• Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental
  • Whistler Hiking Gear Rental

Hiking

Running

Best of Whistler

Best Trails This Week

Helm Creek - Hiking in Whistler

Hike in Whistler & Garibaldi ParkHike in Squamish & Garibaldi ParkHike in VancouverHike in Tofino & Clayoquot SoundHike in Victoria & Vancouver IslandHike the West Coast Trail

Helm Creek in Garibaldi Provincial Park


Helm Creek is a Moderately Challenging TrailHelm Creek is a cute, meandering creek that winds its way from beyond Black Tusk, down the valley to the wonderful campground that takes its name. From the Helm Creek campground, Helm Creek descends further along the Helm Creek trail, until it joins Cheakamus River, not far from where it Helm Creek Tent Siteleaves Cheakamus Lake.

The location of Helm Creek campground is pretty amazing for a variety of reasons. First it is just a great location. About halfway between Cheakamus Lake and Black Tusk it lays in some amazingly scenic areas. Beautiful, climbable Garibaldi Provincial Park mountains all around.

Amazing fields of snow that run all the way to the base of Black Tusk well into July most years.  Rivers, creeks and waterfalls everywhere you look from the idyllic campground. A large, grassy field ringed by trees and Helm Creek.  What you always want from a campground is a convenient and clean water source and of course Helm Creek is both.

Another aspect of a great campground is a variety of beautiful views and a serene setting and again Helm Creek has both of these.  The campground is so widespread that even if the area becomes busy, you can still manage to not hear your neighbours.

Helm Creek in Garibaldi ParkThe area really has no defined trails except the Helm Creek trail that runs past the campsite, but there are infinitely numerous directions you can wander.

Exploring in any direction takes you to more and more pristine, green fields, streams, pocket lakes and mountain views.  Though most just use it as a base to extend onto Black Tusk, it is a great base for so much more. Helm Peak, Corrie Peak, Cinder Cone, Empetrum Peak as well as the more frequented Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk and Garibaldi Lake.

Possibly the nicest aspect of Helm Creek as a campground is that it is quiet and serene when compared with the other two area campgrounds. Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows are very busy all summer long. In fact there is a posting part way up the trail to Garibaldi Lake indicating how crowded it is and if it is full.

At Helm Creek you find yourself in a remote and quiet valley in the midst of paradise. From the trail junction in the campground you see the enticing sign indicating what is around you.  The nice, well marked trail continues to Panorama Ridge in 7 kilometres.  Black Tusk in 9.5 kilometres or Garibaldi Lake in 9 kilometres.  All of these wonderful Garibaldi Provincial Park destinations branch off the main trail that ascends away from Helm Creek.

Helm Creek Campground View of Black Tusk

Helm Creek via Cheakamus Lake Trailhead Topo Map

Another popular, yet unmarked destination from Helm Creek is Helm Glacier.  Though unmarked, it is very easy to find on the trail from Helm Creek that leads to Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge and Garibaldi Lake. Just keep your eyes out for the fantastic erratic(see a picture of the erratic here), with the tree growing out of it along the trail.  It is obvious when you spot it(about 20 minutes from the Helm Creek campground).  At this marvellous display of glacier power and a hardy krummholz breaking apart this huge glacier deposited boulder, turn left and walk up the open valley and you will arrive at the amazing Helm Glacier in just 45 minutes.

Black Tusk Area Beyond Helm Creek

In the opposite direction from Helm Creek from where you just came the sign shows Cheakamus Lake to be 8.5 kilometres away and the Cheakamus Lake trailhead and parking lot to be 8.5 kilometres away.  This trail slowly descends the valley for a couple kilometres before more steeply zig-zagging down to the Cheakamus River crossing.

Vancouver Hiking Gear Rent Rubble Creek

Helm Creek via Cheakamus Lake Trailhead - Directions


Helm Creek is a Moderately Challenging TrailThe Helm Creek Garibaldi Provincial Park trailhead is the same as the Cheakamus Lake Garibaldi Provincial Park trailhead.  From Village Gate Boulevard, drive south, toward Vancouver for 8km. At the lights at Function Junction, turn left, about 300 metres ahead you will see a sign on your left for Cheakamus Lake.  Follow the unpaved road for 8km to the Cheakamus Lake trailhead.  Walk the Cheakamus Lake trail for 1.5km until you see the signpost directing you to turn right to Helm Creek. You will cross the raging Cheakamus River over a suspension bridge, then up steep switchbacks, then a somewhat steep trail through the beautiful forest.  It takes about 2-3 hours from the trailhead to Helm Creek.

