Garibaldi Provincial Park

photo of Elfin Lakes public shelter - winter at Diamond Head
Elfin Lakes public shelter - winter at Diamond Head

Winter Use

The winter climate can be severe and unforgiving with weather conditions changing quickly. Heavy snow and poor weather will significantly increase the difficulty of skiing. Visitors should be able to navigate through varying terrain using competent map and compass skills. Be well prepared, equipped and informed before entering the backcountry. Visitors should be capable of camping overnight in case of injury, accident or extreme weather.

Most skiers use telemark or alpine touring skis. Light cross country equipment is not suitable for the terrain and ski conditions encountered. Snowshoeing and snowboarding are also popular in this area.

Avalanche hazards exist! Anyone venturing into a backcountry ski area do so at their own risk. Visitors must be familiar with recognition and avoidance of avalanche terrain and conditions. Visitors should be appropriately equipped with avalanche transceivers, probes, snow shovels, first aid kits and have adequate knowledge of avalanche assessment skills and avalanche rescue procedures.

There are no garbage facilities so always pack out what you pack in!

photo of skiing at Diamond Head
Skiing at Diamond Head

Diamond Head:

Topographical Map 92-G-14 & 15 1:50,000

Diamond Head is an intermediate to advanced backcountry ski touring area. The ski season is generally from mid November to April or May. The winter route is marked by orange snow poles from Red Heather to Elfin Lakes. Please leave the snow poles for the Rangers to adjust. Attempting to remove the poles by pulling or pushing can break them, rendering them useless. Whiteouts make route finding along the open ridge very difficult and potentially dangerous when the poles are not in place.

If you need assistance while in the area and the Park Rangers are unavailable, the nearest emergency help is the R.C.M.P. in Squamish (9-1-1). Cell phone coverage is available from most west facing locations along Paul Ridge to Elfin Lakes.

The road to the Diamond Head parking lot requires chains and/or a 4x4 vehicle, with good winter tread. Snow removal is periodic and conditions may change during your visit. Please do not park on the road edges, use the parking lot or pull out areas. Parking on the road edge will block the snow clearing equipment, causing hazardous conditions. Day use parking fees are charged year round and must be paid by Visa, Mastercard, cash or cheque at the trailhead Fee Station.

Black Tusk/Garibaldi Lake:

photo of Black Tusk
Winter at Black Tusk
Topographical Map 92-G-14 & 15. 1:50,000

Black Tusk/Garibaldi Lake is an advanced intermediate to advanced backcountry ski touring area. Many people ski across Garibaldi Lake during January and February to the huts on the other side. These huts are open year round but are only accessible during the winter months as there is no trail to them in the summer. The day use shelters at Garibaldi Lake can be used for sleeping during the winter months only.

If you need assistance while in the area, the nearest emergency help is the R.C.M.P. in Squamish (9-1-1). Cell phone coverage is very limited.

The road to the Garibaldi Lake parking lot is not ploughed during the winter. just off highway 99 between the turnoff and the gate to the Daisy Lake Dam. Be careful where you park your vehicle as this is a snowplow route. Please don’t block the gate or the plowed part of the road going to private property.

Other areas in the park for backcountry ski touring are the Garibaldi Neve Traverse, Singing Pass and the Spearhead-Fitzsimmons Traverse. These trips require advanced skills, advanced planning and good weather conditions.

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