Garibaldi Provincial Park is a large 480,000-acre wilderness park in southern British Columbia, only 90 minutes northeast of Vancouver. There are no roads penetrating deep into the park. Instead, there are 5 access points from the west off the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Visitors then have to hike the rest of the way into the park. This photo from Taylor Meadows shows the Black Tusk, a black lava remnant from an extinct volcano. It’s a popular destination for many climbers and hikers who scale to the top. To the native Squamish people, this mountain is known as the “Landing Place of the Thunderbird.”
Garibaldi Lake is a large 2460-acre, brilliant turquoise lake that’s fed by nearby glaciers. It’s a high alpine lake whose surface is nearly a mile above sea level.
Lava from nearby Mount Price volcano dammed the lake behind a massive formation aptly named “The Barrier.” The lava dam is over 1,000 feet thick and 1 mile wide. The Barrier is considered quite unstable, and should it ever collapse, Garibaldi Lake would drain almost instantly, potentially destroying the town of Squamish downstream and creating an impact wave in Howe Sound that could swamp part of Vancouver Island.
Garibaldi Lake is also quite deep, over 800 feet deep in some spots. It’s also almost completely surrounded by mountains, except at its northwest tip. Notice how when the sun parks behind a cloud, as in this photo, the lake turns from turquoise to a dark blue. Behind the lake rises the large Sphinx Glacier.
On our hike through Taylor Meadows, we had a terrific view of some massive alpine glaciers in the distance.
Lesser Garibaldi Lake is just as turquoise as its larger namesake.
Garibaldi Lake flows into Lesser Garibaldi Lake which flows into Barrier Lake, shown above.
This photo shows The Barrier rising high behind Theresa. When lava flows poured out of the Mt. Price volcano 9,000 years ago, the valley below was filled with glacial ice at that time. As a result, the lava had nowhere to go, and it cooled to form the massive lava dam you see here.
Here Theresa is looking down the valley below The Barrier.
The forest was filled was giant cedars and hemlocks. The base of this tree was as wide as a car.
This shelf mushroom looked quite mystical with drops of dew hanging from its ledges.
The trail to Cheakamus Lake was covered with these slimy slugs. They were quite large, about the size of a fat cigar, and emitted a sticky white mucous.
These brightly colored mushrooms looked good enough to eat. Of course, you should never eat mushrooms in the wild because many mushrooms are deathly poisonous. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with a six shooter loaded with five bullets.
The last day we visited Garibaldi Provincial Park, the skies were very hazy. Still, we had a nice view of the mountains over Cheakamus Lake.