With teal blue waters fed by a receding glacier and views of towering mountains in the background, the Wedgemount Lake hike is easily one of the best in British Columbia and one of the most beautiful alpine lakes we’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a challenging but fun hike in the Whistler area, then the hike to Wedgemount Lake is perfect for you! Whether you want to go camping at Wedgemount Lake or tackle this beast of a hike in one day, we’ve got you covered with all the information you need to plan your visit.

Three tents setup on the shore of Wedgemount Lake a bright teal alpine lake with the Wedge Mountain in the background

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About the Wedgemount lake Hike

Located just outside the popular tourist destination of Whistler, BC, the hike up to Wedgemount Lake is steep, but well worth the effort, as you’ll be treated to unmatched alpine views. 

After a week filled with epic hikes through southwestern British Columbia and the North Cascades in Washington, we debated skipping our overnight trip to Wedgemount Lake.

After days of hiking and backpacking, we were tired and had already seen tons of amazing things (like Panorama Ridge and Maple Pass!) and the thought of hiking more than 4,000 feet/1,200 meters over less than 4 miles felt exhausting. But, we decided to go for it and are glad we did! 

Hiking up to Wedgemount Lake is by no means an easy endeavor but we can’t recommend it enough. Keep on reading to learn everything you need to tackle this Whistler classic.

A reflection of mountains over Wedgemount Lake with an orange tent on the shoreline on a calm morning at sunrise

Wedgemount Lake hike overview

  • Distance | 7.4 miles/11.9 km
  • Elevation | 4,196 feet/1,279 meters
  • Difficulty | Very difficult
  • Dogs allowed | No

Find this hike on AllTrails | Wedgemount Lake & Tupper Lake

Despite it’s deceivingly short distance, the hike to Wedgemount Lake is no joke! Gaining a grueling 4,196 feet over less than 4 miles, the hike up is steep and unrelenting.

Two huts sit on a ridge overlooking Wedgemount Lake

Where is the Wedgemount lake hike? 

Wedgemount Lake is located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, which encompasses the Garibaldi Range of the Coast Mountains in British Columbia, Canada. The park is about 90 minutes north of Vancouver, just off the iconic Sea-to-Summit Highway. 

Garibaldi Provincial Park is best known as a hub for outdoor adventures, as it is home to seemingly endless hiking trails, mountains, lakes, and stunning forests. 

Wedgemount Lake is fed by glacial runoff from Wedge Glacier, which sits along Wedge Mountain, the tallest point in Garibaldi Provincial Park (9,485 feet/2,891 meters). One of the coolest parts of the hike to Wedgemount Lake is that it gets you up close to both Wedge Mountain and Wedge Glacier (I never thought I’d write the word “wedge” so much)!

A backpacker hiking away from Wedgemount Lake with the lower campsites in the distance

If you’re spending some time in Garibaldi Provincial Park, we can’t recommend the trek up to Panorama Ridge enough! We wrote a whole blog about this epic adventure here:

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  • Wedgemount Lake is easily one of the most beautiful alpine lakes we’ve ever seen.
  • Fantastic spot to spend an afternoon, lounging by the shoreline with epic views of the mountains.
  • Epic campsites on the shore of Wedgemount Lake.


  • Trail is extremely steep and unrelenting.
  • Trailhead parking location is confusing and difficult to find.
The Wedge Mountain reflecting over a perfectly still Wedgemount Lake at sunrise

Wedgemount Lake | Know before you go

In this section below, we’ll cover all the logistics and details you need to know to help you plan your Wedgemount Lake hike!

wedgemount lake packing list

The Wedgemount Lake hike is a challenging adventure! Make sure you’re prepared with appropriate gear before you hike:

Essentials for everyone

  • Bear Spray (Counter Assault)| Black bears are common in Garibaldi Provincial Park (while Grizzly bears are very rare), so carrying bear spray with you is always a good idea.
  • GPS Device (Garmin InReach Mini) | The Panorama Ridge hike is pretty easy to follow, so you shouldn’t have trouble staying on the trail. That being said, we always carry our Garmin for peace of mind just in case of an emergency.
  • Bug Spray | The horse flies here are brutal! You don’t want to forget bug spray.
  • Microspikes | If you’re hiking Wedgemount Lake earlier in the summer, you’re likely to encounter snow on the trail near the top. Since the trail gets pretty steep, we recommend packing microspikes to stay safe in possible snowy or icy conditions. Always check recent trail conditions before you set out.

