Squamish Hiking Trail RatingElfin Lakes in Garibaldi Park is an absolutely phenomenal, though long, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing trail that begins at the Diamond Head area in Squamish.  From Whistler Village, the trailhead is just over an hours drive away, located near the south end of Garibaldi Provincial ParkGaribaldi Park is the massive wilderness park of nearly two thousand square kilometres that stretches from Squamish to Pemberton.

  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProTrail has several amazing views
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProDeep, mostly untouched wilderness
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProGreat swimming at Elfin Lakes
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProThe hut is amazing, heated & huge
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProThe hut has a wonderful history
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProLots of terrain beyond the lakes
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ProThere is a route to Garibaldi Lake!
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ConOften crowded even in the winter
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ConGaribaldi Park is not dog friendly
  • Squamish Hiking Trails ConTire chains needed until late spring

Squamish Hiking Trails

Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingAlice Lake Hiking Trail ModerateBlack Tusk Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingBrandywine Falls Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyBrew Lake Hiking Trail HardCirque Lake Hiking Trail ModerateElfin Lakes Hiking Trail ModerateGaribaldi Lake Hiking Trail HardHigh Falls Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingLevette Lake Hiking Trail ModeratePanorama Ridge Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyRing Lake Pay Use Hiking TrailSea2Sky Easy Hiking Trail - Vancouver HikingShannon Falls Hiking Trail HardThe Chief Hiking Trail ModerateTaylor Meadows Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyThe Lions Hiking Trail Hard Dog FriendlyUpper Shannon

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.  The Elfin Lakes Trail is very well marked and maintained and leads to the Elfin Lakes Hut.  This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated. There is a charge of $15 per adult to stay the night there which is a small price to pay for the beautiful comfort after the long, 11 kilometre snowshoe or hike to get there.  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. The trail to Elfin Lakes starts out ascending through deep forest, reaching the Red Heather Hut after 5km.  This is a small warming hut equipped with a wood stove complete with a stack of wood free to use, though sleeping here is for emergencies only.  The final 6km from this hut to Elfin Lakes takes you along a beautiful ridge with amazing views of snowy mountains all around.  The sheer distance of this snowshoeing trail ranks it as difficult, though overall you will just be doing a moderately steady ascending trail. Expect to take four hours to reach the Elfin Lakes Hut as you are almost constantly ascending a gradual, though consistently uphill trail. There are several jaw-dropping views along this final 6km stretch.  This trail is so well marked with orange poles and tree markers that you can reliably find your way after dark or before sunrise with good lights to assist you.  You often see, with some shock, skiers trudging up the trail, not far from the trailhead after the sun has set.  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.

As this trail is within Garibaldi Park, dogs are not allowed.  This is a courtesy to all the animals that inhabit the park and the potential disturbance that dogs my introduce to their environment.  BC Parks staff can issue fines for dogs in the park.  Though it is rare, it does happen as Elfin Lakes is regularly staffed with rangers and even has a separate ranger station near the Elfin Lakes Hut.  Getting to the trailhead can be tough during periods of heavy snow.  The gravel road runs deep and high into the mountains to the trailhead parking lot.  You should be prepared with tire chains and may have to walk from the lower parking lot below the main, usually deep with snow trailhead parking lot.

Driving to the Elfin Lakes trailhead is quite fun as you emerge from the tacky strip mall along the Sea to Sky Highway and quickly ascend into the wilderness.  If you are driving south from Whistler you turn left after Canadian Tire onto Mamquam Road and continue past the golf course on your right and then through Quest University.  Not long after you pass the university the road narrows and turns from pavement to gravel. In the winter months you have to be prepared for snow on the road and several signs will indicate chains must be carried. You may be able to drive to the trailhead, then return from your hike a day or two later to a metre of snow on the access road.  You will get little sympathy from road crews if you find yourself stranded due to poor planning.  There is another parking lot before the main parking lot at the trailhead.  It is located before the last steep and if snow covered, potentially dangerous final section of road.  If you are worried about driving on steep, snowy sections of road, be sure to park at this lower area. Continued here...

More Best Squamish Hiking - Elfin Lakes

Best Squamish Hiking Trails Guide

Best Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking Trails!

Keyhole Hot Springs (aka Pebble Creek Hot Springs) is located 100 kilometres from Whistler (Village Gate Blvd). Though much of the drive to Keyhole is on logging roads, the route is driveable by most cars ...
Read more
Blackcomb Mountain holds an impressive and ever growing array of hiking trails. From the moment you arrive at the Rendezvous Lodge, you see hiking trails ascend into the distance. The Rendezvous Lodge is ...
Read more
Alexander Falls is a very impressive 43 metre/141 foot waterfall just 30 to 40 minutes south of Whistler in the Callaghan Valley. Open year-round and located just before Whistler Olympic Park where several ...
Read more
Ancient Cedars is a nice, easy/moderate 2.5 kilometre (1.6 mile) hiking trail on the far side of Cougar Mountain, just 13.1 kilometres north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge western ...
Read more
 

Whistler & Garibaldi Park Hiking by Month!

May is an extraordinarily beautiful time of year in Whistler. The days are longer and warmer and a great lull in between seasons happens. Whistler is fairly quiet ...
Read more
June is a pretty amazing month to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Park. The average low and high temperatures in Whistler range from 9c to 21c(48f/70f). ...
Read more
July is a wonderful time to hike in Whistler and Garibaldi Provincial Park.  The weather is beautiful and the snow on high elevation hiking trails is long ...
Read more
August hiking in Whistler definitely has the most consistently great, hot weather.  You can feel the rare pleasure of walking across a glacier shirtless and ...
Read more

Free Camping Gear Delivery to Garibaldi Park

Explore BC Hiking Destinations!

Whistler Hiking Trails

Hiking in Whistler is spectacular and wonderfully varied. Looking at a map of Whistler you see an extraordinary spider web of hiking trails that are unbelievably numerous. Easy trails, moderate trails and challenging hiking trails are all available. Another marvellous ...
Read more

Squamish Hiking Trails

Squamish is located in the midst of a staggering array of amazing hiking trails. Garibaldi Provincial Park sprawls alongside Squamish and up and beyond Whistler. Tantalus Provincial Park lays across the valley to the west and the wonderfully remote Callaghan Valley ...
Read more

Vancouver Hiking Trails

Vancouver is surrounded by seemingly endless hiking trails and mountains to explore.  Massive parks line up one after another.  Mount Seymour Provincial Park, Lynn Canyon Park, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Park and the enormous Garibaldi Park all contribute to Vancouver ...
Read more

Clayoquot Hiking Trails

Clayoquot Sound has a staggering array of hiking trails within it.  Between Tofino and Ucluelet, Pacific Rim Park has several wilderness and beach trails, each one radically different from the last.  The islands in the area are often Provincial parks on their own with ...
Read more

Victoria Hiking Trails

Victoria has a seemingly endless number of amazing hiking trails.  Most take you to wild and beautiful Pacific Ocean views and others take you to tranquil lakes in beautiful BC Coastal Rainforest wilderness.  Regional Parks and Provincial Parks are everywhere you turn in ...
Read more

The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
Read more