Trail difficulty
Blue
Elevation Gain
600.00 m (1,968.50 ft)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
22.00 km (13.67 mi)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The trail to Elfin Lakes is mostly known as a popular hiking trail, and it offers a lot of access options throughout the year. There is snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, backcountry camping or overnight in the hut all year long. Additionally, this trail is the only trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park that is open to mountain biking.

Starting from the parking lot, the first 2 kilometers are very steep, and you better prepare yourself if you don't want to kill your lungs after 5 minutes. A big part of the mountain bike track is actually the hiking trail (be careful and respect your fellow hikers). There is a small portion dedicated to bikes before you reach the ridge.

The ascent is not particularly technical, but you will have to deal with this first steep section and some loose rocks here and there. This is nothing compared to the feeling you will get when you reach the ridge and discover a panoramic view of the massive Mount Garibaldi on your left. A few more minutes and you will arrived at the magnificent Elfin Lakes near the Ranger Cabin and the hut. Time to go for a dip to relieve your burning legs, relax, and enjoy the view!

The way back is way easier and 95% downhill, which means lots of fun! Once again, be very careful of the hikers on the trail. Yell when you are approaching; nobody likes to be surprised by a rushing bike coming from nowhere. 

You have the option to continue an extra 20 kilometers downhill following the FSR to Squamish if you set a shuttle. The distance from the trailhead to Elfin Lakes is 11 kilometers, which takes about an hour and half; from Elfin Lakes to Squamish is 30 kilometers that taks a fast 45 minutes.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Amazing views on the ridge. Alpine lake at the top. Alpine cabin at the top. The only location in Garibaldi Provincial Park where bikes are allowed.

Cons

Lots of hikers (this is not a singletrack).

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

3,182.41 ft (970.00 m)

Highest point

5,216.54 ft (1,590.00 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,755.91 ft (840.00 m)

Features

Family friendly
Vault toilet
Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Waterfalls
Shelters
Big vistas
Potable water
Wildflowers
Old-growth forest

Typically multi-day

No

Suitable for

Hiking

Route Characteristics

Trail

Location

Field Guide

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