Road - Trailhead is 16 km from highway 99. The road climbs to approximately 3,100 feet from near sea level. The road is not usually plowed. The use of 4wd or chains may be necessary. Often the road is not passable after a snowfall and the final 4 km (1 hour) or so must be done on foot.
Trail - From the end of the road the trail climbs 5 km along a gentle road through forest to the warming hut at Red Heather meadows. From the hut it is a further 6 km to the cabin at Elfin Lakes. The trail climbs to about 5 130 feet to the high point on Paul Ridge and then drops gradually 500 feet to the Elfin Lakes. Travel time to the Elfin Lakes Shelter can vary greatly depending on snow conditions and group abilities. I have done it in as short as 2.5 hours and as long as 7 hours.
Ski equipment - When carrying an overnight pack, descending steeper, longer slopes and skiing in ungroomed snow, heavier ski gear is required. Varied snow conditions may be encountered\: fresh powder, corn snow, crust or icy conditions are all possible at this time of year. Classic cross-country gear is not suitable for a trip of this nature. NNN-BC (new Nordic norm - backcountry), telemark or alpine touring skis are more appropriate. The ascent is made using adhesive climbing skins.
The cabin at Elfin lakes sleeps approximately 30. The cost is $10 / person / night. There are stoves for cooking and heating. Sleeping bags and sleeping pads are not provided.
The 3D image attached only shows the first part of the trail ascending to the Red Heather Meadows area.
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Posted By: mltedesco
- Sun Jul 25 16:35:25 UTC 2010
UpsideIncredible views. DownsideUnpredictable snow cover on the second half of the trail can make for a difficult slog into the lakes. CommentThis is a beautiful hike offering some incredible views. I did this hike yesterday, July 24, 2010, and encountered snow pack from just above the Red Heather station all the way to the Elfin Lakes. Unfortunately, most of that was loose corn snow and it made for a very difficult ascent and added at least an hour to the overall trip. I recommend taking snow shoes until at least mid August to be safe.
Posted By: meganedith
- Wed Apr 07 01:46:13 UTC 2010
Is the trail to elfin lakes through avalanche terrain? Did you bring beacons/shovels etc when you went?ANSWERS are in this forum: avalanche risk?
Posted By: Shieck
- Wed Jan 27 03:34:00 UTC 2010
UpsideGreat Cabin, Easy first time overnight Snowshoeing, Great Views. There so much snow that you could build one crazy snowfort... like the one in that French Canadian Movie "The Dog that Stopped the War".. so cool. DownsideLogging road can be a bit boring CommentWent up to the cabin for the first time two weeks ago. I loved it so much that I'm going up tomorrow for the weekend with 6 friends.
Posted By: Squamptonya
- Wed Jan 20 22:34:44 UTC 2010
UpsideEasy DownsideBusy CommentSnowshoed up to the Red Heather Hut Sat Jan 16/10. Weather was great, nice easy walk. Something to watch for just up from the the trailhead (from the parking area)are a couple of bare spots where the heavy rainfalls we've been seeing recently have washed away the snow. (something to keep in mind if you plan on skiing back down along the trail)
Posted By: dxc475
- Sat Nov 28 17:04:59 UTC 2009
I was wondering if anybody has a GPS route from the parking lot to Elfin Lakes Hut for Garmin GPS. That would be awesome! I'm heading there in December and want to make sure I can make it to the hut. I tried to download the one on the site but it doesn't work. Please help me!
Thanks!ANSWERS are in this forum: GPS Route for Elfin Lakes Hut
Posted By: scottn
- Tue Nov 24 03:48:58 UTC 2009
CommentAlso: The orange marker poles have now been put up by the rangers along the winter route between Red Heather and Elfin.
Posted By: scottn
- Tue Nov 24 03:47:18 UTC 2009
UpsideEasy access to good ski touring terrain DownsideCrowded CommentHad a good weekend up at Elfin. There is a lot of snow up there - we measured 2.5m above Red Heather, and 3.2m near Elfin. 4x4 + snow tires and/or chains recommended to get up to the parking lot.
Posted By: Outdoor
- Thu Nov 19 19:04:56 UTC 2009
I wanted to plan a trip this December up to the red heather hut.
I heard a rumor that the hut is closed this winer?
Is this true? Also, with a 4x4 truck, is it possible to make it to the parking lot?
