During the winter months, the Elfins Lakes area is a popular backcountry skiing hot spot but when summer arrives it morphs into a mountain biking mecca. Elfin Lakes is considered an XC/All Mountain bike trail. It is rated for an intermediate skill riding level. The trail is also shared by summertime hikers.
Ride Time Frame and Optional Overnight Stay
The ride ranges from three to six hours. You have the option of spending the night at the cabin if you don’t want to undertake the entire ride in a day. The trail starts at the parking lot. The first part is made up of loose gravel but, eventually, levels out. There are outhouses located at Red Heather Meadows and Elfin Lakes. During the summer months, the trail becomes very crowded with both hikers and bikers. Many say that the ideal time to ride the Elfin Lakes trail is during the month of September when the crowds have cleared out.
What to Expect From the Ride
The ride’s distance is 21 km with an elevation ride of 935 meters. Unlike most mountain bike trails which are single track, the Elfin Lakes trail is a double track the entire way and across a fire road. It is a bumpy ride so not an easy ride. Ideally, the tires of your bike should be fat and aired up to the optimum psi for a comfortable ride. Halfway up the trail is a small waterfall that flows in the spring and early summer months before drying up. The ride can be completed in a day but why not make a weekend out of it and spend the night at the small, cozy cabin?
Spending the Night at the Cabin
The cabin is managed by the BC Parks. An overnight stay is not free. You will be required to pay at the cash receptacle at the trailhead. Payment can be made when you register.
Preparing for a Night at the Cabin
There is no reason to bring supplies because the cabin is well-stocked. You must pack a sleeping bag and sleeping mat. Also, you should bring food and cookware to prepare one or two meals. Propane is provided at the cabin for the cookstove so you can easily pack food that must be heated up. If you don’t pack water and instead to opt to use the water source at the cabin then it is advised that you boil the water prior to use. You can also use a water filtration system.
The Elfin Trail ride is ideal for a day or overnight trip. Depending on what season you will be riding the trail, you might want to pack a couple of bags to pick the ample blueberries that grow along the trails expanse.
Winter Time Biking
Even if the spring, summer, and fall months have slipped by and you have not had a chance to ride the Elfin Trail do not despair. The area is a popular wintertime fat bike riding destination. The fat tires on a fat bike readily cut across the snow-covered trail so you can enjoy the ride and the beauty of the area in an entirely new, pristine white setting.