks all the way up. You will approach a junction, showing the Taylor Meadows campground to the left and 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 to Panorama Ridge remains quite level for several kilometers.
Hang a left at the junction just following the campground, in the direction towards Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge. 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!
After crossing over the meadows you will reach another junction. Here you could turn left to go down to Helm Creek, however you should turn right up to Panorama Ridge. You can look down this valley all the way to Whistler Mountain and the start of the Spearhead Range.
Turning right, the second part of the ascent begins. As you’re climbing up the rocky Panorama Ridge, good balance will be imperative and some scrambling may be required depending on your route. As you climb look across the valley, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous views of Black Tusk and Helm Lake, which lies beneath it. Climbing up the ridge, veer right and savor your first view down to the stunning Garibaldi Lake.
Getting to the top is an aerobic experience, however the views are well worth it. On the other side of the beautiful, turquoise Garibaldi Lake you can see Clinker Peak and Mount Price. The Sphinx Glacier sticks out like a sore thumb, lying across numerous peaks. Deception Peak, Mount Car, Phyllis’s Engine and Castle Towers Mountain all are visible to the left of Garibaldi Lake. Other peaks loom in the distance – there are just too many to count.
Return the way you came, taking care on the rocky slopes of Panorama Ridge.
There is a small glacier right beside Panorama Ridge with some evident marks from people sliding down. We slid down partway, speeding up the decent. Watch out! Stop before the slope increases and sheer ice becomes visible! Returning to the trail can be very difficult, so only slide down if you are experienced and very cautious.
This is a long day trip. We love doing it as a mid-week backpacking trip based at Taylor Meadows Campground, as it's hard to book on weekends, but reservations are much easier during the week. From Taylor Meadows we can visit Black Tusk, Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge.
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!
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