Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Mt James TurnerThe Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered most of north-west North America for much of the last 2.6 million years.  At the Last Glacial Maximum during the Last Glacial Period(26,500 years ago), the Cordilleran Ice Sheet likely covered as much as 2.5 million square kilometres.  Stretching from Alaska to Oregon, British Columbia was entirely covered in ice that in many places over two kilometres thick.  At the Continental Divide of North America the Cordilleran Ice Sheet merged with the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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The Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets combined covered most of North America and held one and a half times more water than the Antarctic Ice Sheet does today.  Interestingly, the Cordilleran Ice Sheet did not cover most of Alaska(north of the Alaska Ridge) due to the climate being too dry to produce lasting glaciers.  Another remarkable feature of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet is how quickly it disappeared relative to the Laurentide Ice Sheet.  It is thought, and it really only is a thought, that the Laurentide took eleven thousand years to disappear, whereas the Cordilleran only about four thousand years.  Ice ages are bewilderingly complex and it is hard to get a grasp on how so many barely understood variables combine to move us into and out of ice ages.  The best we can do is hone in on more graspable aspects of glaciation and try to piece together an enormous puzzle.  Approximately 9000 years ago the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was in rapid retreat and Mount Price was an active volcano.  Lava flowing from Mount Price met the ice wall that filled Cheakamus Valley and formed The BarrierThe Barrier allowed Garibaldi Lake to form, where previously it was a valley extending into Cheakamus Valley.  The Barrier is just one of many striking geologically formed features of Garibaldi Park close to Whistler.  The Table and Black Tusk are two other bizarre and beautiful mountains produced through volcanoes pushing through the enormous Cordilleran Ice Sheet.

Standing on Black Tusk and The Table in the Distance

The Table is thought to have formed just a few thousand years ago when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered much of northwest North America.  In 1951 Canadian Geologist Bill Mathews pieced together how this interesting mountain formed.  He theorized that magma must have melted a vertical tube through to the surface of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet.  The pooling lava cooled and hardened into a flat topped mountain.  The lack of glacier erosion around The Table indicates that it formed at the end of the last ice age when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was in quick retreat.  So, looking across from Black Tusk to The Table you can try to visualize the land all around buried in an ice sheet about level with where you are standing.  About 12000 years ago, there was a pure white sea of ice all around, and an unseen column of lava melting to the surface like a molten rock lake.  What a sight it must have been with a cauldron of lava in the midst of a glacier hundreds of metres thick.  While studying The Table as well as others in norther British Columbia, Bill Mathews referred to these flat topped mountains as tuyas.  He called them tuyas after the Tuya River and Tuya Range in northern British Columbia.

The Table and Mount Garibaldi

The Table, Mt Garibaldi, Mount Price, Garibaldi Lake

The Table Garibaldi Lake Map

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

Alec Dalgleish (1 August 1907 - 26 June 1934) was a highly respected mountaineer and climber out of Vancouver in the 1920's and 1930's.  His enthusiasm and ...
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Russet Lake sits in a wide, glacier carved valley at the base of The Fissile.  In the direction opposite The Fissile, up on a plateau less than a ...
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Rainbow Lodge was a popular wilderness lodge in the small community called Alta Lake, and what would eventually be called Whistler  It was a fishing and ...
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When you hike in the alpine in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park, you will often encounter unbelievably hardy and sometimes mangled looking trees.  ...
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Every unusual phenomenon in the forest seems to have a name, but one natural work of art seems to be without a commonly used name.  Big trees with ...
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Glacier Window: the cave-like opening at the mouth of a glacier where meltwater runs out.  Glacier windows are often extraordinarily beautiful.  A blue glow ...
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Along Whistler’s Valley Trail near Rainbow Park you come across some impressively unusual trees. Unlike most other Whistler trees with straight trunks and ...
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The Table is an extraordinary flat-topped mountain located in Garibaldi Park just one kilometre south of Garibaldi Lake.  Sometimes reflexively referred to as ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Callaghan Lake Park is a relatively untouched wilderness of rugged mountainous terrain. The valley walls were formed by relatively recent glaciation. Evidence of this can be seen in the considerable glacial ...
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Cirque Lake is a wild and beautiful lake that hides high above and beyond Callaghan Lake in Callaghan Lake Provincial Park.  What makes Cirque Lake special among the other sensationally beautiful lakes in the ...
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Ring Lake is a fantastically serene and wonderfully remote lake similar to Cirque Lake, but considerably farther to hike to reach it. The 10 kilometre(6.2 mile) hike takes you through a rarely hiked forest, ...
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The Sproatt East trail is a beautifully wild, steep, but relatively short trail to the magnificent, wide open alpine and summit of Mount Sproatt.  Mount Sproatt (1834 metres) towers over Whistler Valley ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Hiking in Whistler in October is often unexpectedly stunning.  The days are much shorter and colder but the mountains are alive with colour from the fall ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

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Vancouver Hiking Trails

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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

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Victoria Hiking Trails

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The West Coast Trail

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