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Panorama Ridge - Hiking in Whistler

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsPanorama Ridge Aerial Video - Whistler TrailsPanorama Ridge Aerial Video - Whistler Trails

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Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park


Panorama Ridge is a Challenging TrailIn 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 Park.  You can’t pay by cash or at the trailheads or at the campgrounds.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video 1

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.  The second big change this year for Garibaldi 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.

Panorama 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.

Garibaldi Park trail to Panorama RidgeOnce 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.  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.

Panorama Ridge sits, along with Black Tusk in the midst of some of the most popular and beautiful hiking trails in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  There are two main trailheads for Panorama Ridge, Cheakamus Lake and Rubble Creek.

Rubble Creek is the more popular starting point as it is a bit shorter, far more scenic and allows for the inclusion of the trail to Garibaldi Lake and the beautiful Taylor Meadows as well as Black Tusk. The trail to Panorama Ridge from Rubble Creek is not so much difficult as it is long.  30 kilometres makes for a long 8-10 hour roundtrip hike.  Staying overnight, therefore is a great idea.

Pay Campsites for Panorama RidgeBlack Tusk Viewed from the Panorama Ridge TrailThere are several excellent options for camping in the valleys around Panorama Ridge.  The beautiful though often crowded Garibaldi Lake campsite, the less crowded and also beautiful Taylor Meadows campsite, the seldom crowded and serene Helm Creek campsite (located on the Cheakamus Lake side of Black Tusk).

Panorama Ridge stretches for 1.5k, then drops into an expansive meadow down to Garibaldi Lake and access to the Burton Hut at the far end of the lake.  The hut is little used in the summer due to its remoteness.  This route, via Panorama Ridge, is the best way to reach this difficult to reach hut in the summer.

The main trailhead for Panorama Ridge is at Rubble Creek, 25 kilometres south of Whistler Village on the Sea to Sky Highway you will see a Garibaldi Provincial Park sign indicating the turnoff.  From the highway a paved road runs for 2 kilometres to the Rubble Creek trailhead and parking area.  This is the most popular and close trailhead for Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows and Black Tusk as well as Panorama Ridge.

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video Part 2Free Parking for Panorama RidgeParking is free, however keep in mind that overnight camping requires payment.  Reservations are required for camping at Garibaldi Lake campground and Taylor Meadows campground. Camping fees must be paid before entering the park.  There are no cash payment options.

The fees are $10 per person per night and $5 for kids (6-15 years).  You will quickly find these fees well worth it, especially at the campsites nearest to Panorama Ridge.  Very clean and tidy, well organized and still somehow retaining a remote and wilderness feel.  You will likely spot a park ranger while at one of the campsites at

Taylor Meadows or Garibaldi Lake as they are staffed for most of the summer to provide maintenance, security and friendly help.  The more remote campsites like Helm Creek, Wedgemount Lake and Russet Lake are far less busy and you will not often spot BC Parks staff, yet somehow they are kept well maintained.

Panorama Ridge View of Black Tusk

Panorama Ridge Aerial Video Part 3

Panorama Ridge View of Mount Garibaldi

Trail Map, Hiking & Camping Info for Panorama Ridge


Free Parking for Panorama RidgePanorama Ridge can be reached from the Garibaldi Lake (Rubble Creek) trailhead or the Cheakamus Lake trailhead. It is hard to say which is better. Rubble Creek is preferable if you are keen to stop at the beautiful Garibaldi Lake on the way. Certainly wonderful for a swim if you can take the glacial cold water. The Cheakamus Lake trailhead is similarly scenic minus the beautiful lake, but it is incredibly free of people. If you seek serenity, this is the way. Certainly, if you plan to overnight, this is the better way as well. The Taylor Meadows Campground (Rubble Creek side) is often overrun on the weekends, while Helm Creek (Cheakamus side) is not.From Village Gate Blvd, drive south toward Vancouver on the Sea to Sky Highway.  The well marked turnoff to Black Tusk(Garibaldi) is 25 kilometres south of Village Gate Blvd, on your left.  Follow the signs to Rubble Creek trailhead just 2 kilometres up a paved road.  This is the trailhead for Garibaldi Lake, Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge as well as Taylor Meadows.  This trailhead parking area had a rash of vehicle thefts in 2014 so be sure to keep any valuable out of sight and don't be obvious about hiding valuables in your trunk before setting off in case someone is watching you.  Cheakamus Lake trailhead directions: From Village Gate Boulevard, drive south, toward Vancouver for 8km. At the lights at Function Junction, turn left, about 700 metres ahead you will see a sign on your left for Cheakamus Lake. Follow the unpaved road for 8km to the Cheakamus trailhead.

