Garibaldi Provincial Park
March 16, 2017: Garibaldi Park Road (Red Heather and Elfin Lakes access) is open, but chains are mandatory from the lower parking lot/chain-up area which is about 1.8 km from the main parking lot and trailhead. Please check back to this web page; updates will be posted as they become available.
Garibaldi Park Road (Red Heather and Elfin Lakes access) has been closed several times this season due to parked cars blocking the snowplow from clearing the road.
Please don’t park alongside the road, park in designated areas only! Invest in a set of chains; it’s cheaper than getting towed!New for 2017: As of February 28, 2017, Garibaldi Provincial Parks’ Helm, Cheakamus Lake and Singing Creek campgrounds will also offer reservations for up to 4 months in advance of your arrival date, via our Discover Camping Reservation Service.
Attention Campers: Overnight fees are in effect in Garibaldi Park, year round.
Reserve OR purchase a backcountry camping permit here:
- Reservations are required for Elfin Shelter YEAR ROUND.
- Reservations are required for: Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows, Elfin Lakes, Helm, Cheakamus Lake and Singing Creek campgrounds during peak season. Peak season is from June 29th – October 17th.
- During non-peak periods people must still go through the Garibaldi Reservation site to pay for their overnight permits, but reservation transaction fees are waived.
- All other camping areas and during non-peak season: Require a backcountry camping permit and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. You are not guaranteed a site.
- There is no option to pay with cash – Pre-pay online through the call-centre by credit card ONLY.
Notice: Camping fees apply in all areas of Garibaldi Park. Revenue from camping and shelter fees go directly into providing park recreation services, such as maintaining trails, park roads (snow removal), and park buildings. This system ensures that members of the public are more involved in paying for the recreation services they use.
- Be prepared for winter conditions in alpine areas. Expect snow on summer alpine trails, which will make route finding difficult.
- Snowshoes or skis and skins are required for winter travel in the park.
- As of December 2, 2016, the winter pole route to Elfin Lakes is in place.
- CAUTION: Access roads in winter – Please be advised that most access roads for Garibaldi Park are not plowed in winter months. Check our trail report for more details. Access to the park requires winter tires and snow chains in the winter months. Those travelling the road must be equipped and prepared for a self-rescue in case of an emergency.
- Warning: Thieves have been known to operate in the Rubble Creek and Elfin Lakes parking lots, targeting vehicles and personal property of park users. Be sure you remove all valuables from your vehicle prior to leaving it unattended, and leave unnecessary belongings at home. If you have any information regarding these incidents, please contact Squamish RCMP at 604-892-6100.
- Avalanche and glacier hazards exist in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Only experienced groups who are practiced in crevasse rescue and who are properly equipped, should venture onto snowfields and glaciers.
- CAUTION: The Singing Pass Trail is hazardous in many sections. Use caution when crossing Harmony Creek (as there is no bridge) and at the old road slump.
Trail InformationView the most recent trail report [PDF]
Diamond Head/Elfin Lakes Area:
As of December 2, 2016, the winter pole route to Elfin Lakes is in place.
Reservations are required YEAR ROUND for Elfin Lakes Shelter starting June 29th, 2016 and Elfin Lakes campground during peak season (June 29th – October 17th 2017).
Mamquam Lake campground is permanently closed for overnight use. All overnight campers must use the new Rampart Ponds campground located 1.5km before Mamquam Lake.
Garibaldi Lake Area:
Black Tusk/ Garibaldi Lake access: the Rubble Creek road is not plowed to the parking lot in the winter months. Please do not block the driveways on the main road.
Reservations are required at Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows campgrounds during peak season (June 29 - October 17).
Note: there are no huts for overnight use in this area.
Singing Pass Area:
CAUTION: The Singing Pass Trail is hazardous in many sections. Use caution when crossing Harmony Creek (as there is no bridge) and at the old road slump.
Please follow the reroute for the first 1.5kms of trail. Please follow the signs at the parking lot. The old trail routing is unsafe.
In addition to making the required reservation, large groups (10 or more) planning a trip into Garibaldi Park are requested to register online well in advance of their trip. A Youth Group Information Package [PDF 188KB] is available for both leaders and youth as a general aid in preparing for a fun, educational and safe wilderness experience.
Camping is permitted in designated areas only. Camping fees apply in all areas of the park.
Know Before You Go
- Use of motorized vehicles including snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, trail bikes and similar conveyances are restricted to park roads and parking lots.
- Domestic animals (dogs/pets);
- Arriving or departing from the park by aircraft;
- Harvesting of natural resources; this includes mushrooms.
