Panorama ridge hike is situated in the Garibaldi provincial park in between Squamish and Whistler. Panorama ridge hike is famous for the panoramic view of the Garibaldi Lake from the ridge. Here is a summary of the Panorama Ridge hike
Panorama Ridge hiking trail summary
- Total hiking distance: 30 Km (Roundtrip)
- Hiking time: Around 9-12 hours (Roundtrip, Depending on your speed)
- Highest point: 2102 meters (6896 feet)
- Dogs allowed on a leash: No
- Best season to do this hike: July to October
- Elevation gain: 1536 meters (5039 feet)
Panorama Ridge Hiking in Detail
Vancouver to Rubble Creek Parking Lot
Depending upon your location in Vancouver, driving to the Rubble Creek trailhead takes somewhere around 1.5 hours. Here are some of the things that you should keep on mind for this hike:
- You should start really early from Vancouver to start the hike.
- People usually start at around 6:30 to 7:00 AM in the morning from Vancouver so that they can start the hike by 8:30 AM and return by 7-8 PM in the evening.
- Another reason to start early is for avoiding the traffic on the sea to sky highway, the highway along which you will be driving. On the weekends, this highway could become so busy as this is the main highway which connects Vancouver to nearby mountains and areas
- Another reason, besides the above reasons, to start early is that to get a parking spot near the trailhead.
Rubble Creek Trailhead to Panorama Ridge
Rubble Creek trailhead to Panorama Ridge peak is a constant gradient except for the last one KM when it becomes almost double the steep. Here are different hiking trails that people take on this hike
Rubble Creek trailhead – Taylor Meadows (Camping) – Panorama Ridge (2 Days)
This path is usually taken by the hikers who also plan to camp overnight. People usually start the hike from the trailhead. They put the camping midway on the Taylor Meadows and leave behind the most of the stuff and then attempt the Panorama Ridge with a lightweight day backpack. Those who start late camp overnight on Taylor meadows and next day attempt the hike. Then, they either return the same day or the next day
Rubble Creek trailhead – Garibaldi Lake (Camping) – Panorama Ridge (2 Days)
This plan is also same as the above plan of Rubble creek trailhead – Taylor Meadows (Camping) – Panorama Ridge (2 Days).
Trailhead – Taylor Meadows – Panorama Ridge – Garibaldi Lake – Trailhead (1 Day)
This plan is usually followed by the day hikers who want to complete the hike on a single day. The shortest distance while going to the Panorama ridge is through the Taylor meadows. While returning, people take a break at the Garibaldi Lake and then return to the trailhead.
Panorama Ridge hike important marks
Rubble Creek Trailhead
This is the place where you park your vehicle. There are pit washrooms there. On the way, there are no washrooms so it is recommended that you get your things done before proceeding for the hike.
First 6 Km Hike
The first 6 Km hike is completely through the forest area. There would not be any viewpoints or so. However, this portion is one of the fastest covered portions because of the early morning start under thick forest and cool environment.
Taylor Meadows Y Junction (Fork) & Ahead
After the first 6 Km, you arrive at a Y-junction or fork from where the right one goes to the Garibaldi lake and the left one goes to the Taylor meadows. From this junction to Taylor meadows is around 3 Km. This is the first time when the trail opens in under the open sky and you come out of the forest. You see a lot of flowers bloomed or have just started to bloom in the summer around Taylor meadows. Most of the flowers bloom around Mid July to Mid August. So, if you are planning a hike in summer, you should plan the hike around this time so that you also get to see nature.
I saw a bear around Taylor Meadows in the summer of 2018. This year again in 2019, I went for the hike in early July and some people were talking about sighting a beer in the same area. Taylor meadows cover around 60% of your hike. From Taylor meadows, the rest of the hike totals to 40%.
After Taylor Meadows, the trail passes mostly through the open meadows and fields. After these fields, you encounter a series of grasslands and waterfalls or water stream every hundred meters. In the summer, there will be a variety of the flowers along the trail and there will be waterfalls every hundred meters. Since the trail passes through the open space, you can see the view of the surrounding mountains and lakes such as Helm lake, Black Tusk lake, Mimulus lake, etc.
After you cross the Balck Tusk lake to your right, the gradual ascend starts. The trail from these points and beyond become rocky and vegetation thins out. Eventually, as you go up, it completely becomes rocky and there will be no vegetation at the top. Try to reach to the top early. As during the summer days, the rocks get heated up and it even becomes harder to keep on hiking on the trail because of heat. A lot of water comes in handy at such a situation.
Panorama Ridge hike in Early July or End of June
The Panorama Ridge hike in early summer (July or at the end of June) is still doable but you would need microspikes to complete the hike especially in the last stretch. Check out the weather before you decide to go for the hike. This year in early July, the weather turned bad very quickly near the top. The day was supposed to be partly cloudy but it started raining heavily with heavy winds.
The trail becomes muddy and slippery as well. It becomes even more slippery on the snow. So, carry a good rain cover and warm clothes. There was patchy snow for the stretch of last 3 Km. But the snow was heavy in last one Km. Some people were able to make it to the top even without microspikes but I would not recommend that.