Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Coast MountainsThe Coast Mountains run from the Yukon down to Vancouver along the west coast of British Columbia in a band that averages 300 kilometres wide(190 miles).  The length of the Coast Mountains is roughly 1600 kilometres(1000 miles).  They are often referred to as the BC Coastal Range or the Coast Range.  The Coast Mountains are comprised of three mountain ranges, the Pacific Ranges, the Kitimat Ranges, and the Boundary Ranges.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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The Pacific Ranges, subsection of the Coast Mountains is the mountainous area along the west coast of BC roughly parallel to Vancouver Island.  The Pacific Ranges are divided further into several smaller, easily defined groups of mountain ranges.  One of those mountain range groups engulfs Whistler and much of Garibaldi Provincial Park, the Garibaldi Ranges.  The Garibaldi Ranges cover an enormous stretch of mountainous terrain between two large river valleys.  The Lillooet River valley on the east side and the Cheakamus River/Green Lake valley on the west.  Whistler is located on the west edge of the Garibaldi Ranges, while Pemberton near the north end and Vancouver at the south end.  The subdivisions of the Garibaldi Ranges include Garibaldi Névé, Fitzsimmons Range, McBride Range, Spearhead Range, Golden Ears, Misty Icefield and the Bastion Range.  Of these subsections, four are well known and loved by hard-core Whistler mountaineers and skiers/snowboarders.  They are the Fitzsimmons Range, the Spearhead Range, the McBride Range and the Garibaldi Névé.

The Fitzsimmons Range

Fitzsimmons Range - Hike in WhistlerThe Fitzsimmons Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that covers the area between the valleys of Cheakamus Lake and Fitzsimmons Creek.  Fitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain and largely originates from the Fitzsimmons Glacier.  The Fitzsimmons Glacier and Mount Fitzsimmons are part of the Overlord Massif, which gets its name from the highest peak in the area, Overlord Mountain.  Massif is a term used in geology to refer to a compact group of connected mountains that easily identify into one large mountain mass.  Massif is a French word that means “massive”.  The Fitzsimmons Range includes several locally famous summits, including the summit of Whistler, Oboe Summit, Piccolo Summit and Flute Summit.  These form the Musical Bumps trail which is a gorgeous route to the Russet Lake campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  Next to Russet Lake is The Fissile and next to The Fissile is Overlord Mountain.  Near Russet Lake and connecting to the Musical Bumps trail is the Singing Pass trail that ascends along Fitzsimmons Creek to Whistler Village at the base of Whistler Mountain.

Musical Bumps Trail on Whistler Mountain in the Spearhead Range

Fitzsimmons Range Topo Map

The Spearhead Range

The Spearhead Range - Hike in WhistlerThe Spearhead Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that runs in an arc that connects Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  The Spearhead Range is effectively the brother of the Fitzsimmons Range which runs east from the summit of Whistler Mountain to Russett Lake.  The Spearhead Range covers the area on the north side or Blackcomb Mountain side of Fitzsimmons Creek.  Fitzsimmons Creek cuts between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain.  Where the Fitzsimmons Range ends at Fitzsimmons Creek, the Spearhead Range begins and continues along a set of peaks resembling spearheads to Blackcomb Mountain.  These peaks include The Spearhead, Mount Trorey, Tremor, Shatter, Shudder, Quiver, and more.  The Spearhead Range is home to the increasingly popular and extraordinarily beautiful Spearhead Traverse.  This amazing ski traverse traces a very challenging route from Blackcomb Mountain to Whistler Mountain via the Spearhead Range.  It has, in recent years, spawned the Spearhead Huts Project.  An ambitious plan to install mountain huts along the Spearhead Traverse.  It has considerable public support and funding via donations.  The first hut is already well underway and is scheduled for completion in January 2019.

