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Wedgemount Lake Hike

Garibaldi Provincial Park

Squamish-Lillooet Area, British Columbia

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Wedgemount Lake Hike

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  • Busy morning at the trailhead.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • The trail starts climbing almost immediately.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Rockslide area.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • A short break from climbing.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • The forest is rich with witch's hair (Alectoria sarmentosa), a common lichen.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Obscured view of Wedge Creek.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Steep climbing near the top.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Looking back to the west.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • First view of Wedgemount Lake.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Rugged terrain.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Scoping out some waterfront real estate.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Just a few years ago Wedgemount Glacier reached the edge of the lake. - Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Camping fees go toward trail maintenance as well as things like servicing the hut and two vault toilets via helicopter.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Alpine wildflowers.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • A nice spot to pitch a tent.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Wedgemount Glacier.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Wedge Mountain (2,891 m, central snowy peak), and the lake and glacier.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • The hut at Wedgemount.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
  • Looking west down toward the trailhead far below.- Wedgemount Lake Hike
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing scenery. Great exercise. Mountaineering access.
Cons: 
Very steep. Some crowds. Fires and dogs prohibited.
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Region:
Squamish-Lillooet Area, BC
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,220.00 m (4,002.62 ft)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
14.00 km (8.70 mi)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
800.00 m (2,624.67 ft)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

The Wedgemount Lake Trail is essentially a 7-kilometer staircase. Climbing more than 1,200 meters in such short distance is a tough cardio test for most casual day hikers, and the descent will leave many visitors with shaky legs and angry knees. This hike is not only for the masochists, however; the scenery at the top is well worth the prerequisite pain and suffering.

A new trailhead has recently been built, and the first section of the trail has been rerouted due to a hydroelectric construction project in the area, though signage is clear and easy to follow. Once around the construction the detoured trail rejoins with the old one and wastes no time ascending through lichen-rich old-growth forest. While the grade levels occasionally, the trail climbs steadily for the most part. The hike is pleasant and relatively uneventful as it follows the Wedge Creek drainage up to its headwaters. At one point there is an (unfortunately) obscured view of the creek cascading down almost 300 meters of steep rocks at the top of the valley, but aside from that there isn’t much to see along the trail until the top.

As the trail emerges from the forest the final ascent comes into view, and for the first time views can be seen to the west across the valley. This is the steepest section of the hike, and the route climbs up an open scree field until it finally crests the top of the hill. You'll be greeted by stunning views of some exceptionally rugged alpine terrain. Wedgemount Lake is surrounded by the dramatic rocky peaks of Mount Cook, Mount Weart, Wedge Mountain, Parkhurst Mountain, and Rethel Mountain. The lake is fed by the ever-shrinking Armchair and Wedge glaciers, and their retreat can almost be viewed in real time. The water of Wedgemount Lake is the bright blue hue typical of glacial lakes due to the high levels of "rock flour" suspended in the water, and needless to say it is as cold and refreshing as can be.

The hut at Wedgemount Lake sleeps between five and eight people, and an additional 20 level tent platforms are spread around the basin along with two vault toilets. Camping fees can be paid online or at the trailhead for those who stay overnight to explore the surrounding mountains. There are relatively simple scramble routes to the summits of Mount Cook and Mount Weart. More complex mountaineering routes involving glacier crossings, and some steeper climbs lead to Mount Rethel or the highest peak in Garibaldi Park, 2,891-meter Wedge Mountain. 

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(13 within a 30 mile radius)

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(53 within a 30 mile radius)

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