Snow-shoeing in Garibaldi Provincial Park

By Darren Susin   Trail Canada

For people who love the outdoors, Garibaldi Provincial Park is a near-perfect destination. During summer, it is home to a myriad of amazing hikes, most notably the trek to Black Tusk and Elfin Lakes. In the winter, the park is home to some of the best snow-shoeing trails in Southern British Columbia. Whether it is just a trip to Taylor Meadows for fantastic views of the snow covered Tusk or an overnight into the Elfin lakes shelter, with over 90 kilometres of trails, there is something for everyone in this amazing 195,000 hectare park

One thing to strongly keep in mind for all these trails is to check road conditions before heading out. Large amounts of snowfall in a short time can make regularly good roads completely impassable, so be sure to do your homework!

Taylor Meadows
At 7.5 kilometres, the trek to Taylor Meadows is not the easiest snowshoe. Keep in mind it also gains 915 meters from the parking lot. However, for those willing to take the trip, it is a great day trip destination as it offers fantastic views of many of the surrounding peaks and makes a great lunch spot.

Elfin Lakes
This is a popular destination for both skiers and snowshoers, mainly due to there being a hut at the lake. For skiers, the hut is a perfect base for 3/4 days of amazing skiing; for snowshoers, itís the perfect place to have a warm cup of soup and a big
sandwich before heading out. For the beginner, the Red Heather hut (located along the trail towards the Elfin Lakes hut) is a shorter and much easier trip. The summer route is 11 kilometres to Elfin Lakes, but the winter route is different so it will be less kilometres.

Cheakamus Lake
While Iíve only done this hike in the summer (and strongly recommend it), I assume that it would be a great day out. Since it is relatively short, at only 3 kilometres, it might be a great day for beginners.

Mt. Price
This is a great, but long, day trip which requires some back country experience. It takes snowshoers to the peak just south-west of the Garibaldi Lake. An ice axe is recommended for the push from the lake to the peak, but the views of the Tantalus Range are worth the effort. Follow the route to Garibaldi Lake, cross the lake (make sure itís frozen!) and head up from there!

These are just a few of the trails available in this amazing park. Do yourself a favour and check out the BC Parks web site and go explore this fantastic area.
Stay safe!

www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/garibald.html

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