Hike to Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park is simply saying, one of the best hikes in British Columbia if not in whole Canada. There are many wonderful hikes in BC, but why I find this one so special? Because it’s great for photography while enjoying alpine meadows!
Garibaldi Provincial Park is beautiful and I wish I could explore it more. So far I had a chance to enjoy two hikes in this park, Garibaldi Lake and this one. I know it’s not much, but it’s simply because I was so in love with Garibaldi Lake, that anytime I had a chance I used to always go there.
But one day we took a trip to Elfin Lakes, and yes… it was a great choice.
To quickly compare two of them, the main difference is that Garibaldi Lake hike is approximately 80% in the forest and this one is quite the opposite. It will take you through alpine meadows giving you a great opportunity to enjoy beautiful landscapes of mountain tops but also hills and valleys.
So when you’re about to take a trip focusing on photography I believe Elfin Lakes might be a better choice. Forest trail of Garibaldi Lake will offer you the protection of the trees against the harsh sun so you shouldn’t worry about sunburn.
But certainly, these two hikes should be on your list of must-do things around Squamish and Whistler if you’re a nature lover.
This post shares my pictures from the hike. You can download them and use on your blog or web article for free if you’re a writer. As this box below explains!
Pictures of the hike shared here were all taken by me. Writers in need of images for blog posts or web articles can instantly download them and use them in their writings (‘Right-click’ and save the image). Please add appropriate attribution.
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Many beautiful mountain tops, but also hills and valleys. It’s one of those hikes that offers many spectacular landscapes as you have a chance to walk alpine meadows during this hike instead of forests.
Just take a look, next picture takes you to the alpine meadow that’s surrounded by gorgeous views.
It would not be a hike if there was no need to go uphill.
If it’s a challenging hike? I wouldn’t say so!
Of course, you have to walk quite a bit of distance (22 km roundtrip). Most of the trail is like a mountain road, covered with stones, as you see.
Well, maybe if you’re going for an overnight stay and caring a heavy backpack like these hikers.
There could be some challenge. One that should be worth undertaking.
So the picture above is a “look back” at the hikers that are on the way to parking long.
Next picture, is the “look ahead”, so we turn right and continue the journey.
You never know what’s waiting for you around the corner.
The road would continue, and “all roads lead to Rome”, right? Well, in Garibaldi Provincial park most probably to more mountains and beautiful views.
Landscapes changed, depending on the direction you would face, but no matter where you look, nature is to be cherished.
The picture above can be downloaded in bigger size here (1800x1202px) if needed.
What about wildlife? I must admit, it was always a small dream of mine to see a bear in the wild.
I wanted to see how I would feel inside, scared or excited? Or both?
Might be a bit crazy of me, but I didn’t feel scared but very pleased when the bear appeared. Actually to my big surprise, we saw around 5 bears during this hike.
And precious Gray Jay, Whisky Jack or Camp Robber – any way you want to call this bird. They are pretty, quick and super “friendly”.
Yes, they mainly want your food, but I consider that as some kind of friendliness.
The picture above can be downloaded here in 1800x1202px size if you need a bigger picture for your blog.
One more picture of a Gray Jay, an iconic bird of Canada and later we continue the journey to the lakes.
We let the birds be birds and we continue on our way. As we go, not sure if the mountains get bigger, we get closer to them or they just look so big on the pictures.
The road doesn’t reveal itself until some point, and all we see is a stunning big mountain ahead and road, which leads us to new places, new views but we don’t care too much about that.
All we care about is to enjoy the moment and beautiful nature that surrounds us.
Of course, you keep meeting hikers on the way and that’s what I love during hikes. People you meet are often very warm and positive.
Each hiker you meet would welcome you with a quick “hi” or sometimes a longer chat. Bless you, nature lovers!
Not long after is when we take a turn and that’s what we see – Elfin Lakes surrounded by mountains. The landscape is certainly breathtaking.
The above picture is available in a bigger size here (1800x1202px) if needed.
One more picture of this beautiful landscape.
Let’s enjoy some more shots taken from the area: rangers house and beautiful, really beautiful camping side just behind the lakes.
Later on, I will give some more details about how to get there for those interested in taking upon this beautiful adventure.
The next picture shows the size of the lakes comparing to the hikers that walk along. Are the lakes big? small?
Just perfect, they are just perfect! Behind, we can see Ranger’s house and that’s also where the campsite is located.
Here is a beautiful campground I mentioned earlier, I bet the sunrise & sunset there must be amazing!
Enough of the tents. We hiked for the mountains, landscapes and amazing nature.
So I finish my adventure with the picture of the mountain top that was the closest to the campsite
I hope my images inspired you to leave the “concrete jungle” and head for this amazing hike to Elfin Lakes. The hike itself is 22 km long (there and back), so it might be a quite a distance for some, but it’s certainly worth it. It’s a moderate hike, you will have to battle some hills but you will also walk downhill or beautiful alpine meadows. W
When you get to the lakes, you can have a refreshing swim in one of the lakes (the other one is for drinking water), and the swim feels amazing! I have posted one picture of a bear, but I was lucky enough to meet around 5 bears on the way (it was my dream for a long time to see wild bears).
In case you did the hike because of my images here, would be great if you could comment or send me an e-mail with your experience! I would love to hear from you.
Don’t forget, if you’re a writer and need free pictures from the hike, you can download any of the above images and use on your blog or web article, just an attribution is required.
How to Get There
It should take less than 2 hours to get to Elfin Lakes if you’re driving from Vancouver, BC.
It’s located near Squamish, so you would take Trans Canada Highway #1 and switch to Highway #99 near Horseshoe Bay. The easiest way is to just follow the direction provided by Google on how to get there. You can see how to get there from Vancouver but if you’re heading there from different destination, just edit “from” field.
Remember to not leave any valuables in your car on a parking lot there before heading to a trail.
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