Are you ready for a tougher hike to observe glaciers from the close distance? Wedgemount Lake is considered one of the most challenging treks in Garibaldi Provincial Park. It is also quite far from Vancouver, just next to Whistler, but worth the time spent in the car. It was one of the most demanding Vancouver hikes we’ve done.
[Edit 2020] We have visited later other glaciers around the world, for example, on our Norway road trip and during our month in NZ, and we have to tell you, this Canadian one was demanding. Really. If you can do it, you’ll be able to climb up to numerous other glaciers as well. Even in the Rocky Mountains, you’ll see glaciers from your car (if you too plan a road trip to Jasper or Banff).
Hiking Info to Wedgemount Lake Trail
A Challenging Hike to Wedgemount Glacier
The hike is 7 km long, from the trailhead to the lake. We made almost a 17 km round trip. That is because when you reach the shelter above the lake, you simply can’t stop there. Why? The glacier on the other end of the lake is way too tempting to not to check it out from closer.
The trail leads mainly through the forest. First, it is almost flat but soon starts climbing steeply through a series of switchbacks. It’s almost as steep as the trail to Unnecessary Mountain on the way to the famous Lions. The switchbacks lead around halfway up in distance. Later the trail becomes flatter, and one can catch the first glimpses of Wedgemount Waterfall. A 300-meter waterfall comes from the lake that is the destination of the trail. That gives some idea how much more elevation gain left. Altogether, the Wedgemount Lake hike is considered so difficult, mainly due to the big elevation gain of 1200 meters in 7 km.
First Views of the Wedgemount Lake & Glacier
The trail goes out from the forest soon after the first viewpoint of the waterfall. That is the time when it’s worth to take a look backward and enjoy the endless mountains on the horizon on the other side of the road. Soon the steepest part of the trail begins. It’s also the most difficult part as there are many loose rocks and slippery soil. After the steep section, the trail levels again. That is the moment when the turquoise-colored lake and surrounding peaks covered with glaciers become visible.
From this point, it’s just stone’s throw to British Columbia Mountaineering Club hut. The hut is nicely located and is an ideal place to stay the night if you plan to go on any of the scrambling routes around the lake. The cabin is open for public use, but everyone staying overnight in it has to pay a $10 fee. Another disadvantage of this hut in comparison to free huts in Finland is that the cabin doesn’t have any heating.
It is worth not to stop at the hut. You should continue to the far end of the lake for a closer view of the glacier. The trail here is marked with stones. The glacier starts at the same altitude, so no significant effort is needed to reach it. And the views are amazing.
Next to the glacier, there is the best observation point to see Wedgemount Lake. The melting ice created a lovely little lake at the foot of the glacier, and a cute little pond was just inside the glacier surrounded by ice. We didn’t see anything similar so far!
8 thoughts on “Wedgemount Lake Hike: Another Stunning Lake & Glacier”
This sounds like a fantastic hike! I always love anything that involves seeing a glacier. It makes me feel like I’m seeing a piece of history since it’s been around for so many years. I would love to retrace your steps on the trail.
Gorgeous, just like the rest of the hiking trails in that part of Canada. I’m an avid mountain trekker so knowing about this lovely trail is great – something I can add to my list when I return to BC. Thanks.
The views from this hike looks absolutely stunning! Not sure I’m fit enough to pull off a 17km hike in one day, nor am I much of a camper! Thank god people like y’all go on these treks so I can reap the benefits of the photos! Is there anything cooler than seeing a glacier up close!?
Such a beautiful lake. The hike however, seems to be quiet challenging..well the reward awaits at the end of it..so..can’t complain
Wow! As an avid hiker myself I would love to experience this trek. However, it definitely doesn’t look or sound like it’s for the faint of heart. I feel like I would have to do some major prepping in order to successfully complete this with of course, minimum whining 😉
17km round trip in one day! That does sound like a challenging hike. The views are worth it though! I love that turquoise glacier lake. One day I’ll make it to BC!
Great photos indeed! I do wonder when can I see real glaciers. It must be very cold in that place and one must wear thick clothes and gloves. I hope someday I can go that far and see glaciers myself.
It really does look like an incredible part of the world and although I’ve yet to make it to Whistler and the surrounding areas, all my ski buddies say it is an absolute Mecca. The water in the lake is an almost worldly colour and I can totally see why it is worth making the trip. Looks like I’m going to have to get in better shape before I head over to Canada and try to conquer her peaks though!