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Rent Hiking Gear - Tents, Backpacks, Stoves..

Though glaciers can never really be considered safe to hike on, the Wedgemount Glacier is relatively safe.  Hiking up the glacier by bearing left, close to the rocky Mount James Turner from the Wedge Weart Coledge will lead you after about an hours, very strenuous hiking to the top of the glacier into the Wedge-Weart Col.  Wedge Mountain is the highest mountain in all of Garibaldi Park at 2891 metres, and Weart is the massive mountain to the left of Wedge if looking from the lake.  The col in between them is amazing.  The views all around are incredible.  But the further you explore around Wedgemount Lake, the more you come to conclude that the entire place is wonderful.  Just wonderful.

From the Wedge-Weart Col you can see the distant, very distant, Matterhorn looking, Mount James Turner.  Wedge is the setting off point for this spectacular, multi-glacier, three day hike.  Of course, seen from the col, your eyes tracing the probable route along the Lord of the Rings sized glacier valleys below.  The feasibility of how anyone can find a way to its summit leaves you wide eyed.

Mount James Turner Closeup from the Wedge Weart Col

Wedge Mountain from the Wedge Weart Col

Then you turn your eyes to Wedge Mountain right next to you.  Nearly anyway.  You climbed, breathless for hours to get where you stand at the Wedge Weart Col, and you look at the route (one of many routes) to the summit of Wedge, and your eyes get wider.  From the col it is mystifying how the summit could be reached.  But it can.  Stand here long enough and a couple of determined hikers will trudge past you.  Crampons punching into the snow, ice axe fastened to their packs, and more often than not, a leathery complexion that proclaims that Wedge is not their first big summit.

Turning your back on Wedge now you look gradually upward as the snowy col gives way to scree and boulders that lead up to Weart Mountain.  This is probably the most climbed mountain in the area.  It doesn't require special equipment, ropes, helmets, crampons, etc.  Not usually in July anyway.  And can be reached via the Wedge-Weart Col or more often down the glacier near the glacier window.  About 300 metres past the glacier window, on the way to the col, Weart can be reached by hiking left up the steep scree and boulders along one of the many small, yet very tall waterfalls cascading down the rocks.

Weart gives you the best vantage point for photographing Wedgemount Lake as it stretches out, elongated below you until it disappears over the edge via Wedgemount Falls.  Wedgemount Falls is 296 metres tall and can be seen at a distance from the Wedgemount Lake trail about 30 minutes from the end or top of the trail.

The Approach to Weart from the Wedge Weart Col

Weart Mountain from Wedgemount Lake

Back down at Wedgemount Lake, looking up the the towering Weart Mountain, there is an amazing glacier that connects Weart to yet another mountain, Cook Mountain.  Cook Mountain is the easiest of all the peaks around.  All other mountains around are very difficult, intermediate hikes requiring some expertise and very good health, whereas Cook is only moderately difficult.  You do hike through quite a difficult boulder field much of the way and the trail is easily lost, but if you keep to the trail and a good pace its only about 90 minutes from the hut at the lake.The Wedgemount Lake Hut

The Wedgemount Lake hut is located in the midst of the huge boulder field that cascades down from Cook mountain.  Built in 1970 it has been well used and well kept as a base for hiking in this area.  Despite the area being buried under metres of snow much of the year, the Wedgemount Lake hut is sometimes used in the winter.  Wedge Mountain is a popular ski touring destination and can be reached on skis from Blackcomb Mountain, which of course lies next to it, with Whistler Mountain beyond Blackcomb.

The Wedgemount Hut is another aspect of this wonderful place that makes it an amazing place to hike.  It is basic, but beautiful.  It contains two large tables which are equally used as beds, a small window and a big loft area which could, though crowded, sleep four people.  The hut could sleep six quite comfortably and eight a bit crowded.  In the winter with snow outside, the Wedge Hut is extraordinarily warm inside.  Kept clean by the rarely seen Garibaldi Provincial Park wardens, the hut has an outhouse close by that is up steep stairs, at least partly to keep it above the deep snow in the winter, but also to rise above the sewage tank below which is periodically helicoptered out.

The Wedgemount Lake Hut in the Winter

Aerial View of Wedgemount Glacier

Wedgemount Lake Lower Tent Areas

The Wedgemount Hut is among the beautiful boulder field looking down on the beautiful lake below and the distant Wedgemount Glacier.  A short, five minute walk down to the lake leads to some very picturesque and private rock outcrops perfect for diving in.  Though even in the heat of July, the water hovers just over freezing.  But its mesmerizing colour, brilliant turquoise, is dazzling up close.

Around the Wedgemount Hut there are ten amazingly luxurious, wooden tent platforms.  All of them have great views and are beautifully situated to usually be well Wedgemount Lake Tent Platformsapart from each other.  Having truck sized boulders all around makes them fairly easily separated.  Up the hill from the hut, past the outhouse there are more tent platforms.  Each, well hidden from below, so you have to follow the visible trails to find them.  Despite being hidden they command great views as well and have the benefit of being near a little stream with excellent water.

Standing at the entrance to the Wedge Hut and looking down to the lake you might be able to make out several more tent platforms along the gravel shore of the lake.  These are right on the edge of the lake with a stream running behind them.  If you want a stunning view of the lake and glacier from your tent, this is the place to be.  The glacier and lake fill your view, looking out from your tent and once in a while the soothing sound of the stream behind you is broken by the crashing of a rock slide across the lake.  They happen fairly often.  About every hour your heart skips a beat as the frightening rumbling sound of fridge sized boulders tumbling down to the lake.

Wedgemount Lake Flowers

The list of reasons why Wedgemount Lake is amazing is quite long.  The list of why is is not is pretty short.  The trail is, by necessity, quite steep and very rugged.  It has Wedge Falls on the Trail to Wedgemount Lakeonly a handful of highlights.  A cute bridge 20 minutes into the trail over the crashing Wedgemount Creek is nice.  The trees along the trail are often impressive.  There are two massive boulder fields that make you stare for a minute.  Some nice views back toward the Sea to Sky Highway from the trail.  And the great view, though distant of Wedgemount Falls, crashing loudly 296 metres almost straight down.

The trail is fairly short if compared to other Garibaldi Provincial Park trails, at 7k, but it boasts the most elevation gain.  Along the trail if you keep a good pace you will pass a few people who look like they are considering turning back.  You may even see someone run past you on the trail, as Wedge-Runners, they are locally known, do the seemingly impossible.  They can make the lake in about an hour.

A very fast hiking pace will get you to the hut in about 1.5 hours.  A moderate pace takes a little over 2 hours.  And if you are carrying a pack for staying overnight you may take 3+ hours to reach the hut.  Coming down is considerably easier, however, the bashing your knees take from the jarring, downward hiking is for some, more painful than the route up.

Rent Hiking Gear - Tents, Backpacks, Stoves..

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