Named as one of Outside Online’s “25 Best Hikes in the World Right Now,” the hike to Panorama Ridge, which overlooks Garibaldi Lake in British Columbia, is well worth its place on that list.
At 18 miles round trip, you can do Panorama Ridge as a single, long day hike or as an add-on while backpacking Garibaldi Provincial Park at Garibaldi Lake. If you do it in one day, you’re looking at nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain in the nine miles you’re going up.
Hike to Panorama Ridge
Miles: 18 round trip
Elevation Gain: 5,000
Beauty Level: Jaw Dropping
Estimated Time: 10-13 hours (for one day)
Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park outside of Whistler
Planning Your Hike and Backpacking Garibaldi Provincial Park
When to go
Theoretically, you could probably do this hike year-round with the right gear. But, for most of you, aim for the summer months into fall. I did this at the beginning of July, and the hike to Garibaldi Lake was snow-free, but the backside of Panorama Ridge was still in the snow.
The Route to Panorama Ridge
The first 3.5 miles up will take a toll on your legs as switchback after switchback gets you closer and closer to Garibaldi Lake. Finally, you’ll come to a fork in the trail that either takes you directly to Garibaldi or sends you through Taylor Meadows. Pick Taylor Meadows. After a mile, you’ll reach the campground. Keep going as you see signs for Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge.
The Black Tusk “exit” will come first, about 1.5 miles past the Taylor Meadows campground. Then, go another mile or so and head right at the junction for Panorama Ridge.
This is where it gets steep again. For the next 1.5 miles, follow the ridge up and keep your eye for orange markers on trees in the beginning and on rocks as you get higher. These will help keep you on the trail, as the route is hard to make.
Whether you do this as a single-day hike or a day trip while backpacking Garibaldi Provincial Park, this is challenging. The added awareness that there might be snow on your final ascent makes it even more daunting. But it’s also very doable. If you’re in shape and are equipped to handle some snowy and rocky conditions, you’ll be able to stand on the top of Panorama Ridge and stare out at the beauty surrounding you.
What to Bring when hiking Panorama Ridge
If you’re doing it in a full day, you’ll need a little more in the pack regarding food and water. However, there is water along the trail if you want to bring a filter or plan to stop at the lake. For those doing this as a side trip, a 2.5L bladder is plenty. I’d also suggest hiking poles, microspikes, and/or an ice ax, just in case you run into snow conditions on the upslope. I’ll leave the food decisions up to you.
This incredible hike is quite manageable if you do it right. Take your time. Enjoy the scenery. Garibaldi Provincial Park will blow you away, and Panorama Ridge is worth every minute of the hike.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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