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

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!

More Black Tusk hiking information, trail details, maps and pictures.

Whistler Hiking Trails & Maps

Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingAlexander Falls Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyAncient Cedars Hiking Trail ModerateBlack Tusk Pay Use Hiking TrailBlackcomb Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingBrandywine Falls Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyBrandywine Meadows

Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyBrew Lake Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingCallaghan Lake Hiking Trail ModerateCheakamus Lake Whistler Hiking Trail EasyCheakamus River Whistler Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake Hiking Trail ModerateGaribaldi Lake

Hiking Trail ModerateHelm Creek Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyJoffre Lakes Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyKeyhole Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyLogger’s Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingMadeley Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyMeager Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingNairn Falls

Hiking Trail ModeratePanorama Ridge Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingParkhurst Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Falls Hiking Trail ModerateRainbow Lake Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRing Lake

Hiking Trail ModerateRussett Lake Whistler Hiking Trail EasySea to Sky Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingSkookumchuck Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingSloquet Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlySproatt

Hiking Trail ModerateTaylor Meadows Easy Dog Friendly Hiking TrailTrain Wreck Whistler Hiking Trail DifficultWedge Pay Use Hiking TrailWhistler

Vancouver Hiking Trails

Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverBlack Mountain Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverBrunswick Mountain Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverBurnaby Lake Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverBurnaby Mountain Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverColiseum Mountain Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverCrown Mountain

Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverCypress Falls Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverDeeks Peak Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverDeep Cove Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverDeer Lake Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverDog Mountain Moderately Steep Pay Use Trail - Hike in VancouverGoat Mountain Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverGoldie Lake Steep Trail - Hike in VancouverGrouse

Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverHollyburn Mountain Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverKitsilano Beaches Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverLighthouse Park Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverLynn Canyon Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverLynn Peak Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverMt Elsay

Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverMt Fromme Very Steep Technical Terrain - Hike in VancouverMt Hanover Very Steep Technical Terrain - Hike in VancouverMt Harvey Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverMt Seymour Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverMt Strachan Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverMystery Lake

Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverPacific Spirit Easy Trail No Dogs - Hike in VancouverRice Lake Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverSt Mark's Easy Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverStanley Park Moderately Difficult Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverThe Lions Difficult and Steep Dog Friendly Trail - Hike in VancouverUnnecessary