Black Tusk is the extraordinarily iconic and appropriately named mountain that can be seen from almost everywhere in Whistler.  The massive black spire of crumbling rock juts out of the earth in an incredibly distinct way that appears like an enormous black tusk plunging out of the ground.  Whether you spot it in the distance from the top of Whistler Mountain or from vantage points along the Sea to Sky Highway, its appearance is breathtaking.

  • Stunning icon in Garibaldi Park
  • Challenging and rewarding hike
  • Wonderful look at an ancient volcano
  • Always changing scenery on the hike in
  • Great campsite options and further hiking options
  • Multiple access routes
  • Towering & surreal view from the summit
  • The final chute is exhilarating!
  • You can skip the summit & still be amazed
  • Rubble Creek parking is hopelessly inadequate

Hike in Whistler

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Whether you see it from the highway or from closer vantage points such as Taylor Meadows, Helm Creek, Panorama Ridge or Garibaldi Lake, all views make climbing to the top look impossible.  In fact, Black Tusk seems to look more impossible to climb the closer you get to it.  Even when you are close enough to touch its vertical, black and crumbling sides, you wonder in amazement how anyone can ever reach the top.

Black Tusk is accessible from three different trailheads, all accessible via old access roads. From the nearby microwave tower(also visible from the Sea to Sky Highway), from the Garibaldi Park, Cheakamus Lake trailhead, and from the Garibaldi Park, Rubble Creek trailhead.  Of the three routes, only the Cheakamus Lake trailhead and the Rubble Creek trailhead are officially used for access to Black Tusk.

These two have large and free parking lots equipped with an outhouse at each as well as big map and information boards.  Along both trails you will find good signs indicating where to hike as well as kilometre markings.  Most hikers use the more direct and popular Rubble Creek trailhead.

The microwave tower access road takes you very close to Black Tusk, and has a fairly good gravel 4x4 road to it, however is blocked several kilometres away by a vehicle gate. This is potentially a good way to hike to Black Tusk, however this annoying gate makes what should be a short hike, a long and tedious one. Also, there are of course no signs indicating where to go once you reach the microwave tower.  This route is currently being considered to be opened to allow vehicles to park at or near the microwave tower, however, little progress has been made so far.  Occasionally you will find this gate open, however driving past this point may get you in trouble.

The Cheakamus Lake trailhead route to get to Black Tusk is a good option as it is quiet, serene and takes you over the beautiful Cheakamus River via suspension bridge and through the wonderfully remote Helm Creek campground.  It is, however, quite long at over 15 kilometres each way to the summit of Black Tusk and part of this route is unmarked, requires some route-finding, and a wet crossing of Helm Creek.  It is a good option if you are keen on avoiding crowds as the beautiful Helm Creek campground has only about a dozen tent platforms and more often than not, are mostly deserted. Helm Creek is also the gateway to quite a few other great hikes.  A quick look at a map indicates several accessible mountains close by as well as the elusive Corrie Lake.

Black Tusk - Whistler Hiking Trails

The Rubble Creek trailhead is, for most hikers, the best trailhead option for Black Tusk. It is easy to find, clearly marked and the most direct route.  The Cheakamus Lake trailhead is a bit longer and you have to leave the marked trail to ascend to Black Tusk.  Though this unmarked route is straightforward and surprisingly easy, as it is unmarked it requires a bit of guesswork that may be intimidating.  The Cheakamus Lake trailhead route also lacks one other wonderful attribute that the Rubble Creek route has, a pit-stop at Garibaldi Lake.  This less than 30 minute detour(one way) allows for a spectacular place to cool off in an always frigid, glacier fed lake!

Discover Black Tusk at HikeInWhistler.com

Hike in Whistler

Hike in Whistler & Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Whistler Hiking Trails

Cheakamus River is the beautiful, crashing and turquoise coloured river that flows from Cheakamus Lake, through the Cheakamus Valley to Daisy Lake.  Also a ...
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Helm Creek is a cute, meandering creek that winds its way from beyond Black Tusk, down the valley to the wonderful campground that takes its name. From ...
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Russet Lake is a surreal little paradise that lays at the base of the Fissile. The Fissile is the strikingly bronze mountain visible from Whistler ...
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Brandywine Falls is one of the must see sights on the way to or from Whistler. The falls drop from a 66 metre(216 feet), unnaturally abrupt looking cliff ...
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Madeley Lake, wrongly named "Powell Lake" on some maps, is a well hidden, though easily drivable lake in beautiful Callaghan Valley. Unlike the terrible gravel ...
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Squamish Hiking Trails

Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC.  The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old ...
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The High Falls Creek hike is a great hike not only for the beautiful scenery in and around the trail, but the drive to it as well.  The often passed by ...
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The Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is an easy two hour hike. In fact there ...
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Vancouver Hiking Trails

Rice Lake is a relaxing walk around a cute lake in Lynn Valley.  It is a family friendly hike although dogs are not welcome.  Roundtrip from your car the ...
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Everyone knows the Grouse Grind as the fantastically popular 2.9 kilometre workout in Vancouver.  What is less known is that it is the gateway, or rather ...
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