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  • Writer's pictureDEAN NELSON (he/him) CRDE, LLD

Garibaldi 3-day Hike

Join us July 16-18, 2021 as we explore Garibaldi Provincial Park's Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk.

Awaken your inner explorer as we hike into the heart of Garibaldi and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Adventure in dramatic landscapes full of dormant volcano’s and towering ice-blanketed peaks en route to the most incredible all-mountain sunrise the “Canadian Rockies Of The West” has to offer.


  • 360 degrees Panorama Views

  • The most incredible view of Garibaldi Lake

  • Hike in Bear Country

  • Scramble to the top of the famous Black Tusk

  • Hike up to Panorama Ridge for Sunrise


  • Camp Logistics

  • How to efficiently Pack a Backpack

  • Backcountry Nutrition


Don’t forget your camera! Ancient old glaciers and volcanoes have formed; pristine emerald alpine lakes, lush vegetation, meadows full of wildflowers and scenic mountain landscapes abundant in wildlife making the heart of Garibaldi one of the most unique and picturesque places on Earth. Be rewarded with 360-degree panoramic views of Garibaldi Lake by ascending wind swept ridges. Climb the Black Tusk to achieve the greatest feeling of being ON TOP OF THE WORLD!


A dramatic hiking trail consisting of uneven rocky terrain, flat maintained sections, steady elevation gains and an optional scramble to achieve the most incredible panoramic views.

Day 1 - Cheakamus Lake Parking to Helm Creek Campground, 8.5km

Pick-Up Day! We will meet and greet each other in the morning at our meeting spot, downtown Vancouver and drive along the picturesque Sea-To-Sky highway. It is time to saddle up today, as we will travel steadily uphill through a forest on an unexpected historical lava flow.

While the track is properly maintained, the uphill section will take us most of the day so be prepared to take on the challenge. The trail becomes within earshot of Helm Creek, with glimpses of the creek from time to time as the grade of the trail eases into a wide upper valley where the forest begins to thin out to reveal Helm Creek Campground.

Take your time to rest up or explore the area further to sneak a peak of the Black Tusk beaconing from across the meadow. Watch out for bears in this area particularly!

Minimal elevation gain on maintained surfaces for the first 1.5km concluding a steady 7km ascent to the campground.

Day 2 - Helm Creek via Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk Return, 28km

You know when they say, “what happens in Garibaldi stays in Garibaldi?” Well, this part of your story you can tell everyone. We will wake up in the middle of the night and hike in the dark for about four hours, with your headlamps on, to the top of Garibaldi Panorama Ridge to watch Mother Earth give birth to a new sun.

We will leave our camp gear set up at Helm Creek as this trail is better accomplished equipped with a light backpack. Panorama Ridge is aptly named, for mountain views in all directions make the early morning trek a worthy effort.

Thereafter we will make our way back down and then to the base of The Black Tusk, so tighten up our boots as we are going to summit a volcano! Those looking to stand on top of the world, this is your sublime moment. You will get the option to do a class 3 scramble/ climb (using hand and feet) to the top of the Black Tusk. Once we have taken photos and enjoyed the ultimate recreational reward, we will make our way back to Helm Creek where you can chill out, eat an amazing meal and sleep really well.

Will be the longest and most challenging day: expect an early morning (2am wake up) to hike up to Garibaldi Panorama Ridge for sunrise with a final 3km steep rocky trail to the top of the ridge. Thereafter, the trail follows loose rocks, with moderate elevation gains to the base of the Black Tusk with an optional scramble/ climb (using hands and feet) to the very top. After this unique experience we will be hiking back to camp.

Day 3 - Helm Creek Campground to Cheakamus Lake Parking Area, 8.5km

Wake up slowly and relax as the smell of coffee lingers above the campsite. Load up on fresh, healthy breakfast options and take in some last views of the Black Tusk that you summited the day before (well done!). After breakfast we will slowly pack up camp and start making our way down to get back to Vancouver.

A steady descend from the campground back to the parking area.

Trail Breakdown (Total Trail Length 45km in 3 days):

Day 1 – 8.5km, 3-5 hours; elevation gain of 960m Day 2 – 28km, 12-16 hours (with lighter backpacks and incl. breaks); elevation gain of 800m Day 3 – 8.5km, 2-4 hours; ; elevation gain of 100m

Fitness Level:

This specific tour is for intermediate fit people due to terrain conditions and Day 2 being a lengthy day. All adventurers will carry their own backpack including; clothing, food, water, camping- and cooking equipment.

Pick Up Location:

Downtown Vancouver, BC


All meals will be included for the duration of the adventure, except breakfast on Day 1. It is recommended to eat breakfast before pick-up on Day 1. All meals for the duration of the trip will be distributed at the trailhead.

Food is very important to us! The majority of your meals & snacks will be homemade and dehydrated using as many fresh, organic, healthy and nutritious ingredients sourced from local businesses.

Food creates energy within our bodies. Energy gives us the strength to live and experience the world around us. The key component in the process of dehydrating food is that it retains the maximum amount of original vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes. When hiking, dehydrated food is your best friend – it’s portable, reduces waste, extremely lightweight and super delicious!


We will be sleeping in tents along the trail in a comfortable group-camping setting. We will teach you how to use our camping equipment like a pro.

What is Included:

  • Comfortable Transportation (including pick up & drop off)

  • Home-made prepared nutritious meals and snacks to last for the duration of the trip

  • Food Allergies or preferences? We have a questionnaire for you to fill out before you join us on your adventure

  • Professional & Fun guides that are looking to share their passion with you

  • Guided hikes

  • Information about wildlife

  • Permits & Camping Fees

  • Tent Rental

  • Practice Leave No Trace ethics

  • First Aid Supplies & Blister Plasters

  • Sunscreen & Bugspray

  • Compressed Toiletpaper

Additional Costs:

  • Airfares

  • Expenses before and after tour

  • Rental of Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Mat, Backpack

  • Single Tent Upgrade

  • Gear – we will send you a specific gear list once you’ve chosen your adventure

  • Personal alcohol

  • Applicable Canadian Taxes (GST – 5%)

  • Trip Cancellation/ Extended Medical Insurance

  • We recommend you purchase trip cancellation insurance as well as extended medical insurance to cover life and health care risks

  • Personal property insurance

  • To insure your personal belongings against loss

  • Staff appreciation gratuities

Recommendations to prepare for this adventure:

  • Focus on cardio fitness – get your heart pumping for 20mins each day.

  • Leg strength – practice uphill hiking at the gym using “stairmaster” equipment.

  • Squats and Lunges work well for hiking uphill (train those knees and glutes)

  • Back strength – hike trails with a loaded backpack that include elevation gains and downhill descents.

  • Shoulder and core training exercises prepare for carrying a weighted backpack.

  • Walk-in your hiking boots to avoid nasty blisters on the trail!

Interested in creating your own private small group hike? Set up a consultation and we will be happy to plan the trip for you. Other pre-scheduled dates available include: August 14-16 and September 3-5, 2021.

departuresXdean - an independent agent with Personal Travel Mgmt. (BC Reg. 2806) proud members of the IGLTA and the Ensemble Travel Group.

Where do you want to go? Click here to contact me.


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