The best view comes after the hardest climb.

Garibaldi Lake Hike

Garibaldi Lake Hike

18km Garibaldi Lake hike – check. A couple years late but my love for hiking has finally kicked in. Guess I can officially call myself a Vancouvrite now!

First and foremost, I am not one of those incredibly fit gym junkies, although I do make the effort to drag my lazy ass to the gym 4-5 times a week (with the occasional way too many rest days in a row). That said, the hike honestly wasn’t as hard as all my friends made it out to be. Going up took 2hr19min with the last 3.5km just me being distracted by the gorgeous views and stopping ever so frequently to take pictures. The trip back down took 1hr44min. Downhill slopes make my granny knees go weak so I took my time. Overall hike took around 4 hours for the entire 18km.

Garibaldi Lake Hike

The hike is accessible from Rubble Creek parking lot, which is almost a 2-hour drive from Vancouver. It’s close to Whistler, but not quite. Additional driving instructions can be found here. There are signs for Garibaldi Lake, but they are very small and you’ll most definitely miss them. Just be on the lookout for a red bridge. After you pass that, prepare to turn right onto Daisy Lake Road. If you are unable to pinpoint Rubble Creek parking lot on Google Maps, try Rubble Creek Trailhead.

We came on a sunny weekend so parking was extremely hard to find. We ended up having to park on the side of the road and walking ~10min to the official start of the hike – which is the wooden steps along the top section of the parking lot.

Garibaldi Lake Hike

The main reason I rarely go on hikes is because I’m impatient. I cannot stand the idea of having to walk for hours and hours just to get a glimpse at something you could easily see at home on a computer screen. Having said that, the first 5-6km simply drove me crazy. There were nothing but trees and more trees. You see one or two mini waterfalls along the way but the trails eventually start zig zagging up and you basically just stare at the same terrain for hours.

Garibaldi Lake HikeGaribaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake HikeGaribaldi Lake HikeFollow signs for Garibaldi Lake Campground.

After 6km or so, you will soon arrive at a junction. If you’re only attempting the shorter hike, continue straight in the direction of the Garibaldi Lake Campground. If you’re up for the challenge, by all means, take a left and head on over to Black Tusk for an even more spectacular view of the lake.

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike

Like I said, nothing but trees the first 6km. I was completely bored out of my mind but once I made it past that, I could see the lake peeking through the woods and it was astonishingly beautiful. There is also a little indent on the side that takes you to sort of the mouth of the lake(?). Quite the lovely place to make a rest stop.

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike

By this time, I’d already gone through two 600ml water bottles and was very tempted to just drink the lake water. You’re advised not to, but I’ve heard people who have and they didn’t experience diarrhea or anything. It’s up to you if you wanna take that risk but either way, bring lots of water with you.

Garibaldi Lake Hike0.5km, almost there!

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake HikeGaribaldi Lake Hike

The lake view up top was obviously even more bedazzling and made the hike so worthwhile. Going up I barely stopped because the first two times I did, flies surrounded me instantly and attacked me from all directions. Definitely, definitely, definitely bring bug spray. The lake atop is especially infested with evil mosquitoes that give you bites the size of a quarter. I couldn’t find my handy dandy Off! and I wore a tank top so my arms got absolutely destroyed I tell ya, destroyed!

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike

I packed lunch with me and enjoyed a nice picnic by the lake. I was originally also going to bring a swimsuit and swim in the glacier water but thank goodness I forgot because the water was freezing cold. I dipped my feet in for a few seconds and they went numb right away. I did see a lot of people swimming and one guy even went for the big plunge. Props to them! 👏🏼

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike

Technically I did go with my parents but they were too slow so I kinda… ditched… them………. oops… Now my dad is actually quite fit, even more fit than me I would say, and he goes on all kinds of crazy hikes where you have to bring your own ropes and legit climb mountains. My mom, on the other hand, the most workout she gets is carrying groceries from the back of the car to the kitchen so my dad stayed behind with her. Going up alone took them almost 6 hours and back down was 2 (incredibly fast for two 60-year-olds by the way). That said, it’s not a competition about how fast you can finish this hike. Just go at a pace you are comfortable with and you’ll be so glad you came.

Garibaldi Lake Hike Garibaldi Lake Hike
Overall hike 4hrs3min.

