Elfin 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

Hike in Squamish

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 TrailSea to Sky  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

Hiking by Month

  Best Hiking by MonthJanuary  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthFebruary  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthMarch  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthApril  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthMay  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthJune  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthJuly  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthAugust  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthSeptember  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthOctober  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthNovember  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthDecember

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 wonderful, Elfin Lakes hut.  This amazing hut sleeps 33 and is solar powered and propane heated. There is a charge of $15/person(payable online here) 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 5k.  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 6k 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 6k 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 problematic 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.

Elfin Lakes Hike in Garibaldi Park

Elfin Lakes Hut

Discover Elfin Lakes at HikeInSquamish.com

Hike in Squamish at HikeInSquamish.com

Hike in Squamish

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 TrailSea to Sky  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

  Best Hiking by MonthJanuary  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthFebruary  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthMarch  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthApril  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthMay  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthJune  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthJuly  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthAugust  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthSeptember  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthOctober  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthNovember  Best Whistler Hiking by MonthDecember

Squamish Hiking Trails

Shannon Falls towers above Howe Sound at 335 metres as the third tallest falls in BC.  The wonderful, though very short trail winds through a beautiful old growth forest to get to the base of the falls.  From ...
Read more
The Chief is the mammoth rock face that towers over Squamish. Though hardly believable from looking at, the summit is an easy two hour hike. In fact there are three peaks, South (First), Centre (Second), and ...
Read more
Elfin 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 ...
Read more

Whistler Hiking Trails

Nairn Falls is a swirling, crashing and chaotic waterfall that surrounds you from the deluxe viewing platform that allows you to safely watch it from above.  The beautiful, green water rushes through the deep ...
Read more
The alpine hiking trails on Whistler Mountain are the ultimate in luxurious hiking. Little hiking effort gets you amazing views of turquoise lakes, snowy mountain, valleys of flowers, waterfalls and ...
Read more
Blackcomb Mountain holds an impressive and ever growing array of hiking trails. From the moment you step off the Blackcomb Gondola and you arrive at the Rendezvous Lodge, you see hiking trails ascend into ...
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 10.8 kilometres(6.7 miles) north of Whistler Village. A small, untouched grove of huge ...
Read more

Vancouver Hiking Trails

Mount Strachan is part of the trio of mountains, also Black Mountain and Hollyburn Mountain that form a bowl, or Cypress Bowl that give the resort its name.  The Cypress part of the name comes from the ...
Read more
The idyllic Cypress Falls trail has two nice waterfalls to see as well as an impressive forest of old growth cedars and Douglas firs.  From the trailhead to the lower falls is easy to follow.  There are quite a ...
Read more
Rice Lake is a relaxing walk around a cute lake in Lynn Valley.  It is a family friendly hike although dogs are not welcome.  Roundtrip from your car the trail around the lake is just 3 kilometres and should ...
Read more
Black Mountain can be reached from two different trailheads.  The trailhead from Cypress Resort and the original trail off Marine Drive halfway between Horseshoe Bay and Lighthouse Park.  The trailhead south ...
Read more