Thanks!ANSWERS are in this forum: red heather hut
Posted By: conleyt
- Thu Sep 03 20:15:15 UTC 2009
QuestionWhat is the weather like in Garibaldi park in November? How much snow is present by that time? Are snowshoes or skis required by then?
TomANSWERS are in this forum: Elfin Lakes Weather
Posted By: MichaelV
- Tue Jun 23 05:16:41 UTC 2009
UpsideIt's a nice trail to burn off a few calories Downsidenone CommentStill a few patches of snow on the trail before the hut. Walk further past Red Heather and the trail is mainly covered in snow, a few inches of hard pack so it's not too bad.
Posted By: trex
- Fri Jul 18 03:16:36 UTC 2008
UpsideAwesome Views, close to Vancouver, Not a hard or technical trail DownsideLarge elevation gain, snow, lots of snow till July CommentPics from 12 and 13th July 2008 are available here http://www.jaggedpixel.com/Elfin%20Lakes%20and%20Golden%20Ears/Laurie%20-%20WWB%20at%20Elfin%20Lakes%20/
Posted By: trailpeak
- Wed Jul 09 07:07:54 UTC 2008
UpsideGreat 360 views from the peak of your trail in. Cabin is great, but bring a sleepmat, it's just bunks with bare wood but super good digs for exploring more on day two. Say like going on to Opal cone (which I did not do on this trip). Downside.. said constant bear poop (but I think this bear keeps mostly out of the way), a lot of hiker traffic. Taking a giant pack in just for an overnighter was a bit much. Next time, I won't bring a stove, or fuel, but will stick with the wine. CommentDid this the day before MichaelV, as an overnighter. From just below Red Heather, it's all snow -- July 7! -- and I discovered a cool new technique of half-sliding in my hiking boots on downhills. Was beautiful in the sun, but still a few feet of snow for a lot of it, when just 2 years ago, I was swimming in the larger of the two lakes at end of July. What a difference a heavy snowfall year makes. NOTE: if a lot of snow, as there was, you must take the winter route, marked by red poles all the way from just above red heather. There is avalanche hazard along the summer route if snow.
Posted By: MichaelV
- Wed Jul 09 06:43:22 UTC 2008
UpsideModerate incline all the way, great view of Howe Sound through trees, waterfall along the way is a great spot for a break Downsidewatch for bear poops CommentMy first time doing this trail (7/7/08), snow are still present along the trail, other than that it's a great hike and when you get to Red Heather meadow you can enjoy the view and also feed some Canada Jays.
Posted By: evgenykravchenko
- Sun Jul 22 04:39:05 UTC 2007
CommentActually it was more like the fall October 8, 2006. I've posted some photos so that you can see for yourself how beautiful this hike really is during the fall.
Posted By: evgenykravchenko
- Sun Jul 22 04:32:44 UTC 2007
Upsideamazing views, steady incline Downsidebears CommentThis hike is simply said one of the best once I've done to date. I did it in the summer and the views were spectacular. I didn't stay overnight, but it's something that I'm planning to do soon. It took about 8hours to get the to the elfin cabin, there is also a small lake at the top.
Posted By: KiaGreenEyes
- Wed Jan 31 20:33:17 UTC 2007
CommentI'm a beginner hiker and we just did an overnight showshoe hike up to Red Heather Hut this past weekend... It was well worth it!! Next time we'll get all the way to Elfin Lakes, but the view even from Red Heather Hut is breathtaking. You just can't beat the scenery!
Posted By: trailpeak
- Tue Jan 25 23:44:08 UTC 2005
Commentwaypoints sent in from one of our users, Bhermanutz:
# Latitude, Longitude and UTM coordinates are in WGS84 datum # # Each record includes the following fields # # Waypoint Name # UTM Eastings # UTM Northings # UTM Zone ElfinLk,500884.02,5515151.98,10U PaulPeak,498574.00,5512842.00,10U PkGate,496153.19,5510818.05,10U RdHeather,497256.52,5512246.82,10U ShCut,497073.95,5512405.57,10U
Posted By: mountaingirl
- Fri May 09 07:30:15 UTC 2003
UpsideEasy access, easy trail, minimal effort for maximal views :) Downsidecan be crowded CommentMore pics of this trail on my web site: http://www.mountaingirl.net/elfin2003/photos.htm
Posted By: alexk
- Fri Mar 08 22:04:54 UTC 2002
CommentThere is another description of this trail under hiking/biking activity