Begins at Elfin Lakes and runs to Mamquam Lake.
From Elfin Lakes, shortly past the shelter take the right fork toward Opal Cone and Mamquam Lake. The left fork will take you to The Saddle and The Gargoyles.
The trail drops down to Ring Creek and then up again on the other side of the moraine toward Opal Cone. To get to Opal Cone, look for a trail that leads off to the left of the main trail. Opal Cone is the rim of an extinct volcano that overlooks the Bishop Glacier. Stunning views are to be had from here on a clear day! The trail will lead you back to the main trail to Mamquam Lake.
Shortly after passing Opal Cone, you move onto an area called The Barrens. As of Aug. 19, 2010, this area is still covered by packed snow, but is easy to navigate. Just follow the cairns. On the other side of the barrens, you descend one side of Zig Zag Creek, cross the creek, and then ascend the other side. The descent, as well as one short stretch on the other side, follows a narrow trail (<30cm) with some exposure and slippery footing. Be careful crossing Zig Zag Creek if the bridge has been removed, as the waters run higher late in the day.
As you ascend the final ridge, you reach the Rampart Ponds and finally descend 260m over the last 1.6km into Mamquam Lake. This section is apparently fairly treacherous during rain, as it acts as a water channel 1-2 feet deep in places.
*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.
Other adjacent hikes in this Trail Network:
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.
Items of Importance:
Mountain bikes are permitted on the trail from the parking lot to Elfin Lakes only. Please obey the signs.
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