Event proposal: Elfin Lakes and Beyond

During this year's foggy Squamish Scrambler, we all regretted not seeing the mountains around us. To give us another chance, I would like to organize a sister event this summer (end of July, early August) in Garibaldi park: Elfin Lakes and Beyond.

Start from the parking lot at 8am, three distances: Red Heather (10k), Elfin Lakes (22k), and a long distance around 40k (to one of Little Diamond Head, Opal Cone, or Mamquam Lake). It would be a reasonnably tough run, up to +2000m elevation gain/loss, but it's a out-and-back, so turning around at any point will be easy.

For the long distance, we would have to choose among these three, to continue after Elfin Lakes:

  • Elfin Lakes to Little Diamond Head goes past the Gargoyles. This is a hard, steep hike that takes from two to three hours one way and is 7 km (4.3 mi.) in length.
  • Elfin Lakes to the Opal Cone is a 6.5 km (4 mi.) hike of two to three hours one way. From the top both Garibaldi Neve and Mamquam Lake are visible.
  • Elfin Lakes to Mamquam Lake is a strenuous hike that heads past Opal Cone and continues to Rampart Ponds and the lake. This hike of 11 km (6.8 mi.) takes half a day one way.

I'm more tempted by the first two. I'm afraid that the way to Mamquam Lake, being at a lower altitude, would be full of bugs.

This would be a typical Club Fat Ass event: carry what you need, no aid, take care of yourself. Even though this is a popular area and there are Park Rangers at Elfin lakes, this is an isolated area. There is fresh water along the way, although it would be best to filter it or otherwise treat it.


I have never been to Garibaldi park in the summer, so I am making all this up: anyone with actual knowledge of this route is welcome to speak up in the comments below.
Some trip reports and pics:


Marc's picture

I am with Ryan on that one

If the day works I'd definitely be interested. In general Sundays work better for me than Saturdays.

Ryan Conroy's picture

Sounds like a winner!

I'd be in so long as the day works.  Sounds like a good event.

Ean Jackson's picture


Hey Eric,

I'm keen, too.  Have been beyond Elfin cabin several times, but that makes for an ardious day if one runs from parking lot and back.

A thought:  have a sleepover at the Elfin cabin and do some exploring from there.

David Crerar's picture


Sign me up for Mamquam & back. That would be an epic run. Stunning scenery.

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