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Garibaldi Lake: Everything you need to know before you go

Garibaldi Lake is located 37 kilometers north of Squamish and 19 kilometers south of Whistler in southwestern British Columbia. It is located in Garibaldi Provincial Park in a vast subalpine basin. The park is a center for leisure and entertainment activities for locals and visitors, who prefer to walk, trek, ski tour, and tour in the lovely countryside.

Garibaldi Lake history & facts

Garibaldi Lake was created about 9,000 years ago when lava flowing from neighboring volcanoes closed the valley's entrance. This natural barrier forced meltwater from glaciers and winter snow to pool in the valley, resulting in the well-known turquoise lake we know and adore today.

The lake is bordered by volcanoes on its north, west, and south sides, and lava flows from Clinker Peak formed the 2.1km long dam known as The Barrier. This ancient structure currently prevents Garibaldi Lake from flooding the adjacent town of Squamish.

The lake receives inflow from the neighboring Sphinx and Sentinel glaciers, while outflow occurs mostly through breaches in The Barrier that form at Rubble Creek. The glacial flour in the meltwater from these inflows is responsible for the lake's mesmerizing turquoise color.

Professor Steve Quane of Quest University in Squamish was awarded $12,000 in 2014 to analyze the risk that Garibaldi Lake posed to the community of Squamish. In an interview with the Squamish Chief newspaper, Quane stated, "The potential energy of 1 trillion liters of water at 1,400 meters elevation equals 200 times the energy produced by the bomb on Hiroshima."

The Garibaldi lake hike

The trek to Garibaldi Lake is an 18km (round) intermediate-expert hike that is open from July to September. This trek has an elevation climb of 820m and should take around 5 hours, according to

The rich geological history, diversified vegetation, snow-capped mountains, iridescent waterways, plentiful animals, and beautiful panoramas of Garibaldi Provincial Park all contribute to its true beauty.

The park is located in the heart of the Coast Mountains, approximately 70 kilometers north of Vancouver. Garibaldi Provincial Park is a popular year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with over 90 kilometers of developed hiking routes.

Garibaldi lake camping

Because of the increasing popularity of Garibaldi Lake, reservations are now needed for camping at Garibaldi Lake campsite and Taylor Meadows campground during peak season (June 29th – September 30th). The park has no payment alternatives, and camping costs must be paid before entering the park to ensure your campground reservation.

Garibaldi lake weather

Because Garibaldi Provincial Park is so near to the ocean, the weather at Garibaldi Lake may change fast. Visitors should also keep in mind that because the lake is 1,484 m (4,869 ft) above sea level, temperatures at the lake are frequently approximately 10 degrees lower than in the valley, even on the warmest summer days.

If you’re planning on staying overnight at the Garibaldi Lake campsite is a great resource for checking forecasts for the freezing level, temperatures, snow and rainfall, and sunrise and sunset times.

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