Another hike out into the wilderness of BC this weekend (25/09/2016).
This time, the wife and I went up to Squamish. This time the southern part of Garibaldi Park. Elfin Lakes was the target, a place the wife has been wanting to go to for quite some time. The drive up was very uneventful (it’s nice to be on the Sea to Sky highway well before 9am if you can), and we ended up in the parking area in good time. The road to get there was quite a bit better than Cheakamus’. I was surprised at how well it was graded, only a few lumpy bumpy sections towards the end.
This kind of hike is a grind… but unlike some of the others, this one was broken up a bit with some fantastic vistas over Squamish and the waterways, and even more spectacular, a lot of high mountain meadows and glades. It is early fall, late summer type foliage up there, so lots of reds and such… tons of leaves glinting with dewy water drops…. so gorgeous.
The trail itself is super easy to follow. There’s no way you should get lost on this hike, because it is well marked, and well traveled (you will see a lot of people out here). There are a few parts where it gets a little rocky underfoot, and a little more technical where you put your feet to avoid rolling an ankle, but for the most part, it is just an upwards hike up a well designated and looked after trail.
Unfortunately for my picture taking and for view taking, there were a lot of low mountain clouds. So we were going in and out of them all the time, or huge vistas were cut short by a layer of cloud that blocked stuff in the background. This included when we got to the lakes. I was hoping for a spectacular “coming around the corner to awesomeness” type reveal, but instead it was me anticipating the view coming up (I was looking at the GPS to get a sense how close we were), and the wife finally asking “aren’t we pretty close”. There in the vague near distance was a shimmering partly clouded lake… yup. First lake…. With no cloud, I’m sure it would have looked different… I guess we’ll have to go up again on a less cloudy day. 🙂
We ate some lunch by the second lake (swimming in the first lake, drinking water for second lake… no soap or detergent in either one), and then wandered around looking at the hut (a few German travelers were there eating lunch inside… they looked like they were cozied in to spend the rest of the day and night there). A little more looking around, and then the trip back. That trip back seemed to take longer than the trip there (even though most of it was downhill now), and a juvenile bear had taken up beside the trail a bit up the hill from the surface, eating blueberries.
By the time we got down to the parking area… we were both thoroughly worn out… a combination of a few weeks off of hiking, an early start, and the annoying clanging of a bear bell (it was ours… no one to blame). Whew… tiring work.
So… it was a great hike, the views and the meadows were fantastic… the actual lakes (probably about the lowest they get because of the season) were kind of a let down. Would we go back up there… I’m sure sometime, and maybe an overnight… but probably not in the near future. There’s more to see out there! 😉