Barrier Beach Glossary of Hiking Terms
Barrier Beach or Island: a land form parallel to the shoreline, above the normal high water level. Characteristically linear in shape, a barrier beach extends into a body of water. In Garibaldi Provincial Park at Garibaldi Lake there is an excellent example a barrier beach leading toward the Battleship Islands. The West Coast Trail has an ever-moving barrier beach at the famous Tsusiat Falls camping area. The broad falls cascade off a sheer cliff and cut a constantly changing path to the ocean. The barrier beach can only be reached by a precarious log crossing or by wading across the rushing flow of water.
Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly undisturbed mountain lake. There are no trails around the perimeter of the lake with the exception of the small section leading to the campsite, so your view of the lake is a sea of unnaturally coloured water ringed by swaths of forest and a magnificent glacier towering in the distance. The water is painfully cold, though plenty of brave hikers swim here as well as camp.
A barrier island can be quite beautiful. An excellent example is Sea Lion Haul Out Rock along the West Coast Trail. This enormous, flat topped, solid rock barrier island sits just a few dozen metres from the trail.
Hundreds of sea lions make their home here and provide a constant show for passing hikers. See close-up image below.
The West Coast Trail is one of the most amazing hikes in the world. It has an extraordinary history. It is brutally challenging and the trail and coastline is constantly changing. Everyday is tough, yet always a surprise. Climbing rickety, decades old, slippery and wet ladders that are frighteningly high and certainly dangerous gives you a sense of adventure that you don't get just walking a trail.
Glossary of Hiking Terms Whistler Hiking Trails