His & Hers

  • Hiking poles (Hers: Black Diamond Distance Z poles, His: Black Diamond Distance FLZ poles ) | We both hike with Black Diamond poles and can’t imagine hiking without them! This hike is so steep that hiking poles really are essential.
  • Backpack with bladder (Hers: CamelBak Helena 20L, His: Camelback Rim Runner 22L) | We both use a similar Camelback backpack for day hiking (Sarah has the women’s version, Matt’s is unisex) – they’re comfortable, lightweight and just big enough to hold the essentials without weighing you down. Plus they both come with a 2L bladder.
  • Hiking boots (Hers: Danner Mountain 600s, His: Salomon Ultra 4 Mid GTX) | The trail to Wedgemount Lake is steep and unrelenting. We’d highly recommend wearing hiking boots for better traction and foot support.
  • Hiking pants (Hers: Athleta Headlands pants, His: PrAna Stretch Zion Pants) | These Athleta pants are Sarah’s absolute favorite! They’re comfortable and durable for hiking, and all the pockets make them more stylish, so they can double as normal pants.
  • Pullovers (Hers: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip, His: Smartwool Merino Quarter Zip) | These Smartwool quarter zips are so warm and comfortable – perfect to help you stay warm on the windy summit of Panorama Ridge.
  • Down Jacket (Hers: Arc’teryx Cerium LT Hoody Women’s Down Hoodie, His: Cotopaxi Fuego) | If you hate being cold (like me), the Arc’teryx Down Hoodie is the jacket for you! With 850 fill down, it’s incredibly lightweight, high quality and totally worth the extra warmth. The Cotopaxi Fuego is also a great option – at 800 fill down, it’s not quite as warm but comes in at a lower price point.
A backpacker sits making breakfast next to Wedgemount Lake with campsites in the background

How difficult is the Wedgemount Lake Hike? 

Have you ever been on a hike with tons of switchbacks and thought to yourself, “Wouldn’t it have just been easier for the trail to go straight up the mountain?”

Well, the Wedgemount Lake hike answers that question. Climbing more than 4,000 feet/1,200 meters over 3.7 miles/6 km, the trail leading up to Wedgemount Lake is brutally and relentlessly steep. 

From the trailhead, the trail goes straight up to the lake, with no switchbacks, declines, or even flat sections to give you legs a rest. This was definitely one of the steepest hikes we’ve ever done!

It took us about 4 hours to reach the lake, more than double our normal hiking pace, as the elevation gain was absolutely killer. 

The distance isn’t anything too difficult, but we’re still rating Wedgemount Lake as a challenging hike because of the insane elevation gain.

The Wedgemount Lake hut and bear hang with mountains lit up in the background at sunset

When is the best time to hike to Wedgemount Lake?

The best time to hike to Wedgemount Lake is in late July through early October. While you certainly can hike to Wedgemount Lake earlier or later in the season, it is likely you’ll run into snow or ice so be prepared with the appropriate snow gear, such as an ice axe, microspikes, or crampons. 

We hiked to Wedgemount Lake on August 3-August 4th and the weather couldn’t have been better. The trail was snow free and temperatures were just right. 

Regardless of when you choose to hike to Wedgemount Lake, make sure to check current trail and weather conditions before you depart and be prepared for quickly changing conditions.

Mountains lit up across Wedgemount Lake at sunset
A building sits on a ridge overlooking Wedgemount Lake

Where to stay before the Wedgemount lake Hike?

The trailhead for Wedgemount Lake is located just outside the popular mountain town of Whistler, British Columbia, which features plenty of lodging options. Here are a few that we’d recommend:

Located in the heart of Whistler with a variety of rooms from budget single beds starting at $129 to luxury lofts that can accommodate up to 6 people, the Crystal Lodge is perfect for folks looking for something more a bit on the fancier side.

Another Whistler gem, the Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel has a great location and rooms starting at $189 per night.

About 17 minutes from the trailhead, Nairn Falls Campground features 94 campsites for $22 per night. The campground is a bit rustic, as it does not have showers or running water, but you can get a hot shower at the nearby community center in Pemberton for just a few dollars. Reservations recommended, especially during the peak season.

camping at wedgemount lake

What is better than pitching a tent along the banks of Wedgemount Lake, spending the night sleeping under the stars, and watching the surrounding mountains light up in shades of orange, pink, and purple with the setting sun?

Luckily, there are plentiful backcountry campsites at Wedgemount Lake, making the perfect overnight backpacking trip. 

Reservations for Wedgemount Lake camping

A reflection over Wedgemount Lake with a bright orange tent along the shoreline

In order to spend the night at Wedgemount Lake, you will need to make a backcountry reservation on the BC Parks website. Each reservation for an adult will run you $10, while each child (under age 16) is $5.

