Where: Garibaldi Provincial Park, BC Canada
Distance (round-trip): 13.7 miles (22 km)
Estimated time (round-trip): 6-7 hours (day hike); 10-11 hours (snowshoe)
Difficulty: Intermediate (hike); Difficult (snowshoe)
Ideal for: day hike / summer camping / winter camping
A refreshing plunge or an iced-over sight to behold, either way Elfin Lakes is always a foolproof destination. The summer months make it easy for you, as the extended daylight allows you to sleep in and hit the trail with a lightweight daypack to finish the entire hike in one afternoon/evening. To get the full experience, it’s absolutely worth it to plan ahead and book one of the 35 available tent platforms delivering a relaxing spot to take in the panoramic views that surround you. After getting the blood pumping on the hike up, there is almost no better way to beat the heat than with a quick dunk in the cool lake. Your home for the night also serves as a convenient point to ditch some gear and head out for one of several day trips.
Winter adventurers will also love this spot, as the two-story hut provides a luxury oasis for snowshoers and backcountry skiers. The fireplace and indoor propane stoves were unexpected perks that boosted our moral and lightened the load of gear to pack in. Bunk space for 33 provides more than enough space for a keen group of skiers, snowshoers, or hikers. Even if you’re planning on just hanging out around the hut for a peaceful day, the frozen lakes and rolling hills make for a gorgeous wintry scene.