The Black Tusk peak can be seen in the distance on the drive to Whistler. It’s summit is a rugged adventure, but with the promise of unbeatable views. This is one of the best hikes in the area and is a short drive from Vancouver.
The car park is located at the end of Daisy Lake Road, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from Vancouver. The hike begins by climbing up and up and up until you want to give up. But do not despair, the trail eventually flattens out after 6km and it is well worth the effort. Once you have reached the top of the climb, you are rewarded with the Taylor Meadows. The meadows are filled with a plethora of shrubbery, trees and mountain flowers. If this was the destination, you would be happy with the result, but there is much, much more.
You have a choice at this point to head towards Garibaldi Lake for a (very cold) swim and a spot to have a picnic. Alternatively you can head up towards Black Tusk. You can see the Tusk in the distance from the meadows, which can seem quite daunting. After traversing the meadows, you begin a second ascent. The trail is rocky and you will need to watch your step. In the final reaches to the Tusk, the trail disappears and you have to climb up extremely gravelly terrain. On a clear day, there is no mistake to the direction as the Tusk looms above you.
Once at the top, you can sit at the base of the Tusk and enjoy the amazing views, or continue to climb the Tusk. If you choose to climb up, be very careful. It involves some tricky rock climbing and is not recommend for those not experienced. From the top, snow capped mountains surround you, as you sit atop the world and gaze down at the glistening blue of the glacial Garibaldi Lake. The views are truly spectacular.
When descending, follow the sign posts to Garibaldi Lake. The trail loops around to the lake, before following a different trail back around, past a viewpoint for an amazing landslide, and joins you up the same trail that you initially started on. The entire hike, including multiple rest stops, takes about 10 hours. It is not recommend for the unfit, but you do have the option of deciding which route to take once you have completed the initial climb. Even if you only make it to the lake, it is well worth the visit.