Now that it’s summer, hiking has become more addictive than I thought. Because we only get two months of summer, I am trying to take advantage of the nice weather by hiking trails and mountains and avoiding being stuck inside the house as much as possible. For this week, we decided to hike Garibaldi Lake in Whistler, an hour and forty-five minute drive if you’re coming from Vancouver. We were supposed to go there early but my friend got caught up in a traffic jam. Thus, we ended up arriving at the starting point of the trail around 11 in the morning. A good tip for those people who are planning to go hiking is to go there as early as possible to avoid the heat and scorching sun. Also, lathering yourself with bug repellent is a must if you don’t want insects feasting on your blood. Take lots of drinking water with you as well to avoid being dehydrated. My friend forgot to bring his own water that I had to share mine with him. Trust me, it sucks. Not the sharing part in itself, but being thirsty while stupidly asking yourself whether to drink the water from the rivers and creeks you pass by or not.
The trails heading to the lake are not as steep as Grouse Grind which is another hiking trail in North Vancouver. Garibaldi Lake is a 6 hour hike with a variety of flat, downhill and uphill trails. You might feel that the trails are never going to end as they have been designed like a zigzag maze along the mountains, but when you reach your destination, the long hike is all worth it. You get the chance to look at the lush vegetation, walk on man-made wooden bridges, and play with tiny squirrels trying to grab your attention as you walk towards your destination.
From the second lake, you have to keep on walking for another one and a half kilometer to get to Garibaldi Lake. As I was heading down the lake, I almost tripped because I was busy craning my neck towards my left to get a good view of the lake. You can’t really blame me as I was captivated by the magnificent view in front of me.
Upon arriving at the lake, the first thing that will grab your attention is the light, turquoise-colored water with its hypnotic beauty beckoning you to just strip and swim with your heart’s content. The water is so fresh and clear that you can actually see the bottom of the lake.
The shortness of breath, the grueling hike which never seemed to end, and the torturous thirst because I ran out of water in the middle of the hike were forgotten once I laid my eyes on this stunning view. I was speechless, and all I wanted to do was close my eyes, bask in its overwhelming beauty and forget about life for a moment.
And I did, I sat there for a while and thought about the people in my life who were not there with me to enjoy this God-given masterpiece. I thought of my friends who were missing a lot because they weren’t there with me to share and marvel at the light, turquoise-bluish, clear water, the magnificent mountains circling the lake, the meadows and to breathe in the invigorating air. Garibaldi Lake is probably one of the most spectacular lakes I have seen in my life. The fact remains that hiking almost 6 hours and sweating like a pig to get to this lake was worth it.