Photos: Snowshoeing is magical at Elfin Lakes in Garibaldi Provincial Park

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      For many a Vancouver hiker, the season for getting outdoors ended around Thanksgiving. But throwing on a pair of snowshoes means you can visit the backcountry all winter long.

      One glorious setting for a snowshoeing trip is Paul Ridge in Garibaldi Provincial Park. It’s also popular with backcountry skiers and snowboarders.

      The marked winter route leads past the Red Heather day-use shelter and up and along the ridge to the overnight shelter at Elfin Lakes. There are stunning vistas of Sky Pilot Mountain, Mamquam Mountain, and Mount Garibaldi along the way.

      Last weekend, getting to Elfin Lakes and back to the Diamond Head area parking lot—a total distance of 22 kilometres with a net elevation gain of 600 metres—took about eight hours. Tire chains were necessary for the vehicle approach from Squamish, as the gravel road was frozen over.

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