The hike to Wedgemount Lake is one of the most difficult in Garibaldi Provincial Park, with an elevation gain of more than 1100 meters in just 7km. However, the spectacular alpine scenery makes the grueling trek well worth it.
Before leaving, make sure you've packed plenty of water as well as a jacket. Temperatures can surprisingly be very cool at the top even on the warmest days in mid-summer.
The trail begins with minimal incline as it weaves its way through second-generation growth forest. After walking for about 20 minutes, you come to two bridges that cross Wedge Creek. Cross the bridges and continue along the trail for a few minutes where you will catch a glimpse of a large rockslide area to the left.
From here, the trail begins to climb through a series of switchbacks. Another 40 minutes or so up the trail, you cross a rockslide that offers a view of the valley below. Continue your uphill climb.
When the trail begins to level and the wind blows through the trees, you will come to another opening with a large rockslide area. This is approximately the halfway point and perhaps the perfect opportunity for a break. Climb over the loose rocks as the trail continues along the lower section of the slide.
Continue heading uphill along the trail as it becomes steeper. Another 40 minutes uphill and you will catch the first glimpse of Wedgemount Waterfall, a spectacular sight where the water drops over 300 meters. There are only a few points where the falls are visible from the trail and are easy to miss as your head is down watching where your are stepping.
Another 20 minutes beyond the last viewpoint and you reach the tree line where you can see another beautiful view of the valley and the steep, rocky slope that lies ahead. Continue along the trail as it makes its way up the rocks, sometimes passing through streams from the winter runoff.
The last section of the trail is the steepest as you scramble your way over the rocks up to the top. There are no trail markers but the path is worn from use by other hikers, so follow these marks as you use your hands to carefully climb through this steep section. The trail reappears again and begins to level out as a glacier becomes visible. A few more minutes and the BCMC (British Columbia Mountaineering Club) hut becomes visible as well as the stunning turquoise-coloured Wedgemount Lake.
The area by the BCMC hut offers a perfect place to stop for lunch and to soak in the views of the entire Wedgemount Lake area. After lunch, follow the trail marked with stones to the furthest end of the lake for a full view of the glacier.
After enjoying the scenery, head back towards the hut and along the trail to begin your descent back towards the parking lot. Make sure to leave plenty of time to return as the descent can be difficult through the steep section and the wet tree roots in the forest can be very slippery and dangerous. Keeping these in mind, the hike back downhill takes just as long as hiking up to the lake.
How to get to Wedgemount Lake
Estimated Driving Time from Vancouver: 2 hours 20 minutes
To reach the trailhead for Wedgemount Lake, drive north along Highway #99 (Sea to Sky Highway) and continue past Squamish to Whistler. About 12km north of Whistler Village, watch for the BC Parks signs to turn off to Wedgemount. Turn right onto the gravel road, cross the train tracks and the bridge. Turn left and drive for a few hundred meters to a fork in the road. At the fork, go right and follow the dirt road for a couple of kilometers to the parking lot. The trail begins at the far end of the parking lot.
View a map of Driving directions to Wedgemount Lake.
Camping at Wedgemount Lake
There is a small hut located near Wedgemount Lake that is available on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are also several gravel and wood raised tent platforms near the hut and further down towards the lake that campers can set their tents on.
Dogs at Wedgemount Lake
Dogs are NOT allowed at Wedgemount Lake or on any trails in Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Toilets at Wedgemount Lake
There are pit toilets at the parking lot and near the BCMC Hut next to Wedgemount Lake.
A view of the Wedgemount Lake area.
Other trails located in the Whistler region: