There is a large, flat rock on the first bump of Panorama Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park, north of Vancouver, Canada. It provides a seat to rest and enjoy one of the best panoramic vistas that I have ever seen — mountains including Mount Garibaldi, Mount Price, and Black Tusk, glaciers including Sphinx and Sentinel, and, of course, the turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake.
I had always thought about watching the sunset from this very rock. Years went by and it was still one of my top hiking experiences to fulfill. Then again, to watch the sunrise over Garibaldi Lake from the same spot must also be an amazing experience. But wait! When I saw the harvest moon rise over Panorama Ridge while I was hiking late in the Black Tusk meadows two years previously, I was awestruck and decided one day, I would watch the full moon rise over Garibaldi Lake. As this past Spring turned into Summer, and with the then approaching July full moon, I had an idea to experience all three on one visit.
With hot weather and clear skies forecasted, my mind was made up and I looked forward to a brand new adventure. My plan was not to pitch a tent or bring a sleeping bag, but to sit on that very rock for the night and watch the sunset over the Tantalus mountains to the West, the full moon rise and slowly make it’s way over Garibaldi Lake, and then the sunrise to the East. It would also be an experience that I wasn’t accustomed to. It could be a little eerie on the ridge alone and I was concerned about the night temperature that high up. On a beautiful Summer afternoon, I packed the best I saw fit and set off for the Black Tusk parking area, just south of Whistler.
After about five hours of hiking, I arrived in late evening to this beautiful vista from Panorama Ridge.
A short hike away to the second bump or main ridge of Panorama Ridge provides a slightly different perspective.
Looking toward The Sphinx, Deception Peak, and Guard Mountain (from left to right).
Looking back to the first bump, my home for the night, with the Black Tusk on the right.
I love it here! For more of my photos from Panorama Ridge, please read Views From Panorama Ridge On A Clear Summer’s Day.
Between the two bumps with Castle Towers ahead.
Brilliant colours with the setting sun!
Looking across the Helm Glacier to Gentian Ridge on the right. The mountains above Whistler would be about center left.
I had waited many years to see this… I was so excited as the sun set behind the Black Tusk and the Tantalus Mountain Range.
The setting sun splashing the last of it’s rays on Mount Garibaldi.
The blue hour is brilliant in the mountains.
No haze and glowing clouds provided for beautiful skies as the sun disappeared!
A zoom to the Tantalus Mountain Range…
Back to Garibaldi Lake
The Garibaldi Lake campground is center left. From the shore, I saw headlamps late into the morning. I wasn’t the only one enjoying this beautiful night!
Just after the sun set over the Tantalus Mountains….
The rise of the July full moon or buck moon.
This was deemed to be a Supermoon, although I didn’t think it was that large or super in this part of the world. It was bright, however, and I could walk along the ridge in the middle of the night without the need of a headlamp.
One last look as the skies along the horizon provided brilliant colours for much longer than I had expected.
I was a little surprised that I wasn’t alone on Panorama Ridge. Four hikers arrived late and spread out their sleeping bags to sleep under the stars. As for me, I sat on that aforementioned rock and watched the moon slowly make it’s way over Garibaldi Lake as long as I could before tiredness and the chill from the North made me seek a comfortable spot for a little sleep. The night provided a lot of time to reflect and I realized how lucky I was to be able to witness this beautiful sight. Please join me on my next post for an amazing Garibaldi Provincial Park sunrise.
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