top of page
  • Alan

Hiking Expedition to Wedgemount Lake

Updated: Feb 25

Wedgemount Lake, BC
Wedgemount Lake, BC

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that this is a challenging hike and checking the conditions before and making sure you are prepared is extremely important.

For a while, I had been eager to hike to Wedgemount Lake in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The lake's stunning turquoise waters and the breathtaking views of Mount Weart, Mount Cook, and Mount James Turner had always intrigued me. But what truly inspired me to embark on this journey was a Facebook post I stumbled upon. It featured someone who had ventured all the way to the ice caves beyond Tupper Lake, and I immediately knew I needed to witness this remarkable landscape for myself.

I shared my plan to conquer this peak with my wife, setting the date for the weekend of October 28th. With that decision made, I left my North Vancouver home at 5:30 AM, arriving at the Wedgemount Lake parking lot by 7:30 AM. To my surprise, I found myself the lone vehicle in the lot, which admittedly left me feeling a bit uneasy. But I figured I'd see more hikers on the trail later in the day.

My hike commenced at 7:50 AM. The sun was gradually rising, casting a gentle glow through the forest canopy. It wasn't dark enough to require a headlamp, but as I continued, the day began to brighten. Approaching the 3-kilometre mark, I could hear others behind me, catching up with my pace. Despite my desire to take a break, I pressed on, promising myself a rest once I reached the Wedgemount campground.

Garmin Map
Garmin Map

Around the 3.5 km point the snow from previous days had melted and frozen, creating a significant ice field. Initially, I attempted to cross without using my spikes, but the icy section extended, covering the entire width of the trail, leaving no trees or rocks to aid my progress. Reluctantly, I decided to don my spikes, and it made navigating the ice much easier.

Upon reaching approximately the 4-kilometer mark, I caught my first glimpse of the sun peering through the mountaintops. This was a heartening sign that I was nearing the campground. The turquoise beauty of Wedgemount Lake came into view as I drew closer, offering a serene, bright, and calming sight – simply breathtaking.

The campground, perched above the lake, features about 10 tent pads with incredible lake views and an emergency shelter for those in need. Previous hikers have left books, pancake mix, maps, and other essentials for fellow adventurers.

I took a break at a rock by the lake and savored the sandwich I had brought from home. It was a satisfying pause, allowing me to fully appreciate the scenery. After about 20 minutes, I continued on my way, still 2 kilometers away from the ice caves.

I continued along the shoreline of Wedgemount Lake, crossing several partially frozen downstreams, until I reached Tupper Lake, situated approximately 1.5 kilometers from the campground. Tupper Lake had a frozen, grayish appearance and lacked the charm of it's counterpart.

Further along, I embarked on the scramble leading to the ice caves, requiring my trekking poles to assist me on the final ascent. The sight that awaited me was nothing short of astounding – a massive ice cave entrance loomed before me. I ventured inside, discovering large ice boulders that had broken off from the cave walls. Further within, I observed evidence of a collapsed roof section.

The ice cave extended to a second, equally impressive chamber, featuring a smaller opening leading to yet another cave. This one had a lower ceiling, requiring a hunched posture to explore it's depths. The ice displayed captivating blue hues and encapsulated rocks that had been trapped in its icy embrace for who knows how long.

After thoroughly exploring the ice caves, it was time to descend. By this point, it was already 2 PM, and I descended as swiftly as my remaining energy allowed. I could see the sun setting as I made my way down, turning my return into a race against time to reach my car in the parking lot before sunset. I finally emerged from the trail around 5:45 PM, with the last remnants of daylight fading. Just minutes later, darkness enveloped the surroundings. Successfully concluding my hiking expedition to Wedgemount Lake, I can now relish the accomplishment of reaching this breathtaking destination.

While the hike itself may not be as lengthy as Panorama Ridge or Black Tusk, the grueling 9-kilometer ascent presents a formidable challenge. Nevertheless, the reward was unquestionably worth the effort.

As the winter season approaches, it's crucial to exercise extra caution on every hike. Ensuring you have the necessary equipment is paramount for a safe and enjoyable experience. Take the time to thoroughly research and study the best routes, examining recent reviews of the area you plan to explore. This information provides valuable insights into the current terrain and potential weather conditions. Always keep in mind that the weather can change unexpectedly, so staying prepared with the right gear is essential. Whether it's sudden snowfall or fluctuating temperatures, being well-equipped and informed enhances your hiking adventure and ensures a safer journey.


bottom of page