Camping at Black Tusk is a great alternative to doing the full hike in one day. It also gives you the option of hiking Panorama Ridge the following day to see both sights in one trip.
What to Bring
Whenever you’re overnight hiking you want to be sure to pack as light as possible without forgetting any of your necessities. To help you decide what’s really important, see our conveniently-named What To Bring Overnight Hiking checklist.
There are two main campsites on your way to Black Tusk: Taylor Meadows and Garibaldi Lake. Both can be reached by starting from the Rubble Creek parking lot.
The two campsites work on a first-come-first-serve basis and can fill up quickly so in order to ensure that you’ll get a spot, you should start your trek from the parking lot well before 8am; the earlier the better if you think you’ll be going slow or want to ensure a specific campground.
You will typically encounter a park ranger waiting at the Garibaldi junction (6km from the parking lot) to keep track of how many sites are free and to direct campers to either campground should one (or both) fill up.
Garibaldi Provincial Park requires that you purchase a Backcountry Camping Permit for each camper before you head out hiking. Be sure to do this ahead of time and bring a copy of it with you along the trail.
Please note: This permit does not reserve a specific site for you, nor does it ensure that you’ll be able to stay in one campground or the other.
Garibaldi Lake Campground
The larger and more popular of the two sites, the Garibaldi campground sits right next to the beautiful turquoise lake. This spot can be reached by heading right at the Garibaldi junction and hiking for an additional 2km.
Taylor Meadows Campground
While typically considered the “overflow campsite”, Taylor Meadows is in fact a beautiful spot to spend the night. With fewer non-camping visitors and a plethora of wildflowers, this campground can be reached by heading left at the junction and hiking for an addition 1.5km.
The following amenities are similar at both campgrounds:
The water that is available is from a natural stream so you will want to have some way of cleaning it. A good option would be to bring a filter to separate out any dirt and debris (a coffee filter placed over the mouth of your water bottle works if you don’t own a water filter) and water tabs to kill any bacteria.
Pit toilets are located at the head of the trail as well as at both of the campsites. These facilities can sometimes run out of toilet paper so it’s a really good idea to bring a roll of your own.
Bears and other wildlife live in the area so you will need to keep all of your food in one of the bear caches they have set up for you at the campsites. Be sure to bring an extra bag (your tent bag could work as an alternative) to store your food in when you pull it up the cache.
All garbage is to be trekked out with you so be sure to bring some method of carrying it back. A couple garbage bags strapped to the outside of your pack is always a good idea.
Cell Phone Service
Phone service is basically non-existent along most of the trail and at the sites themselves. Be sure to tell someone where you’re going and when to expect you back as you may not be able to contact them along the way.
Thinking of camping overnight on your hike to Black Tusk? Tell us all about it in the comments section below!