Located at around 7600 feet, Black Tusk hike is one of the famous and toughest hikes in BC. It is famous for Garibaldi lake view from the top along with Chimney climb on the top.
Black Tusk Hike Summary
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Round trip: 30 KM
- Round trip time: 9-12 hours (depending on your pace)
- Elevation gain: 5500 feet
- Camping allowed: Yes
- Dog friendly: No
- Season: July – October
- Driving time from Vancouver: 1 Hour 45 minutes
Black Tusk Hike Guide
First 7 Km to First Junction
Black Tusk hike follows the same trail as Panorama ridge for most of the part. The first 6 km of the hike is through dense forest with continuous elevation gain. Since the trail runs through dense forest, there are not many viewpoints except one or two. At the end of the first 7 km, there is a fork.
If you continue straight, you reach Garibaldi lake. and the left trail goes to two of the famous peaks called Black Tusk and Panorama Ridge via a beautiful campground called Taylor meadows. You can also take the route of Garibaldi lake to Black Tusk or Panorama Ridge. Basically, it’s a loop. But most of the hikers, take the Taylor meadows route to Black Tusk and while returning they make a stop at Garibaldi lake
If you start early in the morning, you can cover this part pretty quickly. For me, it took around 2 Km to complete this part. Also, there are marker signs indicating the number of kilometers you have covered
First junction to Taylor meadows
Taylor Meadows is around 1.5 Kms from the first junction. During the summer, you will see a lot of variety of flowers. Taylor meadows is also a campground. There is also a small stream near the campground which is used by the campers for water purposes. In some cases, hikers camp at the Taylor meadows on the first night, and then on the next day, they attempt Black Tusk and Panorama ridge together or just one of these peaks. While day hikers, often travel light and attempt to do either of the peaks. Some hardcore hikers also do both of the peaks in a single day.
The trail to Taylor Meadows is comparatively less steep than the first 6 Km. Also, as the trail opens up in open meadows, it becomes very scenic. I have seen beers twice grazing near Taylor meadows. After Taylor meadows, the trail runs through an open area with a lot of viewpoints. You will also see a lot of blueberry plants. The morning dews on the leaves of these plants make them even more beautiful.
Taylor Meadows to Black Tusk & Panorama Ridge Fork
From Taylor meadows, you continue straight for 2.5 Km until you reach a fork where taking left will take you to the Black Tusk, and taking right takes you to Panorama Ridge. So, basically until now, both of the hikes were sharing the same trail. This part of the hike is continuously beautiful with a plethora of opportunities for photoshoots.
You will see vast meadows. you will cross a lot of small water streams. You will see flowers of different sizes and colors along the trail. You will see lakes, snow-capped peaks, various shades of mountains, and a lot of endless magical beauty.
Panorama ridge fork to Black Tusk Peak
From this fork, Black Tusk is almost 3 Km. The hike becomes steep again from here. The trail becomes a bit rocky at some places. But as you ascend up, you start getting a better view of the Garibaldi lake. The last one KM is called the scrambling part where the trail becomes the steepest and you hike on the loose rocks to the peak. From the peak, you get a 360-degree view of the peaks and lakes around.
This is one of the toughest and most beautiful hike that I have done in BC. If you love hiking, you should definately try this hike along with Panorama ridge.