• Activities:

    Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    22 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    5900 Feet

Scenic
Wildlife

Beautiful alpine meadows and great views of Mt. Garibaldi & Atwell Peak from: Paul Ridge, Elfin Lakes, the Saddle, and beyond. The views get progressively better with more kilometers.

Given the total distance and cumulative elevation gain of this hike, I would suggest a good level of fitness to reach the summit. The trail does not have any technical challenges and the elevation gain is gradual. The final kick up to the summit involves some loose scree and minor exposure depending on how far you veer.

In order to catch sunrise at the summit, plan to to get a late start to the Elfin Lakes Hut, nap for 4 hours, then commence on an overnight hike to the Little Diamond Head summit. This schedule will get you there early enough that you can also take another 2 hour nap near the summit. Pack a thermarest to lounge on, in case you do end up waiting around for sunrise.

VIews from the summit included Atwell Peak, connected to the Little Diamond Head by a hair-raising ridge. Next was Diamond Glacier, often used as a mountaineering route over the neve. A little further away was the Garibaldi Glacier, Opal Cone, and Lava Glacier, followed by Pyramid Mountain, Mamquam Mountain, and the Sky Pilot Group. Across the Howe Sound was the magical Tantalus Range.

Starting the hike in the evening, route-finding by headlamp throughout the night, and seeing the world awaken from its slumber is a breathtaking experience. Hiking overnight, rather than at day, is advantageous because the temperature is perfect, there's no one on the trail (if you're a solitude seeker), no haze obstructing the view, and you're experiencing a perspective few people get to see.

Full trip details, here.

Blog: www.ashikaparsad.com

Pack List

  • Backpack
  • Sleeping pad
  • 3L of water
  • Freeze-dried meals + snacks
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Bear spray
  • Warm layers and hiking shoes
  • Microspikes
  • Camera + GoPro + Gorilla Tripod
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Ashika Parsad

I live in the city and spend my weekends in the mountains. I am a Kinesiology student and I'm keen to get outdoors whenever possible.

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