Reservations are released 3 months in advance of your trip on a rolling basis. Wedgemount Lake is a popular spot to camp, especially on the weekends, and reservations book up quickly, so make sure you plan ahead.

Finding a campsite at Wedgemount Lake

A tent set up right along the shores of Wedgemount Lake, the perfect place to spend the night camping
Lower campsites are located right on the shore of Wedgemount Lake

There are 20 tent sites at the Wedgemount Lake campground – 10 sites at the “upper” campground near the Wedge Hut and 10 sites at the “lower” campground, which is located right along the banks of the lake.

Both the upper and lower camping areas have their advantages. At the upper camping area, you have a stunning view looking down over Wedgemount Lake. However, you can’t beat the location of the lower campsites: just steps from the shore of Wedgemount Lake.

View through the window of a tent while camping at Wedgemount Lake
View from our tent camping at Wedgemount Lake

The truth is that you really can’t go wrong no matter where you end up camping at Wedgemount Lake!

The tent pads are quite the luxury in the backcountry, providing a flat, solid area for each tent, even though they are a bit close together (you will have neighbors!). 

Facilities & bear storage

Food hanging on the bear hang at Wedgemount Lake campground
Bear hangs at the upper Wedgemount Lake campsites
The building on the right is a toilet at the upper camping area. Have you ever seen a more scenic toilet?!
The building on the right is a toilet at the upper camping area. Have you ever seen a more scenic toilet?!

There is a permanent pit toilet at the upper campground and a seasonal toilet (open from July 1-September 15) at the lower campground.

Similarly, there is a bear hang for food at both campgrounds; however, the hang at the lower campground was broken during the summer of 2023. The bear hangs operate with a built-in pulley system so all you need to bring is a bag to store all of your attractants, making your pack just a tad bit lighter. 

There are no garbage facilities and you must pack out whatever you pack in.

A tent sits on the shore of Wedgemount Lake at sunrise

Wedgemount lake Hike Overview

Without further ado, let’s get into the details about the Wedgemount Lake hike!

Up, Up Up

The trail to Wedgemount Lake is rugged a steep, and mostly involves climbing up tree roots
The trail to Wedgemount Lake is rugged a steep, and mostly involves climbing up tree roots

From the trailhead, the elevation gain up to Wedgemount Lake begins immediately. Like a never ending Stairmaster, the trail cuts straight up the side of the mountain, forgoing the traditional zig-zagging of switchbacks for the unrelenting pain of direct vertical incline. 

We thought we were mentally prepared for the over 4,000 feet/1,200 meters of elevation gain but it was way tougher than we had imagined, especially with heavy packs.

The difficulty isn’t just the persistent incline, but the trail also clambers up exposed roots, around large rocks, and over downed trees. It isn’t exactly smooth sailing!

With so many obstacles and the steep elevation gain, expect to progress up the trail much slower than usual, with each step feeling like a small achievement in and of itself. 

These first 2.5 miles of the hike to Wedgemount Lake travel through thick, green forest with limited views. There is a large boulder field about half way up, that serves as a nice spot to take a break.

boulder scramble

A huge boulder field on the trail to Wedgemount Lake
The imposing boulder field from below
Taking a rest part way up the steep rock scramble
Taking a rest part way up the steep rock scramble
Mountain views from the top of the rock scramble, just before reaching Wedgemount Lake
Mountain views from the top of the rock scramble, just before reaching Wedgemount Lake

After 2.5 miles of hiking through the woods, the last push up to Wedgemount Lake is an even steeper scramble up a drainage shoot littered with large boulders and exposed tree roots. It’s one final challenge in case you didn’t already have enough elevation gain over the last 2.5 miles! 

The footing in the drainage shoot can be a bit precarious and, while it isn’t exposed in the sense that you could fall off the mountain, you’ll definitely find yourself with your hands on the ground or holding roots to make sure you maintain your stability.

It’s steep, but thankfully only lasts for under half a mile, before the trail starts to crest as Wedgemount Lake finally comes into view.

arriving at Wedgemount Lake

View as you first arrive at Wedgemount Lake

As soon as you reach the crest of the trail, you’ll be able to see the icy blue waters of Wedgemount Lake and the towering Wedge Mountain in the background. Stop for a second and savor your accomplishment! – you made it! 

You’ll see the Wedge Hut a maybe a hundred yards or so in front of you. The hut is there purely for emergency situations, so please do not try to enter it unless there is an emergency and you need shelter.

The trail will continue past the hut, where you can also find the first pit toilet and the upper campground. 

