Elfin Lakes Trail

Up Knorth Elfin Lakes

Elfin Lakes are two small lakes nestled comfortably in the scenic alpine setting that is Garibaldi Provincial Park, near Squamish, BC. An isolated alpine oasis relatively close to the city.

 Elfin Lake by Andrew Maurer

 Elfin Lake by Andrew Maurer

Shot by Ivan Andreevich

Shot by Ivan Andreevich

From the parking lot (Along Highway 99 watch for the turnoff to Mamquam Road. Take right and continue along this road as it heads uphill and becomes a gravel road. At the fork, go left and continue until you reach the parking lot) pass the yellow gate and begin heading uphill along the wide gravel road. Originally, this was the main road to access the old Diamond Head Lodge at Elfin Lakes. However, it is solely used today by hikers and mountain bikers to access Elfin Lakes.

After hiking for just over an hour, you'll arrive at a shelter at Red Heather Meadows. The shelter is used in the winter by snowshoers and cross-country skiers as a place to warm up and in the summer months as a place for hikers to use the outhouse just beyond the building.

As you continue up the trail past the shelter, follow the narrow hiking trail for the next kilometre. As the trail begins to level, you'll start to see the two huts of Elfin Lake in the distance. Soak up the jaw-dropping scenery as you go. 

Dinner in the Elfin Lakes Hut via mattandcaroline.blogspot.ca

Dinner in the Elfin Lakes Hut via mattandcaroline.blogspot.ca

If you're hiking in summer, note you are allowed to swim in the top lake, however the lower lake is reserved for drinking water only and must be kept clean. You'll find the ranger station just beyond the second lake, and a bit further down the trail is the overnight shelter (Elfin Lake Hut), that can accommodate 33+ guests overnight. The trail can also be used as a junction to reach further destinations such as Opal Cone, the Gargoyles or Mamquam Lake. 

Distance: 22km 

Time: 6hours