For some amazing hiking options, it really does pay to get out of Vancouver at least once during your stay. One of the best places to visit is Garibaldi Provincial Park, which comprises nearly 195,000 hectares and is perhaps Canada’s most accessible and spectacular wilderness. The park is located 13 km north of Squamish, 97 km north of Vancouver along Hwy 99 on the road to Whistler. One of the easiest ways to appreciate the beauty of the area is to hike to Brohm Ridge, a walk that rewards the slightly adventurous with stunning views of Mount Garibaldi.
The only real drawback is that you need a 4-wheel-drive vehicle with high clearance to get near to the trailhead, which is around 10.5 kilometres from Highway 99 along a very uneven logging road. Another slight snag is that you have to take a precise sequence of turns to get to this trailhead. From the highway, turn right on the Cheekeye Forest Service Road (FSR) before Brohm Lake (elevation 270m). Take the first major road left (Brohm River FSR). Follow this road for several kilometers in a northerly direction. Ignore two minor spurs on the left around the Km6 mark. Take a left spur at around Km7.4 and keep going for roughly three kilometres before encountering either a very steep hill with very loose rocks or fallen trees depending on how far you have gone.
After leaving your vehicle, unlocked in our case, you walk along the rest of the logging road and then head left upwards towards the ridge that can be seen through the trees. There is no real trail here, so just head for the ridgeline which will be your horizon to the east. As you walk the trees give way to heather, small streams, and snow pockets. Behind you the Tantalus range gradually provides a spectacular view westwards with the snowline clearly visible. Some flowers will be out in the alpine meadows as you gain height towards the ridge. One or two slightly steep sections bring you to the top of the ridge and the postcard-perfect view of Mount Garibaldi and Atwell Peak. On a clear summer day you can see the snowfield in the depression between the two peaks and hear a few rocks clattering down the scree slopes and deep ravines that scar the mountain. For this area, this is a fairly straightforward hike, taking around 75 minutes from leaving your vehicle to reaching the ridge.
Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734