Weekly Winter Adventures - Afternoon Tea in the Backcountry
Not all destinations in the Squamish backcountry require an enormous commitment of time and energy. The Red Heather Hut, located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, is an intermediate winter hike, snowshoe or ski tour just 6km from the Diamond Head Parking area. Located in Red Heather Meadows at the start of Paul Ridge, this little day use hut is equipped with a woodstove and roughly marks the halfway point to Elfin Lakes.
At an easy pace, it’s a quick 45min ski tour or a two hour snowshoe to the hut. The terrain here is gorgeous, with views through the Red Heather Meadows to Paul Ridge and Mt Garibaldi. Upon arrival, kick off your shoes and enjoy a little warmth from the wood stove and prepare to enjoy one of the great pleasures of backcountry travel: tea in the mountains. It’s something special to work a little for your reward and spending an afternoon in this magical place is sure to please just about everyone. And on the way down? If you’re on skis, it’s an easy swoosh back to the car. On snowshoes there’s minimal effort to get back and all along the trail are viewpoints dotted through the old growth forest. Remember to pack appropriately and be equipped for self rescue.
Turn east off Hwy 99 onto Mamquam Road, 4 km north of the Squamish town site. Follow the paved road past the Squamish Valley Golf and Country Club and then take the gravel road just past the Mashiter Creek Bridge. After 6 km take a left onto the Garibaldi Park road. Follow this road until you arrive at the parking lot. It is 16 km from the highway to the parking lot, located at 914 metres.