Panorama Ridge Hiking Topo Map

Toilet Facilities for Panorama RidgePit toilets are located at the Rubble Creek trailhead to Garibaldi Provincial ParkTaylor Meadows just an hour and a half from the Rubble Creek trailhead has several outhouses.  Garibaldi Lake has several outhouses as well about an hour and a half from Rubble Creek.  There is also an outhouse along the trail past both Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake located just before the Black Tusk trail turnoff.  Beyond that you will next come to pit toilets at the Helm Creek campsite.

Panorama Ridge is Not Dog FriendlyUnfortunately dogs are not permitted in Garibaldi Provincial Park due to potential conflicts with the park's wildlife.  Most Whistler hiking trails outside of Garibaldi Park, Whistler and Blackcomb mountains are dog friendly however, including Cirque Lake, Stawamus Chief, High Falls CreekUpper Shannon Falls and Ring and Conflict Lakes.  For a list of the best, dog friendly hiking trails around Whistler try here. And the best easy, dog friendly trails here.

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 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 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

There Are Three Pay Campsites Around Panorama Ridge

New this year, as of June 22nd 2016 reservations are required for camping at Garibaldi Lake campground and Taylor Meadows campground from June 29th-September 30th, 2016. Camping fees must be paid before entering the park.  There are no cash payment options. You can pay online here.. Garibaldi Lake campsites: The most busy camping option in the area is at Garibaldi Lake with 50 campsites with full Taylor Meadows Tent Siteservice (water, security, etc) and fees (May 1 - Nov 15).  The campsites are well laid out and disappear into the forest.  All are very close to outhouses, food storage and preparing huts and from the amazing shore of Garibaldi Lake which has great, though very cold swimming.  There is good fishing here for rainbow trout, which were introduced back in the 1920's. Taylor Meadows campsite: gets very busy at times as well with 40 campsites with full service (water, security, etc) and fees (May 1 - Nov 15).  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.

Trailhead & Parking Directions Map for Rubble Creek


Parking for Garibaldi LakeRubble Creek is the most popular route to Panorama Ridge and consequently the most chaotic. The huge parking lot is often filled to capacity, with additional cars parked along the access road.  This road is the only paved(not a heavily potholed, gravel road) to access a trailhead to Panorama Ridge.  Though very busy, the Rubble Creek trail to Panorama Ridge is constantly maintained to a high standard.  Plenty of helpful mapboards and trail signs keep you on track and aware of where you are.  The tidy, natural dirt trail is wide enough to hike side-by-side most of the time.  The constant ascent from here gets you to Panorama Ridge in 4-6 hours.  To get to Rubble Creek, drive south from Whistler Village(zero your odometre at Village Gate Boulevard) on Hwy 99.  At 25 kilometres look for the Black Tusk(Garibaldi) sign on the highway indicating you to turn left.  150 metres up this road it will fork.  Take the right fork and continue up the paved road for 2 kilometres to the Rubble Creek trailhead for Black Tusk, Taylor Meadows, Panorama Ridge, Garibaldi Lake and much more.

Black Tusk Driving Directions - Whistler to Rubble Creek

Cirque Lake Aerial 3 2Whistler Bear CubsWedgemount Lake Aerial Video

Helm Creek campground is smaller than Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake at just 9 official tent sites, however it is in a beautiful setting on the quiet side of Black Tusk.  Most of the 9 tent sites are next to the wonderfully idyllic Helm Creek.  The main draw of this campsite is that it is on the quieter side of this section of Garibaldi Provincial Park and can be approached from Cheakamus Lake.

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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


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