My friend Julia (yes, Julia!) and I are celebrating our six year friend-aversary, so we planned a spur of the moment trip to Elfin Lakes in Garabaldi Provincial Park.
Our trip started out foggy, and turned into an epic two-days of jaw dropping views, many black-bear encounters and eating all varieties of freeze dried food.
The Elfin Lake campground is an 11km hike from the trailhead. The hike winds through forest at the start, but opens up into vast alpine terrain. There are fields of heather, gravel slopes, and stunted trees.
The campground was practically empty the entire trip, so we took advantage of the cozy day-use cabin on chilly mornings and evenings. At night we slept on a tent platform overlooking Diamond Head Mountain, Mamquam Mountain, and other stunning peaks.
On our full day there, we day hiked to a couple different areas. Our first destination was Opal Cone, but 4km into the walk, we ran into a mother bear with her two cubs. They were happily munching on berries when we turned the corner and they acknowledged our presence there. But after a few minutes of waiting for them to move off the trail we decided it was best to let them be, and try for a different hike.
After our hike we swam in one of the Elfin Lakes, although it was more of a “dunk” than a swim. Standing in freezing water at the top of a mountain, looking at a panoramic view of ancient peaks, all that mattered was just being there in the hot October sun with each other.
Julia and I have been through thick and thin together. We’ve grown from hyper, wacky 18 year-olds into women that I think we would have looked up to when we first met in 2014. With 6 years of adventures together, our trip to Elfin Lakes was another one I’ll remember forever. I’ll remember it for the hours we spent traveling up and down mountains, reading our books side by side, talking about life and all its quirks, star-gazing, and soaking in the wonders of this blue dot we call home.