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Whistler, BC: Panorama Ridge

Take the backdoor approach to a glacier-ringed lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park on this 18-mile out-and-back.

Rating

In the mood for solitude, glacial lakes, and towering peaks, all in an epic Canadian dayhike? Look no further than this 18-mile out-and-back trip to Panorama Ridge. The trail offers sweeping views of Garibaldi Lake and its surrounding peaks—but none of the crowds making the trip via Rubble Creek.
Savor the silence by starting on the Cheakamus River Trail. Hike through ancient cedars, firs, and hemlocks, then turn right at the first fork to cross the river. From there it’s a steady climb heading southwest; to make the hike an overnight, stop and set up camp in Helm Creek meadow at 4.8 miles in. Hike over colorful pumice to Helm Lake (7.5 miles in), a long, skinny pool beneath 7,608-foot Black Tusk. When the trail splits just ahead, go left and climb above the north shore of Black Tusk Lake. Follow the rocky, cairn-marked path to reach Panorama Ridge at mile 9; the 6,996-foot high point is .3 mile ahead. From there, drink in views of classic Canadian Rockies scenery: Garibaldi Lake (formed when Mt. Price erupted 12,000 years ago, its lava building a natural dam) below, Deception Peak to the southeast, Sphinx Glacier to its left, and 8,780-foot Castle Tower Mountain to the east.
Info: Backcountry camping permit required. www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks
Hike provided by Kathy and Craig Copeland, authors of Done in a Day: Whistler–The Ten Premier Hikes (hikingcamping.com)

To Trailhead

From Whistler, take Highway 99 south to Function Junction. Turn south on Cheakamus Lake Rd. (bearing left onto dirt at .25 mile) and follow it 4.7 miles to trailhead.

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