Wedgemount Lake

September 24, 2005

To reach the trailhead, you need to follow Highway 99 to Whistler. About 12 kilometres north of Whistler Village, there is a BC parks sign on the right side of the highway, follow the arrow and cross the railway tracks over a small bridge, then go left, then right, then left along a narrow road.

This narrow road is rough in some spots and there is tricky ditch before the upper parking lot. If you have a lower clearance vehicle is better to leave the car before the ditch. The good news, from there to the trailhead is only a 300 metres walk.

One of the most scenic hikes around Whistler, Wedgemount Lake should be done on a sunny day. The best month is August followed by September and July.

Lower Parking Lot - Elevation: 724 m (2375 ft)

The first part of the hike climbs climbs gradually but steadily through second-growth forest. After 20 to 30 minutes, there are two small bridges crossing Wedge Creek. This is a good spot to drink water and fill the bottles, there is not water for the next 2 hours.

The trail continues upward, and half way, the trail levels for maybe five minutes.

Before resuming your climb you will cross two rockslides. The last part of the hike is the steepest one and you need to go through boulders and loose soil. If you do an early hike (let's say July), you can expect snow lingering around.

There is a point that I like to call "Wedgemount Pass" where you can have some of the same views that many skiers enjoy on Blackcomb during winter. The only difference is that you don't have to pay.

Bottom Left: Highest Point of the Hike 1910 m (6266 ft)

Then you will be greeted by one of the surrounding glaciers with every bit of majesty that you can always expect to find from the BC Coast Mountains.

Bottom: Armchair Glacier and Weart Mountain on the right side

This is one of the five main entry points to Garibaldi Park, the others ones are: Diamond Head, Garibaldi Lake, Cheakamus Lake, and Singing Pass.

Then you start a short descent towards Wedgemount Lake, this spectacular glacial lake is circled by Wedgemount and Armchair Glaciers.

There is an alpine hut that can provide shelter to eight people and is open for everyone on a first-come first-serve basis. There are some camping spots close to the lake as well.

This is the camp base to climb Wedge Mountain (2,904 metres - 9,528 feet), the highest peak in Garibaldi Provincial Peak.

At the end of the lake you can see the snout of Wedgemount Glacier. Twenty years ago the glacier was touching the lake but since then this glacier has retreated hundreds of metres.

Some people, specially environmentalists blame this receding to human-induced global warming.

These glaciers, along with many other glaciers around the world have been retreating since 1850.

Roundtrip distance: 14 km (8.75 miles)
Elevation gain: 1200 m (3937 ft)

Driving distance from Vancouver: 140 km (87.50 mi)

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