CampingReservations are required for: Garibaldi Lake, Taylor Meadows, Elfin Lake, Helm, Cheakamus Lake and Singing Creek campgrounds during peak season. Peak season is from June 29th – October 17 Reservations are required for Elfin Shelter YEAR ROUND.
All other camping areas and during low season require purchase of a backcountry camping permit and operate on a first-come, first-served basis. You are not guaranteed a site.
Safety NotesDo not underestimate the demands of the backcountry. The hiker must be in good physical condition, properly equipped, and prepared to be totally self sufficient. Take adequate clothing as mountain weather is subject to sudden change and Garibaldi Park can receive snow anytime of the year.
The Red Heather area in Diamond Head experiences the highest concentration of black bears within Garibaldi Park. Be bear aware when traveling through the area.
Most of the park’s lakes and rivers are glacier fed and the water is extremely cold year round.
The park access roads are subject to poor visibility. Please use caution while driving these roads. Watch for other vehicles, cyclists and wildlife.
View the Voluntary Flight Guidelines – 1990 [PDF 163KB]
Barrier Civil Defence ZoneThe area below and adjacent to the Barrier, a geological feature upholding Garibaldi Lake is considered hazardous. Although imminent danger is unlikely, special regulations are in effect to make you aware of the potential danger and to minimize the risk to life and property in the event of a landslide. Posted signs identify the Civil Defence Zone. Do not camp, stop or linger while traveling through the Zone. Camping or remaining overnight at or near the Garibaldi Lake parking lot is prohibited. Developed campgrounds are located nearby at Alice Lake and Nairn Falls Provincial Parks.
Please Note: Revenue from camping and shelter fees goes directly into providing park recreation services, such as maintaining trails, park roads (snow removal), and park buildings. This system will ensure that members of the public are more involved in paying for the recreation services they use.
Frequently Asked Questions [PDF 52KB]
About This Park
Garibaldi Park’s rich geological history, diverse vegetation, snow-capped mountain, iridescent waters, abundant wildlife and scenic vistas all contribute to the immense beauty. The park is located in the heart of the Coast Mountains just 70 kms north of Vancouver.
Offering over 90 kms of established hiking trails, Garibaldi park is a favourite year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
Established Date: April 29, 1920
Park Size: 194,676 ha
| Campground Dates of Operation
All dates are subject to change without notice
|Opening and closing campground dates:
|Walk-in backcountry campgrounds:|
|– Garibaldi Lake campground||Year round|
|– Taylor Meadows campground||Year round|
|– Red Heather campground||Winter camping only|
|– Elfin Lakes campground||Year round|
|– Helm, Cheakamus Lake, Singing Creek, Russet Lake and Wedgmount Lake campgrounds||No winter services|
|Campground reservable dates:|
|– Garibaldi Lake campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Taylor Meadows campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Elfin Lakes campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Helm campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Cheakamus Lake campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Singing Creek campground||June 29 – October 17|
|– Elfin Lakes shelter||Year Round|
|Total number of walk-in accessible campsites:||– Garibaldi Lake = 50
– Taylor Meadows = 40
– Red Heather = Winter only
– Elfin Lakes = 35
– Mamquam = CLOSED
– Rampart Ponds = 12
– Helm = 30
– Cheakamus Lake = 10
– Singing Creek = 7
– Russet Lake = 7
– Wedgmount Lake = 20
Location and MapsPlease note: Any maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
To simplify finding information, the five Garibaldi Provincial Park access points are listed as they are found traveling along Highway 99, Sea to Sky Highway, south to north.
Maps and BrochuresAny maps listed are for information only – they may not represent legal boundaries and should not be used for navigation.
Nature and Culture
- History: In 1860, while carrying out a survey of Howe Sound on board the Royal Navy survey ship H.M.S. Plumper, Captain George Henry was impressed by a towering mountain dominating the view to the northeast. Captain Richards chose to name the 2,678 metre mountain Mount Garibaldi, after the great 19th century Italian patriot and soldier, Giuseppe Garibaldi, a guerrilla general whose exploits and valour were held in high esteem. In 1907, a party of six Vancouver climbers reached the summit of Mount Garibaldi. The views from the peak inspired the establishment of summer climbing camps at Garibaldi Lake. This early interest led to the creation in 1920 of a park reserve. Garibaldi Provincial Park was legislated as a Class A park in 1927, a 195,000 hectare mountain wilderness just 64 kilometres north of Vancouver.
