From Elfin Lakes, shortly past the shelter take the right fork toward Opal Cone and Mamquam Lake. The left fork will take you to The Saddle and The Gargoyles.
The trail drops down to Ring Creek and then up again on the other side of the moraine toward Opal Cone. To get to Opal Cone, look for a trail that leads off to the left of the main trail. Opal Cone is the rim of an extinct volcano that overlooks the Bishop Glacier. Stunning views are to be had from here on a clear day! The trail will lead you back to the main trail to Mamquam Lake.
Shortly after passing Opal Cone, you move onto an area called The Barrens. As of Aug. 19, 2010, this area is still covered by packed snow, but is easy to navigate. Just follow the cairns. On the other side of the barrens, you descend one side of Zig Zag Creek, cross the creek, and then ascend the other side. The descent, as well as one short stretch on the other side, follows a narrow trail (<30cm) with some exposure and slippery footing. Be careful crossing Zig Zag Creek if the bridge has been removed, as the waters run higher late in the day.
As you ascend the final ridge, you reach the Rampart Ponds and finally descend 260m over the last 1.6km into Mamquam Lake. This section is apparently fairly treacherous during rain, as it acts as a water channel 1-2 feet deep in places.
Three wooden tent platforms are available at Mamquam Lake, along with bear pulleys and a pit toilet.
Beautiful views of Pyramid Mountain, but be sure to bring insect repellent, as it is very(!) buggy. On the other hand, It doesn't seem like many people push on this far, so those spending the night may find they have the lake all to themselves. Well worth a few (thousand) mosquitoes if you want to avoid the crowds at Elfin Lakes.Return the way you came.
Start Elevation: 1475m
Finish Elevation: 1253m
Elevation gain (outbound): 380m
Elevation gain (inbound): 585m
This hike starts from Elfin Lakes, 11 kms. from the Diamond Head parking lot. See "Elfin Lakes (Garibaldi Provincial Park)" for details on accessing the trail head.
Trailhead is on Garibaldi Park Road accessable from Mamquam Rd at Garibaldi Estates.
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