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July Hiking in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park

Whistler & Garibaldi Provincial Park in July                 Hiking Whistler By Month

Average low and high valley temps in Whistler in July range from 11c to 27c (52f/80f)

Black Tusk hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Whistler BCJuly in Whistler is when the snow on the higher elevations finally melt enough to hike all the trails without worrying about snowshoes.  Take a look at this summary list of the best 5 hikes in and around Whistler.  These include Black Tusk, one of the most incredible hikes in Whistler, and a Whistler icon.  Though a long hike, 15k roundtrip, the breathtaking and scary final ascent, makes the summit view even more memorable.  You will see Black Tusk as you approach Whistler, about 30 minutes south on the Sea to Sky Highway.  Hard to believe, but you can actually get to the summit of this absurdly vertical rock, and without special equipment or skill.  Black Tusk is the amazing pinnacle of volcanic rock visible for hundreds of Taylor Meadows in Garibaldi Provincial Park Whistler BCkilometres and located near the centre of Garibaldi ParkBlack Tusk, along with the Chief in Squamish are the most astoundingly noticeable peaks in the Garibaldi Range.  170,000 years ago the Black Tusk was created when a lava dome formed within a million year old, volcanic cinder cone.  The cinder cone is crumbling away, revealing the starkly black, hardened lava dome within.  Looking at the Black Tusk from a distance, two things seem incredible.  First, that such an unusual thing formed, and second that there is a trail that takes you to its peak.  With a little sketchy and dangerous, though non technical climbing, you can get to the top of BlackGaribaldi Lake hiking in Whistler BC Tusk.  It is a fairly long dayhike as you cover 30k on the roundtrip hike.  There are three very nice campgrounds in the area allowing for a beautiful, multi-day hiking trip to the area.  Helm Creek one one side of Black Tusk and Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake campgrounds on the other side provide dozens of beautiful places to put up a tent.  The final ascent of Black Tusk is a bit scary and dangerous so be prepared.  You have to climb a narrow, steep and crumbly chute up about 10 metres to reach the top.  Quite a few people don't climb this last part and instead just take in the extraordinary views from the base.  Either way, Black Tusk is unquestionably one of the best of the best hikes in the Whistler area and in Garibaldi Park.

Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park, WhistlerWedgemount Lake is another Whistler hiking marvel.  Just 7k to the unbelievable Wedgemount Lake which leads to easy access to the impressive Wedgemount Glacier, and several amazing mountain hikes beyond.  Wedgemount Lake has a beautiful, and free to use little hut if you don't want to tent or sleep under the stars as many do on perfect July nights.  The trail to Wedgemount Lake is very steep as you climb 1220 metres in just 7 kilometres!  The trail is fairly uneventful as you climb through deep forest.  Wedgemount Lake sits in a massive valley surrounded by abrupt and rocky peaks.  The terrain is dominated by the colour grey.  Grey rocks and massive grey erratics are scattered everywhere.  The Wedgemount Hut sits amongst a pile of truck sized erratics, adding to the brutal attraction of this wonderful corner of Garibaldi Provincial Park in Whistler.

Russet Lake and Singing Pass Trail in WhistlerRusset Lake, in Garibaldi Park is the wonderfully expansive hiking area located just a few spectacular kilometres from Whistler.  Among the various ways to reach Russet Lake, possibly the most impressive are the approaches from either the Musical Bumps Trail or the High Note Trail.  Both begin from high up on Whistler Mountain.  Musical Bumps starts near the Roundhouse on Whistler and the High Note Trail begins at the top of Whistler near the Peak Chair.  Though Russet Lake is not terribly impressive in terms of size or colour, the valley around it is remarkably beautiful.  The colours change from moment to moment in and extraordinary way.  The distinctive colour of the Fissile and the stark grey of the mountains around contrast amazingly with the blue of the lake and green grass in the valley.  So many different factors fill the place with colour.  In July, the trail finally becomes clear of snow with just lingering patches disappearing in mid July.

Cirque Lake hiking trail near Whistler BCCirque Lake in the Callaghan Valley (30 minutes south of Whistler Village), finally becomes hike-able in July, though via a canoe trip across the Callaghan Lake.  Located well off the radar in the Callaghan Valley, Cirque is a tough, very steep, though short hike to an extraordinarily beautiful cirque lake, high above Callaghan Lake.  A cirque lake is formed out of a few interesting, alpine occurrences, combining.  To form a cirque lake, a glacier must be a combination of size, a certain slope and more unexpectedly, a certain angle away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere, this means the glacier must be on the northeast slope of the mountain, away from the suns rays and the prevailing winds. Thick snow, protected in this way, grows thicker into glacial ice, then a process of freeze-thaw called Callaghan Lake Provincial Park near Whistler BCnivation, chews at the lower rocks, hollowing out a deep basin. Eventually a magnificently circular lake is formed with steep sloping sides all around.  Cirque Lake is a wonderful example of this interesting glacier formed world in the mountains.  Largely sheltered from the wind, your campsite at Cirque Lake will be spectacularly serene, and the lake before you, incredible.

Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Whistler BCPanorama Ridge, an unbelievable 30k roundtrip hike that passes the flower filled Taylor Meadows Campground, Black Tusk and beautifully turquoise Garibaldi Lake and of course best done via these other sights over 2-4 days.  Panorama Ridge is beautiful and challenging hike and the views from the ridge are unbelievable.  Panorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Park.  The 15 kilometre hike from the trailhead at Rubble Creek to Panorama Ridge takes you through beautiful and deep forests, across countless idyllic streams, through meadows filled with flowers, and past dozens of jaw dropping viewpoints.  The amazing views start once you reach Taylor Meadows and get even more spectacular as the trail progresses.

Joffre Lakes hiking trail near Whistler BCJoffre Lakes is one of the most beautiful lakes you are likely to ever see.  There are three lakes and they get progressively more beautiful.  By the third lake the intense blue is breathtaking.  The mighty Matier Glacier rises above the third lake, making the experience even more spectacular.  The trail is rough and tricky in some parts, but not terribly difficult.  The trail is 5k to the third lake so give yourself 1.5 - 2 hours(one way).  Lots of trail construction work happened in 2013 and even a new section of trail was built just before the third(Upper Joffre) lake. The third Joffre Lake ends in a U-shaped valley where you will find the far side of the lake towering with glaciers relentlessly crushing down on the lake.  The sun fills the valley and the silence is wonderful.  July brings quite a number of hikers and campers as well as the occasional tour bus.  This is a testament to the beauty of the park, but also a warning that if you are looking for tranquility in July, you may have to venture beyond the third Joffre Lake or just simply avoid weekend hiking.

Brandywine Meadows Hiking Trail in WhistlerBrandywine Meadows is a nice hike in a massive flower filled valley high up in the Callaghan Valley.  Located 40 minutes south of Whistler, this tough and sometimes muddy trail gains a huge 550 metres of elevation in just 3k (trailhead to valley).  The trailhead is tricky to find and involves a fairly long gravel road journey that is passable without a 4x4, but barely.  Not that the road is potholed, which it is, but that it is at times very steep and strewn with loose boulders.  Brandywine Meadows is used mainly for snowmobiling in the winter months and the bumpy ex-logging road to the trailhead is in poor condition in the summer.  The hike is consistently very steep for the first two kilometres.  It is at times scenic though, despite being in very deep forest.  The trail runs parallel to Brandywine Creek, which is steeply flowing, very loud and quite beautiful at various vantage points.  After two kilometres on the Brandywine Meadows trail, the elevation gain levels off and you catch several alpine mountain peaks through the trees.  And finally reaching the meadows, the amazing valley stretches into the distance, ending at the formidable mountains.  This hike is best done in early July as you tend to avoid the onslaught of mosquitoes that the area is rife with later in the summer months.  Early July and September keep you relatively safe from the swarms, though not entirely!

Ring and Conflict Lake near Whistler BCThe trailhead to Ring and Conflict Lakes is very close to the Callaghan Lake Provincial Park campsite.  From the campsite, drive a couple hundred metres as if returning to Whistler and you will see a clearing on the right and a very well worn trail.  From this trail you will see plenty of signs to guide you first to Conflict Lake in 5k, then Ring Lake, another 5k past Conflict.  The 5k hike to Conflict Lake is quite relaxed and easy as you don't gain any significant elevation.  Ring Lake is a fantastically beautiful and wonderfully remote lake similar to Cirque Lake but considerably farther to hike to reach it.  The 10k hike takes you through a beautiful forest of cedars then to a spectacular meadow filled with ponds and ringed with distant, enormous mountains.  5k into the hike you come to Conflict Lake with trails running around it.

Brew Lake Hiking Trail near Whistler BCBrew Lake is beautiful mountain lake just a short drive south of Whistler and is relatively unknown and seldom hiked.  In July you will find patches of snow on the trail and often lots of snow at the lake.  By mid to late July you should find Brew Lake a wonderfully warm place to visit.  The lake lays in a massive alpine valley of enormous erratics scattered around and in the lake.  On first seeing Brew Lake it looks serene, yet wild and hostile.  The lake is surrounded on one side by idyllic tree covered hills and lakeside cliffs and on the other side a brutal looking wasteland of huge boulders sloping up from the lake to the skyline.  Hiking into this wasteland of erratics reveals an amazing paradise of small, island forests, cute streams and endless worlds within worlds to explore.  You find yourself wandering along like a kid mesmerized at what you Brew Lake's Crystal Clear Waterwill find next.  Brew Lake itself doesn't come close in wow factor to the postcard-perfect alpine lakes such as Wedgemount Lake, Joffre Lakes, Cheakamus Lake or Garibaldi Lake, but I does beat these lakes in other aspects.  Because Brew Lake is outside of Garibaldi Park few people have heard of it.  More often than not you will have both the lake and entire valley to yourself.  An increasingly rare occurrence elsewhere that gives the place a quiet calm and that strange and satisfying feeling that there are no other humans for quite some distance.  You have that exhilarating wilderness feeling that sometimes gets lost on other Whistler area hikes when you start the trail from a parking lot packed with cars.  The fact that the Brew Lake trail doesn't have a parking lot or proper trailhead actually makes it more mysterious, adventurous and in some ways more fun.

