Located 90 minutes north of Vancouver, off of the Sea to Sky Highway, Elfin Lakes offer amazing vistas, along the 11 km it takes to get there and an incredible reward once you get to the lakes. Making their way to the Elfin Lakes hut in the dead of night seems to be a pastime of quite a few local skiers and boarders. There are campgrounds and an overnight shelter at the lakes and campgrounds and a day-use shelter or a winter overnight shelter in Red Heather Meadows. Snow is slippery and hard, you start seeing it 30 mins or so… Elfin lakes is one of very few hikes in the Garibaldi Provincial Park that's walkable in the Winter and Spring. The trail to Elfin lakes is marked with poles, so look ahead for the next orange poll to make sure you are on the correct path. The Red Heather campground also has 15 reservable spots. Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and. The hike is about 11 kilometers to the Elfin Lakes campground/shelter and should take you approximately 3 hours. Children 6-16 years old pay $5 per person, per night and kids under 6 years old are free. 35 tent platforms dot the landscape and on a typical summer weekend, you will find most of them occupied! This is a courtesy to all the animals that inhabit the park and the potential disturbance that dogs my introduce to their environment. It starts at 950m elevation and climbs to the ridge high point at 1,600m and then down to Elfin Lakes at 1,500m. We ended up having a lot of fun and knew we wanted to try something a little more adventurous this year. The mountainous terrain is home to many trails, high alpine passes, and lakes. Garibaldi Lake, Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk and Elfin Lakes are all wonderful hiking destinations is this extraordinary Provincial Park so close to Squamish. The trail is wide, and you are surrounded by big mountains all the way to the lakes. The lower lake is reserved for drinking water and the upper lake is for swimming. Explore the most popular trails in my list Elfin Lakes with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you. You get amazingly dramatic mountain views in all directions and on a sunny day in the summer it is paradise. For those seeking solitude, there are endless tent site possibilities further away. Elfin Lakes are not lakes, they are meltwater ponds. Consult the Wilderness Camping Map(see below) which denotes prohibited camping zones such as the Diamond Head area and approach, Columnar Peak, the Gargoyles, Opal Cone, and Mamquam Lake. Go Pro. The trailhead parking lot is high above Squamish up a long, rapidly ascending road. This includes the Elfin Lakes shelter and any of the tent campsites. The incline is pretty gentle and the trail is well maintained. Kids under 6 are free. Expect to take four hours to reach the Elfin Lakes hut as you are almost constantly ascending a gradual, though consistently uphill trail. One record indicates the lakes were once called Crystal Lakes. The Elfin Lakes Trail requires a free Day Use Pass to be reserved the day of starting at 6am from the Discover Camping reservation system. To snowshoe to this hut is quite something. Kids under 6 are free. In 1958 the Diamond Head Lodge was bought by the Provincial Government and leased back to the Brandvold's. Getting in the front entrance usually requires an abruptly steep slope down to the door. Open fires are prohibited in the park and camp stoves should be used for all cooking. In the winter months, these tent platforms with be hidden under metres of snow and you can put up a tent nearly anywhere you want. Last year I had my first experience with snow camping. The 11 kilometre(7 mile) hike to Eflin Lakes is a constant and steady ascent that begins with several switchbacks. There’s a full-time ranger station, outhouses that usually have toilet paper, bear-proof food caches, a lovely cooking shelter with an amazing view, two I Campsite fees must be paid online in advance at the BC Parks Garibaldi Provincial Park reservations page. The park is an outdoor adventurer's playground. If you hike it during a full moon, the mountains light up all around you in a surreal world trapped between day and night. The Elfin Lakes hut fee includes your backcountry camping permit, so one adult staying in the hut pays a total of $15. Joined by Ottar's future wife, Joan Mathews of West Vancouver, they decided on Diamond Head, next to the two small lakes to build their dream lodge. It is nuzzled between two lakes (one for drinking water, and the other a swimming hole), and the Gargoyle Peaks. The new campground has 12 tent platforms, an outhouse and food storage facilities. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the beautiful and desolate, by comparison, Callaghan Valley to the north. Adjacent to the hut is a row of outhouses. The cabin itself is fully stocked with 8 gas burners, tables, a … Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls from Squamish up and beyond Whistler. Even in the bitter cold of winter you will see a few tents a few hundred metres from the hut. Elfin Lakes trail – the start. Day hiking is free and there is no charge for parking. The Red Heather Shelter at 5k is for some, a destination on its own. Elfin Lakes Campground Despite the difficulties of the trail, we made it back to Elfin lakes in about an hour, so we got to have another peek at the idyllic camp ground with those amazing views! That afternoon, we decided to do a day hike to the Gargoyles, which are rock formations about 2.5km from the campground up a steep mountain. One of them is off limit because it is a water reserve and the second one is there for hiker's pleasure, if you don't mind swimming in cold water. Squamish sits in the midst of some amazing places to hike. One for … swimming. The route is clearly marked with orange poles and very easy to follow. This shelter can house 33 people and contains propane burners, which are supplied with propane by BC Parks. Staying at the Elfin Lakes hut costs a bit more at $15 per adult, per night and kids 6-15 pay $10 per person, per night. Near Russet Lake where the north-south running UTM 511E forms the boundary for both the south and north sections of the Spearhead Traverse. Two sturdy picnic tables and a sink, propane stove top burner and large pot make the shelter an effective place to picnic and warm up. Just like the Red Heather hut, almost entirely buried in snow much of the year, you have to slide down an icy slope to reach the front door. Elfin Lakes Shelter has bunks for about 33 people and equipment for cooking, including propane burners, sinks, and a heater. Elfin Lakes is probably BC’s most comprehensive backcountry camping area. Elfin Lakes has great facilities for overnight stay. Fees Per Night: $10 Adult - $5 Kids(6-15)  Campsite fees must be paid online in advance at the BC Parks Garibaldi Provincial Park reservations page. On first glance this may seem like a poor substitute to Eflin Lakes, however, the short hike is quick and easy. Adjacent to the hut is a row of outhouses. Camping at Elfin Lakes is an amazingly beautiful experience. The trail that leads to the Elfin Lake Hut draws in adventurers of all sorts for hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. The Brandvold's continued to operate the lodge until their retirement in 1972. Popular hikes include Opal Cone and Mamquam Lake. The wonderful Elfin Lakes hut is a huge draw to this hike in the winter as it is heated and has solar power as well as room for 33 people! The hike to Elfin Lakes might be 11km each way, but it is not very steep and is quite scenic, so it doesn't feel like work at all. Getting to the trailhead can be difficult during periods of heavy snow. The Elfin Lakes hut has bunk beds for 33 people(11 double bunks and 12 single bunks). There are several camping options around Elfin Lakes and in the Diamond Head area of Garibaldi Provincial Park. If you are driving the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, Garibaldi Park will be the vast wilderness of snow-capped mountains on your right. All content, photos and gps data are © 2007 - 2020 VancouverTrails.com, www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/garibaldi/. ELFIN LAKES SQUAMISH Known as the 'outdoor recreation capital of Canada,' Squamish has ski touring options for all skill levels and abilities. You can stay in the Elfin Lakes shelter at Elfin Lakes. 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