British Columbia, Canada
The peak of Panorama Ridge sits at 2133m and provides breathtaking views of Mt. Price, Mt. Garibaldi, Black Tusk, The Table and Garibaldi Lake (among a myriad of other mountains). It is easy to see where its name is derived. If you want to push yourself, you can do this in one day. Otherwise, it is possible to camp at the beautiful Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadows campgrounds and make it a two-day hike.
Garibaldi Provincial Park offers several of the most amazing hikes in southwest B.C., and within the park itself no hike is more amazing than Panorama Ridge. The trail takes you up through a forest of Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir trees, through meadows full of blooming wildflower, and provides one of the most incredible panoramic views you could wish for at the summit.
For many who have done extensive hiking around Vancouver, the hike to Panorama Ridge remains a favorite year after year. Best of all, you have the option to do the trail as a day hike, or camp at the beautiful Garibaldi Lake and tack on several of the other great hikes in the area, such as Black Tusk.
Garibaldi Provincial Park receives a lot of snow in the winter. The snow will persist into the early summer near the lake and into the late summer up along Panorama Ridge. Late summer is the best time of year for this hike, and particularly in early August when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
Take Highway #99 heading north past Horseshoe Bay towards Squamish. Keep driving along the Sea to Sky highway all the way to Squamish. Once you've hit downtown Squamish, watch your odometer and keep driving north for about another 37km. Keep a sharp eye out for the Garibaldi Provincial Park sign on your right. Just over the Rubble Creek Bridge you will take a right onto a small paved road that is not hard to miss.
Continue on for a few kilometers until you reach the Rubble Creek parking lot. The trailhead is well marked at the parking lot.
Don't leave valuables in your car, as this remote parking lot has been targeted for break-ins before.
The trail is very well-maintained and marked by BC Parks, so navigation is easy. The initial 7km of climb is steep and unrelenting, before leveling out a bit in the meadows. The final push up Panorama Ridge is also steep, has a few difficult sections of rock scree, and quite likely some snow fields.
At 30km it is also a very long hike to fit into one day. Breaking it out into a two-day hike by camping at Garibaldi Lake or Taylor Meadow might be wise.
Breaking up this hike in two is probably a good idea. You can either start with a short day and hike to the campground at Garibaldi Lake or the one at Taylor Meadows, and hike up to the peak and return back to the trailhead the second day.
Or you can hike up to the campground, leave your tent and continue up to the ridge to return at your tent after a full day of hiking, leaving a short hike back to the trailhead for the next day.
If you wish to backcountry camp in Garibaldi Provincial Park, it is $10/night for adults and $5/night for children. Fees can be paid at the Rubble Creek parking lot in cash, or online prior to your trip through the parks website.