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. Just 1.5 kilometres before Mamquam Lake, this new campground replaces the old one at Mamquam Lake that was closed recently. Elfin Lakes is a local favourite hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing and snowshoe trail located in Garibaldi Provincial Park just outside of Squamish, B.C. There are various excellent spots overlooking the vast valley just a few dozen metres from the hut. One record indicates the lakes were once called Crystal Lakes. Although we had a map in my bag, we didn’t actually need to stop and look at it until we’d made A large furnace blasts out heat and after your eyes adjust to the inky darkness, you can't help but be surprised how huge the hut is inside. You have the option of camping on designated tent pads, or staying in the shelter on bunk beds. On cold and snowy days, the wonderful wood stove and stack of wood outside makes it a very enticing pit-stop on the way to Elfin Lakes. Elfin Lakes Camping Trip Epic panoramic mountain views and an unforgettable sunrise await you at Elfin Lakes! Atwell Peak above the Elfin Lakes Campground. But, you will have to reserve in advance on Discover Camping. There is another parking lot before the main parking lot at the trailhead. The Trip is an All-Day Affair. From the trailhead to the Red Heather hut is hard to stray from, even after dark, however, the Red Heather hut to the Elfin Lakes hut is well marked, but tricky to follow at night. Six hours will easily get you to the two small lakes, time for a brief swim and then six hours or less back to the parking lot. The 11 kilometre(7 mile) hike to Eflin Lakes is a constant and steady ascent that begins with several switchbacks. Elfin lakes is one of very few hikes in the Garibaldi Provincial Park that's walkable in the Winter and Spring. Lancer had no problems going up. The Elfin Lakes hut has bunk beds for 33 people(11 double bunks and 12 single bunks). Located around the Elfin Lakes, the shelter is open for reservations throughout the year. To snowshoe to this hut is quite something. They are all now reservable year-round, with the exception of the Red Heather campsite near Elfin Lakes which is only open for winter camping. So getting up there in the winter usually requires tire chains. There are several outhouses next to the Elfin Lakes hut and plenty of beautiful spots in the area to put up a tent. Parkhurst Ghost Town, Whistler Train Wreck, the Sea to Sky Trail, Cheakamus River, Logger’s Lake, Ring Lake, Mount Sproatt, Brandywine Meadows and Brew Lake are all dog friendly hiking trails. Campsite reservations are now required at the Elfin Lakes campground year-round and must be reserved through BC Parks before camping at the sites. But one day we took a trip to Elfin Lakes, and yes… it was a great choice. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls from Squamish up and beyond Whistler. Bikes are allowed on the main trail from the parking lot to Elfin Lakes only. From Squamish, a short drive takes you up the mountain and into the park where you have what seems like endless terrain for various activities both in summer and winter. Your camp must be at least 2 kilometres from any established trail or campground and your group size must be 10 or less. 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. The walk-in campgrounds have anywhere from 6 sites at the Singing Creek campground, to 50 sites at the Garibaldi Lake Campground. Snow is slippery and hard, you start seeing it 30 mins or so… One corner of this beautiful and cherished building still remain as a tribute to the Brandvold's contribution to the history of this wonderful place. Whistler has an absurd number of wonderful and free hiking trails and. From the outside, buried in snow it looks tiny. The first bit of the trail takes you along a forested old logging road. In 2009 the crumbling remains of the Diamond Head Lodge were removed. Elfin Lakes is probably BC’s most comprehensive backcountry camping area. All overnight campers must use the new Rampart Ponds campground located 1.5 km before Mamquam Lake. BC Parks staff can issue fines for dogs in the park. The Elfin Lakes campground is located in an incredibly beautiful area of distant, enormous, jagged mountains and beautiful rolling hills and valleys. 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. Adjacent to the hut is a row of outhouses. Anytime of the year the alpine around Elfin Lakes is stunning. You can sleep in a large shelter or tent on one of these side slope platforms. You can electronically Unsubscribe at any time. Garibaldi Provincial Park stretches from the Diamond Head area above Squamish all the way past Wedgemount Lakes north of Whistler. Pretty amazing and surprisingly comfortable. You will get little sympathy from road crews if you find yourself stranded due to poor planning. This is a courtesy to all the animals that inhabit the park and the potential disturbance that dogs my introduce to their environment. There are several hiking options for campers who are staying overnight in the area. 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. Length 12.5 miElevation gain 2693 ftRoute type Out & back The small trail winds through the meadows and eventually leads to a saddle where you then cross a steep slope of rocks. Kids under 6 are free. The Elfin Lakes campsite is located just beyond the lakes and has a total of 14 tent areas with an overflow area nearby. At the parking area you will find a nice information board and an outhouse. 