Spearhead Range View of Overlord

Spearhead Range Topo Map

McBride Range

The McBride Range - Hike in WhistlerThe McBride Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges and covers a 357 square kilometre area east of Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Lake.  Where the Spearhead Range ends, the McBride Range begins.  Owing to its central location in the middle of Garibaldi Provincial Park, the McBride Range is often referred to as the backbone of Garibaldi Park.  The McBride Range is a morass of brutally steep mountains and glacier valleys that expert skiers have plotted a route through.  The McBride Traverse is an astoundingly difficult and beautiful, week long route through the McBride Range.  Along the route you encounter several monster mountains with wonderful names, including Decker Mountain, Mount Patterson, Tremor Mountain, Sir Richard Mountain, The Gatekeeper, Forger Peaks, Isosceles Peak, Mount Carr, The Bookworms and The Sphinx.

Garibaldi Névé

The Garibaldi Neve - Hike in WhistlerThe Garibaldi Névé is the large icefield that stretches out along the east side of Mount Garibaldi.  With a size of 35 square kilometers(14 square miles), the Garibaldi Névé is a subdivision of the Garibaldi Ranges, which in turn is a subdivision of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains.  The Garibaldi Névé Traverse is a tremendously beautiful and very treacherous winter skiing route that runs between Elfin Lakes and Garibaldi Lake.  It is generally done as a three day expedition beginning and ending at two BC Parks Garibaldi Provincial Park trailheads.  The Diamond Head(Garibaldi) trailhead in Squamish and the Rubble Creek, Black Tusk(Garibaldi) trailhead halfway between Squamish and Whistler.  A common itinerary is the Diamond Head(Garibaldi) trailhead to Elfin Lakes on the first day.  Sleeping in the very nice and well equipped Elfin Lakes hut.  The second day covers the difficult Garibaldi Névé which runs from the Opal Cone north of Elfin Lakes to the foot of Sentinel Glacier northeast of The Table.  The second night is usually spent at the Burton Hut at the east end of Garibaldi Lake.  The third day involves crossing the length of Garibaldi Lake to the Garibaldi Lake campground and then the comparatively easy descent to Rubble Creek.  The south to north route is favoured over the north south route because of the net elevation loss and much prized north facing ski descents.

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

Columnar Jointing: bizarre looking columns of oddly angular rock formations that can be found in many places around Whistler and worldwide.  Generally ...
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Mount Garibaldi is the huge, potentially active volcano that Garibaldi Provincial Park is named after.  Mount Garibaldi also lends its name to the Garibaldi ...
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Ablation Zone: the lower altitude region of a glacier where there is a net loss of ice mass due to melting, sublimation, evaporation, ice calving or ...
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Green Lake is the marvellously vivid, green coloured lake just north of Whistler Village.  Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Green Lake appears ...
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The Fissile is the stunning Matterhorn-looking mountain that is visible from Village Gate Boulevard in Whistler.  Looking up from Village Gate you will see ...
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The Coast Mountains run from the Yukon down to Vancouver along the west coast of British Columbia in a band that averages 300 kilometres wide(190 miles).  ...
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Mountain hemlock is a species of hemlock that thrives along the west coast of North America from Alaska to California. In Whistler and Garibaldi Park you ...
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Porteau Cove is a beautiful little stop on the drive to or from Whistler. You will notice the lack of convenient washroom stops on the way to or from ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

The trail to Whistler Train Wreck is an easy, yet varied route through deep forest, across a great suspension bridge over Cheakamus River, to a stunning array of wrecked train cars. The trail from your car to ...
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Ancient Cedars is a nice, easy/moderate 2.5 kilometre (1.6 mile) hiking trail on the far side of Cougar Mountain, just 13.1 kilometres north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge western ...
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Logger's Lake is an amazing little lake hidden up in the deep forest above the more well known Cheakamus River. The lake, almost unbelievably exists in a long extinct volcano. However, as soon as you see ...
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Jane Lakes are a very remote feeling set of lakes in the beautiful wilderness near Cheakamus Crossing.  Consisting of three lakes, West Jane Lake, East Jane Lake and Little Jane Lake, they have a great ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f). ...
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July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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September hiking in Whistler is possibly the best month of all.  The snow has melted far up to the mountain tops, yet the temperatures are still quite high.  ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

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Victoria Hiking Trails

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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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