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Helm Lake Professional Review and Guide
"A bridge over the swift-flowing Cheakamus River makes possible this interesting alternative approach to the high country of Garibaldi Provincial Park around Helm Lake and Black Tusk. It is an access much less frequented than Garibaldi Lake. Here you will not experience the crowd scenes of the trail from Rubble Creek. A campsite along Helm Creek puts numerous points of interest within easy reach: Cinder Cone and Helm Peak, both reminders of the park’s volcanic origins, as well as Empetrum Ridge if Helm Creek is fordable. Also, if you have been able to arrange transport at the Rubble Creek parking lot and have lots of staying power, you may continue southward to ford the glacial streams feeding Helm Lake. From there you rise to the Panorama Ridge Trail junction at a point with sweeping views over the country you have just traveled and towards Whistler and the northern mountains of the park."
--Jack Bryceland and Mary & David Macaree, 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (Greystone Books).
While the hike is a moderate uphill the entire way out, once yo uarrive at the destination camp site you have to stop and wonder why this route to the Tusk is so seldom travelled. The Northern views of the tusk are susbtantially more impressive than any of the views from Garibaldi once you arrive at helm lake (approximately 1 hr's hike past the campsite). Mosquitoes were a real nusiance at the camp, but other than that, this will be a gorgeous alternative to go see the flowers in bloom at the meadows. Trail was clear, some snow near the end, I suggest toque, gloves and gaiters for the final stretch. Also, note that many maps still show a cable car to cross the river, but in recent years this has been changed to a bridge.
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