Black Tusk from Helm Creek Hiking Trail
Get up close with Black Tusk from Helm Creek Campground
- Destination: Southwest British Columbia
- Season: July-October
- Difficulty: Demanding
- Distance: 17.3 kilometers (out‑and‑back)
- Elevation Gain: 700 meters
- Duration: 6-8 hours
About Black Tusk from Helm Creek
Black Tusk Mountain is one of the most spectacular mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Its jagged edges and deep black color is visible from far away and from several points along the Sea to Sky highway.
There are three main routes for hiking to Black Tusk. All three options are very long day hikes so consider staying a night at one of the nearby campsites before you do the final section up to the mountain. Read more about the different options here.
This hike starts from Helm Creek Campground.
You need to hike up to Helm Creek Campground from Cheakamus parking lot before you can start on this hike to Black Tusk. Check out Helm Creek Campground for more information.
Starting from Helm Creek Campground the trail continues through the meadows and climbs gradually up to Helm Lake. There are fewer trees around, making it easier to get a good view of the surrounding terrain.
The trail will first pass a couple of smaller lake before reaching Helm Lake 4 kilometers from the campground. While passing these lakes the trail goes flat. Once you reach the river you need to go left and follow the river a bit before crossing the river on the raised bridge, before you can head back down to the lake.
Continue on for about 10 minutes and you reach the Panorama Ridge Junction. Continue straight until you reach the next junction where a right turn brings you up towards Black Tusk. The trail continues up a steep hill and leaves all of the forests behind.
Eventually, you meet a BC Parks sign where you can take a rest and view this mountain in full view. You can choose to end the hike here or if you are comfortable continue on up to the mountain.
The trail is no longer maintained past the sign but you can see the trail going up to a small ridge towards the peak. Be careful as you hike this scree slope as there are lots of very loose rocks here.
The very last section up to the peak is very steep and only accessible to climbers.
- All overnight stays at Helm Creek Campground needs to be pre-booked
- All garbage needs to be carried out
- Mountain biking on this trail is not allowed
- Fires are not allowed
- Dogs not allowed
- All drinking waters must be filtered, boiled or otherwise treated before consumption
- Expect to see no cell service throughout the park
- This video shows you the route from the parking lot and up to Black Tusk
- Pit toilets at Helm Creek Campground and by the Black Tusk junction(the last junction before heading up to the mountain)
Questions or comments? Let us know.