Elfin Lakes (Diamondhead) is a 14.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Squamish-Lillooet, BC that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until October.
cross country skiing
This hike could be done as a day hike or an overnighter. Tent pads and even a shared cabin can be found beside Elfin Lakes. Backcountry should be purchased for safety reasons if you plan on spending the night. It costs extra to stay in the cabin if you don't have a tent. The cabin is just a two story house full of beds (no privacy). The hike starts with six kms of uphill that is fairly tough going if you are carrying your gear. But once you've battled past that you break out onto a gorgeous ridge on Round Mt. that takes you to Elfin Lakes. From this ridge you get a great view of the Mt. Garibaldi's peak as well as the Tantalus Mountain Range. Timing is everything with this hike because the snow stays around well into the spring. July/August is the best time of you've got no snow gear. There are also warming huts on the way up to the lakes stop for lunch in.
Great hike! A little too much snow for how prepared our party was. We turned around about 4.5 km before the lakes due to snow. Great views. Worthwhile to check it out. We will definitely go back later in the summer.
Fantastic experience and off the bucket hiking list. Since it is June wasn't expecting the snow we had from first shelter onward. Definitely a good idea to leave early to get a spot for sleeping at the cabin if you plan to stay over. Had gorgeous weather both days in and out. Will definitely be it doing again without snow.
Heat hike for the effort, worth exploring the area around as well.
Great hike. Not steep. Lots of bugs in summer. Great shelter in winter!
Very enjoyable. Starts from the parking lot as a fairly steep hour walk then it is a reasonably level walk there on. Beautiful scenery. Pleasant stay in the chalet with its bunks and propane stoves.
Jan 1-2, 2016. We parked at the first parking lot (which was packed) because we were unsure of the roads and if we would have parking space further so that added a 2 km walk. In hind sight, we could have made it to the main parking lot in our truck as we had chains with us, but better safe then sorry. 5 hours up, of glorious views. Stopped in the hut at heather meadows for lunch. Recommend using the outhouse here as it is much preferable to the 4 at the top. The trails were very well marked and very used! Saw lots of people out coming down from an overnight or just out for a day trip. The trail was very doable, no crazy steep sections. The hut was not over full, just to capacity I think and more in tents outside. Make sure you pay in advance online, there is a ranger that comes around to check. Melting snow on the stoves was constant as that was everyone's drinking & cooking water source. One of the highlights was finding the perfect winter spot to watch the sunset over the mountains. Incredible!!
It was an amazing hike with tons to see!!! Just make sure you wear some proper shoes!!! It's a rocky trail!! Overall I definately adored this trail and would highly suggest it to someone who is looking for a challenging yet easy hike!
Amazing alpine terrain, glacier views and crazy hikes from the lakes. I went up to the saddle between diamond head and another mountain to check out he lava sculptures called the gargoyles - AMAZING!
Check me out on Flickr - link below
Just completed on Oct 13th - it was one of the most peaceful hikes I have done with gorgeous views of the valley and meadows. We were fortunately to make it on a day when the Elfin Shelter was empty so we did not have to contend with other people. The hike up from the parking lot to the Red Heather Shelter was a bit of a bore but the hike from Red Heather to Elfin was the best! Make sure you take the hikers' route for the the scenic tour. The cyclists/winter route isn't really inspiring. Took us 5 hours roundtrip plus another hour at the top. I loved it!
Just be prepared for any sudden weather changes up there! And drive a car with higher clearance if you don't want to rattle your sedan too much on the drive up the service road.
Great place to hike or snowshoe, (if your into that type of thing) we built a snow fort with a tarp roof and slept in that. candles help with the warmth. Beautiful scenery.
I'm 58 years and experienced Elphin Lakes for the first time. It begins uninspiringly from the parking lot with a moderately steep gravel road leading to the "Red Heather" cabin after an hour. The trail improves with views and ease for the next 2 hours to Elphin Lakes. The Ranger explained a private donation of $200,000 from a doctor (who liked it here so much) allowed the construction of a separate propane hut (to service the Chalet - heated, propane stoves, solar lights, bunks), 37 tent platforms and, bear cache poles.
Thoroughly enjoyed the hike/walk, meeting students (with their instructor from Trinity University as part of an outdoor education program), Korean Hiking Club members, mountain bikers, and trail runners. $15/night/person payable at the parking lot or internet helps maintains the park. Any extra helps.
Amazing hike!! I love this trail. I've done it in 4.5h with a 1h break for photos and lunch. The views from the top are unreal, breath taking! And the hike is not bad at all. A must do!
Great hike! Not difficult at all. Nice variety and views along the spacious trail. Great hike for an easy enjoyable day to soak it all in. The hut at the top is really nice, sleeps at least 20 and there are 20+ tenting stands there as well! Outhouse and another building with tables inside (not for sleeping). The swimming lake was cold and refreshing! Beautiful views, loved it!
A relaxed 2 hours up and 1.5 hours down? Maybe less.
OK, I wrote the first review here and did the trail again yesterday and I am very disappointed to have to tell that this place, based on my experience yesterday at least, is ruined: it's become so popular that it's super busy, I didn't have a 500 meters stretch of the trail without seeing anybody, at some times I stopped to greet others there were so many ppl... And the more ppl means more morons who talk aloud, yell to each other.. I even saw a moron who listened to music aloud on something while walking.. Unfuckinbelievable..Even when I left the trail to get some privacy I could hear moronic bits of conversation like "my butt still hurts from that yoga class" thank you very much, you really need to share your shit with anybody nearby in the subalpine area, right?
And that wasn't even the worst part: up at the lakes they are building something and you could hear a machine, hammering and music.. It's just ridiculous how a place can be ruined if too many ppl go there..I haven't seen garbage yet but that's gonna come if the place goes down this road..
Anybody who likes to hike for privacy, quiet, beauty and getting away from civilization: DON'T GO TO ELFIN LAKES ON WEEKENDS, hopefully when it's not the crowds' day off it's still worth go up, but otherwise it's nothing what it was..
Amazing trail, beautiful views of mountains and meadows all around, one of the great things about it is that most of the trail goes through open areas - not forest - so you can enjoy the views around, plus it's never steep. At the end there is a cabin that can accommodate 20-30 people and has stoves, and the trail continues toward an extinct volcano, which is also worth to check out. I rarely go back to the same place but this hike I did several times it is so rewarding.
this is a fabulous trail in so many ways...gorgeous views and vistas, incredible mountain peaks, great no matter whether hiking, biking, snowshoeing or backcountry skiing...long-ish but not too steep! we have hiked, biked and snowshoed this trail!