Garibaldi Park Whistler A to Z: Mt James TurnerThe Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered most of north-west North America for much of the last 2.6 million years.  At the Last Glacial Maximum during the Last Glacial Period(26,500 years ago), the Cordilleran Ice Sheet likely covered as much as 2.5 million square kilometres.  Stretching from Alaska to Oregon, British Columbia was entirely covered in ice that in many places over two kilometres thick.  At the Continental Divide of North America the Cordilleran Ice Sheet merged with the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

Whistler & Garibaldi Hiking

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  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyFlank Trail  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerGaribaldi Park  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerHelm Creek  Moderate Hiking Trail Whistler Dog FriendlyJane Lakes  Joffre Lakes Hike in Whistler in SeptemberJoffre 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  Whistler Hiking Trail HardNewt Lake  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerPanorama Ridge  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyParkhurst Ghost Town  Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRainbow 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  Sproatt East  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerSproatt West  Moderate Hiking Trail WhistlerTaylor Meadows  Whistler Hiking Trail EasyTrain Wreck  Hiking Trail Hard - Whistler TrailsWedgemount Lake  Pay Use Hiking Trail WhistlerWhistler Mountain

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The Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets combined covered most of North America and held one and a half times more water than the Antarctic Ice Sheet does today.  Interestingly, the Cordilleran Ice Sheet did not cover most of Alaska(north of the Alaska Ridge) due to the climate being too dry to produce lasting glaciers.  Another remarkable feature of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet is how quickly it disappeared relative to the Laurentide Ice Sheet.  It is thought, and it really only is a thought, that the Laurentide took eleven thousand years to disappear, whereas the Cordilleran only about four thousand years.  Ice ages are bewilderingly complex and it is hard to get a grasp on how so many barely understood variables combine to move us into and out of ice ages.  The best we can do is hone in on more graspable aspects of glaciation and try to piece together an enormous puzzle.  Approximately 9000 years ago the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was in rapid retreat and Mount Price was an active volcano.  Lava flowing from Mount Price met the ice wall that filled Cheakamus Valley and formed The BarrierThe Barrier allowed Garibaldi Lake to form, where previously it was a valley extending into Cheakamus Valley.  The Barrier is just one of many striking geologically formed features of Garibaldi Park close to Whistler.  The Table and Black Tusk are two other bizarre and beautiful mountains produced through volcanoes pushing through the enormous Cordilleran Ice Sheet.

Standing on Black Tusk and The Table in the Distance

The Table is thought to have formed just a few thousand years ago when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet covered much of northwest North America.  In 1951 Canadian Geologist Bill Mathews pieced together how this interesting mountain formed.  He theorized that magma must have melted a vertical tube through to the surface of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet.  The pooling lava cooled and hardened into a flat topped mountain.  The lack of glacier erosion around The Table indicates that it formed at the end of the last ice age when the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was in quick retreat.  So, looking across from Black Tusk to The Table you can try to visualize the land all around buried in an ice sheet about level with where you are standing.  About 12000 years ago, there was a pure white sea of ice all around, and an unseen column of lava melting to the surface like a molten rock lake.  What a sight it must have been with a cauldron of lava in the midst of a glacier hundreds of metres thick.  While studying The Table as well as others in norther British Columbia, Bill Mathews referred to these flat topped mountains as tuyas.  He called them tuyas after the Tuya River and Tuya Range in northern British Columbia.

The Table and Mount Garibaldi

The Table, Mt Garibaldi, Mount Price, Garibaldi Lake

The Table Garibaldi Lake Map

More Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking A to Z!

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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Cairns, inukshuks or inuksuks are a pile or arrangement of rocks used to indicate a route, landmark or a summit.  The word cairn originates from the ...
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Whistler spruce is a hybrid of the Sitka spruce and the interior Engelmann spruce. Sitka spruce trees thrive in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest ...
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Moraines are glacially deposited ridges of debris that accumulate at the sides or terminus of a glacier.  Lateral moraines form at the sides of glaciers ...
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Scree: from the Norse “skridha”, landslide.  The small, loose stones covering a slope. Also called talus, the French word for slope. Scree is mainly formed ...
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Along Whistler’s Valley Trail near Rainbow Park you come across some impressively unusual trees. Unlike most other Whistler trees with straight trunks and ...
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Alpine Zone or Alpine Tundra is the area above the treeline, often characterized by stunted, sparse forests of krummholz and pristine, turquoise lakes.  Mount ...
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The Fitzsimmons Range is a subsection of the Garibaldi Ranges that covers the area between the valleys of Cheakamus Lake and Fitzsimmons Creek.  Fitzsimmons ...
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Amazing Hiking Trails in Whistler

The Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

The short, winding, and ever-changing hiking trail to Rainbow Falls is the same as the much more popular trailhead for Rainbow Lake.  The trailhead is marked as the Rainbow Trail, and the trail quickly ...
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Sloquet Hot Springs is a wonderfully wild set of shallow, man-made pools fed by a small, all natural, and very hot, waterfall. The pools stretch from the waterfall to the large and crashing Sloquet River. The ...
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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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Nairn Falls is a wonderful, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the deluxe viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above.  The beautiful, green water rushes through the ...
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Whistler & Garibaldi Park Best Hiking by Month!

May is an extraordinarily beautiful time of year in Whistler. The days are longer and warmer and a great lull in between seasons happens. Whistler is fairly quiet ...
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June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f). ...
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July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
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August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
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Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
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Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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