I would say this is a medium-level hike. It wasn’t mission impossible but yes, I did pant pretty much half the way up. To be honest, I’d been wanting to do this hike since last year and I bailed twice on going just because of how difficult it seemed. I’m super glad I finally mustered up the courage to do so because the view is phenomenal. For sure the most beautiful hike I’ve ever gone on. If this trail wasn’t so far of a drive to reach, I’d most certainly be up to do this on a weekly basis. Again, bring lots of water, some snacks and a lunch, and get outdoors and explore!

If you’re looking for other amazing hikes here in beautiful BC, here are the most Instagrammed hikes in Vancouver 😉

Don’t forget to subscribe for e-mail newsletters for when I post new entries. See you next time!


  1. September 2, 2016 / 11:24 pm

    Wow this view was worth the hike and drive! This is so breathtaking and unreal. How peaceful and gorgeous! I would love to go visit there sometime! Thanks for sharing these amazing photos! xoxo, Christine

      September 3, 2016 / 9:47 pm

      Hey Christine, it was totally worth it! Such a beautiful hike and you should definitely check it out if you ever visit Vancouver. Have an awesome long weekend!

      September 3, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Hey Nicole, thank you so much that’s really sweet of you. Thanks for checking out my blog!

      September 3, 2016 / 9:56 pm

      Hi Konstancja, I’m super glad I attempted this hike. It was sooooo worth it. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome weekend!

  2. September 3, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Looks like you had the perfect day for this beautiful hike! Never too late to get out there and explore. 🙂

      September 3, 2016 / 9:57 pm

      Hey Sue, we definitely went on a good day. It actually turned out well that we kept postponing this hike because the first two times we decided to go, the weather was not that great. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

      September 3, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks love, have a great weekend!

  3. September 3, 2016 / 10:36 pm

    Great post! Place is so beautiful. Pictures are amazing ! Now I just want to visit that place. Thanks for string!
    Have great weekend!
    Rita |

      September 3, 2016 / 11:03 pm

      Hi Rita, the view was simply breathtaking and my photos aren’t even close to doing it justice! Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful long weekend!

      September 3, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Thanks so much Franziska, you’re much too kind! Have a wonderful weekend.

      September 5, 2016 / 7:42 am

      Hi Simona, it really was wasn’t it! Have a great long weekend!

  4. September 4, 2016 / 12:42 pm

    that view is soo good!

      September 5, 2016 / 7:43 am

      Hey Vanessa, the view was fantastic. So breathtaking that I couldn’t believe my eyes!

  5. September 4, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    These photos are absolutely incredible – how turquoise is that water? I’m not an avid hiker but will do it (if I have to) for the views! Looks like your trip was worth it. And don’t worry, going downhill KILLS my knees too!

      September 5, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Hey Flo, I know right!! I’d never seen such turquoise lake water before!!!! And oh my goshhhhhh girl you make me feel so much better about my weak granny knees hahahaa thank goodness I’m not the only one!

  6. Jeanne
    September 4, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    Oh wow, stunning views! I must get myself to go on a hike this summer!

      September 5, 2016 / 8:46 am

      Hi Jeanne, you should do it before it gets cold! Summer’s already almost over hahhaa have fun!

      September 5, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Hey Sharon, it’s a beautiful hike. Definitely worth the visit!

      September 5, 2016 / 8:45 am

      Hi Laura, it is such a beautiful lake and my photos don’t even do it justice. Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome long weekend!

      September 6, 2016 / 5:56 pm

      Hey Susanne, it was totally worth it! Thanks for stopping by again <3

      September 6, 2016 / 5:57 pm

      Thanks so much, Taylor! Going up wasn’t much of a good time hahaa but the view was definitely phenomenal!

  7. sister tales
    September 6, 2016 / 12:10 am

    Oh WOW! What a site! Indre used to live in Washington herself and boy does she miss it LOTS! There’s no hiking like that here out in Illinois, this post was a fabulous trip down memory lane so thank you for this amazing post!
    xoxo, simona and indre

      September 6, 2016 / 12:18 am

      Hey Simona and Indre, I’m actually from Vancouver, BC up here in Canada. It gets a little confusing sometimes between the two cities since the names are the same. Illinois has such beautiful city views though! Especially Chicago, definitely on my destination bucket list. Thanks for checking out my blog and have a great rest of your day!

