Imagine a place so well-hidden that you need to wear snowshoes and trek 22km (return) through treacherous mountain peaks, heavy snow and potentially erratic weather just to experience it?
It exists. In the middle of the mountains, far from the hustle and bustle and petty worries of the world, sits a solar-powered, propane heated cottage with all the furnishings one could desire after a long day of snowshoeing. A cozy gas log-fire. A Bed. An outhouse. Shoe and clothes drying racks. Gas stove-tops. A seating area with tables and chairs. An outdoor deck and balcony to sit and watch the sunset. Even an abundance of board games to keep you entertained right through the night!
How Do I Find This Place?
The Elfin Lakes trail leads to Elfin Shelter in Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish, British Columbia. It is maintained by Parks Canada in the Elfin Lakes area. For directions on how to get there, click here.
How To Book An Overnight Stay at the Elfin Shelter
The Elfin Shelter sleeps 33. You pay upon arrival at the starting point of the trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park. You will need to complete a form and submit it (with correct money) into the collections box. It costs CA$15 per person for an overnight stay in the hut or CA$10 to use the nearby campsite.
Things to Consider for Winter
- Dress warm and wear layers.
- Bring chains. The first 2 km of the walking trail can be driven by car with chains only.
- Store water in a thermos. This will ensure your drinking water doesn’t freeze.
- Only carry enough water for the one way trip. Remember, you can melt the snow for drinking water once you arrive at the shelter!
- As a safety precaution, particularly in the Winter, carry a tent with you. If the lodging books out, or if your group doesn’t make the distance to the shelter by nightfall, you will have an alternative.
- Leave early. There are no guarantees you’ll get a bed. It is first come, first serve. As a rough idea, our group arrived at the shelter at 4:30pm. There were already 24 beds taken.
- The Elfin Lakes trail is rated as an intermediate trail, recommended for seasoned hikers. If you’re a beginner, perhaps aim to camp by the shelter at the midway point of the trail instead. The scenery is just as beautiful.
Have you walked the Elfin Lakes trail? Did you camp? What was your experience of the shelter?
Share your experience in the comments below.
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