Garibaldi Provincial Park: Diamond Head Area
Attention Visitors – Important Notice!
November 20, 2018: Hazard Warning
Narrow, winding mountain road; expect snow, ice and steep grades. Visitors must use winter tires and must carry chains.
* Vehicles blocking snow removal equipment on the road will be towed at the owners expense. The grader requires a minimum of 20 feet of road width.
- Vehicles are advised to not park on Ring Creek Road, as they may be subject to municipal towing.
- Chains are mandatory beyond the chain-up area, as per posted signage or direction by park staff. Failure to comply will result in a $115 fine.
- Warning: Do not follow Google Maps directions to Elfin Lakes.
Topographical map 92-G-14 & 15. 1:50,000
The Diamond Head area in the southwestern portion of the park includes Mount Garibaldi, 2,678 metres, Atwell Peak (a volcanic pinnacle), Opal Cone, Garibaldi Neve and Mamquam Lake. The area abounds with heather. In summer, its dainty white and pink bell shaped flowers flourish everywhere.
Warning: During winter months (October to April) Chains are mandatory on the Diamond Head access road. If the road is bare, you are still required to have appropriate and properly fitting chains available in the vehicle.
Turn east off Hwy 99 onto Mamquam Road 4 km north of downtown Squamish (not Mamquam FSR). Follow the paved road alongside the Squamish Golf and Country Club. Turn North onto Highland Way S, turn East at the roundabout and head up and through Quest University. Turn left or Northeast onto Mamquam road. which becomes Garibaldi Park road. Follow this road until you arrive at the parking lot. It is 16 km from the highway to the parking lot, located at 914 m elevation.
Camping is permitted in designated campsites only.
All campers and overnight shelter users must make a reservation through the Discover Camping Reservation Service year-round and must produce proof of reservation; failure to do so can result in an eviction and fines.
There are no garbage facilities so always pack out what you pack in!
Located 5 km from the parking lot, the Red Heather area offers a day use shelter equipped with 2 picnic tables, a propane hot plate, a wash sink, a cooking counter, a wood stove (winter use only) and pit toilet facilities. Please keep woodstove fires small to ensure that wood supplies last through the winter season. Camping is not permitted in the shelter. On snow camping is permitted during the winter season only from December 1 – April 30.
Located 11 km from the parking lot, the Elfin Lakes area offers an overnight shelter equipped with bunks for 33 people (11 double bunks, 12 single bunks), 4 picnic tables, 2 propane hot plates, a wash sink, a propane heater, propane lights and pit toilet facilities.
Elfin Lakes Campground, located 12 km from the parking lot, offers 35 tent platforms, a day-use shelter with 4 picnic tables inside and 2 picnic tables outside, pit toilet facilities and hang storage facilities.
Rampart Ponds Campground
Located 10 km north east of the Elfin Lakes shelter. Rampart Ponds Campground offers 12 tent platforms, pit toilet facilities and food storage facilities.
Mamquam Lake Campground
Mamquam Lake Campground is permanently closed for overnight use.
All overnight campers must use the new Rampart Ponds Campground located 1.5 km before Mamquam Lake.
Parking Lot to Elfin Lakes
Length, 11 km; suggested time, 3 to 5 hours one way; elevation change, 600 metres. The trail follows Paul Ridge and provides beautiful vistas. At Elfin Lakes, Columnar Peak, the Gargoyles, Opal Cone and Mamquam Icefield come into view.
Elfin Lakes to Little Diamond Head
Length, 7 km; suggested time, 2 to 3 hours one way; elevation change, 625 metres. This is a fairly arduous hike past the Gargoyles (strange visages sculptured by nature in lava) to 2,100 metre Little Diamond Head.
Elfin Lakes to the Opal Cone
Length, 6.5 km; suggested time, 2 to 3 hours one way; elevation change, 250 metres. Trail leads down to Ring Creek then climbs the Opal Cone, an extinct volcano with a crater. Garibaldi Neve and Mamquam Lake can be seen from the top.
Elfin Lakes to Mamquam Lake
Length, 11 km; suggested time, 4 to 5 hrs one way; elevation change, 570 metres. A strenuous hike that follows the route to the Opal Cone and then continues eastward past the Rampart Ponds. The trail descends to the lake from here. Overnight camping is not permitted.
Items of Importance
Mountain bikes are permitted on the trail from the parking lot to Elfin Lakes only. Please obey the signs.
During the months of September and October there is increased black bear activity in the Diamond Head area. Please use caution while travelling through the area and respect their environment. Stay on the trail and never approach or feed the wildlife. Remember, “A fed bear is a dead bear. View the Bear Safety page »