The view of the blue Garibaldi lake from the Panorama ridge was enough to put this place on the bucket list. So when a hiker posted a camping trip which would cover this place and scramble to nearby mountains, I signed up, also because I wanted to try backpacking. I booked my permits for the camp spot and was excited for the trip. The rains changed our plans completely and I didn’t get to see the view I wanted to, nevertheless I had a nice peaceful time reading Homo Deus and exploring lakes and meadows.
We started on Friday morning and after a quick border crossing into Canada, we were at the trailhead by 11.30. It was a quick 2.5 hour hike to the Taylor Meadows campground. I carried less and was actually under prepared for the outing. I didn’t feel the weight of backpack much and comfortably made it to the campsite. The trail was quite wide, well marked with sign posts at the junctions. We could see the magnificent Black tusk mountain over us which we were supposed to climb on Sunday. The campsite itself was very impressive – a raised flat wooden platform for pitching tents, a wooden tiny bench, enclosed shelters for cooking/food storage, creek nearby and a smaller creek right beside the tent and clean toilets amidst the green trees and meadows. I was surprised at the facilities and was already thinking about coming back. We set up our tents, had food and went to explore Garibaldi lake. The turquoise color was visible from a distance. We walked along the banks of the lake to reach the lakeside campground and their views were spectacular. I was not expecting a huge glacier on the other side of the like, so that was quite a surprise. The lake with its clear water where tiny fishes kept jumping amidst numerous peaks around looked magnificent. We returned for the night to our campground and I relatively had decent sleep even with a loud group near my tent.
It had started raining by the time I got up and we all waited for it to reduce. According to the forecast I had checked the previous day, the rain would stop by 9 AM but it didn’t. I hadn’t carried my raincoat, so I decided to wait and not hike in the rain. My fellow hikers left around 9.30 AM and I waited in my tent for rain to recede while I started reading Homo Deus on my Kindle. What surprised me was my calmness. I just chose to wait and read without getting disappointed or anxious. After a while, I cooked food from the readymade pouch which tasted ok. The rain almost disappeared at around 12 and I left for Panorama ridge viewpoint. I suddenly realized that I hiking solo was in bear country and was actually scared. It was a respite whenever I encountered people and I felt a bit comfortable seeing other solo hikers. Even with clouds completely covering the sky it was beautiful with the fog making its way between the trees. I encountered several small lakes and flowers. It got more foggy by the time I was on the ridge and visibility dropped to around 10 meters. A father and son followed me and I was comfortable hiking with them all the way to the viewpoint (without a view). We started descending and it started to get clear and I could see streams and mountains around. Actually, it was very serene and I felt good being there. I decided to go visit the lake again and this time I played music on phone in an attempt to keep the bears away. Fortunately I didn’t encounter any bear and I met my group at the lake. We went back to the campsite and I slept even better this time.
It started raining again in the morning, so we decided to descend to the parking lot and visit a nearby waterfalls. I went back in the tent to continue reading. I was actually enjoying the book and was having a great time reading. Finally, the rain receded and we packed and left for the trailhead. It was a quick decent and for the first time, I had a blister on my toe. I just changed to sandals and left worrying about it. We visited Brandyvine falls, had lunch and then returned to Seattle by evening. Border crossing via Peace Arch on Friday morning and via Lynden on Sunday evening didn’t take more than 10 minutes.
Though, I couldn’t get the views I expected, it was a decent trip. I learnt few stuff and was happy with the way I felt even though plans didn’t turn the way we wanted. Will be better prepared for next backpacking trip and hopefully will return to Garibaldi someday.