Overnight at Brandywine Meadows
12th December 2016
A wonderful place in the middle of the Garibaldi Provincial Park, Brandywine Meadows is a perfect destination for a day-hike or overnight camp far from the crowd!
Compared to the other places in BC, Brandywine Meadows has something different: the peaceful meadow is surrounded by numerous waterfalls and crossed by a majestic river. In the distance you can enjoy an incredible view of Black Tusk and Mount Garibaldi. And if you need any other reason it's also really rare to meet anybody on the trail, which makes it the perfect destination if you are looking for some solitude.
The Brandywine area is located around 1h30 from Vancouver, 20km south of Whistler. To reach the trailhead you will need to follow the Sea to Sky Highway past Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and turn left on Callaghan Road (50°03'42.3"N 123°06'31.3"W). A few seconds later you should see signs for the Whistler ATV/Snowmobile Facility, turn left and follow the Brandywine Creek Forest Service Road.
At one point you should near the snowmobile/ATV building. FYI the service road is full of loose rocks and might be very muddy depending of the season: while you should be able to access to the lower parking lot with a normal car it will be way easier and faster if you have a 4x4.
Continue for a few minutes and you will reach a crossing, go left in the direction of the Lower Parking Lot sign (50°04'08.3"N 123°09'38.0"W // FYI: upper parking lot is only accessible with a 4x4 and will bring you less than 30min away from the meadow). After a few more minutes you will arrive at the parking lot (50°04'42.1"N 123°11'11.2"W).
The trailhead will be on the right. The first kilometer of the trail is very steep, make sure to keep an eye on the orange marker on the trees. After a hour you should reach the treeline and arrived at a logged section which tends to be very muddy. A few more minutes and you will reach the beautiful meadow (50°05'60.0"N 123°11'37.6"W)! Take a minute to enjoy the incredible view on Black Tusk and Mount Garibaldi in your back.
Their is no proper campsites but the meadow is quite big and you won't have any problem to find a great spot. I pitched my tent somewhere in the middle of the meadow but I've seen some people camping further in the valley. On a clear night you will only hear the dozen of creeks surrounding and crossing the meadow.
FYI: the traditional hiking trail is only around 6km/3h round trip, but you have a lot of option to explore the surrounding areas once in the meadow. Also best time to go is between July and August, as there it's filled of snow the rest of the year and reserved for snowmobile.