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. In 2015, the new campsite at Rampart Ponds was completed. Occasionally in the evening you will find a couple drinking wine by the fire, enjoying this rustic paradise. Near Russet Lake where the north-south running UTM 511E forms the boundary for both the south and north sections of the Spearhead Traverse. This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated. Hearing of the wilderness paradise in the Garibaldi region they combed the area for a suitable location to build an alpine lodge. The hike is about 11 kilometers to the Elfin Lakes campground/shelter and should take you approximately 3 hours. ELFIN LAKES SQUAMISH Known as the 'outdoor recreation capital of Canada,' Squamish has ski touring options for all skill levels and abilities. The Elfin Lakes trail is very well marked and maintained and leads to the wonderful, Elfin Lakes hut. The Elfin Lakes campsite is located just beyond the lakes and has a total of 14 tent areas with an overflow area nearby. This shelter can house 33 people and contains propane burners, which are supplied with propane by BC Parks. Hike to Elfin Lakes. The lower lake is reserved for drinking water and the upper lake is for swimming. Fees Per Night: $10 Adult - $5 Kids(6-15). In addition to this there is an overall wilderness camping zone that denotes permissible zones that you can camp in the wilderness. 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. T he scenic alpine trail at Elfin Lakes presents a full day of hiking, or less by bike, without being too strenuous.. Six hours will easily get you to the two small lakes, time for a brief swim and then six hours or less back to the parking lot. There is also a shelter located at Red Heather, however camping is not allowed at this shelter. Pictures of Elfin Lakes hike shared here were all taken by me. Most push on to the ever more scenic trail that quickly ascends to Paul Ridge. Stairs lead up to a impressively large sleeping area which can accommodate 33 people. Garibaldi Lake, Panorama Ridge, Black Tusk and Elfin Lakes are all wonderful hiking destinations is this extraordinary Provincial Park so close to Squamish. The Elfin Lakes Shelter There is a large, heated, shelter at Elfin Lakes that sleeps about 33. March 5, 2019 March 5, 2019 / Maria. There is an amazing plateau near the hut that edges onto a sweeping view of the valley below. Elfin Lakes are two lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park that are popular for hiking, snowshoeing ... which gains approximately 600 metres (2,000 ft) of elevation from the trailhead. The earliest indication they were named Elfin Lakes comes from the pamphlet from the Diamond Head Lodge in 1978. The Red Heather hut is a survival shelter/warming hut, that is not to be used as an overnight shelter, except of course when absolutely necessary. Squamish sits in the midst of some amazing places to hike. All content, photos and gps data are © 2007 - 2020 VancouverTrails.com, www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/garibaldi/. 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. You can stay in the Elfin Lakes shelter at Elfin Lakes. If you are camping overnight in Garibaldi Park you will have to pay a campsite fee. Campsite fees must be paid online in advance at the BC Parks Garibaldi Provincial Park reservations page. Bald eagles and ptarmigans are sometimes spotted on the trail to Elfin Lakes. Elfin Lakes Photo: Chris Dale T he scenic alpine trail at Elfin Lakes presents a full day of hiking, or less by bike, without being too strenuous. The new campground has 12 tent platforms, an outhouse and food storage facilities. Elfin Lakes has great facilities for overnight stay. You may not need them, but you must have them to get to the trailhead. A beautiful scene. The Elfin Lakes hike is located within Garibaldi Provincial Park, which is a great home base for accessing surrounding hiking destinations. There are several great place to hike with your dog in and around Squamish and Whistler. You can reach it by car from Vancouver by driving 90 minutes up the Sea to Sky Highway. This is the Elfin Lakes trail that is used by hikers and bikers in summer and skiers and snowshoers in the winter. The cabin at Elfin Lakes is a beautiful well maintained shelter in the heart of the Garibaldi Provincial Park. Wilderness camping reservations/fees cost the same as for the campgrounds. Often you will find them in the slopes adjacent to the hut. Though black bears are potentially dangerous, there has never been an unprovoked bear attack in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Squamish or Whistler. Garibaldi Provincial Park is not dog friendly. We thought this was a good place to try for our second trip because we’d Elfin Lakes is probably BC’s most comprehensive backcountry camping area. On the Sea to Sky Highway you will see signs to "Garibaldi Park Diamond Head." The back door has an adjacent window that glows a beautiful blue from the wall of icy snow that often buries the back door. 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. On the inside you find two floors complete with kitchen, lots of seating areas and tables... and bunk beds to accommodate 33 people! The campsite also has a pit toilet and a food cache where campers can place their food into so it is protected from bears. However, our journey wasn't as stress free as we would have liked. To snowshoe to this hut is quite something. The sign at the trailhead shows the distances to the Red Heather Shelter(5k), Elfin Lakes(11k) and Mamquam Lake(22k). The hiking/snowshoeing possibilities seem endless. Kids under 6 are free. 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. Adjacent to the hut is a row of outhouses. Children 6-16 years old pay $5 per person, per night and kids under 6 years old are free. Amazing. Or worse, you may get up to the parking lot without chains, then get snowed in and unable to drive out. Much of the route is along Paul Ridge which gives you sweeping views both left and right of endless snowy mountains. There are plenty of fresh water sources on the trail as well as at Elfin Lakes. 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. This area is very popular with skiers as well as snowshoers in the winter and deep snow covers the trail usually from November to June. Hiking (snowshoeing) to Elfin Lake in winter is spectacular. As this trail is within Garibaldi Park, dogs are not allowed. Elfin Lake is a popular camping destination located in Garibaldi Provincial Park just north of the town of Squamish. Your camp must be at least 30 metres from water sources such as a lake, stream or wetland. 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. Not only can it sleep 33, but it does so in style. 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