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How to Get to Garibaldi Lake Without a Car From Vancouver, BC

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If you don't have a car, it will take quite a bit of an effort to get to Garibaldi Lake from Vancouver, BC, but not impossible! I've done it before, and I'm going to share how to get there, along with a breakdown on the cost and time needed.

Long story short, to get to Garibaldi Lake from Vancouver, BC without a car, you need to take a bus up to Whistler Village. Then, from Whistler Village, take a taxi up to Rubble Creek Trailhead, and hike up to Garibaldi Lake from there.

Here's a table that shows how much it would cost and how long it would take. More details below.
1. Vancouver, BC → Whistler Village $30+ one-way, $40+ round-trip with a shuttle bus ± 3 hours
2. Whistler Village → Rubble Creek Trailhead $60+ one-way with a taxi 25–30 minutes
3. Rubble Creek Trailhead → Garibaldi Lake $0, you gotta hike up there 3–4 hours
Total cost and time needed for a one-way trip $90+ for a one-way trip ± 7 hours
Total cost and time needed for a round-trip $160+ for a round-trip ± 14 hours

1. Getting from Vancouver to Whistler Village via Shuttle Buses

To get from Vancouver to Whistler Village without a car, you can take a shuttle bus. There are several options you can go for, and I have personally used both Skylynx and Epic Rides.

It is usually cheaper to book a round trip ticket compared to a one-way ticket. A round trip ticket between Vancouver and Whistler for one person should total up to around $40–$50, while a one-way trip would cost about $30+.

A bus ride from Vancouver, BC all the way up to Whistler Village will take approximately 3 hours. The bus stop at Whistler Village where the bus service terminates is usually called the Whistler Village Gateway Bus Loop.

Different shuttle buses offer different pick-up points. For example, Skylynx has pickup locations in YVR Vancouver Airport, Pacific Central Station, and also Downtown outside Hyatt Regency Hotel near the Burrard Skytrain Station.

Epic Rides has pickup locations near the same Hyatt Hotel near the Burrard Skytrain Station all year round, and during the winter, the bus also offers pickup at the UBC Campus, Broadway and Granville in front of the Indigo Bookstore, and Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel. Always check the websites of the bus service for the latest update and their current pick-up points.

2. Getting from Whistler Village to Rubble Creek Trailhead via Taxis

Once you are at Whistler Village, you should be able to find a taxi willing to take you up to Rubble Creek Trailhead. When I took this taxi ride back in 2022, the cost was around $60+ and the ride lasted for about 25–30 minutes.

3. Hiking from Rubble Creek Trailhead to Garibaldi Lake 

The Rubble Creek Trailhead is just a parking lot, really, with a trailhead.

Once you are here, hike up the trail and it should take about 3–4 hours to get up there. 

Here is a video collage I took on my way up hiking from Rubble Creek Trailhead to Garibaldi Lake:

Before reaching Garibaldi Lake, you will also walk past a smaller lake called the Barrier Lake. There is a small waterfall near it:

Barrier Lake near Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia
A photo of Barrier Lake near Garibaldi Lake Campground by Ryan Octosa (2022)
Waterfall near Barrier Lake and Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia

Barrier Lake is about 2.7 kilometres away from the Garibaldi Lake Campground. Once you are here, it means that the Garibaldi Lake Campground is only about 45-minute hike away!

Over and Out

When I went up to Garibaldi Lake from Vancouver, BC last year, it was for a camping trip. It was first time doing an intense upslope hike like this while carrying a pretty heavy camping backpack, and I took around 4+ hours to hike up from Rubble Creek Trailhead to Garibaldi Lake as I took a few breaks here and there. Be sure to bring along some energy bars or some kind of food that is easy to carry and packed with protein. You will need it!