- You’re keen to bask in the beauty of Garibaldi Provincial Park and see a turquoise glacial-fed lake.
- You’re inexperienced or unequipped for a wilderness hike.
- You’re short on time or want a short hike or won’t be camping overnight (although there is a campground, if you wish to do so).
You may be tempted to hike to Garibaldi Lake and Panorama Ridge. If you're a professional hiker who has hiked alone many times, more power to you. However, the hike to Garibaldi Lake is four hours one-way, with an incredible elevation gain so I decided against it—perhaps when I return to BC with a hiking partner for safety reasons.
Then I came across the Cheakamus Lake trail. Pictures looked gorgeous, short distance and relatively low elevation gain. I could do this alone.
Cheakamus Lake Trail
Distance: 14 km however, Cheakamus Lake is 3km from the parking lot
Time: 3.5 hours
Elevation gain: 78 m
After turning right on Highway 99, the drive to the Cheakamus Lake trail parking lot will be on a thin, winding dirt road. It will take close to 30 minutes.
Cheakamus Lake Trail Conditions
It’s a family-friendly trail surrounded by massive, ancient cedars. The path is easy to follow and there are signs along the way.
My Cheakamus Lake Hike Experience
This trail is perfect for a solo female traveler. I went at noon, met friendly hikers along the way and never felt unsafe.
Rain and clouds made the hike more breathtakingly surreal and walking through the gorgeous Fall colours was a bonus. I brought my umbrella with me, however the trees form a canopy so I barely used it. Although this trail can be done in running shoes, I recommend proper hiking footwear in the rain.