Today was a pretty nice day, so I decided to try a longer hike, heading up to Garibaldi Lake near Whistler. I had done this hike in the past, and remembered it as a beautiful glacier lake, tucked up in the mountains. The day was warm and sunny as I drove up tot he trailhead, just before Whistler. There were a couple of cars in the parking lot, but given the early season and it being midweek, I wasn’t surprised to find it pretty empty. Later in the summer, this trailhead is packed.
The hike is about 9km each direction - an out and back - with significant elevation gain (about 1,500m). The hike started nicely, climbing steadily through the forest. I had a glimpse of a small herd of deer, and was constantly serenaded by birds as I climbed. At each km, a marker let you know your progress and the elevation, but sadly by the 5 km mark I was into pretty solid snow coverage. I had hoped that the snow would have cleared out by now, but no such luck. Unlike my hikes in Mount Rainier a couple of weeks ago, this one was not dangerous at all - just annoying as it slowed down the progress.
On the way up, I had noted a couple of spots where I wanted to stop and take some pictures. By the time I got to the lake, it was pushing lunch time, and so I stopped on a bride with a view to the still frozen and snow covered lake, and had some lunch. It had taken me about 2 1/2 hours to make the trip up.
While having lunch, I was joined by a grey jay, who thought he should have some lunch as well. A bold little bird, he had no problem landing right beside, and often right on me, and even at one point grabbed a piece of the sandwich I was eating, right out of my hand!
On the way back down, I stopped in a couple of spots to take some photos. There was a look out that had an amazing view out over the valley. There were also a couple of waterfalls that I stopped to check out. Sadly, the sun made for less than ideal conditions for waterfall pictures.
The trip back down ended up taking almost as long as the trip up with all the photo stops, for a round trip time of a little over 5 hours. It didn’t really work out the way I had hoped, with way more snow than I had expected, and no view of the lake this time.