  8. September 6, 2016 / 11:40 am

    Man I think I would go crazy hiking with my parents!! You did so well and the reward with that view was worth it all!
    xx Jenelle

      September 6, 2016 / 5:59 pm

      Hey Jenelle, awwwww I couldn’t really stand it either, hence the “I ditched them part” – oops. But my dad was the one who urged us to go and I’m sooooo glad we went because the view was totally worth it! Thanks so much for checking out my blog and hope to see you soon in my next post!

      September 6, 2016 / 9:49 pm

      No problem, Eni and thank you for returning the favor! <3

  9. September 7, 2016 / 3:49 am

    Looks like an awesome hike and such a great view at the top!!! Such bright and clear photos

      September 8, 2016 / 3:05 am

      Hey Bella, the view was breathtaking! Have a nice day <3

  10. Merima
    September 6, 2016 / 8:58 pm

    The title is splendid and inspirational like the whole post.
    I enjoyed the photos and you enjoyed the nature.

      September 6, 2016 / 9:51 pm

      The title is just your typical Pinterest quote hahaa. Thanks for stopping by, Merima!

  11. September 7, 2016 / 9:18 pm

    These photos are SO stunning!! Looks like such an amazing trip – the water is so clear!!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

      September 8, 2016 / 3:14 am

      Hey Clarissa, thanks so much for stopping by. Stay tuned for more beautiful trips coming up! 🙂

      September 12, 2016 / 7:54 pm

      Hi Taylor, thanks so much for stopping by. Hope to see you more often!

  12. September 9, 2016 / 2:21 pm

    BC is so gorgeous. I was there in April to visit my friend and we went on an amazing hike as well. Cannot remember where but it was magical!

      September 12, 2016 / 7:55 pm

      Hi Caroline, that’s awesome that you went on a hike! BC is absolutely gorgeous for hikes. I’ve lived here so long that I tend to forget that and not take advantage of what this beautiful province has to offer.

  13. Anneliese
    September 13, 2016 / 10:30 am

    So happy to see that you took that hike 🙂

      September 13, 2016 / 11:03 pm

      Hey Anneliese, thanks for stopping by!! Hope to see you in my future posts!

      October 11, 2016 / 4:30 am

      Thanks for stopping by, Itzy! It was a fun trip indeed!

      October 17, 2016 / 7:44 am

      Hey, Linh! Don’t we all wish we could travel more hahaa. Thanks for stopping by! <3

  14. October 17, 2016 / 10:01 am

    Well I for one am glad that you decided to tackle Garibaldi. I visited there before I caught the photo bug so have no images of my own to enjoy. But now I have yours and they are magnificent.

      October 17, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      Oh no, Lisa! Well what’s great about Internet nowadays is you can access beautiful hiking photos from the comfort of your home and relive those memories! 🙂

  15. October 17, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    What a gorgeous hike. Good tip on the bug spray and sorry to hear about your arms. Yes glacier lakes look inviting but are mind numbingly cold. Good for you parents and especially your Mom! Definitely not about how fast one goes. Speaking as someone close to her age. 🙂

      October 17, 2016 / 5:09 pm

      The hike was absolutely gorgeous as you said and you certainly don’t look your age at all, Sue!!!

  16. Emma
    October 17, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    Such beautiful photos! love your website so much.

    Emma | Fashion Photographer and Model |

      October 17, 2016 / 5:09 pm

      Hi Emma, thank you so much for your kind words. Have a wonderful week! <3

      October 19, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Thanks love!

  17. January 9, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    That view is totally worth the hike!! I might have to visit Vancouver so I can do this hike and see the beauty of that lake with my own eyes!

      January 10, 2017 / 1:19 am

      You might have to stay in Van an extra couple days then; there are countless beautiful hikes!

  18. February 19, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    What a gorgeous Hike Jas and such a cool thing to do with your parents too! I love the beautiful views, your lunch looked really good too haha!! 😀

      February 24, 2017 / 5:15 am

      Technically I did most of it alone, oops. Totally felt bad for ditching my parents but what is done is done hahaa. Have a great day Priti!

  19. June 11, 2017 / 7:26 am

    Wow! This place seems truly magical! Definitely worth the hike, Jaschen!

      June 12, 2017 / 4:35 pm

      It really was! Super glad I finally decided to do it 🙂

  20. Toba
    April 19, 2022 / 8:38 pm

    Amazing lake oh my god it looks beautiful also all the photos looks so insane! thanks for sharing your trip, very inspiring!

  21. Toba
    May 18, 2022 / 9:03 pm

    Love this trip so much!

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