Thursday, July 11, 2019

Backpacking Canada: Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Tent pads, mountain huts, toilets with TP, what more can you ask for in the backcountry?

Hiking to Wedgemount Lake landed on my to do list after we backpacked in Garibaldi Provincial Park area last summer with Kaelee and Brian (you can read about that trip here). After experiencing the beauty of the park last summer, I knew I had to come back and see more of it.

As I researched what it took to overnight at Wedgemount Lake, I knew you needed to get permits in advance. So beginning of the year, I asked some of my friends if they wanted to join in on this weekend adventure, and I got a handful of yeses! I booked the permits online in March (here's the site to book permits in Canada), and started planning away!

Since the trailhead is roughly 4 hours away from Seattle, I asked my friends if they wanted to spend the night at an Airbnb or hostel in Canada before driving to the trailhead Saturday morning. We all settled at staying in an Airbnb in Squamish Friday night (here's a link to the place we stayed at). (Staying in Squamish was more expensive than staying in Vancouver, but we opted to be closer to the trailhead, vs if we stayed in Vancouver, we would have still had a 2+ hr drive to get to the trailhead Saturday).

Onto the actual backpacking/hike...
Wedgemount Lake

Wedgemount Lake

Trail Stats
Distance: 8.7 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 4500 ft (give or take)
Parking pass needed: none need for trailhead
Permits needed to overnight: Yes ($9/person, reserved ahead online)
No Dogs Allowed

The forecast called for rain Saturday, so I wasn't surprised when we got to the parking lot at the trailhead and it was half empty. We loaded up our packs, put on our rain gear, and hit the trail.

We started the hike around 11:15 AM. Kaelee split from the group and got to the lake first. Our group separated as the hike got steeper and wetter. I arrived at the lake around 4:40 PM. Even though the hike was just a little over 4 miles one way, it was really slow going, especially with the rain. By the time I got to the hut at the lake, I was completely soaked. I don't think my rain coat failed. More that I had taken it off in the middle of the hike, got wet, and put it back on. Anyways, all of us were pretty soaked by the end of the hike.
 Wearing all our rain gear...
The first views of the hut and toilet you get, what a relief knowing you're almost there!
Svenja setting up her tent on a tent pad right outside of the hut

Up at the lake, there are several tent pads. Some are located up on the ridge, and I heard some were down by the lake. But because of the rain, we never wandered down to the lake this weekend. Besides tent pads, there is a small hut and a composting toilet (which are both luxuries in the backcountry in my eyes!) oh and a bear food hang outside!

Kaelee hung out in the hut with another backpacker (Svenja, a solo German backpacker), while she waited for our butts to get up the mountain. Once the rest of us got to the lake, only 2 more overnighters showed up. So a whopping 8 of us were crazy enough to brave the rain for some backcountry solitude. Our group of 5 took over the hut, while the others tented it. (Thank you so much for letting us take over the hut and sleeping in it!)

Do you spy Wedgemount Glacier?
Our refuge, the Wedge Hut

The rain came and went, and so did the views of the lake. Even though it was still bright out at 9:30 PM, we all crawled into our sleeping bags and called it a night. Kaelee, Katherine, and Maria slept in the loft up top, while Cody and I setup our pads and bags on the tables.

The following morning we awoke to the pitter patter of rain against the metal roof of the hut. All of us were dreading to go outside again. But Katherine had to pee, so she was the first one up and out of the hut. When she came back, she announced that the rain wasn't actually that bad! And that their was a view of the lake and glacier! All of us got up eventually, ate breakfast, packed up, wandered around the lake a bit for my photos, and started our hike out before 10:00 AM. Even though it took me over 5 hours to get to the lake the day before, Sunday's hike out took less than 3.5 hours. I blame the rain for my slowness the day before lol.

What an adventure! The rain definitely put a damper to our weekend but we made the best of it. We also made 3 new friends along the way, hope to run into you guys on trail again, Linda, Svenja, and Misuzu!

Until next time Canada!
Katherine, welcoming me to the hut!
 The clouds came and went 
 Cody and me
Our cute home for the night
The inside of the hut, not pictured, the loft that sleeps 4
 Thanks friends, I appreciate you guys!
 Tent pads and mountain huts
 I need to come back and see Wedgemount Mountain with blue skies!
Always so awkward lol


  1. Adorable sightings, truly loved them, thank you for sharing them with us.
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  2. For those seeking adventure, Wedgemount Lake also serves as a basecamp for further exploration. Experienced hikers can continue on to explore the surrounding peaks, glaciers, and valleys, taking in the grandeur of Garibaldi Provincial Park.