Route: The Black Tusk (BC, Canada)

British Columbia, CA
23.6 km

Start your watch at the trailhead of the Garibaldi Lake Trail (Rubble Creek parking lot) and stop it on return. Follow the route described in Matt Gunn’s Scrambles in SW BC.

The Black Tusk is an ancient volcanic plug exposed by the outer volcano being eroded away. It is a classic landmark from the Whistler Ski Resort, and from BC Highway 99. Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, it lies north of Mt. Garibaldi, which is a dormant volcano. It also overlooks the strikingly beautiful Garibaldi Lake.

As such an alluring objective, the Black Tusk is one of the most frequently climbed objectives in the BC Coast Range. The approach is on one of the finest trails constructed anywhere, and although the approach hike gains some 1650 meters (5,300 feet) to the base of the scramble itself, the trail is in such good condition, and it is so well graded, that the miles (or km) go by very quickly. A party in decent physical condition should make very good time on this trail.

There are two summits on the Black Tusk. The scramble (false) summit, which is just about 20 feet horizontally south from the true summit, is a Class 3 scramble that is frequently done. The scramble itself includes an aesthetic chimney climb up fairly solid rock, then an exposed ridge route on loose rock. It will be a very exciting and worthy summit. The true summit, just a short stone's throw away and 10 vertical feet above the scramble summit, is very infrequently done. It lies across an exposed chasm of Class 5 rock. Old runners can be seen dangling from the true summit from the scramble summit.

Whether you reach the true summit, or the scramble summit, the views of Mt. Garibaldi and the Tantalus Range to the south, and the Whistler area to the north, are outstanding.

GPS Track


Hi Nick, could you clarify if your route turns back at the scramble summit or the less accessible true summit? I can't distinguish the two in your Strava activity.

Thank you in advance!