Helm Creek Campground

Most years you will likely need snowshoes at higher elevations from this direction until mid June.

Garibaldi Provincial Park Reservations 2018


In 2018 a lot of changes with Garibaldi Provincial Park’s campsite reservations. The first big change is that overnight camping fees are required at all campgrounds, year-round. It is still free to day hike in the park, but sleeping in the park requires a reservation and camping fees apply in all areas of Garibaldi Provincial Park.  You can’t pay by cash or at the trailheads or at the campgrounds.  Reservations must be made in advance via the BC Parks online reservation service or at the call center.  It is a pretty organized and fair reservation system.  Fairly easy to use online and reasonably priced.  The revenue goes into maintaining trails, access roads, parking lots, park buildings and snow removal.

Staying at the Elfin Lakes Hut costs a bit more at $15 per adult, per night and kids 6-15 pay $10 per person, per night.  Kids under 6 are free.  The Elfin Lakes Hut fee includes your backcountry camping permit, so one adult staying in the Hut pays a total of $15.  If you want to stay in the Wedgemount Lake hut or the Russet Lake hut, you simply buy a campsite pass and if the hut has an empty bed when you arrive, you take it.  There are no reservations for these two smaller huts and the rule is simply first come, first served.

The second big change this year for Garibaldi Provincial Park is that for the first time you can legally register and pay to camp in the backcountry beyond the official campsites.Wilderness camping permits are available to mountaineers, climbers, ski tourers, and other visitors with advanced skills in wilderness travel and camping, within the wilderness camping zone. The areas you can wilderness camp is quite restricted in an effort to not overrun the park and maintain some control over the massive numbers of hikers in the park.  Backcountry Camping Permits for Garibaldi Park cost the same as the campsite fees: $10 per person, per night.  Children 6-16 years old pay $5 per person, per night and kids under 6 years old are free.

There are two ways to book a reservation to camp in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Reserve online 24 hours once the inventory is available for booking.  For mobile devices, scroll to bottom of page and click “Switch to Full Site”.  Or via the Call Centre (an additional $5 surcharge applies): 1-800-689-9025 (toll free Canada) +1-519-826-6850 (International) 7:00 am-7:00 pm seven days a week.  Some of the Garibaldi Park trailheads don’t have reliable cell coverage, so don’t forget to book your reservation  before you start hiking!  When you book online or by phone you will need the following information.  Your arrival date, your desired campground, your group size.  Then you have to pick the number of tent pads your party requires.  At tent pad is 10 feet by 10 feet and usually accommodates one tent.  Each tent pad can fit a maximum of 4 people.   For Elfin Shelter choose one “tent pad” per party (up to 4 people).  Choose your itinerary for each night.  Click “reserve”  Fill in the permit holder and camping party information.   Pay for your reservation with your credit card.

Reserve Now Garibaldi Provincial Park Camping

More Campsites in Garibaldi Provincial Park


Garibaldi Lake CampsitesGaribaldi Lake Campsites: The most busy camping option in the area is at Garibaldi Lake with 50 campsites with full service (water, security, etc).  The campsites are well laid out and disappear into the forest.  All are steps from the amazing Garibaldi Lake with great, though very cold swimming.  There is good fishing here for rainbow trout, which were introduced back in the 1920's.  Of the three campsites mentioned here, Garibaldi Lake is by far the busiest, however it is also arguably the prettiest.

Taylor Meadows CampsitesTaylor Meadows Campsites: Taylor Meadows Tent Sitegets very busy at times as well with 40 campsites with full service (water, security, etc). There are some small rivers close by but no swimming.  The draw for Taylor Meadows camping is the wonderful location.  It lays in a beautiful forested meadow full of hills and flowers and views of the towering Black Tusk.  It has a less crowded feel than Garibaldi Lake does, though bear in mind that even when crowded these campsites don't feel crowded - they are just that organized and thick with trees and hills.  Also, if you were to feel crowded, you could easily wander in any of several directions and become immersed in the wonderful forest and beautiful desolation in these vast meadows.

Helm Creek Campground is Pay to UseThe Helm Creek campground is smaller than the others at 30 tent platforms, however it is in a beautiful setting on the quiet side of Black Tusk, though still 1.5 hours of hiking to get to the approach to Black Tusk.  Helm Creek is another beautiful campground.  Most of the 9 tent platforms are next to the cute, small and rushing, Helm Creek.  The main draw of this campsite is that it is on the quieter side of this area and can be approached from Cheakamus Lake.

