Explore Squamish - July 15, 2018

An Unofficial Guide to Squamish Backcountry Huts

Photo: @bd.adventures

An Unofficial Guide to Squamish Backcountry Huts

When the mountains are calling, an overnight trip to a Squamish backcountry hut may be the answer. Located oceanside and nestled within the Coast Mountain Range, the backcountry around Squamish is a sight to behold. Teeming with glacial lakes, pristine snow-covered peaks, and carpeted in lush wildflowers and grasses the Coast Mountains are always a lovely place to be. With so many huts available you can stay overnight and soak in the beauty of the area.

Watersprite Lake Cabin

Located along the Mamquam and Skookum Forestry Service Roads, the Watersprite Lake trail will lead you to a remote hut situated in front of a teal blue lake with an iconic mountain backdrop destined to top the charts for the most scenic spot. Park your car in a small lot around kilometre 20 on the FSR and enter the trail on the upper right corner of the lot. Follow the gravel path up a hill and pass by the Skookum Dam. From here follow the flagging tape which will eventually lead you into the forest and spit you out on some boulders with a panoramic view of the valley. The final section of the trail veers left and brings you into the trees and up a large boulder field. Once you crest the hill, you will begin to see views of the lake. The newly constructed cabin sits to the left of the main trail in front of the lake. Please note this shelter is kept locked, once you book your reservation you will obtain a code to open the door.

How to reserve: Visit the BC Mountaineering Club's website
Location: Along the Mamquam and Skookum Forestry Service Roads
Cost per night: $40 

Tantalus Hut

 

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The Tantalus Hut is located ever so slightly out of reach in Tantalus Provincial Park. To access it, most choose to charter a helicopter and fly in. Charters are available through Blackcomb Helicopters and Black Tusk Helicopters. Once you arrive at the hut, you will be greeted with the serene beauty of Lake Lovely Water. Fully equipped with boats to paddle around the lake, mats to sleep on and a chess board to keep your mind busy, the Tantalus Hut is a beautiful place to relax and take in the beauty of nature. You can wander around the lake or ascend one of the many mountaineering objectives in the area. 

How to reserve: Email huts [at] accvancouver.ca
Location: Tantalus Provincial Park
Cost per night: $30 

Jim Haberl Hut

 

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Also located in Tantalus Provincial Park Range, sitting 2030 metres above sea level, lies the Jim Haberl Hut. Helicopter access to this remote hut transports you to a world few people are lucky enough to experience. The hut is mainly used by seasoned mountaineers looking to summit the surrounding peaks or by outdoor enthusiasts wishing to spend a few days in backcountry bliss. The Jim Haberl Hut can be accessed directly by helicopter. Once at the hut amenities are plentiful, and you can expect to find dishes, sleeping pads and fuel to heat the hut and cook your meals.

How to reserve: Email huts [at] accvancouver.ca
Location: Tantalus Provincial Park
Cost per night: $35 

Elfin Lakes

 

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The Elfin Lakes Cabin in Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of the most comfortable and heavily utilized huts in Squamish, it is also the largest, with enough sleeping spaces for 33 people. To access the hut hike approximately 4 hours from the Diamond Head parking area. Follow the trail past Red Heather Hut, up Paul Ridge and finally arrive at Elfin Lakes. Reservations to the hut are an absolute must and should be booked on the Discover Camping website as far in advance as possible as it tends to fill up quickly. The two lakes outside the hut thaw around early July. One lake serves the purpose of a swimming hole while the other is used for drinking water.

How to reserve:  Visit the Discover Camping website
Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
Cost per night: $15 

Red Heather Hut 

 

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If you have ever been to Elfin Lakes, then you have walked past the Red Heather Shelter. This shelter is an emergency hut for day use only located in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The Red Heather Shelter is an excellent destination for a day hike and the perfect place to prepare lunch and soak in the views before descending. To reach the shelter, park your car at the Diamond Head parking area and follow the trail through the trees, expect the trail to take between an hour to an hour and a half to reach the shelter. 

How to reserve:  Emergency use only
Location: Garibaldi Provincial Park
Cost per night: Not applicable

Brew Hut

Located just twenty minutes North of Squamish in the Callaghan Valley lies Brew Hut. To reach the trailhead turn off the highway onto the Brew Creek Forest Service Road. Take the first left turn and follow the gravel road uphill for about 3 kilometres. You can park your car immediately before crossing a small bridge. From here continue walking 1 km uphill until you reach a yellow gate on your right. This is the trailhead to Brew Hut. Follow the gravel path, and after a bridge, you will continue up a hill paying close attention to the turnoff marked with flagging tape on your right. From here the trail narrows and ascends a hill and winds into the forests. Keep on this path, and eventually, you will arrive at Brew Lake. The hut sits at the top of the hill above the lake. 

How to reserve: Visit the Varsity Outdoors Club website
Location: Callaghan Valley
Cost per night: $10

Backcountry Hut Code of Conduct

Backcountry ecosystems are very sensitive, and extra caution should be taken to avoid damaging the environment. Please stay on trails, avoid crushing fauna, do not feed or disturb animals. And always remember to pack out what you pack in.

In addition to typical backcountry code, staying in a hut comes with a few extra responsibilities. Hut users should take care to share duties such as changing gray water, collecting drinking water or melting snow and chopping firewood. Users are encouraged to use firewood conservatively as most huts only receive one or two loads of wood per year. Lastly please leave the hut in the same or better condition than you found it; wash your dishes, sweep the floor and pack out what you brought in. 

Looking for More Great Squamish Ideas?

Packed with everything you need to know to get the most out of your stay. You can pick up your copy at the #Squamish Adventure Centre or view it online here.