Link to hike OR this link
This was a tough one as we didn’t expect such technical terrain and had started later than planned. Carrying heavy backpacks we took about 5.5 hours each way with lots of breaks. While it was my first time on this trail, I found the trail pretty easy to follow even though there are loads of warnings about the “poorly marked trail”. There were orange markers everywhere although I can see how it would be difficult to find the trail with fog or snow so make sure you are fit and experienced before attempting this one in less than ideal conditions. Also, there are a couple creek crossings which may be difficult in high water (we are currently in a drought so no issue there).
|It would be so nice to sit down…|
|Well marked path in the summer|
|starting out with Seymour’s first pump ahead|
|turn off to Elsay trail|
From the turn off, we soon turned a corner to see an enormous panorama of the valley. We crossed about 4 rockslides and followed one more down. There are some streams along the way (about 2kms to the lake) and the lake itself was pretty large for swimming. For space in the emergency hut, make sure you get there early (houses 6). It was a long weekend and we were a bit surprised to find another 6 tents up and a group staying at the hut.
|She loved the rocks|
|my hiking buddies|
|Taking a well needed break|
|crossing a creek|
The way back seemed so much easier although it took the same amount of time (this time going uphill). We had run out of water in the summer heat so we stopped by the creek to filter a couple liters while Whiskey rested on some mossy rocks. I was surprised since this is the first time I’ve seen her lay down on a hike! We made sure she had plenty of dehydrated food, water, hard boiled eggs, and she shared all our food. She even crawled into our sleeping bags at night taking turns with mommy and daddy.
|setting up camp while Whiskey supervises|
|so hungry!! feed me|
|it was too hazy for stars|
|waking up with a Vizsla in the sleeping bag|
|swimming in the lake|
|heading back home|
Overall the hike would be much faster without the packs, but it’s still pretty long for a one day hike unless you are a trail runner. The payoff wasn’t as amazing as many of the other trails we’ve done though I acknowledge we are spoiled for choice in BC. In the end I’m glad we did it but I won’t be planning another hike or overnighter here for a couple years.
|resting on the moss|
|so small in an epic landscape|
|my poor tired dog! only 2km left|
[…] Elsay Lake *🌲👀💦- A rare hike that goes down, not up! The trail is easy to lose if the visibility isn’t far and goes by many rock falls that can be avalanche zones in snow. It’s harder than it looks on the map. Very few tenting spots, please do not use the Emergency shelter unless it’s an emergency. […]