Parks and Walking Trails in Whistler                                   Whistler Hiking in July

Wayside Park on Alta Lake in WhistlerWayside Park in Whistler is one of several idyllic parks on Alta Lake.  Rainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Blueberry Park are also along the shore of this huge lake that cover much of the valley edged by Whistler Village.  These four parks, all on Whistler's beautiful Valley Trail system, ensure that you are never far from one of several amazing vantage points over Alta Lake.  Wayside Park sits near the bottom end of Alta Lake and at just 3 kilometres from Whistler Village is just an hours walk or 10 minute bike ride away.  The Valley Trail is a huge spider web network of paved walking/biking/running Rainbow Park on Alta Lake in Whistler BCtrails that connect Whistler Village to dozens of beautiful parks and sights.  Over 40 kilometres of trails throughout Whistler, with directions at every junction make the Valley Trail much more than just a transportation network.  It's an interpretive tour of the area, where you can wander on foot or by bike and use the signs at each junction to choose your route.  Wayside Park is one of several beautiful beach parks in Whistler on the Valley Trail.  You can reach all these parks by car or better yet you set out on foot or by bike from Whistler Village.  Lost Lake is a tranquil and secluded lake in the forest that Lost Lake Park and Beach in Whistlerextends from Whistler Village.  Just a 20 minute, leisurely walk or 5 minute bike ride along the well signed Valley Trail will lead you to this beautiful little lake.  The wide and paved Valley Trail turns into a wide and gravel trail as you enter Lost Lake Park.  The main trail around the lake is a popular running route from Whistler Village as roundtrip from the Village, around Lost Lake and back to the Village in just 6 kilometres.  There are plenty of nice viewpoints along the main trail as well as quite a few short trails that lead to several access points to the lake, some with great places to sit and relax in the sun and take in Blueberry Park in Whistlerthe view.  Lost Lake has a very popular beach at one end and in the height of summer can get busy as it is the most convenient beach from Whistler Village.  Blueberry Park is a very scenic and somewhat hidden park on Alta Lake just two kilometres from Whistler Village.  If you have been to Rainbow Park you would have noticed three piers across Alta Lake surrounded by forest.  These public piers sit at the edge of Blueberry Park, with the Blueberry Trail running from one side of the forest to the other.  The park covers most of the hill beyond these piers and stretches between and connects the neighbourhoods of Whistler Cay and Alta Vista(see map below).  The beautiful, deep Lakeside Park on the Valley Trail in Whistlerforest trail runs from the shores of Alta Lake in Alta Vista, up and across Blueberry Hill and descends again to reach Whistler Cay.  Along the trail there are several beautiful viewpoints of Alta Lake in the foreground and the enormous Mount Sproatt beyond.  Lakeside Park at Alta Lake in Whistler is a beautiful beach park just a short distance from Whistler Village.  Located on the Valley Trail, it is just 2 kilometres or a 30 minute walk, or 10 minute bike ride away.  Similar to Rainbow Park across the lake, Lakeside has a concession stand for food and drinks, picnic tables, BBQ stands, canoe and kayak rentals a huge Alpha Lake Parkon the Valley Trail in Whistlergrass field, pier, a sandy beach and an elaborate little kids play are.  Swimming and relaxing are the main draws to Lakeside Park, but fishing off the piers is a common sight as well. Alpha Lake Park is a beautiful park on the shores of Alpha Lake in Creekside, just 5 kilometres south of Whistler Village.  Located partway along Lake Placid Road just past the Husky and Nita Lake Lodge.  This quiet residential street leads to this park that is home to tennis courts, a basketball court, beach volleyball, dog park, a kids play park, a floating dock, a pier and biking/walking/running trails everywhere you look.  Alpha Lake Park has a much more local feel to it than other Whistler parks such as the popular Rainbow Park, Lakeside Park and Lost Lake Park.  The abundance of trees and the irregular shoreline make the relatively small size of Alpha Lake seem quite a bit bigger than it is.  Trails run around both sides of Alpha Lake.  The wide and paved Valley Trail runs along the shore on the near side and a gravel trail runs along the far side.  For more walking trails, parks and beaches in Whistler click here..

Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Guide July Wedgemount Lake

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