Hike in Whistler Glossary of Hiking TermsThe Rubble Creek trailhead is the main access point for many of the best hikes and sights in Garibaldi Provincial Park.  Rubble Creek is located midway between Whistler and Squamish, just 2 kilometres from the Sea to Sky Highway.  The name Rubble Creek is evidently quite appropriate when you reach the parking lot and see the remnants of what must have been a terrific rock slide not that long ago.  Giant boulders fill the river and river valley that sharply ascends up the valley toward Garibaldi Lake and The Barrier.  

Whistler Hiking Trails

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlySproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Hike in Whistler Glossary

Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Barrier  Hike in Whistler GlossaryBears  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCoast Mountains  Hike in Whistler GlossaryErratic  Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Fissile  Hike in Whistler GlossaryFitzsimmons Range  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Ranges  Hike in Whistler GlossaryHoary Marmot  Hike in Whistler GlossaryMount Garibaldi  Hike in Whistler GlossaryOverlord  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRubble Creek  Hike in Whistler GlossarySpearhead Range

The Barrier is a magnificently abrupt and unstable rock formation that holds back Lesser Garibaldi Lake and just two kilometres further, Garibaldi Lake.  The Barrier partially gave way in the spring of 1856 and unleashed a horrific, rocky torrent of boulders down the valley.

It is estimated that more than 25 million cubic metres of rock tumbled down the valley at about 70 kilometres per hour.  Sixty years later the Pacific Great Eastern Railway completed the railway line that stretched up the coast from Vancouver, through Whistler, to Lillooet and beyond.  In 1916 the Garibaldi Lodge opened near the railway line at Daisy Lake and Rubble Creek.  The Garibaldi Lodge was similar to the Rainbow Lodge at Alta Lake in Whistler.  Garibaldi Lodge was located in a small community called Daisy Lake after the lake that we see there today that Brandywine Falls so dramatically spills into.  In 1932, five years after the creation of Garibaldi Provincial Park, the community changed its name from Daisy Lake to Garibaldi.  The newly named town of Garibaldi was poised to become the main base and tourism centre for Garibaldi Provincial Park.

The town continued developing and soon grand plans were drawn up for a ski resort in the area.  The company that originally created what would become Whistler that we see today was called the Garibaldi Lift Company.  A name that suggested the location that the resort would emanate from, Garibaldi.  With huge development plans underway, the government had a look at the potential for another enormous rock slide if The Barrier ruptured again.  A massive study was done and it was determined that The Barrier could release a similar catastrophe as it did in 1856 at any time.  Specifically the study determined that the conditions that produced the 1856 slide are all still characteristics of The Barrier today.

Because a similar catastrophic rock slide could occur anytime, the plans for Garibaldi were scrapped and the town was ordered evacuated.  To compensate the people that lived in the tiny community, lots were offered in the new settlements of Pinecrest and Black Tusk Estates, just north of Rubble Creek.  Those areas retain the same names today, however the settlement of Garibaldi is long gone.  Though you will still see the old townsite’s name on the Sea to Sky highway signs for the Rubble Creek trailhead.  The highway signs read Black Tusk(Garibaldi) referring to the Rubble Creek trailhead to Garibaldi Provincial Park.  In Whistler you will find a little piece of history if you go for a drink in one of Whistler’s best slopeside bars, the GLC.  The GLC sits at the base of Whistler Mountain and above the Whistler Gondola, and has one of the most amazing patios around.  GLC, of course is short for Garibaldi Lift Company.

Today you will see Daisy Lake as you drive along the Sea to Sky Highway between Squamish and Whistler.  In 1957 the Daisy Lake Dam was completed and is dramatically visible as you drive by.  Just past the lake, heading north, you pass Brandywine Falls which spills from an abrupt cliff into Daisy Lake.  Near the falls you will find a tranquil viewing area overlooking the valley and a great view of Daisy Lake.  There are a couple of nice, sun facing park benches here as well which makes this spot unbeatable to relax for lunch with a million dollar view of this historically and geologically magnificent place.