More Hikes Near Helm Creek in Garibaldi Park


Garibaldi Lake in Garibaldi Provincial ParkMore Hiking Trails Near Helm CreekGaribaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly undisturbed mountain lake.  There are no trails around the perimeter of the lake with the exception of the small section leading to the campsite, so your view of the lake is a sea of unnaturally coloured water ringed by swaths of forest and a magnificent glacier towering in the distance.  The water is painfully cold, though plenty of brave hikers swim here as well as camp.  The camping area is well laid out and stretches deep into the forest with 50 tent clearings.  You can, Black Tusk - Garibaldi Provincial Parkexcept for the busiest of days, put your tent out of earshot and sight of others. Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler.  The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly distinct way that appears like an enormous black tusk plunging out of the ground.  Whether you spot it in the distance from the top of Whistler Mountain or from dozens of vantage points along the Sea to Sky Highway, its unmistakable appearance is breathtaking. Panorama RidgePanorama Ridge is easily one of the most amazing hikes in Garibaldi Provincial 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.  Once you arrive at Panorama Ridge and its phenomenal vantage point, high above Garibaldi Park, you will stare in wonder.  Mesmerized first by Garibaldi Lake, far below you and looking unnaturally blue, the lake looks amazing surrounded by green, untouched wilderness and snow capped mountains.  The Table, the massive and unusual looking mountain with its bizarre flat top lays across the lake with the enormous Mount Garibaldi just beyond.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video Part 3

In the distance, where Garibaldi Lake ends, a massive glacier rises out of the blue and jagged crevasses can be seen even from such a great distance.  Behind you, Black Tusk lays across the valley.  Close to the same elevation as Panorama Ridge, you get this wonderful view of it.  Certainly the best and closest viewpoint to this iconic mountain. Cheakamus Lake is a wonderfully relaxing way to get in the wilderness easily and quickly from Whistler Village.  The trail begins on the far side of Whistler Mountain, 8 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway at Cheakamus Crossing across from Function Junction.  This 8 kilometre stretch of logging road is fairly bumpy and potholed, but does have the benefit of allowing you to drive the elevation gain instead of hiking it.  The 7 kilometre hiking trail to the lake is has very little elevation gain as the trail winds through the beautiful forest.  The trail to Cheakamus Lake takes you through an amazing forest of giant cedars that fill the forest with their amazing aroma.  This forest is so packed with ancient giants that year to year the trail is adjusted by a monster of a tree fallen across the trail during some winter storm.  Sometimes the trail bends around these behemoths, but more often they are laboriously chainsawed by BC Parks staff.  The more enormous of these remain as fixtures of the trail.  Either edging the trail or as a mighty obstacle to climb over.

Joffre Lakes Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsAncient Cedars Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsBrandywine Falls Aerial Video - Whistler Trails

Madeley Lake Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsMeager Slide Aerial Video - Whistler Trails

Click for More - Whistler Hiking TrailsClick for Previous - Whistler Hiking Trails

 

 

 

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails


Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerAlexander Falls Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerAncient Cedars Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerBlack Tusk Easy, Pay Use Hiking Trail in WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerBrandywine Falls Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerBrandywine Meadows Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerBrew Lake Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerCallaghan Lake Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerCheakamus Lake Easy, Dog Friendly Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus River Challenging, Dog Friendly Hike in WhistlerCirque Lake Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerGaribaldi Lake Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerGaribaldi Park Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerHelm Creek Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerJoffre Lakes Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerKeyhole Hot Springs Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerLogger's Lake Easy, Dog Friendly Hiking Trail WhistlerMadeley Lake Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerMeager Hot Springs Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerNairn Falls Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerPanorama Ridge Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerRainbow Falls Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerRainbow Lake Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerRing Lake Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerRussett Lake Easy, Dog Friendly Hiking Trail WhistlerSea to Sky Trail Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs Easy, Dog Friendly Hike WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs Moderate, dog friendly hike in WhistlerSproatt Moderately Challenging Hike in WhistlerTaylor Meadows Easy, Dog Friendly Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Train Wreck Challenging Hike in WhistlerWedgemount Lake Easy, Pay Use Hiking Trail in WhistlerWhistler Mountain


Hike in WhistlerHike in Squamish & Garibaldi ParkHike in VancouverHike in Tofino & Clayoquot SoundHike in Victoria & Vancouver IslandHike the West Coast Trail

Rent Hiking & Camping Gear in Whistler