Elfin lakes are a series of two lakes situated beside each other in the Garibaldi provincial park near Squamish. Elfin lakes hike starts from the Diamond trailhead in the Garibaldi provincial park.
Vancouver to Diamond Trailhead
Vancouver to the diamond trailhead is around 80 Kms. It takes around one and a half hour to drive there. However, on the weekends, there could be traffic on the sea to sky highway on the way to Squamish and you can add further 15 minutes to the total duration. While returning if you are going to the take Lion’s bridge, there would be a traffic delay in the evening as well.
Last 10 Km of the drive is through the village road. The road is dusty and Bumpy with potholes. So be careful if you are driving a car with low ground clearance.
Parking & washroom facility at Diamond trailhead
The parking just at the trailhead gets full early so you might have to park beside the road near the trailhead. There is also a basic washroom at the trailhead.
Elfin Lakes Trail
- Total Hike Distance: 20 Km (Roundtrip)
- Elevation Gain: 2129 feet (649 meters)
- Highest point: 5213 feet (1589 meters)
- Total roundtrip time: 6.5 hours (going 4 hours + return 2.5 hours)
- Difficulty: intermediate
- Best Season to do: July – October
- Dog-Friendly: No
I have sub-divided elfin lakes trail into the following sub trails
Diamond trailhead to Red Heather Hut
The distance between the diamond trailhead to the red heather hut is around 5 Km. Most of the trail is along a wide gravel road. You will walk along a dry (often with water) water stream along the trail. You will also see some small waterfalls along the trail.
However, it would mostly be trees on both sides of the trail. The red heather hut is for day hikers. You can rest there. There is also a washroom near the red heather hut.
Red Heather hut to Round mountain
From the read heather hut, you will start seeing the mountain views all around you. You will also enter a meadow with a lot of seasonal flowers. Though this stretch is just 1 Km long but it is very beautiful until you arrive Round mountain or when you see a lot of gravels and stone lying on the trail, that would be the round mountain. From here, there is no elevation gain while going.
Round mountain to Elfin lakes
From round mountain, the Elfin lakes are another 4-5 Km. However, since there is no elevation gain, this trail walk would be a breeze walk. Also, all the along the way, you can see mountains and snow-capped peaks all around you.
There are two lakes at the Elfin lakes. You are only allowed to take bath or swim in the first lake that too without any chemical or soap used. The second lake is mainly for the drinking water purpose so swimming or bathing is not allowed in the second lake.
The ranger station is just beyond the second lake. 100 meters after the ranger station, there are overnight shelters as well for the hikers who plan to hike further.