Garibaldi Provincial Park – Wilderness Camping
While all overnight stays in Garibaldi Provincial Park require reservations and camping is permitted only within designated campsites, there are opportunities to allow mountaineers, climbers, ski tourers, and other visitors with advanced skills in wilderness travel and camping to camp in the wilderness areas of the park. Wilderness reservations can be made through the Discover Camping Reservation Service.
Wilderness campers must meet the following eligibility requirements
- You have on your person a valid copy of your wilderness camping reservation confirmation letter with you at all times.
- You camp 2km from any established trail or campground.
- You camp 30m away from any lake, stream, wetland or other natural water source.
- Your group size is 10 or less.
- You and your party are experienced wilderness travellers and understand trip planning, route finding and complete a trip plan and leave it with a responsible party for the duration of your trip. See below for additional details.
- You must follow wilderness “Leave No Trace” camping ethics.
- Camping must occur within the wilderness camping zones (see map below), and outside of the prohibited camping zones.
Prohibited Camping Zones
- Wilderness Camping Map [PDF 8.48MB]
- Prohibited Camping Zones: South Garibaldi
- The Diamond Head area and approach, Columnar Peak or the Gargoyles, Opal Cone, Mamquam Lake.
- Garibaldi Lake area and approach, Black Tusk, Panorama Ridge and Mount Price.
- Around Cheakamus Lake and away from the sensitive wetland habitat at the east end of the lake at the Cheakamus River inflow.
- Prohibited Camping Zones: North Garibaldi
- The height of land around Wedgemount Lake excluding the approaches to Wedge Mountain.
- The north-south running UTM 511E forms the boundary for both the south and north sections of the Spearhead traverse. Wilderness camping is prohibited west of this line. In the south, this line roughly dissects Fissile peak and the Overlord glacier East of Russet Lake Campground. In the North, UTM 511E dissects the Decker glacier.
Trip Planning & Training
The following are essential steps and knowledge that will help towards being prepared in the event something goes wrong on your trip:
- Plan your travel route
- Know the terrain and conditions
- Check the weather and/or avalanche bulletin
- Always fill out a trip plan such as the online AdventureSmart Trip Plan tool
- Design your trip to match your expectations and outdoor skill level
- Select appropriate equipment
- Consult the park website and other resources regarding current conditions and closures
- Seek information about your destination and the en-route difficulties you might encounter
- Obtain the training and skills you need before heading out.
- Know and stay within your limits.
Complete the online AdventureSmart trip plan and leave it with a responsible person prior to an outdoor adventure. In addition, please send your trip plan to STSRangers@gov.bc.ca FOR STATISTICAL PURPOSES ONLY. BC Parks will not monitor these trip plans for safety, but will use this information to improve the wilderness permitting process, and to assist emergency services upon their request.
Completing a trip plan is extremely important. It explains your destination, travel route, equipment and expected return time. It is vital information to assist authorities searching for you in the event of an emergency.
If no one knows you are missing, no one will be looking for you.
Consider carrying a device compatible with your activity and location to call or alert others in an emergency. Your chance of a successful outcome increases if your call is made as soon as possible.
Know the capabilities and the limitations of the equipment you are planning to use as your lifeline to survival.
Always leave your trip plan with a responsible party, family member or friend. They can notify authorities if you don’t return.
Your life may depend on it! While on your trip, stick to the plan. In the event that you do not return as stated in your plan, it can be given to police and search and rescue organizers to help them find you.
Taking the Essentials
Always carry the essentials and know how to use them:
- Fire making kit
- Signalling device (i.e. whistle)
- Extra food and water
- Extra clothing
- Navigational/communication devices
- First aid kit
- Emergency blanket/shelter
- Pocket knife
- Sun protection
- Add other equipment specific to your chosen activity, season and location.
- Travel with a companion: A companion can give you a hand to overcome difficulties or emergencies.
- Be prepared: Ensure everyone with you understands what to do in case of an emergency.
- Don’t depend solely on technology: Equipment failure and lack of reception are very possible in the outdoors. Obtain a topographic map or hiking guide to help choose and navigate your route.
- Pack Smart: Repackage food. Reduce bulk, weight, and litter. Use reusable containers or plastic bags.
- Set realistic and achievable goals: Select your route, clothing, food, fuel, and equipment based on the skill and fitness level of your group members. Consider the distance and elevation gain involved. Steep, high ridges between river valleys make even short distances difficult. Be sure each member of your party is prepared for the choices you make.
“Leave No Trace” Wilderness Ethics
- Leave No Trace of your visit to Garibaldi Provincial Park by incorporating these ideas and practices into your wilderness experience. They are especially important when camping in wilderness and alpine areas to protect the natural environment.
Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces.
In wilderness and alpine zones, choose a durable campsite at least 30m from water and trails. Minimize impact at a campsite. Never scrape away leaves or needles. Avoid enlarging existing sites. Wear soft-soled shoes around camp. Clean your camp when you leave. In wilderness areas, spread use and avoid places where impact is just beginning. Pay particular attention to what you do in and around your campsite; you are camping in and amongst sensitive plants such as heather meadows. These are among the most fragile ecosystems because of the severe conditions and the short growing season. What may seem like a harmless activity can cause long-term damage.
- Dispose of Waste Properly: Pack out all trash and food waste left over from cooking. Bury human waste at least 20cm deep and 70m from any water source or wetland. Mix in dirt and cover to disguise the hole. Human waste that cannot be buried in solid ground must be carried out.
- Pack out all toilet paper — do not burn it. Urinate on the soil surface, away from vegetation and water.
- Waste water from cooking and washing: Use hot water and elbow grease, not soap. Remove all food particles by straining cooking and wash water before disposing of it using a broadcasting method. Pack the particles out with leftover food. Avoid contaminating water supplies by not washing directly in the water. Soap is not necessary. Rinse off at least 70m from any water source. Minimize tooth brushing impact by using salt or baking soda instead of toothpaste.
- Leave What You Find: Avoid site alterations. Leave all sites as you found them. Do not dig trenches, level sites, or construct tables or chairs. Avoid damaging live trees and plants. Never hammer nails into trees or girdle trunks with tent lines. Leave natural objects and cultural artifacts. All natural and cultural resources such as rocks, antlers, or fossils, pot shards, and projectile points, must be left undisturbed. It is illegal to disturb or collect these resources.
- Respect Wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow, approach, or feed them. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. Avoid wildlife areas during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors: Respect their experience and desire for solitude. Talk quietly in camp and on the trails. Don’t walk through others’ camps. Rest just off the trail on a durable site. Camp away from scenic attractions and water. Please clean up after less thoughtful people who have gone before you.