The Gorgeous & Gargantuan Garibaldi

“You pick the hottest days to go hiking,” my mother texts me when I tell her what I did on Saturday.

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Yup. Saturday was a hot one for doing Garibaldi Lake. But the 3 hours of mostly switchbacks up the mountain were in the shade, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We took the scenic detour through Taylor Meadows, making it a 5.5 hour round trip.

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The trail is nicely groomed.

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At long last, we reach Taylor Meadows. According to the Vancouver Trails website, “going left and adding a few kilometers onto the hike takes you up through Taylor Meadows, a magnificent area filled with colours from alpine flowers that cover the sides of the trail during the late summer and early fall.”

We didn’t see any flowers. Granted, it’s not quite late summer. It was still beautiful being up at tree level and seeing the towering peak of Black Tusk, but when you’re expecting wildflowers à la Sound of Music, it was a little bit of a letdown.

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Black Tusk is the dark peak to the right.

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It’s a few kilometres from here to the lake, where all that work finally feels worth it when you glimpse this:

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And this:

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View from the middle of a wooden footbridge that gets you over to the lake.

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The view from the other side of the bridge.

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Walking around the lake to find a perfect (and less crowded) spot for lunch.

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to the island, it is!

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The group I was with spent 2 hours at the top, eating lunch, taking a dip into the turquoise glacier lake (some even swam out to the island of inukshuks you see in the distance), and enjoying the spectacular views. It’s a shame to climb all that way and come back so quickly. That’s why next time, I would even want to spend a night camping, although the work in bringing all that gear up on your back would be that much more difficult.

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Using a water filter for the first time. What a great invention!

This was probably my big hike of the summer. In comparison to The Chief, I enjoyed it more. Yes, the way up felt like it would never end sometimes, but I liked that the trail was so well groomed and there weren’t any stairs or gigantic roots to trip over.

Plus, there was this bonus viewpoint on the way back:

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Goodbye, Garibaldi! What a beautiful part of the world we live in!

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