Wedgemount Lake camping | upper section

There are 10 campsites located at the upper camping area, where you first arrive at the lake. The campsites here are more spaced out so you may have to hunt around a little to find one.

When you first arrive at Wedgemount Lake, you'll see the Wedge Hut before the lake comes into view
When you first arrive at Wedgemount Lake, you’ll see the Wedge Hut before the lake comes into view
Sunset view from the upper camping area at Wedgemount Lake
Sunset view from the upper camping area at Wedgemount Lake

Wedgemount Lake camping | lower section

From the Hut, the trail continues for a few hundred yards down the lakeshore, where you’ll find the lower campground tent pads and plenty of flat shoreline to rest and enjoy the views.

A tent site at the lower camping area at Wedgemount Lake
A tent site at the lower camping area at Wedgemount Lake
Setting up our tent at this epic Wedgemount Lake campsite!
Setting up our tent at this epic Wedgemount Lake campsite!

Continue to Tupper Lake

Boulder field on the trail from Wedgemount Lake to Tupper Lake
Boulder field on the trail from Wedgemount Lake to Tupper Lake

After soaking up the views from the banks of Wedgemount Lake, if you still have the energy, you can continue on to Tupper Lake, which sits at the foot of the Wedgemount Glacier, about a quarter mile past Wedgemount Lake. 

Tupper Lake is much smaller than Wedgemount Lake, but it’s still really cool to see Wedge Mountain and its glacier feeding the lake up close. You can also continue around Tupper Lake and scramble up to the edge of the glacier itself if you’re up for even more adventure!

Soaking in the views from the shore of Tupper lake
Soaking in the views from the shore of Tupper lake
Standing next to Tupper Lake with the Wedgemount Glacier above
Standing next to Tupper Lake with the Wedgemount Glacier above

return to the trailhead

The trail to Wedgemount Lake is an out-and-back hike, meaning that you will return to the trail head the same way you climbed up. 

At first, we were elated to finally be going downhill but that joy soon turned to knee pain with each step down. But soon enough, you’ll be back at the car and ready for that post-hike meal!

Other things to know about the Wedgemount lake Hike

In the sections below, we’ll cover other important details to know about the Panorama Ridge hike.

Is water available on the trail?

While you may cross a few small streams on your hike up and you’ll never be too far from Wedgemount Creek, the best place to filter water is Wedgemount Lake itself.

Are there bathrooms at the trailhead/on the trail?

There are pit toilets at the trailhead and at Wedgemount Lake. You will need to bring your own toilet paper, however.

Can I bring my dog?

Dogs are not allowed in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

How crowded is the Wedgemount Lake hike?

The hike to Wedgemount Lake is fairly popular, especially given how challenging it is. We hiked in and camped on a Friday night and the campsites were full. The trail was definitely busier on the way our Saturday morning.

That being said, the lake is so big that its quite possible to find some solitude along the shore or from the ridge overlooking it.

Sunrise and sunset at Wedgemount Lake

Mountains lit up in orange and pink at sunrise over Wedgemount Lake
Sunset at Wedgemount Lake is quite a sight!
Mountains lit up across Wedgemount Lake at sunset
The view overlooking Wedgemount Lake at sunset

The sunset at Wedgemount Lake was quite spectacular. We hiked back to the upper camping area to enjoy the view overlooking Wedgemount Lake with the mountains behind lit up in bright shades of orange and pink!

Sunrise at Wedgemount Lake
Sunrise at Wedgemount Lake

I (Sarah) also woke up for sunrise because I just can’t resist a calm morning at an alpine lake. The sunrise was less impressive compared to the sunset, in my opinion, but the colors may have been muted by the smoke that blew in overnight.

It takes a while for the sun to actually come up over the mountains, so the best part of the morning was probably about 30 minutes to an hour after the official sunrise time. If you’re into photography, the reflection of the mountains over the lake during the calm of the morning is pretty amazing and definitely worth waking up for.

A calm morning at Wedgemount Lake in British Columbia, Canada

Are there bears in the area?

The Wedgemount Lake hike passes through bear territory so extra precautions are needed. While grizzly bears are very, very rare, black bears are much more prevalent.

Make sure to bring bear spray (and know how to use it!) and make plenty of noise while hiking, so as not to surprise an unsuspecting bear.

If you are camping at Wedgemount Lake, proper bear storage is required. Two bears hangs are provided: one at the upper campsites and one at the lower campsites. The bear hangs allow you to hang a bag of food and scented items via a pulley system.

However, when we camped at Wedgemont Lake, the lower bear hang was broken so we had to walk up to the upper camping area to store our food.

Sunrise at Wedgemount Lake

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