The Rubble Creek Landslide

In the spring of 1856 more than 25 million cubic metres of rock from The Barrier crashed down the valley of what is today called Rubble Creek.  The incredible torrent of volcanic rock boulders crashed down the valley more than 6 kilometres at a speed of more than 30 metres per second.  The vertical distance of the debris flow was over 1000 metres measured from the top of The Barrier to the end of the debris field where Rubble Creek meets Cheakamus River.

The exact cause of the 1856 Rubble Creek landslide is unknown.  There are a couple of possibilities geologists have come up with.  Water from Garibaldi Lake ends up passing through The Barrier via a subsurface drainage system that comes out the other side as springs far below.  Groundwater pressure  may have increased due to some sort of blockage resulting in pressures that triggered the slide.  Another theory is that an earthquake could have ruptured The Barrier, causing the massive release of rock down the valley.  There is a record of an earthquake in the area in 1853, however no record of an earthquake in the years that follow, before or after the 1856 Rubble Creek slide.  It is difficult to confirm that an earthquake did not occur in 1856 owing to the distance to populated areas at the time.  The abrupt shape of The Barrier and its interesting origin not only explain how it formed into such and unusual way, but why it will continue to threaten another collapse. 

 Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Barrier  Hike in Whistler GlossaryBears  Hike in Whistler GlossaryCoast Mountains  Hike in Whistler GlossaryErratic  Hike in Whistler GlossaryThe Fissile  Hike in Whistler GlossaryFitzsimmons Range  Hike in Whistler GlossaryGaribaldi Ranges  Hike in Whistler GlossaryHoary Marmot  Hike in Whistler GlossaryMount Garibaldi  Hike in Whistler GlossaryOverlord  Hike in Whistler GlossaryRubble Creek  Hike in Whistler GlossarySpearhead Range

Whistler Hiking Trails

Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerAlexander Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerBlack Tusk  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerBlackcomb Mountain  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerBrandywine Falls  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyBrew Lake  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerCallaghan Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerCheakamus Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River  Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJoffre Lakes  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hot Springs  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyMadeley Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyMeager Hot Springs Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerNairn Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRainbow Lake  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyRing Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerRusset Lake  Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Trail  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSkookumchuck Hot Springs  Easy Hiking Trail WhistlerSloquet Hot Springs  Moderate/Hard Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlySproatt  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

Hike in Whistler Glossary

Green Lake is the marvellously vivid, green coloured lake just north of Whistler Village.  Driving north on the Sea to Sky Highway, Green Lake appears ...
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Whistler, the surrounding mountains, and Garibaldi Provincial Park are home to two types of bears.  Black bears and grizzly bears.  Black bears are ...
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Erratic or Glacier Erratic is a piece of rock that has been carried by glacial ice, often hundreds of kilometres. Characteristic of their massive size and ...
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The Garibaldi Volcanic Belt is a line of mostly dormant stratovolcanoes and subglacial volcanoes largely centred around Whistler and extending through ...
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Whistler Hiking Trails

The alpine hiking trails on Whistler Mountain are the ultimate in luxurious, quick-access alpine hiking. Little effort gets you amazing views of turquoise lakes, snowy mountains, valleys of flowers and ...
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Taylor Meadows is a very scenic campsite and great alternative to the much busier and more well known, Garibaldi Lake campsite. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park between Garibaldi Lake and Black Tusk, ...
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The Sea to Sky Trail is a 180 kilometre multi-use trail that runs from Squamish to D'Arcy. The trail is still under construction in many parts, however, the amazing route through Whistler is finally in ...
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Garibaldi Lake is the centre and base for much of the hiking in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Garibaldi Lake campsite is located on the amazing, turquoise shores of this massive and mostly still wild ...
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