- Conservation: During July and August the alpine areas of Garibaldi Park offer hikers an opportunity to view alpine flowers in bloom, a beautiful display of nature. Please keep to designated trails. Shortcutting trails destroys plant life and soil structure in fragile alpine meadows. Trail erosion by rain and melting snow occurs rapidly as a result. BC Parks asks for your cooperation as we help to repair damaged areas. Please help by obeying posted signs.
- Wildlife: Small mammals and birds such as squirrels, chipmunks, grey jays, and flickers can often be seen. Large mammals such as mountain goats, deer, cougars, wolverines, grizzly and black bears, also call the park home, although are seen less frequently.
Management PlanningManagement Planning Information
- The management plan for Garibaldi Park was approved in 1990. In Feb 2014 a management plan amendment was approved to provide more specific management direction to the Spearhead area of the park.
- Garibaldi Park Management Plan (1990) [PDF 3.34MB]
- Garibaldi Park Management Plan (Spearhead Area Amendment) (2014) [PDF 1.7MB]
Activities Available at this Park
Note: climbing the Black Tusk is not recommended due to loose, unstable rock.
- Diamond Head: from the parking lot to the Elfin Lakes shelter. Bicycles are not permitted beyond this point and must stay on the main trail. Rock and gravel trail surface.
- Cheakamus Lake: from the parking lot to Singing Creek. Bicycles are not permitted past the bridge on the Helm Creek Trail. Dirt trail surface.
In addition to making the required reservation, youth groups planning a trip into Garibaldi Park are requested to register online well in advance of their trip. A Youth Group Information Package [PDF 310KB] is available for both leaders and youths as a general aid in preparing for a fun, educational and safe wilderness experience.
Snowmobiles are NOT permitted in Garibaldi Park.
Facilities Available at this Park
Cabins / Huts / Yurts
Elfin Shelter Fee (includes permit): $10.00 per child / night (age 6 to 15)
Children 5 and under are free
$6 plus tax per party/night (up to 4 people) to a maximum of $18 plus tax – this is in addition to shelter fees. If paying by Call Centre, an additional $5 surcharge applies.
Wedgemount Lake: There is a small hut which can accommodate 6 people. There are no garbage facilities so pack out what you pack in! The hut is available year round. A backcountry camping permit is required, but there are no reservations for the Wedgemount Lake hut.
Russet Lake: There is a small hut available at Russet Lake near Singing Pass that can accommodate 6 people. There are no garbage facilities so pack out what you pack in! Store all food on the hangers provided. This hut is available year round. A backcountry camping permit is required, but there are no reservations for the Wedgemount Lake hut.
Diamond Head: Red Heather day-use shelter offers 2 picnic tables, counters with a wash sink, 2 propane burners, a wood stove (winter only), and pit toilet facilities. Elfin Lakes offers 2 outdoor picnic tables, a day-use shelter with 4 picnic tables, counters with 2 wash sinks, and pit toilet facilities.
Black Tusk/Garibaldi Lake: Garibaldi Lake offers 4 outdoor picnic tables, 4 day use shelters each with 2 picnic tables, counters, wash sinks, and pit toilet facilities. Taylor meadows offers 2 day-use shelters, each with 2 picnic tables, counters, wash sink and pit toilet facilities.
Cheakamus Lake: No picnic tables. Various scenic spots around the lake to picnic in a natural setting. Pit toilet facilities are provided.
Singing Pass: No picnic tables. Small shelter at Russet Lake equipped with a counter and limited seating. Although this shelter is not recommended for picnicking, there is plenty of room outside in a beautiful alpine setting. Pit toilet facilities are provided.
Wedgemount Lake: No picnic tables. Small shelter at Wedgemount Lake with limited seating. Although this shelter is not recommended for picnicking, there is plenty of room outside in a beautiful alpine setting. Pit toilet facilities are provided.
Pit or Flush Toilets
All areas of the park require a Backcountry Camping Permit year round.
Some areas require reservations (includes permit).
All campers must produce proof of permit – failure to do so can result in an eviction and fines.
Backcountry Camping Fee: $5.00 per child / night (persons 6 – 15 years of age)
Children 5 and under are free
Pit toilet and food storage facilities are located at all designated campsites.
Day-use cooking shelters are located at Red Heather, Elfin Lakes, Garibaldi Lake and Taylor Meadows. Camping is not permitted in day-use shelters.
More information is available on the webpages for the following areas. register online well in advance of their trip. A Youth Group Information Package [PDF 310KB] is available for both leaders and youths as a general aid in preparing for a fun, educational and safe wilderness experience.