"With massive thump I land on the floor as my alarm sounds. Its never just one drink is it? Well time for the strongest coffee I can find. Its Black Tusk Day!"
Written by: Jacques Massie
It started off the way you would expect one drink with the boys to start out... with one drink. But you see this is no ordinary town because in Whistler one drink is never just one drink. So after several jagerbombs and numerous bad life decisions 3am came around and it was time to get a quick power nap. 2 hours later and I was up again feeling less than ideal but so so excited to finally hike Black Tusk!
So let's start with a bit of education.. What is Black Tusk?
Black tusk is a stratovolcano and the tusk on top is just a pinnacle of Volcanic Rock. It is in essence the Magma that used to sit in a much larger volcanic chamber. That chamber has, over time, eroded. This has left the volcanic rock now known as Black Tusk.
The mountain is located in the Garibaldi ranges just 30 minutes out of Whistler in one of the most beautiful landscapes you could imagine.
This is Bear Country which means you need to be bear aware. If you don't know what that means then you need to do some learning before you go up. Especially if you are considering camping.
Do not leave food around. Do not antagonise the bears. Do not threaten the bears and DO NOT feed the bears. If you are camping CLICK HERE for some more detailed information.
Where is Black Tusk and How do I get there?
As I mentioned Black Tusk is in the Garibaldi Provincial park and Is accessed via Highway 99 South of Whistler. If you are coming from Whistler head south on the 99. After about 25 km turn left onto Daisy Lake Road. Follow this road to the upper Carpark. The trailhead is obvious from the top carpark. CLICK HERE for a detailed map.
From Vancouver the journey is a little longer so unless you are happy to have a massive day it may pay to plan an overnight trip. Get to the 99 North after about 95km's turn right onto Daisy Lake Road. Head to the top Carpark and the trailhead will be visible.
CLICK HERE for more detail.
What should I look out for?
There are a few amazing locations that you should definitely stop off at.
-About 6km's in there is a small track to your right that will take you to an amazing lookout area. Chill out with the chipmunks and take in the view.
-Barrier Lake! This lake is unbelievable and actually looks like blue powerade. I actually don't think I closed my jaw the whole time we were walking past it.
-Garabaldi Lake boasts some stunning views and is a great spot for lunch.
-Taylor Meadows. This meadow is absolutely amazing and it is even more incredible that the alpine flowers only bloom for just over a month of the year.
-The Tusk itself. Now a lot of people do not actually climb the tusk because it is actually rather dangerous. For me it was well worth the risk but you need to assess the risk yourself and decide what is best for you. No need to be a hero.
What Services are on offer?
Well if you are after a sit down cafe half way up ... your dreamin! This is a relatively serious hike so be prepared and don't expect a relaxed day of walking with the lads.
There are a surprising amount of bathrooms. You have facilities at the; trail head, Garabaldi Lake and at Taylor Meadows Campground. So don't worry ladies.. you don't have to wee in the bush.
There are often Rangers at the Taylor Meadows campground due to the bear activity in the area. If you are unsure of conditions/wildlife feel free to ask them. They are super friendly and happy to give you advice.
The closest gas station Is just out of Whistler so make sure you have enough gas.
To complete the 30 KM round trip took our crew roughly 7 hours. That involved an hour lunch break and plenty of photo stops. Depending on your fitness levels I would recommend allowing yourselves up to 12 hours to complete the hike.
Black Tusk was an unforgettable trip and .. haha.. an unforgettable hangover with some absolute legends! If I get the chance I will be up there again for sure! Please let us know how your trip goes. Feel free to comment below or message us through our Instagram links below.
Get amongst it legends!
Jacques | Massie Bros
Massie Bro's | Paulo | Jacques