Garibaldi Lake – snowy and chilly Fall weekend

Watching the weather forecast as the weekend approached, we knew there would be early season snowfall in the Coast Mountains, but clear skies for Saturday and Sunday, albeit with frigid temperatures.

We decided to overnight at Garibaldi Lake, stupefyingly busy during the summer, but only hardy souls would overnight in cold weather in mid-October. We packed our trusty Hilleberg tent, down sleeping bags and mats, and down jackets, and headed for the trailhead. We started after lunch given the easy 10 km climb to the Lake campground. The trail was busy with dayhikers dropping down after their round trip to the lake, or beyond.

It was very cold! A good covering of snow on the trail and at the campground. The main issue was the wind chill, with an icy wind coming off Garibaldi Lake from the mountains and glacier. We cooked dinner early, had hot drinks, and stayed just warm enough. It was so cold that the lids on our water bottles were freezing tight and the water was turning into a block of ice. We took an early night.

Chilly at Garibaldi Lake campground

After 12 hours of cozy tent, we got up to slightly warmer and calm conditions. We ate our oatmeal and headed for the dayhike across the meadows to Panorama Ridge. It was more overcast than we hoped, but the clouds reflected in Garibaldi Lake were spectacular.

Garibaldi Lake

We didn’t tarry at Panorama ridge and dropped back down to Garibaldi lake, took the tent down, had one last hot drink before heading back to Vancouver. Great experience – must bring functioning handwarmers next time!

Check out some photos in our Google Photos album.

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