Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: The BarrierThe rocky and narrow row of islands in Garibaldi Lake just offshore from the Garibaldi Lake campsite are known as Battleship Islands.  Named by the prolific mountaineer Neal Carter in 1927 "..because they are a group of tiny islands with often a single tree as a mast, presenting the appearance of boats, as viewed from Panorama Point(a lookout on Panorama Ridge)."  The name "The Battleship Islands" originally appeared on AJ Campbell's 1928 map of Garibaldi Provincial Park.  

Whistler & Garibaldi Park

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Garibaldi Park maps since 1957 have officially shortened the name to "Battleship Islands.  The Battleship Islands are located roughly parallel to the shoreline in front of the Garibaldi Lake campground.  Garibaldi 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 still wild mountain lake. There are no trails around the edge of the lake except the small section leading to the campsites, so your view is an impossibly coloured lake edged by swaths of forest and a magnificent glacier towering in the distance.  Compared to other lakes in the Whistler area and in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Garibaldi Lake is enormous with a surface area of almost 10 square kilometres or 2460 acres.  It is also a very deep lake with its average depth of 119 metres or 390 feet and at its deepest, 258 metres or 849 feet!  What really makes Garibaldi Lake extraordinary is its geography.  It is flanked by volcanoes on three sides and lava flows from Mount Price during the last ice age formed The Barrier which blocked the valley which filled with water, creating Garibaldi Lake.  Vantage points around the lake such as Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk allow relatively easy views of this magnificent lake with Mount Garibaldi and other impressive peaks surrounding it.  At the Garibaldi Lake campsite the water is painfully cold, though plenty of brave hikers swim here as well as camp.  Garibaldi Lake, though beautiful enough as a primary destination, is often a base camp for further hiking. The summit of Black Tusk is just a 2 hour hike from the lake. Panorama Ridge is a bit further at about 3 hours from the lake. Taylor Meadows is a beautiful, often flower filled valley, and home to the other Garibaldi Provincial Park campsites in the area.  Helm Creek campsites are located past Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge, on the way to Cheakamus Lake. If you can manage transport, you can start at Rubble Creek trailhead and finish at Cheakamus Lake trailhead. This allows for a linear route instead of a there and back route. Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows, Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge, Helm Creek and Cheakamus Lake are all beautiful destinations on their own, but combined in a 2 or 3 day hiking expedition are extraordinary.

Battleship Islands from Panorama Ridge

Battleship Islands from Panorama Ridge

Battleship Islands from Black Tusk

Battleship Islands Garibaldi Lake

Battleship Islands and Sphinx Glacier

Garibaldi Lake Campsite View of Sphinx Glacier

Battleship Islands Garibaldi Lake

Battleship Islands Garibaldi Lake

Battleship Islands Garibaldi Lake

Battleship Islands Garibaldi Lake

Garibaldi Lake Campsite View of Sphinx Glacier

Garibaldi Lake Large Map v13

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Whistler and Garibaldi Park Hiking Gear Rental