Pictures from Elfin Lakes Hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park Near Vancouver

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 Elfin Lakes. 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 Elfin Lakes 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, Garibaldi Lake and Elfin Lakes hikes should be on your list of must-do things around Squamish and Whistler if you’re a nature lover.

Elfin Lakes Hike in Garibaldi Provincial Park, BC, Canada

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!

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Images


Mountain peak on the way to Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

One of the first mountain peaks spotted on the way to Elfin Lakes.


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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.


Hills & Valleys covered by trees in British Columbia.

Beautiful landscapes with hills and valleys in British Columbia.


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Just take a look, next picture takes you to the alpine meadow that’s surrounded by gorgeous views.


Trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park to Elfin Lakes surrounded by trees and snowy mountains.

Is it “The Lord of the Rings”? Well, no! But the views were gorgeous, and a trail that many Hobbits would enjoy.


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Hike to Elfin Lakes has one thing that’s common among hikes – there comes a time when you have 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.


Hikers on the Way Back from Elfin Lakes

Hikers on the way back from Elfin Lakes. Did they stay overnight? Or started it so early? Hmmm…


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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.


Mountain Road to Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Keep on walking the road to Elfin Lakes and still enjoying the precious landscapes.


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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.


Big Mountains with Snow in Garibaldi Provincial Park & Curvy Road to Elfin Lakes

After the turn, there was this beautiful big mountain covered in snow, and we could see how the trail will continue for a while.


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Landscapes changed, depending on the direction you would face, but no matter where you look, nature is to be cherished.


Mountain peak, road and beautiful landscape in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

While on the road, mountain peaks can be everywhere in Garibaldi Provincial Park.


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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.


Black Bear in Garibaldi Provincial Park spotted on the way to Elfin Lakes.

A beautiful Black Bear on the side of the hiking trail. Supposedly, there are quite many black bears in Elfin Lakes area, so be careful!


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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.

Whiskey Jack bird (Gray Jay) sitting on a tree on a blue background.

Beautiful Whiskey Jack bird (Gray Jay) sitting on a tree around Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada.

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.


Closeup of a Gray Jay Bird on a tree in Garibaldi Provincial Park, Canada.

Gray Jay, a beautiful small bird, that would love to steal your food.


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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.


Big Mountains and mountain road that take us to Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park in BC, Canada.

When the road takes us, we don’t know. All there is to enjoy views of beautiful big mountains and the feeling that we are getting to Elfin Lakes slowly while enjoying the landscapes.


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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!


Hiker on the road to Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park surrounded by mountain hills and tops.

Some hikers would enjoy a one-day roundtrip, some would go for an overnight stay in beautiful Elfin Lakes. This hiker most probably went for at least one night stay. I hope he enjoyed it!


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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.

Elfin Lakes & Garibaldi Provincial Park Mountains.

After 11 km of the hike, we reach our final destination in Garibaldi Provincial Park – beautiful Elfin Lakes.

The above picture is available in a bigger size here (1800x1202px) if needed.

One more picture of this beautiful landscape.


Elfin Lakes, mountains, road and blue sky with white clouds - a scenic landscape in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Before descending to Elfin Lakes, it was a perfect place to stop and enjoy this spectacular mountain landscape in Garibaldi Provincial Park seen from Paul Ridge.


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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.


Elfin Lakes - one lake to swim in, and second with water to drink.

Elfin Lakes are two lakes, one with drinkable water and the other one for you to enjoy a refreshing swim.


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Ranger's House and one of the Elfin Lakes landscape in Garibaldi Provincial Park, BC, Canada.

Swimming in Elfin Lakes was great! The water was refreshing and quite warm for a mountain lake.


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Here is a beautiful campground around Elfin Lakes, I bet the sunrise & sunset there must be amazing!


Elfin Lakes Campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park, tents and mountains.

A dream spot among many people to spend a night. To wake up with the sunrise surrounded by mountains… priceless.


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A tent in the campground in Elfin Lakes facing beautiful mountains on a sunny day in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

… and you too could be spending a night in a tent, facing the landscape like this one in Garibaldi Provincial Park.


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Tents in Elfin Lakes Campsite with an amazing mountain landscape in front of them in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

I don’t think these guys complained to spend the day and night away from the city when you’re dealing with such amazing landscapes.


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Enough of the tents. We hiked to Elfin Lakes 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


Atwell Peak seen from Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park.

Beautiful Atwell Peak in Garibaldi Provincial Park that’s seen from Elfin Lakes.


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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

hen 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 of Elfin Lakes, 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.

If you like this post, why don’t you share it on Pinterest with your friends?

Elfin Lakes campground in Garibaldi Provincial Park

Elfin Lakes and mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park

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Luke

by Luke

There are many things I enjoy in my life and some of those things I share with you. It's my passion for photography, travel and online marketing, I hope you enjoy what I have to share and offer.

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