Panorama Ridge Hike
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The Panorama Ridge hike will bring you up through lush forests to beautiful alpine meadows, followed by a stunning ridge with views you won't forget. This is a long day trail, but it can be easily broken up as a backpacking trip.
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Route Description for Panorama Ridge Hike
The first 7.0 km of the Panorama Ridge hike is a steady climb through the forest. This wide, extremely well marked path gains nearly 1,000 m, 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 of 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 is imperative and some scrambling may be required depending on your route. As you climb, look across the valley and 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 are all 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.
Hiking Trail Highlights
Panorama Ridge is one of the standout natural features of Garibaldi Provincial Park, offering simply jaw-dropping views over the surrounding landscape. The ridge itself stretches for 1.5km, before dropping down to the expansive Garibaldi Meadows. From the top, you’ll have a remarkable view of Garibaldi Lake, a beautiful turquoise alpine lake. In addition to the peaks mentioned above, you’ll also be able to see the Table, an unusual flat-top mountain that sits in front of Mount Garibaldi itself, and the huge glacier at the end of the lake.
The Panorama Ridge area is a haven for wildlife, particularly black bears and hoary marmots! Although the bears are shy and generally avoid human contact, you are likely to catch sight of a marmot or two, either whistling to their fellow creatures or sunbathing on the rocks.
Taylor Meadows Campground
Taylor Meadows campground is a good option for those who want to break up this long trail into a two-day backpacking trip. The campground is situated in a pretty forest close to the gorgeous, flower-studded Taylor Meadows, with stunning views over Black Tusk. Although the Garibaldi Lake campground is arguably more popular due to its proximity to the refreshing waters of the lake, Taylor Meadows offers a peaceful place to stay, away from the crowds.
You’ll have fresh water from the glacial stream that runs through the campground, a food storage and preparation hut, and a nearby ranger cabin in case you need any assistance. There are 40 camping spots throughout the site, which are spaced out so you won’t feel too crowded, even in the busy season! Make sure to reserve and pay online in advance on the BC Parks website.
Insider Hints for Panorama Ridge Hike
- 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!
Getting to the Panorama Ridge Hike Trailhead
To get to the Panorama Ridge trailhead, drive south from Whistler along the Sea to Sky Highway for 25.0 km. Turn left onto Daisy Lake Road, following a sign for the Black Tusk turn-off for Garibaldi Provincial Park. This narrow road leads up nearly 3.0 km to the trailhead. Get here early!
Panorama Ridge Hike Elevation Graph
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Panorama Ridge Hike Reviews
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